Video Saturday – Melanie

OK so you only know the singer Melanie because of her song “Brand New Key”, and there is a whole generation of 40 year olds in the UK who only know that song because of The Wurzels, but we won’t go down that road because therein lies despair, torment and abject terror.

Some of us in our vintage years know Melanie for the AA Milne poem (yes, AA MIlne, Winnie the Pooh, Christopher Robin and all that) put to music “Alexander Beetle” for it was played relentlessly on BBC Radio’s “Junior Choice” every Saturday morning – the BBC’s Junior Choice, an early morning radio request show for very young children hosted by Ed “Stewpot” Stewart in a condescending tone who played the same playlist of twenty songs in rotation every week and read out some made-up requests to justify playing them, as if all the children in the UK really wanted to listen to “The Runaway Train” EVERY WEEK.

And so we discovered Melanie, as did the Woodstock crowd in 1969, and I further discovered that her talent did not rest on laurels made by Ed Stewpot Stewart but indeed that she was a serious folk singer when I listened to Steve Halls copy of one of her albums when he was at Loughborough Uni, being at Uni in the 1970s meant that you got to listen to lots of folky acts, grow your hair long, smoke weed and say things like “Cool” (the first time around), and “Love and peace man”, Steve Hall became a school teacher.

I tape recorded his album – what, me, buy it ??? – and played it in the van all the way back home, and “Ruby Tuesday” was just one of the excellent tracks on that album…


So sit cross legged on the floor now in front of the radiogram, close your eyes, and pretend you’re five again…


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