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merry Christmas

Hello Everybody.
Welcome to my December and January newsletter.

After the huge success of ‘Johnny Remember Me’ and ‘Wild Wind’, I seemed to be spending most of my time in Joe Meek’s studio. My first album had just been released in November and at the same time we were looking for a follow up to ‘Wild Wind’ for release before Christmas.
Once again Geoff Goddard came to the rescue with an unusual song with an unusual title ‘Son This Is She’ which was released during the last week in November with ‘Six White Horses’ on the B side. Once again ‘Juke Box Jury’ voted it as a MISS as they did with ‘Johnny Remember Me’ and I believe ‘Wild Wind’. However despite this ‘Son This Is She’ was already in the charts and heading for a Christmas hit.

Son this is she

Unfortunately at this time there was a major dispute with TV companies and EQUITY, the actors union, called on all its members to strike and being an actor and member of EQUITY I was duty bound to obey.
The result was devastating for ‘Son This Is She’ as I was not allowed to promote the song on TV. I managed to do two radio shows Saturday Club on the 9th of December and Easy Beat on the 24th but that was all.
Robert Stigwood, my then manager, came up with the idea of producing a short promotional film for screening in cinemas as a way of reducing the effect of the EQUITY strike on sales. ‘The Johnny Leyton Touch’ was filmed at Pinewood Studios and was shown in cinemas during the early part of 1962 but by that time it was all too late.
Although ‘Son This Is She’ was to spend fifteen weeks in the charts, which was good under the circumstances, and managed to reach a respectable 12th position, the song lacked the proper promotion to get it higher in the charts.
During December I was back in Joe’s studio recording ‘Son This Is She’ in French and German ably assisted in the translation by my good friend Mike Sarne who spoke both languages. The German version was released in that country in April 1962 on the Electrola label and although the song was covered in France I have no knowledge of my version being released in that country.

In late December I was asked to do a guest star role in a feature film that was being made at Beaconsfield Film Studios called ‘It’s Trad Dad’. Once again Geoff Goddard came up with another great song called ‘Lonely City’. If memory serves me correctly the recording session for ‘Lonely City’ was held at EMI studios at Abbey Road with both Joe and Norrie Paramour being involved as well as Charles Blackwell. Other songs recorded that day were the future ‘b’ side of the released single ‘It Would Be Easy’ and ‘I Think I’ve Fallen In Love’. The soundtrack album of ‘It’s Trad Dad’ and my ‘Lonely City’ single were released in April 1962. ‘Lonely City’ was to enter the UK Top Twenty, reaching No.14 and remaining in the charts for 6 weeks.

Big Star ShowPrior to this in January 1962 I started rehearsals with ‘The Tornados’ for a Nationwide tour with ‘Billy Fury’ called ‘Big Stars of 62’ which commenced in February.
After the tour finished and with ‘Lonely City’ in the charts, film director John Sturges came to London to cast ‘The Great Escape’ and offered me the role of ‘Willie The Tunnel King’. I welcomed once again the opportunity to be an actor and this time in a major Hollywood film. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all ‘A very merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.’

Always yours.

Other News...

Interesting Facts.

Thank Your Lucky Stars 4th November 1961.
Artistes featured on the show with John included The Brook Brothers, Dion, Adam Faith, Geoff Goddard, David MacBeth with Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman as the guest DJ. The show was hosted by Brian Matthew and Keith Fordyce.

Pick of the Pop.
Alan ‘Fluff’ Freeman commenced hosting this very popular BBC radio programme on 23rd September 1961 – the first No.1 hit record that he played was……’Johnny Remember Me’. ‘Not Arf’ (A well known ‘Fluffism’)

Seventeen

Seventeen Come Sunday.
It now appears that this song, written by Geoff Goddard was written for John to record as a potential follow-up to ‘Johnny Remember Me’. However ‘Wild Wind’ was the selected follow-up. ‘Seventeen Come Sunday’ was released by Gerry Temple in October 1961 and is a great Joe Meek production.

A Girl to Love.
It has now been confirmed that this song was written by Geoff Goddard and was planned to be the original ‘b’ side of the single ‘Down The River Nile’. Joe switched the ‘b’ side to ‘I’m Think I’m Falling’ In Love’ written by himself but credited as Jacobs. The original title of ‘A Girl To Love’ was ‘Hello Spring’. ‘A Girl To Love’ was unreleased until it appeared on John’s Remembering Anthology CD.

The Johnny Leyton Touch.
The Johnny Leyton Touch This 10 minute promotional film features John singing ‘Wild Wind’ and ‘Son This Is She’ (twice) , Iain Gregory singing ‘Can’t You Hear The Beat Of A Broken Heart’, The Tornadoes and Charles Blackwell performing ‘Taboo’. The film was shot in colour but to date only a black and white copy has surfaced.

Remembering Elvis

Lone Rider Records.
Guitarist Peter Williams ‘Remember Elvis Presley’ CD is the latest Lone Rider Records release and is now available from the website shop.

Gig Guide.
Details of concerts so far confirmed for 2012 are now available on the website Gig Guide. Also being planned is a very special return to Amersham in late 2012.

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