Thursday, March 22, 2012

1975: I will not have gossip in this jungle!

Comedy records. Whatever happened to them?

Not that this quite beautiful tune is a comedy record per se, though Windsor Davis' interjections and introduction make it one, so actually scrub that, it's a comedy record after all. But isn't it marvellous. A huge much-discussed number one from 1975, off the back of a TV show that was all the rage. We never missed it, as fake and studio-bound as it was. No one actually thought they filmed in a jungle as much as they believed Are You Being Served? was filmed in a real department store, but with a large swathe of the audience old enough to remember the bygone days in which it was set, it all rang true. We never missed it, and neither did anyone else.

Looking at it now of course it is, shall we say, of its time, and you don't often - ever? - see it repeated anywhere, but it remains a classic. The Davis/Estelle double act was everywhere at this time, culminating in this hit. In those days it was only natural that you should capitalise on your sitcom fame by doing something like this, especially if you had a voice to sing with. No one batted an eye. The charts were full of comedy songs. Not now though.

When did we get so serious?


  1. I loved this. I was a sucker for a novelty/comedy record. What was the Laurel and Hardy one? IAHHM was a staple at my Aunty and Uncles, with whom we lived. I remember being very keen to try Chai.
    I had occasion to speak to Melvyn on occasion years later. Interesting.....

  2. Two encounters to relate...

    When MrsB and I got wed we had our celebratory, pre-reception, family lunch at the Bull down the road in Brantham. At the time this was owned by Melvyn Hayes who popped out to say hello and wish us a happy life (16½ years later I ascribe all our happiness to him) and thus appears in our wedding video.

    A couple of months later we stumbled across Don Estelle doing a personal appearance in a deserted Eastgate shopping centre in Ipswich (since closed, but probably not his fault). He was strumming an acoustic and trying to keep up with this very somg from tape. He looked a broken man, nobody else was around and it was all a bit tragic.