Hello everyone, and thanks Jo for asking me to contribute my 5 life tracks. To say this was difficult if not near impossible is an understatement. Both personally and professionally I’ve worked with music all my life and I’ve really had to dig deep to find just 5 tracks which are special to me. I could easily have offered up 500 plus. Compiling this has taken longer that writing a short story.
I won’t list the songs my husband has recorded (always favourites) or those written for me because they are personal in a private way, but one song he used to sing to me when we were first together is ‘Never My Love,’ recorded by the amazing Association in 1967 – the year before we met – and was written by the Addrisi brothers and produced by Bones Howe.
The lyrics kept us going when we were apart – which was often when he was touring – and happened all the time when we were managing artists. The lyrics bring tears to my eyes now – 51 years later. Considering we are both rock addicts this might surprise some, however we both are heavily into harmonies and The Association are known for their vocal harmonies.
Despite some of my choices my first love is rock and I couldn’t miss including one of the best hard rock songs ever, written and performed by one of the most iconic vocalists alive – Paul Rodgers – who sang with so many others later, including Bad Company (oh I could have added one of their songs), The Firm, The Law and of course Queen for a while.
‘All Right Now,’ by the fabulous Free (1970) and with the amazing – sadly late – Paul Kossoff on guitar. Written by 16 year old Andy Fraser and Paul Rodgers, and produced by Free, it is one of the most successful records ever played on radio with millions of air-plays registered world-wide.
If I’d ever had a ‘traditional’ wedding – all the stuff and nonsense that goes with it – I guess this song would have been played at it. As it is I didn’t have a ‘traditional wedding’ and there wasn’t any music at all, which is odd considering I married a musician, but hey, since when did musicians do ‘traditional?’
The Beatles were so influential and so much a part of my youth that I can’t think of a time when their songs were not the soundtrack to something. However, George Harrison’s ‘My Sweet Lord,’ has a special meaning for me (and my husband) as we are both convinced our son was conceived when it was playing! I’d given him the triple album boxed set (vinyl) of ‘All Things Must Pass,’ for his 21st birthday and it was usually on a loop on the cassette tape recorder in the early hours of the morning, when he got in from gigs. We are not religious so I can’t say that it has deep religious meaning, but it is a beautiful song. It is part of a Hindu mantra and a Christian call to faith; Halleluiah. It was written by George Harrison and produced by him and the massively talented and now sadly notorious, Phil Spector, in 1970. It was the biggest selling single of 1971 in the UK.
‘Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes,’ Edison Lighthouse 1969 – written by master songwriters and record producers, Tony Macaulay and Barry Mason, reaching #1 in the UK and #10 in the USA and Japan etc., selling a million records. I wish I could elaborate on this more other than to say that the song was pre-recorded by Tony and Barry with session singer Tony Burrows, and the search was on for a band to ‘front’ it for Top of The Pops. My husband’s band was considered initially because the producers and song writers were involved with his band briefly, but Edison Lighthouse were pop and husband’s band were not. A band called Greenfield Hammer went on to flesh out Edison Lighthouse. Even though the song was a massive hit I am not sure the musicians made anything from it. I have no idea.
Memories of the late 1960s come flooding back whenever I hear it, mostly because any musicians in EL (each) would have had a fixed weekly wage of about £25 (in 1969) in return for ‘fronting’ the song, which for a starving band back then would have been very welcome at times. The lead singer Tony Burrows went on to front too many bands to list and was the only singer at the time to have performed with 5 hit bands on TOTP. Google his name and the penny will drop. The band was a ‘one hit wonder,’ sadly for them, but not for us!
Here is Tony chatting about how he came to sing on Love Grows.
Here is Tony with Edison Lighthouse on Top of the Pops
I couldn’t compile this without reference to the amazing, iconic, rock singer, Graham Bonnet, whose hit single (1968) with the Marbles, ‘Only One Woman,’ is also the title of my co-authored novel with Christina Jones, for which he kindly wrote the foreword. ‘Only One Woman’ was written for him and his cousin, the late Trevor Gordon, by The Bee Gees.
However, I am not going to include it, even though it has a special meaning for me, but I am sure those who are interested will find links on our OOW Facebook Page.
Instead I am including ‘Since You Been Gone,’ sung by Graham when he was with the equally iconic rock band, Rainbow. The song was written by Russ Ballard, at the time lead guitarist with another legendary rock band, Argent,’ in 1976, and which was produced by Roger Glover, bass player with Rainbow and Deep Purple. Rainbow released it in 1979 on their album ‘Down To Earth.’
Rod Argent was a friend of my husband’s band back in the late 1960s and came to several gigs where I met him too. This song reminds me of so many events in the late 1970s – which won’t go into – but one memory is of our son at age 7 singing his head off to this in the back of the car as we travelled around, and 40 years later he is still a rock fan and enjoys the music of the many of the same bands as we do.
It has been so hard pruning this list to just 5 songs. So many have been memorable as I’ve said, especially those songs we have been involved with over the years, or songs which were hits for superstar performers when we were working with their songwriters or producers at around the same time as their records were hits. So many memories. So little space! Jo, thanks again for asking me to do this. I have driven myself nuts with all these songs going through my head ever since.
Only One Woman – Accent Press Ltd – Christina Jones Jane Risdon
Set in the UK music scene of the late 1960s and filled with musical and fashion references, as well the world events and the social changes shaping the lives of our three main characters, Only One Woman is not only a love triangle, but a nostalgic trip back to the grooviest decade ever, in the coolest country on the planet. Experience the lives of Renza and Stella through their diaries:
Hello – we are Renza Rossi and Stella Deacon, and like most girls in the 1960s we kept diaries. Proper written diaries – with daily entries from 1968 through to the end of the decade, chronicling our life, the fashions, the music, the excitement – and our love affairs…. Which, is just as well – because although we didn’t know it, and we certainly didn’t know each other, miles apart geographically and with totally different lifestyles, we were both in love with the same boy…
How this came about, the ups and downs, the laughter, the tears, the heartbreak, and how it was resolved – all played out to a 1960s background of love and peace and rock’n’roll – is covered in the amalgamation of our diaries – which we’ve put together and called ONLY ONE WOMAN.
Jane Risdon writes mostly crime thrillers often set in the music business with an organised crime or espionage element. Her former career in the international music business managing songwriters, singers, musicians, and record producers, enables her to draw upon her experiences in Hollywood, SE Asia, and elsewhere for many of her plots.
She is also the author of short stories many of which have been included in 15 anthologies to date and she also contributes articles for online magazines and newsletters. She enjoys writing flash fiction.
In January 2019 Jane published her first collection of short stories – Undercover: Crime Shorts – via Plaisted Publishing House.
Jane is married to a musician and with author Christina Jones has co-authored Only One Woman, set in the UK Music Scene of the late 1960s. Jane has drawn upon her experience married to a musician and her subsequent career in the music business for background research.
Jane’s Amazon Author Page with most of her books: https://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B00I3GJ2Y8
Author Blog: https://janerisdon.wordpress.com/
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/JaneRisdon2/
Only One Woman:
Waterstones Paperback: ISBN: 9781783757329