Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Rant #1,177: "Abergavenny"
My allergies are bothering me once again, and I need to feel better about something today.
How about spinning one of my vast collection of 45 RPM records to make me feel better?
This particular one I am going to talk about today wasn't a big hit at all, hitting #47 on the Hot 100 in the summer of 1969.
Woodstock was taking off back then, but you wouldn't know it by this tune.
A singer named Shannon sung the song, and it is a tune I have always liked.
It is hard to describe. It is a song that a marching band would probably love, but honestly, I have no idea what the song means.
I look at the picture sleeve, and is it about a dog?
I have no idea. The only thing I do know is that Shannon was a singer of a lot of renown in Europe, not much over here, but he begat a singer who had quite a bit of success on these shores.
Marty Wilde was your quintessential British wannabe singer in the late 1950s and early 1960s, quite popular abroad but too much like your Avalons, Vees, and Rydells to really hit American audiences too hard.
He actually had one single hit the Hot 100, "Bad Boy," which hit #45 in 1960, but that was it for him until he used a different name and scored to a certain degree with "Abergavenny."
There really isn't much more to say about his career in the U.S., because it was pretty much those two songs. He came around in between Elvis' height and the Beatles' dominance, and then he had kind of a fluke hit with "Abergavenny."
But he had an influence on the American charts in the 1980s, to a certain degree.
If you listened to radio during that time, and watched videos on MTV, one of the early hotties in those mediums was a comely British lass who had hits with songs like "Kids in America" and "You Keep Me Hangin' On," the latter of which hit the top spot on the charts.
Her name was Kim Wilde, and yes, she is the daughter of Shannon, or more to the point, Marty Wilde.
It's almost as if the dad couldn't make much of a dent here, he sent his daughter over, and she did what he could not do.
She had a video-ready face and figure that really came at the right time, because MTV was starting to dominate not only what we watched but what we listened to, and she fit right in.
So you can say "Abergavenny" spawned "Kids in America," another song that I liked during its time period, but at the time, I never saw the connection.
As my nose drips, my eyes water, and my whole disposition suffers today, I can listen to "Abergavenny" and be happy, and I guess that is what music is all about.
"A-choo!" You have a good day, and maybe I will too.
Posted by Larry at 2:00 AM