Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

All Our Yesterdays

My mother was watching The Six-Five Special- a film version of the TV show that was the BBC's first attempt to engage with youth culture. Lonnie Donegan was in the line up- and I have fond memories of Lonnie Donegan- so I sat down and watched it with her.

The year was 1958- and the musical culture of the United Kingdom was doing its not very interesting thing in the shadow of Vesuvius. Pet Clarke had a slot- an English rose before she became a French chanteuse. Jim Dale had a slot- a perky popster before he became an accomplished light comedian. Dickie Valentine sauntered down a staircase wearing boater and blazer, singing something execrable. Various people who never became famous sang songs that never had any hope of becoming classic. Only Donegan seemed aware of what was coming- rendering old Woody Guthrie numbers as driving rock and roll.

Glastonbury isn't happening this year- so the BBC is showing clips from the archives. Last night was like a documentary of everything that came after the Six-Five Special- and popular music moved from the edges to the centre of the culture. We had Shirley Bassey and Tom Jones, Brian Wilson, Paul Simon, James Brown, Al Green, Dolly Parton, Ray Davies, REM and Lady Gaga. Michael Eavis-  both ancient and ageless- sat in an  empty field with the skeleton of the pyramid stage behind him and told Lauren Laverne and Clara Amfo how it's been getting better every year (this would have been the 50th) and 2021 will be even more extraordinary...

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