Yesteryear acts could eat most of today’s for breakfast

ONE of the disappointments in my career as a singer has been the fact that despite numerous appearances on dear old ‘Top of the Pops’, none produced prior to 1976 have been actually aired.

The reasons for this, so I had been told, were twofold. One source informed me there had been a fire in the archives of the BBC and all the tapes prior to that period had been destroyed, the other, and the one I am more inclined to believe, was due the fact of storage problems (and extreme short sightedness I may add) all works completed before that date were simply thrown out to create more space.

Imagine my surprise when I tuned in to the BBC the other night and lo and behold the programmer informed us that they would be showing TOTP circa 1962-1973. I duly settled in to enjoy something I had, for many years, accepted as a long lost slice of my personal experiences. And I was not disappointed.

A whole host of groups and singers, (all looking extremely young!) unfolded before me. Before long I was simply wallowing in a virtual morass of emotions. It was pure pleasure to sit back and listen to artistes that were not only totally individual, but could also actually sing!

With all the voice enhancements and Lord knows how many studio gismos and gadgets, the likes of Simon Cowell and his fellow conspirators have today brainwashed us all into thinking that their endless churn out of same old same ol’ is actually good.

Well I’ll tell you. Call me old fashioned if you will, but those acts of yesteryear, whose only assistance in the studio was treble middle, bass and a bit of echo, could eat most of today’s acts for breakfast. The other thing that struck me was how privileged I have been to have known, and even worked with so many of those great artistes.

Tom Jones, a personal friend, whose live TOTP rendition of Delilah has, despite a million imitators, never been surpassed.

Status Quo, who, during a break from the studio, all piled in to my Cadillac and looned along the Bayswater Road with the sweet smell of success wafting around our nostrils. The Kinks and Ray Davis who I was privileged to be the only singer he ever released a record with.

The delectable Judy Driscol and the ‘She Trinity’ with the wonderfully talented Brian Auger on the organ (a number of high old times!) The list simply went on and on.

When 1968 hove into view I eagerly perched a little more to the edge of the seat. Alas it was not to be. No dashing young side-burned and slim line figure appeared warbling any thing about the ammo of Robin Hood! Ah well perhaps I did get thrown out with the bath water! Never the less it was a wonderful experience. All power to the artistes of that truly rich and productive era. We could certainly do with a few of you today.

Keep the faith.

Love Leapy.   leapy

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