23rd June 2013
Top Picture: Marianne Faithfull and Son
Bottom Picture: David Jacobs
31st October 1965
What, you may ask is so special about 31st October 1965, well it was the one and only time that Juke Box Jury came to town and broadcast from the Guildhall. I know, as Max Boyce would say, because I was there! I had just left school and was at college and I remember queuing up outside the Guildhall all afternoon just to get a ticket. I remember arriving an sitting with great anticipation on the right hand side of the auditorium about halfway back. There were over 2000 teenagers in the building that night and the atmosphere was electric. I also remember looking at the set on stage with that famous Juke Box in the middle and noticing how battered and scratched the scenery was and it was pale blue. I suppose back in the days of black and white TV blue was the best background and the bumps and scratches did not show up on the small screen.
After the floor managers introduction and warm up we were told what would happen during the live broadcast. We were to keep silent until David Jacobs saw the red ‘On Air’ light go on and say ‘Welcome to Juke Box Jury’ and as that familiar theme tune started up we were told to clap and cheer. I remember nothing of the discs that were reviewed or very little about the programme apart from when the red light went out all those on stage got up and walked off. We decided against going round to the stage door and decided on having a swift pint drawn by Old Joe in the Great Western down the road.
However before the show started all the jury were introduced to the audience and this is where I came unstuck, apart from Petula Clark I could not remember any of the jurists which is why I only briefly mentioned the occasion a few years ago when I was talking about pop venues in Portsmouth. But recently someone emailed me to say she was there that night and she remembered that Marianne Faithfull was on the jury and was heavily pregnant at the time. This gave me a starting point and with a little research I have discovered that the jury consisted of Marianne Faithfull, Gene Pintney, Petula Clark and Stubby Kaye.
Some months ago I talked about Petula Clark so now is the time to look at Marianne faithfull
Marianne Evelyn Faithfull was born 29th December 1946 and her singing, songwriting and acting career has spanned five decades. Her early work in the 1960s was overshadowed by struggle with drug abuse in the 1970s. After a long absence, she returned late in 1979 with the highly acclaimed album, Broken English, but her subsequent solo work, has been overshadowed by her personal history. From 1966 to 1970, she had a highly publicised relationship with Mick Jagger and she co-wrote "Sister Morphine", which is featured on the Stones' Sticky Fingers album.
She was born in Hampstead, London. Her father, Major Robert Glynn Faithfull, was an Army officer and professor of psychology and her mother, Eva von Sacher-Masoch, Baroness Erisso, was originally from Vienna, with aristocratic roots in the Habsburg Dynasty and Jewish ancestry on her maternal side. Erisso was a ballerina for the Max Reinhardt Company during her early years. Marianne’s maternal great, great uncle was Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, the 19th century Austrian nobleman whose erotic novel, Venus in Furs, introduced the word "masochism" to the world. one of my great uncles who gave his name to masochism."
The family originally lived in Ormskirk, while her father completed a doctorate at Liverpool University. She spent some of her early life at the commune formed by her father in Oxfordshire. After her parents divorced when she was six years old, she moved in with her mother. Her primary school was in Brixton, where the family were living in reduced circumstances and her girlhood was marred by tuberculosis, she was also a charity boarder at St Joseph's Convent School where she became a member of the Progress Theatre's student group.
Her singing career began in 1964 as a folk music performer and she soon began taking part in London's social scene. In early 1964 she attended a Rolling Stones party with John Dunbar and met Andrew Loog Oldham, who discovered her. Her first major release, "As tears go by", was written by Mick Jagger, Keith Richards and Andrew Oldham. She then released a series of successful singles. She married John Dunbar on 6th May 1965 with Peter Asher as the best man. They lived in a flat in Knightsbridge. On 10th November 1965 she gave birth to their son, Nicholas, which explains why she was heavily pregnant when we saw her. She then left her husband to live with Mick Jagger.
In 1966 she took their son to stay with Brian Jones in London. During that time period, she started smoking marijuana and became friends with Brian Jones’ partner. She also began a relationship with Mick Jagger that year. She was found wearing only a fur rug by police executing a drug search at Keith Richards' house in West Wittering (he is still living in the same house!). In an interview 27 years later she admitted that the drug bust fur rug incident had ravaged her personal life." In 1968, by now she was addicted to cocaine, miscarried a daughter while retreating to Mick Jagger's country house in Ireland.
