Helpless Dancer

The Endless Note

Lonesome Road

Having now finished the above book my favourite two Chapters were those dedicated to Blind Willie McTell (watch out for forthcoming post) and the one detailing the “Bob Dylan Theme Time Radio Hour” from which I discovered that Frank Sinatra was the most played artist and that one of Dylan’s all time favourite tracks is Sinatra’s 1957 version of “Lonesome Road”

Look down – look down
That lonesome road
Before you travel on

Look up – look up
And seek your maker
Before (mr.) gabriel blows his horn

(I’m) weary (of) toting – such a (heavy) load
Trudging down – the (that) lonesome road

Look down – look down
That lonesome road
Before (before) you travel on

True love – true love
What have I done
That you should treat me so

You – caused me
To walk and talk
Like I never did before

(I’m) weary (of) toting – such a (heavy) load
Trudging down – the (that) lonesome road

Look down – look down (look down – look down)
That lonesome road
Before (before) you (decide to) travel on

To buy the music of Frank Sinatra click HERE

March 29, 2011 Posted by | Books, Interesting Fact, Old Music | , | Leave a comment

Model Railway Anorak Special

March 28, 2011 Posted by | Interesting Fact, Video | , | Leave a comment

Thank You Friends

Thank you, friends
Wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you
I’m so grateful for all the things you helped me do

All the ladies and gentlemen
Who made this all so probable

Thank you, friends
I rejoice to the skies
Dear ones like you do the best I do
As far as can see my eyes

Without my friends I got chaos
I’m off in a bead of light
Without my friends I’d be swept up high by the wind

All the ladies and gentlemen (I said all)
Who made this all so probable

Thank you friends (thank you, again)
Dear, dear friends (thank you, again)
And again, and again
Never too late to start
To buy the music of Big Star click HERE

Honestly “thank you friends” for dropping in, despite February being a short month this humble blog had over 90,000 hits in the last four weeks so keep coming back, though I started this blog to cleanse my soul and will continue to do so, I am pleased others find some music which is new to them and gives them enjoyment.

Be lucky!!

Helpless Dancer

March 1, 2011 Posted by | Interesting Fact, Old Music | | Leave a comment

2010 A Review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 510,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 22 days for that many people to see it.

In 2010, there were 428 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 1078 posts.

The busiest day of the year was March 17th with 4 views. The most popular post that day was Imelda May – Rockabilly Lives.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,,,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for the runaways, meg white, led zeppelin iii, runaways, and carole king.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Imelda May – Rockabilly Lives July 2009


The Runaways December 2009


Tapestry – Carole King April 2009


More Ray LaMontagne October 2008


Past Masters September 2009
1 comment

Thanks for dropping in and I hope you will find something of interest in 2011.

In the meantime………………be lucky.


January 1, 2011 Posted by | Interesting Fact, New News | | 2 Comments

Season Of The Witch

Medium Helen Duncan (25/11/1897 – 6/12/19560, a Scottish housewife with six children, is often regarded as the last woman in Britain to be convicted of witchcraft when back in 1944 one of her seances exposed a government attempt to cover up the deaths of 861 sailors.

It started much the same as her other seances. With a chilling moan and strange white substance leaking from her mouth, Helen Duncan began communicating with the dead…

But suddenly, the eerie calm was pierced by a police whistle and officers piled into the house, in Portsmouth, Hants, to arrest Britain’s top medium.

The following morning Helen, known as Hellish Nell, was charged under section four of the 1735 Witchcraft Act.

As noted above Duncan is often referred to as the last person to be convicted of being a witch, but this view is incorrect in two important aspects. Firstly, the Witchcraft Act 1735 under which she was convicted dealt not with witchcraft but with people who falsely claimed to be able to procure spirits.

Secondly, there was a subsequent conviction under the act, of Jane Rebecca Yorke of Forest Gate in East Ham later in 1944; Yorke was bound over to keep the peace.

On her release in 1945, Duncan promised to stop conducting séances; however, she was arrested during another one in 1956. She died at her home in Edinburgh a short time later.

Duncan’s trial almost certainly contributed to the repeal of the Witchcraft Act, which was contained in the Fraudulent Mediums Act 1951 promoted by Walter Monslow, Labour Member of Parliament for Barrow-in-Furness. The campaign to repeal the Act had largely been led by Thomas Brooks, another Labour MP, who was a spiritualist.

Duncan’s original conviction still stood, and a campaign to have her posthumously pardoned continues

It was 1944, and, astonishingly, officials had ordered her arrest because they were afraid she would reveal top-secret plans for the D-Day landings.

They had been monitoring her since she had revealed the sinking of a British battleship earlier in the war – even though the government had suppressed the news to maintain morale at home.

It took a jury just 30 minutes to find her guilty and she became the last person to be convicted of witchcraft in Britain.

As she was led away to start her nine-month sentence in London’s Holloway Prison, the housewife cried out in her broad Scottish accent: “I never heard so many lies in all my life!”

