Category Archives: Beatles

Feeling in the pink

A week already since I posted something. Being Sunday again, my usual routine is to listen to the Beeb, and today’s Johnny Walker’s Sounds of the 70′s on BBC Radio 2 featured Mike McGear, otherwise known as Paul McCartney’s kid brother, who played a bit of “Lily the Pink.” Mike’s on the left in this video, with a song he and his mates in the Scaffold put out in 1968.

Before Lily, the Scaffold had this ditty. I knew these records from WBCN in Boston, which was the first American outlet for Monty Python.

More BBC on Sunday

‘Been enjoying a very funny series on BBC Radio 4 from a few years ago, called 1966 and All That. I was happily surprised to hear Eleanor Bron, best known in the U.S. as Ahme in the Beatles movie “HELP!”

And speaking of BBC Radio 4, Brian Sibley has announced on his Facebook page that he’s been given the go-ahead for another series.

After a year-long negotiation, I have just signed a contract with the BBC to adapt T H White’s THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING as six 1-hour dramas for BBC Radio 4 this coming autumn! :-)

THE ONCE AND FUTURE KING was the source material for Walt Disney’s THE SWORD IN THE STONE and Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe’s CAMELOT.

The “They Don’t Know” I didn’t know

Today I heard a record from 1979 for the first time. Johnny Walker’s Sounds of the 70′s on BBC Radio 2 played the late Kirsty MacColl’s “They Don’t Know.” I enjoy simple, accessible songwriting like this.

The only version I knew of MacColl’s song was Tracey Ullman’s cover, featuring a cameo by another Mac, pre-Sir Paul. I can tell this came from the era of the Bangles.


Before Mark Evanier had a web site, when he was still in print at the now-defunct Comics Buyer’s Guide, where I used to be a contributor myself under the name of — you guessed it, Dog Rat — I sent him e-mail saying he should have a web site that, no surprise, was already in the works. Mark’s had an online presence for a long time since then, and he writes a lot about stuff that interests me, like comic books and politics, where I learn something and/or agree with pretty much everything he says, and he also writes about some things that don’t interest me at all, like Las Vegas and Jerry Lewis. Mark is absolutely 100% right about Frank Ferrante, whose Groucho show is superb.

One thing that Mark is not is a Rock and Roll guy. He’s into show tunes, and nothing he has ever said conveys a sense that he followed the top 40 charts while growing up, or was captivated while listening to multiple playings of “Revolver” or “Who’s Next.” So today, when Mark commented on the Beatles’ first appearance on the Ed Sullivan, his background on Ed was interesting but I think Mark’s parting comment shows him out of his entertainment expertise element:

Some people called the disc jockey known as Murray the K “the fifth Beatle.” Nonsense. The fifth Beatle was Edward Vincent Sullivan…and without him, I’m not sure we’d have had the other four.

Not wanting to be a noodge, I don’t often write to Mark, but I did a little while ago because I feel that he’s so far off the mark about the Beat Boys:


“The fifth Beatle was Edward Vincent Sullivan…and without him, I’m not sure we’d have had the other four.”

I would say that you are probably in a minority of one in this opinion. You might want to ask Gary Owens what he thinks.

Ed got a lucky break, lining up the Beatles on the cheap, before “I Want to Hold Your Hand” went to #1 in America. The timing for the Beatles’ first appearance on the Sullivan show was perfect, but it wasn’t essential to their success.

Murray “The K” Kaufman called himself the fifth Beatle, no one else did, and whatever visibility he gleaned from that bit of self-promotion didn’t save WINS from quickly losing the New York airwaves to Dan Ingram and “Cousin Brucie” Morrow at powerhouse WABC.

Doug Pratt

And while writing this, by chance the music server played Pat Boone’s 1962 song “Speedy Gonzales,” featuring the voice of Mel Blanc. That’s an example of something about which I would never question Mark.