55 thoughts on “ALL OUR YESTERDAYS”

  1. That Glasgow picture with the trams. The colour of some of the building covered in soot. The picture from the Law of Dundee choking in fumes shows how much clear the air seems to be today if you ignore the fumes from the cars instead.

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  2. I think that’s the old S&N brewery at Holyrood, maybe Sugarhouse Close.
    A nice Harley and a photo from Sunday Night At The London Palladium.

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    1. Yes, I think so. 1954.

      The bike was especially for you.

      Bruce Forsyth… dunno about you, but I thought he was awful. When he died someone said he was the English Sammy Davis. I thought WHIT?????????

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  3. Evo Sportster fitted with a lowering kit. Chain drive would suggest a 4-speed or a conversion, as 5-speeds were all belt final drive. They’re not bad bikes if you remove all the chop/custom stuff.

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  4. First pic – The Balmore Bar – Saracen Street, Possilpark, Glesca – and it’s still there. 3rd pic looks like a distillery: the guy might be a cooper. Anyway looks like the cask is a hogshead (or Huggie/hoggy) – I worked for a while in a bonded warehouse/ bottling plant. 4th pic – Glesca, Renfield St. 1950s (going by the clothes) and I can remember (as a kid, of course) when all the buildings were uniformly matt black – I was truly amazed when they started to clean them up and I saw for the first time the red and blonde sandstones. Pic 9 – Bill Haley, as in Bill Haley and the Comets of “Rock Around the Clock” fame – Ye gods! – this was rock ‘n’ roll? Last pic – Bruce Forsyth and “Beat the Clock” -( Sunday Night at the London Palladium?”. Didn’t ‘e do well? No – he was bloody awful and he never got any better.

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    1. LOL… Awful. And this was the British Sammy Davis, By the end he was embarrassing.

      Next week we might do Lonnie Donegan…

      Now he was talented…


      1. Lonnie Donegan was a great performer. I have a provincial American attachment to a couple of Woody Guthrie songs from FDR days that he did. “Hard Travelin'” is a homage to American highways…….naming the “Lincoln Highway”, the first named transcontinental highway, and US highway 66…….John Steinbeck’s “Mother Road” from “Grapes of Wrath”………from Chicago to L.A.

        Then a celebration of an FDR New Deal hydroelectric dam, the Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State. Grand Coulee was the largest dam in the world when it was constructed in the 1930’s, and is still one of the largest concrete structures on earth. It was part of what became a series of hydroelectric dams on the Columbia River of the Pacific Northwest….the better to generate electricity in “Uncle Sam’s fair land” for “making chrome and making manganese and fine aluminum.” Grand Coulee is still the largest rated power generating station in the USA (surpassed on a yearly average basis by some big nuclear plants.) Hydroelectric power projects like the Bonneville Power Administration on the Columbia and the Tennessee Valley Authority on the Tennessee, symbolized FDR’s commitment to the electrification of rural areas outside the cities. Only about 1% of the population of rural areas had electrical power in 1935. FDR was said to have been most proud of bringing electric light to the prairies. Lake Franklin Delano Roosevelt was formed by the Grand Coulee Dam. (Have not yet found a Woody Guthrie hymn to FDR’s Rural Electrification Administration.)

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        1. Woody Guthrie, Danny – one of the immortals in my book. Of course, I’m too young to have seen him but I’ve listened to much that he wrote and sang. Probably my favourite – and still so relevant today – is the heartbreaking, “Plane Wreck at Los Gatos (Deportees)”. I was lucky enough to hear it sung last year by Joan Baez in Glasgow. Over the years I’ve had the opportunity to hear many of the artists Woody influenced or inspired – part of what our own Hamish Henderson called, “the carrying stream”. Hedy West, Rambling Jack Elliot, Buffy Saint-Marie, Arlo Guthrie, Bill Clifton – the list goes on and on. I once saw a young guy I thought would do well – Bob Dylan, was the name, if I recall aright. And you’re dead right – Lonnie Donegan wasn’t half bad (as long as you discount the comedy songs (“My Old Man’s a Dustman”, etc.) And who nowadays remembers Johnny Duncan & the Bluegrass Boys? Well, me for one!

