Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Car Boot Vinyl Diaries

Friday 17 August 2018

CBVD Mixcloud catch-up

I've been a bit slack about posting episodes of Car Boot Vinyl Diaries - the Mixcloud show - here on the blog, so here are the previous two, plus a special Listener's Choice episode of Charity Shop Classics, which I was pleased to guest present on Manchester's All FM last summer.

To keep up with new shows you may like to follow me on Mixcloud at

Tuesday 4 July 2017

CBVD Episode 19

The latest episode of Car Boot Vinyl Diaries is now up on Mixcloud, with an hour of all-vinyl tunes sourced from car boot sales and charity shops.  Featured artists include Sylvester, The B52s, Wings, Isaac Hayes, Harry Stoneham and loads more.

Use the player below or follow the link to the show page.

Saturday 6 May 2017

CBVD Episode 18

The newest episode of Car Boot Vinyl Diaries is now online, with tunes from The Bodines, Frank Sidebottom, The Fall, Nina Simone, Londonbeat, Syreeta, and loads more, including Barbra Streisand covering David Bowie.

Use the player below or click the link to go to the page.  Happy listening!

Friday 21 April 2017

Good Morning Good Morning

One sunny morning over the Easter hols this year I was pleased to find this record at a midweek car boot sale, still in great condition and costing just a pound.

Various Artists - Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father (1988)

Sgt. Pepper Knew My Father was organised by the New Musical Express and put out on their own record label in order to raise money for the charity Childline, founded two years before.  The NME managed to persuade a variety of artists to record covers of songs from this most beloved Fabs album, and it resulted in quite the mixed bag.

Low points are Hue & Cry's irritating jazz-funk Fixing A Hole, the two renditions of the title track by UK hip hop act The Three Wize Men, and UK no.1 single by Wet Wet Wet With A Little Help From My Friends.  I've just learned that the latter was in fact a double a-side with Billy Bragg's She's Leaving Home, which as far as I remember got none of the TV or radio plays, which is a shame as it's pretty good, especially in comparison with the inescapable Pellow smugfest on the flip.

Highlights include Sonic Youth's feedback-laden Within You Without You, Michelle Shocked's rather lovely Lovely Rita, and Frank Sidebottom's bonkers cover of Being For The Benefit Of Mr Kite.  Top prize goes to The Fall, however, for an excellent effort on closer A Day In The Life, complete with runout groove gobbledegook.  All in all a good quid's worth and an odd little sort of time capsule from when the original Pepper was just 21 years old.

Also costing £1 was B.W. Goes C&W by Bobby Womack.

Bobby Womack - BW Goes C&W (1976)

United Artists weren't happy about soul singer Womack's desire to make an album of country covers, particularly in '76 when a move into disco would have been the obvious career move.  But when Bobby told them he wanted to call it "Step Aside Charley Pride, Give Another Nigger A Try", they let him go ahead with the project under the condition the title was changed to something more, er... commercial.  It sold poorly anyway, so I knew nothing about it until I spied it on a blanket on the ground at a chilly car boot sale in February.  As a lover of country soul I wasn't going to leave it there in the pile of Jim Reeves and Don Williams, especially with the wonderful front cover image, plus Bobby looking cool-as-heck on the back:

Photo from rear cover. A cropped version of this image was also used
on the country soul compilation Dirty Laundry: The Soul Of Black Country.

With Bobby's soulful takes on Charlie Rich's Behind Closed Doors (from the charity shop classic album of the same name), Eddy Arnold's Bouquet Of Roses, and an absolutely charming duet with his father Friendly Womack Sr. on Tarnished Rings, BW Goes C&W is something of a hidden gem, and a must-listen for country soul fans.  Only Big Bayou jars a little, but that's due more to the comparative tone than its execution.

You can hear three tracks from the album on the latest installment of Car Boot Vinyl Diaries, since it was this episode's Featured Album.

I spotted this great record sleeve in a local hospice shop recently, so naturally had to take a closer look.

