Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Ken is like a violin


Ken Dodd's often overlooked. Not as a comedian, because he's really not that funny, but as a singer.

Whenever they do these retrospectives of the great crooners of the Sixties, he's never involved, but he should be because he's a got a great voice. He was a major recording artist back then and a had a string of Top Ten hits. I admit he's not got one of the best ever voices, but on songs like Promises and The River, not to mention his 1965 No.1 Tears, he can sure carry a tune.

Clearly he's got an image problem. Those dreadful teeth, that wild hair, the tickling stick, the Diddy Men. He's never taken seriously and it's no surprise considering. Actually he's not the only one. The American crooners like Andy Williams, Dean Martin, Jim Reeves and even Perry Como get the Music To Watch Girls By treatment, but their British counterparts: Matt Monro, Vince Hill, Val Doonican, Engelburt Humperdinck and of course Ken, do not. They're probably a bit light entertainment, a bit old-school Radio 2 for most people's tastes. When was the last time you heard Am I That Easy To Forget, Les Bicyclettes De Belsize, Walk Tall or Wednesday's Child on the radio?

My Christmas campaign begins today. Bring a little Ken or Val or Matt into your life.

Here's Tears:

17 comments:

Matthew Rudd said...

With you almost all the way, except to say I think he *is* that funny. I could never tire of watching a Ken Dodd performance.

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

Every single time Ken Dodd was mentioned or appeared on TV, my late grandma would always say: "Oh, he was a wonderful singer. Wonderful! But not good-looking at all." I wonder if she thought she was the only one who'd noticed.

Chris Hughes said...

I think he's funny, too, although I don't think I could bear sitting through one of those four-hour shows he does, especially when one of them is probably still about the taxman.

Ishouldbeworking said...

I always felt terribly sorry for him when I was a kid, because he looked so grotesque. Then I found out he'd been fiddling his tax, and stopped.

Gary Bainbridge said...

Good shout on Doddy's singing voice. Can't agree that he isn't funny, but a little goes a long way. He guest-edited the paper I work for a couple of years ago, was hilarious for five minutes, and tiresome for the next two hours. Oh, and he smells of TCP.

A Kitten in a Brandy Glass said...

I love the "he smells of TCP" revelation. FC, I think you should consider doing a post on What Various Celebrities Smell Of since you're the man in the know...

Five-Centres said...

Usually it's their breath that sticks with you. I've not noticed many other celebrity smells. At least TCP is clean.

Beth said...

Never a big fan of Ken Dodd, too scary in a 'scary clown' kind of way. I did once take part in a ballet concert where the 'show stopping' number was danced to "We Are The Diddymen". I love Matt Monro though.

Chris Hughes said...

This reminds me of the observation from one of the TV Cream team that Chris Kelly from Clapperboard and Food & Drink looks as if he smells of beef.

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Mondo said...

Here's another for you FC, this isn't his best performance, but he's got a walloper of a voice. Fast forward to 1:50 (actually, you'll probably enjoy the first performance)..

Heard a great, great podcast on Anthony Newley last week - I've never been a fan, but that could turn me. A knockout singer and Songwriter, Tony and Grammy winner whose work was covered by Sammy Davis and Tony Bennet, but spent the end of his career playing above pubs.

PS I've started my Christmas kick-off today. Bluegrass and Ragtime if you fancy it.

Five-Centres said...

Nice clip Mondo. I'm a Newley fan. Those stylings used by Bowie of course. Strawberry Fayre is my fave. I interviewed him once. Great Vegas anecdotes.

Bright Ambassador said...

Jesus wept...

Five-Centres said...

It's that sort of attitude that has killed him off, BA.

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