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          1. Andi……Woody was indeed a great influence on so many performers who became prominent in the folk music revival of the 1960’s. What a great list of performers you’ve seen and heard. I became familiar with them years later when the reissues of the vinyl LP records they made in the 1960’s were still available on CDs. “Deportees” is indeed a powerful song, and Joan Baez does it up in grand style. Glad to hear that she’s still touring.

            It was in the CD era in the early 2000’s when I was a teenager, that I realized that there was almost no “modern” music that I liked. Most of the “rock” music after Elvis just sounds like noise to me. I don’t even care much for the Beatles really. Elvis on the other hand sounds richly melodic in something of a bluesy country style. I like old timey country……which begins and ends with the Carter Family of the 1920’s and 30’s as far as I’m concerned…….and I like Bluegrass style country with its traditional acoustic string band instrumentation. I’ve recently found a lot of Bill Clifton that I like. I like old timey blues and New Orleans style jazz too. I recently bought a CD reissue of all the Bessie Smith recordings on Columbia.

            Always fun to remind people that the first record of Elvis’s that was released by Sun Records in Memphis in 1954 was “That’s All Right ,” an old blues song; and the B side of that record was Bill Monroe’s (the father of Bluegrass) “Blue Moon of Kentucky” in an up-tempo 4/4 arrangement very different from Bills’s slow 3/4 waltz time of his 1947 record. “Blue Moon of Kentucky” was also the song that Elvis performed when he spectacularly bombed just three months later on the stage of the famously conservative Grand Ole Opry in Nashville. Whether George D. Hay, who ran the Opry, actually told Elvis to go back to his job as a truck driver is debated, but Hay certainly told him that the Opry couldn’t use him. At that point, Elvis got a contract with the “Louisiana Hayride” on station KWKH out of Shreveport, Louisiana, the Opry’s principal competitor, where he was well received and his career was on its way.

            I was a teenager when I heard a member of my family playing a new CD that came out in 2000 I think. It was “The Skiffle Sessions – Live in Belfast 1998”, a live performance with Van Morrison, Lonnie Donegan, and Chris Barber. I’d never heard of “skiffle” or Lonnie Donegan at that point, but that CD blew me away, with the old timey tracks of Traditional Material, The Carter Family, Leadbelly, Jimmie Rodgers, and others. And I loved the sound of Lonnie Donegan. I later came to appreciate his versatility as a performer of many kinds of material.

            Vocal with the Chris Barber Jazz Band, 1954…….”Precious Lord Take My Hand” by Thomas Dorsey

            Vocal with Chris Barber on bass……..”Worried Man Blues”, Carter Family adaptation of traditional material.

            Finally, who could possibly forget a song as relentlessly repetitive as Johnny Duncan’s “Last Train to San Fernando?” (Actually, I got a clue from “The Guardian”) Johnny was from Tennessee, and had an association with Chris Barber after Lonnie Donegan left the jazz band.


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            1. Danny, I’m a fan of the older style of country myself and I’m very fond of bluegrass. You mentioned Bill Monroe which reminded me of another song sung by Johnny Duncan, “Footsteps in the Snow”. I heard it on the radio when I was a kid. I later on discovered it was written by Bill Monroe.
              Skiffle was a big thing here in the UK when I was a kid and was probably where a lot of the British bands of the 60s cut their teeth. The attraction for many was that you didn’t need lots of expensive instruments – just an acoustic guitar or two, a tea-chest “bass”, a washboard.
              The 60s were an amazing time for music, so many genres were opened up to young people – rock, folk, country, blues, with all their varying influences and cross-fertilisation, so to speak. I was a big blues fan (still am) and it was great that so many of the blues giants were “rediscovered” before they passed on. The only great bluesman I saw personally was Jesse Fuller and he was amazing.
              That list of musicians I said I’d seen was only a short, partial one. If I’d have wanted to show off I could have added Tom Paxton, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Dirk Powell, Janis Ian, Jerry Douglas, Nanci Griffith, Rosanne Cash, Mary Chapin Carpenter, D.L. Menard, Kris Kristofferson. That’s just the Americans (or some of them anyway). Happy days! Keep enjoying the music, Danny!

