Friday, June 22, 2007

Jump In My Car

Jump In My Car .... little boy

One of the things I miss while travelling overseas is the excellent music trivia show on ABC TV Spicks and Specks.

My lovely little sister Suzanne mentioned to me that this dodgey version of Jump In My Car by the Hoff was shown on the latest episode and it suited the brief of Something Old, Something New down to the ground.

Ted Mulry was a British-born singer, songwriter, bass player and guitarist who achieved success in Australia first as a solo performer and then leading his own band the Ted Mulry Gang, sometimes known as TMG.

The Ted Mulry Gang formed in 1972, at which time Mulry was performing as a pop balladeer, my parents had a copy of his "Falling In Love Again" single which I remember playing on the old radiogram which I claimed as a young boy. The TMG backing band was drawn from the remnants of a suburban dance band called The Velvet Underground. (The band claimed complete ignorance of the famed US band of the same name).

Between 1974 and 1980, the Ted Mulry gang recorded seven best-selling albums of good-time pop 'n' boogie. During that time they also undertook some of the most extensive national tours ever by an Australian band (even when the band's hits dried up during the 1980s the Ted Mulry Gang machine rolled on with regular tours of the pub circuit).

The Ted Mulry Gang issued their debut album, Here We Are, on the Alberts label in November 1974. The album originally sold only moderately until 1975 when Alberts released Jump In My Car as a single. A month later it had shot to number one on the national chart.

By 1976, the band were rubbing shoulders with the likes of Sherbet, Skyhooks, Hush and Ol' 55 as darlings of the Australian pop scene. That year they issued two best-selling albums; Struttin' and Steppin' Out, plus three hit singles; Darktown Strutters Ball (a remake of the 60 year old song), Crazy and Steppin' Out. Jamaican Rum provided the band with their 5th consecutive hit.

In April 1977 the band left Alberts and signed to the Mushroom label, changing their name from the Ted Mulry Gang to TMG and issuing a new album The TMG Album which produced two hit singles, My Little Girl and Naturally.

Their 1978 release, Disturbing the Peace included the singles Lazy Eyes, Heart of Stone and (You've Got) The Devil In You.

In April the band set off on a three month tour (supported by Feather) and at the end of 1978 signed an American deal with Atlantic Records. Their records were also released in New Zealand, South Africa, Canada, New Guinea and South East Asia.

The TMG Live album featured one of the band's stage favourites, a ribald version of the bawdy Dinah. ("Dinah Dinah show us yer leg, a yard above your knee").

The Locked In album included three singles, Save Me, Can't Take It All and Captured but none were successful. Thus ended TMG's love affair with the pop charts, but their place in Oz music history was assured. A reunion album (called oddly enough Re-Union) produced the single Old Habits.

In 1998 Ted released a solo CD called "This Time" of songs co-written by himself and his brother Steve Mulry. In early 2001 Ted Mulry announced that he had been diagnosed with terminal brain cancer. A series of tribute concerts organised shortly before his death, Gimme Ted, brought together an assortment of Australian rock acts of his era to pay tribute to him. These included a reunion of his band Ted Mulry Gang with his brother Steve Mulry standing in for him as lead vocalist. Ted passed away on September 1, just one day short of his 50th birthday.

In January 2006, David Hasselhoff recorded a version of Ted's classic Jump In My Car whilst in Australia. Hasselhoff's version of Jump In My Car was subsequently released in the UK and surprisingly it went to #3 in the charts there in October 2006.

Thanks Suzie!

p.s. keep practising on your guitar Tim

Saturday, June 16, 2007

It's a Fine Day

A few months ago, two good friends organised a joint birthday party where, along with their birthdays, they celebrated the 20th anniversary of the closure of the night club where most of us (mis)spent much of our youth, The Red Parrot in Perth, WA. Sadly I was too busy working in Brisbane to attend.

The call went out for music which was played at the Parrot and also for photos from the period for the party, and as I had already been through my 1980's music phase and collected a significant amount of mp3s (much of which had been posted in Something Old, Something New) I decided to create a mix tape of appropriate music for them.

During this time I reacquainted myself with some of the Cherry Red recordings.

This track by Jane was on a Pillows and Prayers compilation album and also on a video compilation (which I later sold to assist in paying for a trip to europe).

Today I have arrived in Exeter in the south west of england, having spent the last few days in London.

This lovely, simple track from 1983 is very english and the melody has been stuck in my head for days now. Also today is not a fine day, which is the reason why I am inside and not enjoying the lush countryside, or at least down at the local enjoying the english hand pumped ales.

As I am travelling at the moment, it is more difficult to upload music. But the vast collection of tunes and videos on You Tube comes to the rescue. I promise to continue posting, but there will be less compilations and more one-off type posts such as this.

So for your listening pleasure, here's Jane ....

plus a new remixed version by Miss Jane .....

Do you like these tunes? Then why not support the artists (and my blogging habit) by buying some music. Check out these links:-