Various Artists - Surprise Partie - Tous Les Jeunes (1973)
"Putting young people in the spotlight", according to translation of the sleeve notes.

Promotional sticker by Hennessy.

The term 'surprise partie' in France once meant much the same as it did elsewhere, but from around the 1950s it came to mean any impromptu get-together by young people, paticularly teenagers, with the "surprise" part no longer relevant.  Of course the record industry made the most of this trend, in particular Disque Vogue who really embraced the concept, putting out loads of albums on this theme in the 1960s:

A small selection of 'surprise partie' themed LPs from Disque Vogue.
I've no idea what the Guinea pig and penguin logos represent.

Surprise Partie - Tous Les Jeunes, which cost me a pound, plunders Disques Vogue's '60s vaults for recordings by a variety of pop singers and instrumental groups.  François Hardy and Petula Clark are well represented with three songs each, including a wonderful vocal version of The Shadows' Foot Tapper by Pet, called Mon Bonheur Danse ('My Dancing Happiness', according to Google translate) and of course François' hardy perennial Tous Les Garçons Et Les Filles.

Others artists include guitar-wielding duo Les "Faux" Frères, who sound like they modelled themselves on the Everly Brothers; rock 'n' roll / surf 4-piece The "Octopus"; and a handful of solo artists, such as Stella, a teen pop singer whose songs have been described as "parodies of the Yé-yé style" and "engagingly sarcastic".  (These days she's a vocalist with French proggers and Steve Davis favourites Magma, after wedding drummer and founder Christian Vander.)

You can hear the Petula Clark track mentioned above on the latest Car Boot Vinyl Diaries, alongside those from Bobby Womack, plus lots more car boot and charity shop vinyl.  But first, here are The "Octopus" with their track Hurricane, played from the original EP on a tasty looking Dansette.

Thursday 13 April 2017

Cloudcast Episode17

Episode 17 of Car Boot Vinyl Diaries is now on Mixcloud for your listening pleasure, with tunes freshly plucked from the fields of Suffolk.  With a country soul gem for the Featured Album, a double bill for Novelty Island and a great long song for The Boot Of Loot, there's probably something for everyone.

Listen using the player below, or click the link to go to the show page.  And have a great Easter weekend!

Saturday 11 March 2017

Picture This

On visits to car boot sales I often see LPs and singles produced to exploit the lucrative children's market, many of them relating to successful films and TV shows, and the majority featuring characters and stories from cartoon animations.

At a chilly boot sale at the end of October last year I was delighted to spot this, and quickly snapped it up for £1:

More Willo The Wisp Stories - Narrated by Kenneth Williams (1983)

This LP on the BBC's in-house record label contains the audio from twelve episodes of the hugely popular TV series Willo The Wisp, of which there were 26 episodes in all (if you don't include a 90s remake, which I don't).  A dozen more can be found on the 1981 original release titled simply 'Willo The Wisp', but that one is seemingly a little harder to find.

The great Kenneth Williams voices the narrator of the title, and lead character Mavis, the very definition of an airy-fairy, with a heart of gold and a head full of not very much.  Williams' astonishing array of comic voices also brings to life her friends, who include Arthur, the cockney know-it-all caterpillar; and Moog (my favourite), a friendly but brainless dog-like character who regularly demonstrates that ignorance is indeed bliss.  The villain of Doyley Woods is Evil Edna; a walking, talking television set with wickedly magical antennae.  This used to make me and my sisters laugh a lot, since we have a nana named Edna.

Although some of the visual gags are lost without the animation, the 5-minute stories are still as sharp and funny as I remember them, in particular one called Magic Golf where poor Mavis (or "Mave" as Arthur calls her) loses the star on the end of her wand and with the help of her chums has to wing an inspection from the Dept. of Spells & Magic in order to advance to the position of 2-Star Fairy.