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              1. Andi……An amazing roster of performers!
                Bill and Charlie Monroe recorded for Victor between 1936 and 1938 as a brother act. But they broke up in 1938, and Bill went to the Grand Ole Opry in 1939. He remained with the Opry for the rest of his career that spanned another 57 years.
                “Footprints in the Snow” is a Bluegrass standard, and I always associated it with Bill…..the “Father of Bluegrass.” (His group was always called the “Bluegrass Boys,” for his native state, Kentucky……the “Bluegrass State.”) But I just found this website that says while Bill claimed authorship of the song, they trace it to an 1880 English music hall song. It’s a happier song in this version, because the man’s wife (who he traced through the snow) is still living.


                Bill’s signature song was “Blue Moon of Kentucky.” Here’s Elvis’s “rock and roll” version from the B side of his first record. Bill (who could sometimes be a cranky old cuss) was apparently delighted with the Elvis connection as years passed. Here’s the way Bill recorded it in a later version, which starts with the former slow waltz time ballad, then breaks into an up-tempo conclusion.

                When Elvis did this version onstage at the Grand Ole Opry later in 1954, George D. Hay told him never to come back. (He never did.) One imagines the Nashville audience familiar with Bill’s version in a state of utter disbelief. They were by all reports NOT amused. Perhaps women fainted. 😉

                Bill’s version as recorded later:

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                    1. Tris….Me too! The reason I like the first incarnation of rock and roll is because it’s fundamentally refashioned country and blues. It even helps that Elvis had a beautiful baritone singing voice (on occasions when he seriously used it.) Then comes the Beatles who are not awful, but there is no THERE there that appeals to me. Then various versions of rock that are just disagreeable noise as far as I’m concerned. So I don’t spend much money on rock CDs. On the other hand, the Bear Family set of all 307 tracks recorded by the Carter family from 1927 to 1941, with a hard cover book that includes descriptive material and all known photographs of the original Carters, runs about $250 MSRP. All 160 tracks of the Bessie Smith oeuvre on Columbia ain’t cheap either. But at least they’re not hard rock c***. 😉

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                    2. PS Tris: That live video of Bill Monroe doing his signature “Blue Moon…..” is very poor compared with the earlier studio recordings. This was late in his career, when the records were not selling so good and the bookings were not what they once were, so he no longer had a top quality lead singer in the group with which he would come in with his high harmony…..as he had done decades earlier with his brother Charlie, or later with Lester Flatt or the great Mac Wiseman. It doesn’t seem to me that Bill’s high tenor ever quite worked as a lead vocal. Nevertheless, Bill’s “high lonesome sound” was a staple of his bluegrass style, however and whenever he used it.

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          2. PS Andi…….Speaking of different kinds of material. The Voyager I spacecraft has become (or will become…..more data is still to be gathered) the first man-made object to leave the solar system and enter inter-stellar space. It will pass fairly close to a nearby star in about 40,000 years. In case it is ever intercepted by intelligent life, it contains audio and video material encrypted on gold disks. It includes American music by Chuck Berry, Louis Armstrong, and Blind Willie Johnson.

            Blind Willie Johnson led a hard life, was photographed only one time, and recorded 30 songs….one of which has left the solar system.

            From “The West Wing” (TV Series):

            I like this one, with nice guitar work, the audible foot stomp, and the shift in pitch from faux bass growl to tenor.

            Lonnie does it up nicely too.

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    2. Brucie was popular, why, because the English love an eccentric, there are/were so many like that not funny or good.
      Ladies an’ gene’lman, I give you Tony Hancock, Tommy Cooper, Giles Brandreth etc.

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    3. Not a bar I’d recommend even 30 years ago. The scene in Trainspotting where the yank came in and everyone looked at him as prey. That’s the Balmore – or certainly was, I doubt much has changed.

      I don’t have particularly pleasant memories of Maryhill/Possil other than the clockwork orange service was cheap and fast. Oh and watch where you walk at night – really.

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        1. Simple enough, you’ll get robbed and possibly chibbed – especially if you don’t come from there. Its one of these places you just don’t go to after dark when you’re alone.

