Music Matters - with John Murray

John Murray
John Murray
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ROD Stewart at Stark’s Park? Well maybe if his team make it past Arbroath in the cup. Meantime he releases ‘Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas’ for Celtic Charity Trust and Teenage Cancer Trust and must be surely a contender for the Christmas No. 1.

Veteran Albert Hammond previews his forthcoming Legends II album with a wintry anthem. ‘The Snows Of New York’ certainly has all the clichés but I expected it to suit Chris De Burgh then found he co-wrote it.

Joe Brown has witnessed many chart campaigns with his big hit (‘A Picture Of You’) scoring fifty years ago now. Still performing and wooing audiences he recently opened for Status Quo with great success and you may have seen him play ukulele on the Concert For George (Harrison) tribute. Well The Ukulele Album (Absolute), newly released has 15 selections and only one is from the George Formby songbook.

‘When I’m Dead And Gone’ and ‘Mr Blue Sky’ sound very comfortable with these arrangements but ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’ has never sounded better in this simplistic setting and was a fitting close to the George concert. Even Motorhead’s ‘Ace Of Spades’ appears although the arrangement lends itself more to the Jackie Storrar version. Joe looks and sounds the same as ever and now has become an ambassador for the instrument that even the most basic of musician can play but never so effectively as this.

A fab stocking filler in the shape of three CDs, I Grew Up In The 60s (EMI TV), fits the bill. The decade that began with the Shadows’ ‘Apache’, brought us dances like ‘The Locomotion’ and ‘Let’s Twist Again’, when R&B meant Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and Jackie Wilson and peaked in the Summer of Love with ‘Good Vibrations’, ‘A Whiter Shade Of Pale’ and Scott Mackenzie’s ‘San Francisco’ deserves this exposure. One CD has 32 nostalgic themes like ‘Z-Cars’, ‘Juke Box Jury’, ‘Bonanza’, ‘Dr Kildare’, ‘Batman’, ‘Top Cat’ and the like plus for movie buffs the Pathe News theme and the Pearl & Dean advertising sting still ingrained in my mind forever.