The collection is littered with fab BBC sound effects, including some some lovely Radiophonic Workshop-evoking "zap"s on The Joys Of Spring.  And of course you get the theme music bookending each story, that will take those of a certain age straight back to weekday teatimes just before the 5:40pm news.  Happily, a whole bunch can be found on YouTube, and since it's the appropriate time of year, here's The Joys Of Spring.

Be careful though; if you're anything like me you'll be drawn into a Willo The Wisp rabbit hole for the next couple of hours.

Well all right, just one more.  Here's The Thoughts Of Moog:

Bought the same day and also costing a pound was this LP from Hanna-Barbera Productions:

Yogi Bear and Boo Boo - Little Red Riding Hood and Jack & The Beanstalk

Tucked up in their cave for winter, here Jellystone's smarter-than-average bear tells his old pal Boo Boo a couple of pre-hibernation bedtime stories.  The whole thing has a fun 60s vibe, the opening theme a perfect beat group pastiche, and Jack of Beanstalk fame described by Yogi as a dropout who'd sold all his personal possessions, "even his Beatle records" - imagine that!  Funniest of all is Little Red Riding Hood, portrayed as a sneaker-wearing, scooter-riding, jive-talking (she calls her Grandmother "baby") teenager.  Just like the original Red she takes zero nonsense from the Big Bad Wolf, but in this incarnation adds some Judo moves to subdue him, rather than relying on some random man with an axe to turn up and save her.

The almost constant incidental music and zippy SFX keep the stories moving at an engaging pace, and both tales are summed up in song; Jack's by a minstrel wielding a jangly guitar, and Red's in the form of a beat-style reading over a cool, finger-snappin' jazzy background.  Groovy.

In August last year I bought a pile of 50 pence 7" singles from one stall, among them this little beauty:

Tweety Pie - I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat b/w Bugs Bunny - I'm Glad That I'm
Bugs Bunny (1970)

This 1970 single is on Music For Pleasure's children's imprint 'Surprise Surprise', and contains two Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies songs recorded and originally released on 78rpm shellac in 1950.  They feature three characters from the "Man Of 1000 Voices" Mel Blanc; Tweety and his nemesis Sylvester on I Taut I Taw A Puddy Tat (as played on the latest CBVD cloudcast) and our favourite rabbit on the b-side, with I'm Glad That I'm Bugs Bunny.  Both sign off with the Looney Tunes, er, tune, which is worth the 50p alone as far as I'm concerned.

Less good value for money was this, bought for £1 the following weekend:

Scooby Doo and the Snowmen Mystery (1973)

Scooby Doo and the Snowmen Mystery was released in 1973 as part of Music For Pleasure's 'Merry Go Round' series.  I was quite excited to find this, until upon listening it became clear that MfP's budget didn't run to hiring Don Messick and co. to play their parts, or even to licencing original material from CBS.  Instead, a handful of British voice actors were employed, which unfortunately is glaringly obvious from the collection of ropey US accents on display.  Fred actually sounds more like the original Shaggy, but worst of all is poor Daphne; saddled with a gruffer voice than the original Velma, she gives Dick Van Dyke's cockney chimney sweep a run for his money in the comedy accent stakes, as well as sounding like she's got a serious problem with tranquilisers.

Still, if you can get past this, the story isn't so bad.  After more beat group pastiche on intro song Mystery Incorporated the gang interrupt their vacation to investigate strange goings-on in Switzerland.  Their adventures lead them to uncover the usual plot by a super-baddie to take over the world, and there are some decent sound effects and musical interludes to keep things fresh.

Here's a small taste of Scoob and Shaggy's dialogue, followed by the Bacharach-ian What Would I Do Without You, to play us out.

Thursday 9 March 2017

CBVD Cloudcast 16

The latest episode of Car Boot Vinyl Diaries is now on Mixcloud, with all sorts of car boot bangers and chazza choons.  The Featured Album is a collection of BBC Sporting Themes, there's a a great French-language Kinks cover from Petula Clark, and the rest of it runs the gamut from Tom Waits to Tweety Pie.

Use the player below or visit the CBVD Mixcloud page