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      1. With you there, Vestas – the Last Chance Saloon. Possil, rhymes with fossil but at least fossils are a petrified remnant of something in the distant, primitive past whereas, Possil…much the same, now that I think of it.

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    1. I once read that Bill Haley’s spontaneous stroke of genius lay in augmenting the intervals in the lines of the “clock” opening, from a semitone to a third, this lifting millions of teenage backsides off cinema seats. Have heard an earlier version and the effect is obvious.
      (Don’t have much musical knowledge but even I can understand this point.)

      The song was first used in the film Blackboard Jungle, set in a tough urban school and based on a novel by Evan Hunter (alias Ed McBain). The rest is history – but a more unlikely looking teen idol I can’t imagine.

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          1. There were some equally unlikely types who then tried to jump on the bandwagon. One I remember well was the drummer Tony Crombie, who had a Basie type big band in the 50’s ( see Perdido on Decca if you can track it down). He kept into the fray by renaming his band the Rockets and issuing a number entitled “We’re Gonna Teach You to Rock”, which featured a driving middle eight which was pure jazz. Nothing more was heard of them !

            Many years ago, I chanced across a book by one Penny Stallings, Rock and Roll Confidential. It is a kind of alternative fan book giving an acerbic take on the lives and times of rock’n’rollers, as well as farcical attempts to get into the new teen market by over-the-hill lounge singers and so on.

            On derivative names, I would have called my r’n’r band the Asteroids……..


            1. I couldn’t find Mr Crombie, but I found Sammy Davis, and I’m putting it up so better to ridicule the idea that Bruce Forsyth was the British equivalent of this guy…

              I suppose quite a lot of crooners did try to jump on the rock n roll bandwagon. Few made much of a success of it.

              Dean Martin had a few “pop country” hits though. And Sinatra had “Strangers in the Night”. Hardly rock n roll though.


              1. Crombie’s records are probably available on Spotify. (I once told a lady that I regretted having given away a Dorsey band record which I thought was the worst disc I had ever heard but would have liked to confirm this suspicion; 5 minutes later she was back playing it for me on her phone.)

                I still have Perdido on Decca 78. I remember the day I bought it, c 1957; I asked to hear it in the booth, as one did in those days, and found a group of local jazz players piling it with me to hear it and find out what it was. Was never tempted by his rock effort , though I may have it on an off – air cassette recording.

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    1. I think it is beyond doubt that it is to the advantage of Russia to have the EU crumble.

      It would seem unlikely that they wouldn’t have tried to influence it where they could.

      Just as America, the UK and other countries poke their noses into politics elsewhere in the world, where they see something to their advantage.

      Overt or covert? Both, obviously.


      1. I’m ashamed to say I agree with Trump here 😦

        The EU promotes itself as the largest single market in the world but if push comes to shove in military terms the EU is entirely reliant on NATO – ie the USA, who are the second largest market in the world. That’d be a competitor these days….

        Time Europe (ie the EU) pulled their weight in military terms. Unfortunately with Brexit that’d mean Germany/France dominating any EU miltary. Germany (even after all this time) isn’t going to be an acceptable alternative to the (even Trump’s) USA. Difficult circle to square, especially for countries like Poland.

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        1. I don’t think it was set up with that in mind. I seem to remember reading that America pushed for tit, as did Churchill, although he thought Britain far too important to be a part of it.

          I wonder, when I hear Trump talk about wanting other countries to pay more, if he realises that if the financial burden is more evenly distributed, the USA will lose its automatic right to call the tune.


          1. Well its more a case that the EU no longer believes it can rely on NATO to act in the interests of Europe so from that comes, with an elegant inevitability a European Defence Force.

            In terms of countries upping their budget within NATO – won’t make any difference. Germany (for example) could spend 10% of its GDP on weapons but they still won’t be on a par with the USAians “contribution” to NATO.

            The USAians military – in terms of weaponry (ships/tanks/aircraft) is greater than all of Europe & Russia combined, and that only counts currently active units (they have endless mothballed units which could be reactivated in weeks. The only country rivalling them these days is China.

            NATO has no future IMHO. Not now. Not after Trump. The EU knows this, the clueless little Englanders don’t.

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