Sixties City presents a wide-ranging series of articles on all aspects of the Sixties, penned by the creator of the iconic 60s music paper Mersey Beat
chart albums included:
‘Tears Of Happiness’, on Columbia 33SX 1793, reached No6 on 25th December 1965, with a chart life of ten weeks.
The album re-entered the charts at No20 on 16th March 1966 with a chart life of two weeks.
‘Hits For Now And Always’ was issued on Columbia SX 6060 and reached No14 on 23rd July 1966 with a chart life of eleven weeks.
‘For Someone Special’, on Columbia SCX 6224, reached No40 in the charts for one week.
‘I’ll Find A Way’ was issued on Columbia SCX 6379 in 1970 and ‘Broken Hearted’ was issued on Columbia DB 8725 and reached No15 on 5th December 1970 and No38 at re-entry on 13th February 1971.
‘When Love Comes Round Again’ was issued on Columbia DB8796 and reached No9 in the charts on 10th July 1971, with a chart life of 16 weeks.
‘Just Out Of Reach (Of My Two Empty Arms) was issued on Columbia DB8947 and reached No29 in the charts on 18th November 1972, with a chart life of eleven weeks.
‘(Think Of Me) Wherever You Are’ was issued on EMI 2342 and reached No21 in the charts on 29th November 1975 with a chart life of eight weeks.
‘Hold My Hand’ was issued on Images IMGS 0002 and reached No44 in the charts on 26th December 1981 with a chart life of five weeks.
During Ken’s early career he sang comedy songs and during 1965 penned and recorded two comedy numbers ‘Where’s Me Shirt?’ and ‘Song Of the Diddymen’, the latter was issued as an EP on Music for Pleasure FP26 in 1968. There have been numerous albums and CDs of Ken’s recordings issued ranging from ‘His Greatest Hits’ on Music For Pleasure in 1988 to ‘All The Songs I Love’ on EMI Gold in January 2006 and over the years Ken has sold over 100 million records!
In 1965 he appeared on the longest-ever run at the London Palladium, a total of 42 weeks, which broke all box office records and earned him a Variety Club Award. In 1982 he was awarded an OBE by the Queen for his services to show business and charity.In 1993 he received a Lifetime Achievement award at the British Comedy Awards.
In 2001 he was awarded ‘Freeman of the City of Liverpool’ and in 2002 became
the first ever member of the TV Times ‘Hall of Fame,’ while in November
2003 he became the first recipient of the ‘Living Legend’ award from the
British Comedy Society. Ken has also been made an Honorary Fellow of John
Moores University in Liverpool and received an entry in the Guinness Book
of Records for the Longest Joke Telling Session Ever when he told 1,500
jokes in three and a half hours at a Liverpool theatre. Ken is most proud
of being voted ‘The Greatest Merseysider Ever’ by the people of Liverpool
in April 2003. Runners up were John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
The Beatles appeared on a charity show at the Albany Theatre, Maghull, with Ken topping the bill on 15th October 1961. Ken thought their music was terrible and made a complaint to the organisers. When one of them came into his dressing room and said they’d been told that if they gave him their card he might be able to get them some bookings, he threw the card away.
He was reminded of it years later when Paul McCartney mentioned that they’d worked with him before. “No, you’ve never worked with me, lad,” Ken told him. When Paul mentioned it had been at the Albany, Dodd said, “That noise wasn’t you, was it?” “Yeah, we were rubbish, weren’t we?”
“You certainly were,” said Ken, “I had you thrown off.”
began to come for both acts at around the same time and during an appearance
on the Granada programme ‘Scene At 6.30’, Ken joined The Beatles in humorous
dialogue, with Gay Byrne as the referee. Here are just a few excerpts from
the interview (click image on left for full interview):
BYRNE: “We have always thought that it might be a good question to put to Mr Kenneth Dodd and members of The Beatles er, to what extent they attribute their success to their hairstyles? And we’ll start by asking the question now of Mr Dodd.”
DODD: “We call it hair (he pronounces it ‘hur’) in Liverpool…you see we always have the judy with the fair (he pronounces it ‘fur’) hair. A fellow once went into a shop in Liverpool where they sell these minks and things and he said to the girl, ‘Give us one of those hairy coats.’ She said, ‘I beg your pardon, sir, what fur?’ He said, ‘For the judy, who do you think?’”
BYRNE: (to The Beatles): “Do you think he owes a lot of his success to his hairstyle, fellas?”
JOHN: “No. I don’t think it helped at all.”
GEORGE: “It might have been better if he was bald.”
DODD: “Bald!...with the teeth and the hair, all the gimmicks, you know, I think you definitely have to have a gimmick. You’ve all got gimmicks, haven’t you boys?”
BYRNE: “What about the nose?”
DODD: “The nose…(He looks at Ringo and points. Everybody laughs). “He’s a Martian! We were writing this film script for the boys…you know the boys are making this new film and we’ve been writing the script and we’ve cast Ringo in the role of King Charles on account of the thing, you know, and he goes along to Nell Gwynne and picks her jaffas.”
BYRNE: “Tell us more about this picture, we didn’t know about this.”
DODD: “Oh yes, we’ve written the thing. I’m writing the script, yes, with Knotty Ash University…he’s King Charles, John is a courtier and in this film he wears a long golden wig with all beautiful curls.”
JOHN: (camping it up): “Oh, very nice.”
DODD: “…And a blue velvet jacket and like, sort of knickerbockers, with lace round the bottom and buckled shoes with diamante clips on and he sort of walks round on the film set and there’s a policeman standing at the side, says he’ll pinch him when he comes off.”
BYRNE: “And what’s he supposed to be doing, though?”
DODD: “Well, John, he’s a peasant. He’s an evil sort” (he points to George).
Commenting on the fact that Ken appears to have mistaken George for John, Paul and John say, “He’s Tom, Harry.”
DODD: “Well, thingy. He’s an evil smelly peasant.”
BYRNE: “Why is he an evil smelly peasant?”
DODD: “Come and stand where I am…and Paul is a jester, you see, and he’s always making the King laugh. Every time he stands on his head the King laughs like anything – he wears a kilt!”
|Bill Harry attended the Liverpool College of Art with Stuart Sutcliffe and John Lennon and made the arrangements for Brian Epstein to visit The Cavern, where he saw The Beatles for the first time. Bill was a member of 'The Dissenters' and the founder and editor of 'Mersey Beat', the iconic weekly music newspaper that documented the early Sixties music scene in the Liverpool area and is possibly best known for being the first periodical to feature a local band called 'The Beatles'. He has worked as a high powered publicist, doing PR for acts such as Suzi Quatro, Free, The Arrows and Hot Chocolate and has managed press campaigns for record labels such as CBS, EMI, Polydor. Bill is the critically acclaimed author of a large number of books about The Beatles and the 60s era including 'The Beatles Who's Who', 'The Best Years of the Beatles' and the Fab Four's 'Encyclopedia' series. He has appeared on 'Good Morning America' and has received a Gold Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.|
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