Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Memories of 60's & 70's O is For Opportunity Knocks and Gilbert O'Sullivan

Opportunity  Knocks started it's life on the radio in 1949 and was presented by Hughie Green on both Radio and television until 1978. For those who have never heard of it, think of Britain or America or Australia's Got Talent, and you more or less have it. A very cheesy host in Hughie, a clap-o-meter for the audience vote on the night and postal vote to be sent to the show before it aired the following week.
Someone would introduce the act they were supporting to Hughie and tell us their sob story (ring any bells?)
The show made household names of many acts, do you remember any of these names?
Lena Zavaroni, Neil Reid, Mary Hopkins, Bobby Crush, Peters and Lee,
 Freddie Parrot Face Davis, Les Dawson and many, many more even the old clap-o-meter has it's own facebook page.
As in Britain's Got Talent it also had it's share of novelty acts, Tony Holland  the  "Muscle Man" who won first place for weeks and  the man who hit  himself on the head with a tray singing Mule Train.  Children had to be stopped from copying him. The talent shows we have today are really nothing new, and " I mean that most sincerely folks!"




The seventies began with Gibert O'Sullivan.We didn't know what to make of him at first because like Leo Sayer he had a novelty.  He wore a flat cap and knickerbockers or short trousers and his hair was cut in a pudding bowl style. He looked like the kids from the Bisto ads on TV. He played the piano as he sang and always had a coat stand on stage usually with extra flat caps on it.
All that changed when we fell in love with his music first, before we fell in love with him.
Nothing Rhymed, Alone Again Naturally, Claire, Matrimony,  Get Down, Why, Oh Why, Oh Why,Happiness is me and you.
Eventually he grew his hair and wore college jumpers with the letter G on them. Of course they became a fashion trend for the boys. Later his hair became curly and his clothes more normal and that's when, in my eyes, he turned from a frog into a prince and found his place on my bedroom wall.  He had became more of a pin up  to me without the flat cap.
Gilbert had hits worldwide. Seven UK top ten singles and four top ten albums..He faded away by 1980, his time was taken up suing his management. I thought he had all but disappeared but he is still making albums and released one at the end of 20011. His music is on my ipod today.
If this brought back memories for you, Rosalind at writing in the rain has a fifties and sixties theme for the A to Z Challenge.

15 comments:

  1. I loved that song Alone again naturally, I must add that to my I-Pod!

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    1. Hi Jen,yes I agree it's lovely.

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  2. Your posts make me laugh. You write as if you are talking and it's very engaging. What a name -> Freddie Parrot Face Davis.:)

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    1. Thanks Guuye, yes terrible name and terible comedian!

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  3. I bought my dad Gilbert O'Sullivan's album when he heard and loved Alone Again Naturally. That has got to be one of the most depressing songs ever. I preferred "Get Down".

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    1. We all liked depressing ,sad songs to cry to when we had our hearts broken as teenagers.

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  4. I wondered what had happened to Gilbert O'Sullivan...I shall have to get some of his songs for my IPod too. You have brought back lots of happy memories, thank you.

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    1. Thanks Maria, I've been remembering thigs long forgotton too.

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  5. Hey, It certainly did because I had three older brothers so I learned a lot from them and just picked up on what they were in to! How fun! Isn't it funny how we don't remembe something until it's sparked and then we remember so clearly?
    Great post!

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    1. Hi Tracy, Yes that's what's been happening to me. One thing leads me to another then another and memories come flooding back.

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  6. We all used to sit down and watch Opportunity Knocks in our house. You posts do bring back some happy memories!

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    1. Yes we did too, in black and white! Thanks for reading.

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  7. Thank you for the link to my blog. I remember Opportunity Knocks well. I also remember that tray-on-the-head singer but didn't remember that he was on the programme. My favourite Gilbert O'Sullivan song is Claire. There's something really loving about it even though he actually wrote it for his friend's little girl who he babysat.

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  8. You're. Welcome ! Yes. Claire's a lovely song, love the wee girl's giggle at the end.

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  9. Thank you for this post as I was having trouble remembering the real performance name for Gilbert O'Sullivan, as my father used to refer to him as "the village idiot", but a quick google search for the term "played piano and wore a flat cap" brought me straight here, and yes Opportunity knocks was mandatory viewing in my home when I was growing up

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