Tommy Steele: What a Mouth (1960)

 |   |  1 min read

Tommy Steele: What a Mouth (1960)

What You Tube allows us to see is how the Beatles in 1963 and early '64 -- as they were proving themselves and didn't quite have full career control -- were going down the same route as most British acts, that of being the "all round family entertainer".

By appearing on populist television shows (Morecambe and Wise etc) and doing panto-like things (mock Shakespeare, see clip below) it was the much-travelled path and the most recent role model Cliff Richard had pitched himself to families after kicking off with the terrific Move It rock'n'roll single.

Before Cliff, Tommy Steele was the biggest British star, arguably the first British star of the rock'n'roll era, and he too had done much the same.

A natural at it though, he really was the knockabout boy who could sing Cockney songs as much as skiffle and rock'n'roll.

Steele had no trouble moving from stage shows to screen and enjoyed a popular acclaim with movies like The Duke Wore Jeans and Tommy the Toreador (which followed him telling his own remarkable discovery in The Tommy Steele Story).

Tommy_Steele_Get_Happy_With_To_382393He was a naturally gifted comedian and so just before he went on tour to Australia in 1960 he knocked off yet another album, the live-in-the-studio Get Happy with Tommy Steele, on which he did everything from classy ballads to pop (Little Darlin' which he mucks about with) and light rock'n'roll.

He closed with a crowd-pleasing treatment of Shout which Ray Charles had made famous (Lulu, another British singer who became "all round family entertainer" would later cover it) and closed with Woody Guthrie's So Long ("it's been good to know you").

Along the way he also did this which became an instant radio favourite.

For obvious reasons.

It is very funny and in New Zealand the "all round family entertainer" Don Linden -- who had a massive mouth -- also did it regularly with great success.

Still stupid. Still funny . . . and at the time of writing Tommy Steele is still with us.

He will be 75 in December 2011. 

For more on-offs or songs with an interesting back-story see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Hallelujah Picassos: Perfect (1995)

Hallelujah Picassos: Perfect (1995)

Thanks to the enthusiasm of former member Peter McLennan, Auckland band Hallelujah Picassos -- once a fixture on the New Zealand music scene in the late Eighties to mid Nineties -- are being given... > Read more

Freddie McCoy: Spider Man (1966)

Freddie McCoy: Spider Man (1966)

Despite the bottomless section of Elsewhere entitled From the Vaults being replete with oddities, obscurities, lost non-classics and dumb comedy stuff, a quick search reveals a gap. There is no... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Bruce Springsteen; Nebraska/The Ghost of Tom Joad

THE BARGAIN BUY: Bruce Springsteen; Nebraska/The Ghost of Tom Joad

Elsewhere has already made the case for Bruce Springsteen's 1982 Nebraska as an Essential Elsewhere album. It was not only a great album but a turning point in his career: it allowed him to step... > Read more

EPs by Yasmin Brown

EPs by Yasmin Brown

With so many CDs commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Yasmin Brown. She will scoop up some of those many EP releases, in... > Read more