Thursday, January 17, 2013

1971: Well I just wondered

We always had the radio on at home. It would stay on in the kitchen whether anyone was in there or not. So you'd often hear snippets of songs, conversations, DJ chatter and news stories while getting a drink of Quosh or snaffling a Blue Riband.

Sometimes you heard a lot of the same song without ever knowing what it was. It was only in about 1986 that I realised the tune that had popped into my head on a regular basis during that time was in fact Nancy & Lee's Did You Ever.

It's easy to see how it would have been a Radio 2 staple. Semi-easy listening, country-tinged, his n' hers banter pop, just perfect for 1971 afternoons. It was only in recent years that I've discovered a very different side to Lee Hazlewood, his grumbling barritone now a firm favourite. This duet couldn't be further from the pop-sike Some Velvet Morning. He had his lighter moments of course, and this was one of them.

I've always been a Nancy Sinatra fan since mum used to sing These Boots Are Made For Walkin' to us. It is of course a Lee Hazlewood song - his own version's worth checking out. And if you've never seen this video of her doing the song, you've really got to. That's proper Austin Powers-inspiring Sixties frugging. But why didn't she have a longer career? Perhaps she wasn't hungry enough. Classic oeuvre as it stands though.

However, Did You Ever reminds me immediately of walking into an empty kitchen, with a clear view of everyone sitting in the garden outside. It's hot outside but cool inside, it's still, somewhere a fly is buzzing, just the radio for company. Kind of comforting.


  1. Mine was 'Angie Baby' by Helen Reddy, takes me back to a time I can't quite remember, a bit like squinting at the sun.

  2. He looks like John Alderton, doesn't he?