She ended her relationship with Mick Jagger in May 1970, and lost custody of her son in that same year, which led to her attempting suicide. Her life and career went into decline. She only made a few appearances and lived on London's Soho streets for two years, suffering from heroin addiction and anorexia nervosa. Friends intervened and enrolled her in a drug programme. She was one of the programme's most notorious failures. In 1971, producer Mike Leander found her on the streets and made an attempt to revive her career, producing part of her album Rich Kid Blues. The album would be shelved until 1985.
Laryngitis and persistent cocaine abuse during had permanently altered her voice, leaving d lower in pitch. In 1975 she released the country-influenced record Dreamin' My Dreams, which reached No.1 on the Irish Albums Chart. She moved into a squat without hot water or electricity in Chelsea with then-boyfriend Ben Brierly, of the punk band the Vibrators. She later shared flats in Chelsea and Regent's Park.
She returned in 1979 (the same year she was arrested for marijuana possession) with the album Broken English, the album was influenced by the punk explosion and her marriage to Brierly. She moved to New York after the release of the follow-up to Broken English, Dangerous Acquaintances, in 1981. Despite her comeback, she was still battling with addiction. A disastrous appearance on Saturday Night Live was blamed on too many rehearsals, but it was suspected that drugs had caused her vocal cords to seize up. In 1985, she was in for rehabilitation. While living at a she started an affair (while still married to Brierly) with a mentally ill and drug dependent man, who later committed suicide by jumping from a 14th floor window of their flat. Her divorce from Brierly was also finalised in 1987. That year, she reinvented herself, this time as a jazz and blues singer, on the album Strange Weather and it became her most critically lauded album of the decade. In 1988, she married writer and actor Giorgio Della Terza, but they divorced in 1991.
With an all-star cast the rock opera The Wall live in Berlin in July 1990, she played the part of Pink's mother. Her musical career rebounded for the third time during the early 1990s with the live album Blazing Away. A Collection of Her Best Recordings was released in 1994 to coincide with the release of her autobiography As her fascination with the music of Germany continued, she appeared in The Threepenny Opera in Dublin, playing Pirate Jenny. Her interpretation of the music led to a new album, Twentieth Century Blues, followed in 1998 by a recording of The Seven Deadly Sins, with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra. A hugely successful concert and cabaret tour culminated in the filming, at the Montreal Jazz Festival, of the DVD Marianne Faithfull Sings Kurt Weill.
Even into the 2000s she was releasing albums that received positive critical response, in March 2007 she returned to the stage with Songs of Innocence and Experience. The show featured many songs she had not performed live before. The Songs of the Innocence and Experience album will, she hopes enable her to live in comfort. However, she still lived in her flat in Paris (in one of the most expensive streets) and had a house in County Waterford.
In March 2009, she revealed that, following the death of her cousin, she had inherited the title Baroness Von Sacher-Masoch, but chose not to use it. On 3rd May 2009, she was featured on CBS News Sunday Morning. In 2010, she was honoured with the Icon of the Year award from Q magazine.
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News and Views:
Johnny Smith, composer of the Ventures' hit, "Walk- Don't Run" which reached No2 in1960 and No8 in1964), died Tuesday on June 11th at his Colorado home, just shy of his 91st birthday. Johnny himself recorded the song in 1954 but it was Chet Atkins' 1957 version that served as the inspiration for the Ventures. Johnny ran a music store in Colorado in later years and made his last solo recordings in 1976.
On this day 23rd June 1960-1965
On 23/06/1960 the number one single was Three Steps to Heaven - Eddie Cochran and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was No Hiding Place (AR) and the box office smash was Psycho. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 23/06/1961 the number one single was Surrender - Elvis Presley and the number one album was GI Blues - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Harpers West One (ATV) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 and Tottenham Hotspur were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 23/06/1962 the number one single was Good Luck Charm - Elvis Presley and the number one album was West Side Story Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 23/06/1963 the number one single was I Like It - Gerry & the Pacemakers and the number one album was Please Please Me - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 23/06/1964 the number one single was It's Over - Roy Orbison and the number one album was Rolling Stones - The Rolling Stones. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
On 23/06/1965 the number one single was I'm Alive - Hollies and the number one album was The Sound of Music Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.