Big shout out for Linda Jones who has tagged me in the blogging version of “Let’s see if we can work out how old you are by reading your childhood memories”: my goodness, that old, oh I wasn’t even born then..
Unfortunately for me I was certainly around for her Shang-a-lang trip down memory lane. So I will keep her company by sharing a memory from when I was six in 1971 (you’re doin the math already, I just know….go on, get your calculator out, best be sure). My mum, a semi-professional singer who had a belter of a voice, decided on a whim to apply for Opportunity Knocks. When she was told she had passed the first audition and would be on the show, my mum told me but said it was a big secret. So the next day I wrote about it at school in “My News” – ‘my mum is going to be on the telly but it’s a big secret’. The teacher saw my mother in the co-op later that week and gave the game away!
Mum had wanted to sing an aria from Carmen but the powers-that-be insisted she sing a Northern folk song, Blow the wind Southerly so they could market her as a nice housewife from Newcastle. Nice enough song, fishing boat dragged on the stage behind her, but hey, it’s not exactly The Habanera. My dad was drafted in to do the introduction with Hughie Green, my mum sang beautifully, she scored 86 on the clap-o-meter but was beaten by the little Scottish boy, Neil Reid, who had all the grannies voting with his rendition of Mother of Mine.
Race forward in time to the year 2000 when in my infinite wisdom, and most probably under the influence, I applied to go on Stars in Their Eyes. I sent in an echoey tape of me singing in the bathroom Don’t it Make my Brown Eyes Blue by country and western singer Crystal Gayle. I can’t hear those mellow tones of our Crystal now without remembering a trip to a hotel in Nottingham where I joined some other sad buggers to audition in front of the producers. I didn’t get any further (they had already had a Crystal Gayle a few years before anyway) but did get down to the last 200 from 20,000 applications (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it). Months later I watched the programme and saw the little blonde lad from the hotel transformed into Bon Jovi and winning his heat. Bastard.
The video below is of the actual Crystal Gayle. No, I will not be vlogging my own version.
I think some of my bloggy mates may have done this meme already but I will tag the following to think of their own childhood memory and tell us a song that reminds them of a special place and time. If anyone else feels inspired, please join in.