Video Saturday – A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night

So its the summer of 1973, a Friday night, and I’d been out somewhere, The Woodman in Headingley most likely, yes I know I’d have only been 16 but that was quite old for The Woodman on a Friday night, some first years at our school used to be regulars.

I’d come in from the pub, sat down in the armchair that faced the TV set and switched it on, BBC2 came on with a programme that was just starting, it was “A little touch of Schmilsson in the night”, bloody great I thought in my drunken haze (you never left The Woodman sober on a Friday night), for I loved Harry Nilsson’s music.

This was different though for here was Harry sitting down in a studio with the Gordon Jenkins orchestra, THE Gordon Jenkins, the one who had worked so often with Frank Sinatra, here they all were in a recording studio having a run through of several “old classics”, crooner songs from previous decades, everyone smoking, sometimes even while performing, there’s a violin player in that video who never removes a cigar stub from his mouth right through the sessions and Harry Nilsson himself goes through several cigarettes – it was the time, those long distant days when smoking was almost compulsory and no workplace worth its salt would not be simply full of smoke.

I sat transfixed through the whole hour long programme, Nilsson had to stop the session at one point because his throat was bleeding but whatever was in the glass on the table by his side seemed to fix it and his voice simply got better, I had to buy the album, I still have the vinyl album, the CD and the “extra” CD that was released with more tracks a few years later, its without doubt Harry Nilsson’s finest hour.

 

Spotify link

Nilsson – A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night And More

 

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