Helen’s “gift” had long put her on a collision course with the authorities and led to one of the most bizarre chapters in British judicial history.

Helen Macfarlane was born into a poor family in Perthshire, central Scotland, in 1897. Growing up in Callander, Stirlingshire, she earned her nickname due to her tomboyish behaviour. Even as a teenager, she appeared to have a sixth sense, predicting the length of the First World War and invention of the tank.

When the unmarried Helen became pregnant in 1918, she fled the village and settled in Dundee. There, she married an invalid soldier, Henry Duncan, and had five more children.

During that period, Britain was still reeling from the devastating losses sustained in the First World War and many grieving families sought spiritual comfort.

Seances quickly sprang up, conducted by people claiming to be in touch with the dead.

Helen was among them and, by the 1930s, she was travelling the country, summoning up spirits before incredulous audiences.

But while the seances were making her a celebrity, scientists were already questioning her abilities and, in 1931, she was invited with Henry to London to have her skills tested by psychic researcher Harry Price.

He recalls: “She was placed in the curtained recess. In a few seconds, the medium was in a trance. The curtains parted and we beheld her covered from head to foot with cheese-cloth!

“Some of it was trailing on the floor, one end was poked up her nostril, a piece was issuing from her mouth. I must say that I was deeply impressed – with the brazen effrontery that prompted the Duncans to come to my lab, with the amazing credulity of the spiritualists who had sat with the Duncans and with the fact that they had advertised her ‘phenomena’ as genuine.”

In a bid to reveal the contents of Helen’s stomach, Price asked if she would undergo an X-ray.

“She refused. Her husband advised her to submit. But that seemed to infuriate her and she became hysterical. She jumped up and dealt him a blow on the face.

“Suddenly, she jumped up, unfastened the door and dashed into the street – where she had another attack of alleged hysterics and commenced tearing her sŽance garment to pieces.

“Her husband dashed after her and she was found clutching the railings, screaming.” Yet the researchers did not bring about Helen’s downfall. Instead, the seeds were sown in the Mediterranean, on November 25, 1941.

HMS Barham, a 29,000-tonne battleship, was attacking Italian convoys when it was hit by three German torpedoes.

The ship went down within minutes, with the loss of 861 lives. Already reeling from the Blitz, the British government decided to keep the news quiet, even forging Christmas cards from the dead to their families.

But they never reckoned on Helen’s psychic powers…

Amended and updated from original news story by David Edwards as published in The Mirror on 6th December 2006.

“Season Of The Witch” – Terry Reid

“Season of the Witch” is one of the first “Psychedelia” songs, written by Donovan and first released in the UK on his June 1967 compilation album, Sunshine Superman.

The recording features Bobby Ray on bass and “Fast” Eddie Hoh on drums. The run-time for the song is 4:56, unusual for an era when the typical pop song ran perhaps 2:30.

Most recently, it was used in a 2010 ad for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7.

To buy the music of Terry Reid click HERE

October 31, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Educational, Interesting Fact, Old Music, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

Stereo Stereo

“Connected” – Stereo MC’s

To buy the music of the Stereo MC’s click HERE

October 28, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Interesting Fact, Old Music | | Leave a comment

Sunday Sounds – A Great Day In Harlem


The above picture “A Great Day In Harlem” is perhaps one of the most iconic photographs in the history of music.

Art Kane, a freelance photographer working for Esquire magazine, took the picture around 10 a.m. 12th August 1958. The musicians had gathered on 126th Street, between Fifth and Madison Avenues in Harlem.

Esquire published the photo in its January 1959 issue. Jean Bach, a radio producer of New York, recounted the story behind it in her 1994 documentary film, A Great Day in Harlem. The film was nominated in 1995 for an Academy Award for Documentary Feature.

The photo was also a key object in Steven Spielberg’s film, The Terminal. The film starred Tom Hanks as Viktor Navorski, a character who comes to the United States in search of Benny Golson’s autograph, with which he can complete his deceased father’s collection of autographs from the musicians pictured in the photo.

Only four musicians in the photo are still alive: Benny Golson, Marian McPartland, Sonny Rollins and Horace Silver.

Musicians in the photograph

  • Red Allen
  • Buster Bailey
  • Count Basie
  • Emmett Berry
  • Art Blakey
  • Lawrence Brown
  • Scoville Browne
  • Buck Clayton
  • Bill Crump
  • Vic Dickenson
  • Roy Eldridge
  • Art Farmer
  • Bud Freeman
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Tyree Glenn
  • Benny Golson
  • Sonny Greer
  • Johnny Griffin
  • Gigi Gryce
  • Coleman Hawkins
  • J.C. Heard
  • Jay C. Higginbotham
  • Milt Hinton
  • Chubby Jackson
  • Hilton Jefferson
  • Osie Johnson
  • Hank Jones
  • Jo Jones
  • Jimmy Jones
  • Taft Jordan
  • Max Kaminsky
  • Gene Krupa
  • Eddie Locke
  • Marian McPartland
  • Charles Mingus
  • Miff Mole
  • Thelonious Monk
  • Gerry Mulligan
  • Oscar Pettiford
  • Rudy Powell
  • Luckey Roberts
  • Sonny Rollins
  • Jimmy Rushing
  • Pee Wee Russell
  • Sahib Shihab
  • Horace Silver
  • Zutty Singleton
  • Stuff Smith
  • Rex Stewart
  • Maxine Sullivan
  • Joe Thomas
  • Wilbur Ware
  • Dickie Wells
  • George Wettling
  • Ernie Wilkins
  • Mary Lou Williams
  • Lester Young
“When I found out there was going to be this big meeting for a picture in Esquire,” Dizzy Gillespie recalled, “I said to myself, ‘Here’s my chance to see all these musicians without going to a funeral.'”
The subjects caught in Kane’s lens spanned the stylistic range from New Orleans to Chicago to Swing to Bebop to Modern. The oldest, Harlem stride pianist Luckey Roberts, was 71.
The youngest, Sonny Rollins, was 27. Yet the concept of cliques was alien to all. Rollins, for example, viewed his onsite elders Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young as personal heroes, direct inspiration for his own calling as a musician.
“Body and Soul” – Coleman Hawkins
“Plain Jane” – Sonny Rollins
For more information visit the Official Art Kane website by clicking HERE
All of the above is a mere drop in the ocean that is jazz.
To buy the music of Sonny Rollins click HERE
To buy the music of Coleman Hawkins click HERE
PS Art Kane was also responsible for this photograph of The Who which was edited for use as the cover of the film soundtrack “The Kids Are Alright”

June 20, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Interesting Fact, Jazz, Old Music, Photography, Video | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Animated Sleeves

Animated album sleeves, pointless but FUN!

For more information click HERE

“All Apologies” (Live) – Nirvana

To buy the music of Nirvana click HERE

May 16, 2010 Posted by | Interesting Fact, Old Music | , , | Leave a comment

Happy Birthday Stevie

The great Stevie Wonder is 60 today, however, I can assure you it certainly ain’t hotter than July here.

“Happy Birthday” – Stevie Wonder

You know it doesn’t make much sense
There ought to be a law against
Anyone who takes offense
At a day in your celebration
Cause we all know in our minds
That there ought to be a time
That we can set aside
To show just how much we love you
And I’m sure you would agree
It couldn’t fit more perfectly
Than to have a world party on the day you came to be

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

I just never understood
How a man who died for good
Could not have a day that would
Be set aside for his recognition
Because it should never be
Just because some cannot see
The dream as clear as he
that they should make it become an illusion
And we all know everything
That he stood for time will bring
For in peace our hearts will sing
Thanks to Martin Luther King

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday

Why has there never been a holiday
Where peace is celebrated
all throughout the world

The time is overdue
For people like me and you
Who know the way to truth
Is love and unity to all God’s children
It should be a great event
And the whole day should be spent
In full remembrance
Of those who lived and died for the oneness of all people
So let us all begin
We know that love can win
Let it out don’t hold it in
Sing it loud as you can

Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday to you
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Happy birthday
Ooh yeah
Happy birthday…

We know the key to unify all people
Is in the dream that you had so long ago
That lives in all of the hearts of people
That believe in unity
We’ll make the dream become a reality
I know we will
Because our hearts tell us so

To buy the music of Stevie Wonder click HERE

May 13, 2010 Posted by | Interesting Fact, New News, Old Music, R&B, Soul, Video | | Leave a comment

Friday Fun – Tiswas Compost Corner

Tiswas was a Saturday morning children’s British TV show which ran from 5 January 1974 to 3 April 1982 and was produced for the ITV network by ATV Network Limited.

It was created by ATV continuity announcer Peter Tomlinson (later to become a regular presenter on the show) following a test period in 1973 when he tried out a few competitions and daft stuff between the programmes. It had a fanatical following among students and parents and was for me the ideal hangover cure when taken with lashings of Irn Bru!

The word ’tiswas’ means a state of confusion or commotion, but the show’s name ‘officially’ stood for “Today Is Saturday, Watch And Smile

Compost Corner was one of the regular sketches originally built around Lenny Henry’s impersonation of David Bellamy.

Sally James

For obvious reasons Sally James was by far the main reason for watching the show, here she is in Compost Corner with Roger Daltrey and Kenney Jones from The Who, note how Roger stands proudly with his meat and two veg plain to see whilst Kenney obviously believes his smaller portion needs hiding!

Of course we can’t post without the Phantom Fan Flinger now can we, especially when it features a not too happy Annie Lennox then of The Tourists.

For more great Tiswas fun click HERE

April 23, 2010 Posted by | Blast from The Past, Humour, Interesting Fact, The Who, Video | , , , | Leave a comment

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