Thursday, July 19, 2007

Never Let It Fade Away

It seems weird to think of it now, but for a while in the 70s my dad was one of the most famous men in England.

He was an actor, and had been around for a while doing TV things like Z Cars and The Avengers and films like Guns At Batasi and Cleopatra, when he landed the lead role in a new soap opera for the BBC called The Newcomers. He did well in that, and when he left he went across to the other side and joined the cast of Coronation Street as Elsie Tanner's latest bloke.

Well, things went their way and soon dad and Pat were a couple in real life. And whenever I was out with them they'd get stopped in the street and asked for autographs - and from time to time there'd be an article in the press about one or the other. I guess they were the Posh & Becks of their day.

After a while they left 'the street' and went into theatre, including touring Gaslight round the UK and New Zealand, and at some point during this he made an album. This one.

They split up eventually, of course, and then dad died - and Pat didn't come to the funeral even though they were still married. Pat later married Tony Booth, so in some strange way Cherie Blair is my 'sister-in-law-in-law'.

This album isn't bad at all. It isn't great, either. It's an actor who can sing, singing with some friends. He clearly wasn't making any great effort, and in some ways it even out-blands the Twiggy album (still my all-time most popular download, folks - maybe blandness is kewl? Maybe this will shift even more???), but it's pleasant enough.

Alan Browning - Whisky And Milk

01 - Dream A Little Dream Of Me
02 - What A Difference A Day Makes
03 - Misty
04 - Soon It's Gonna Rain
05 - Ruby
06 - Girl Talk
07 - A Prisoner Of Love
08 - Catch A Falling Star
09 - I've Got You Under My Skin
10 - And I Love Her



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fascinating story mate

You should give Cherie a call / tap her for a few quid! :)

3:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fascinating story mate

You should give Cherie a call / tap her for a few quid! :)

3:07 pm  
Blogger zab said...

You kept that quiet. Great story, so you're sort of related to Tony. :)

Interestingly, my wife's side were all associated with the acting profession but theatre rather than TV.

7:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i remember watching the necomers quite avidly your dad was very good and believable as a busy harassed dad trying to keep on top of things-in fact some good actors all roumd in that[a few soaps were launched at the same time-a good football one too called united], including maggie fitzgibbons [i think]who also did a lot-he was also very good in cs,slotted in easily

7:09 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh by the way stunned to have found skyboat here-great album many thanks-re twiggy someone was choosing some good songs for her in the 70's i remember being very surprised when she covered country joe's here i go again.

7:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice story, dude.. and nice that you have this album to remember your dad by and to remember that he got to earn a living doing what he loved most (acting, singing, performing - creative stuff that is good for the soul).

I grew up in Manchester and remember Elsie and her many men on "The Street"... one thing about the actors on The Street, they pretty much all started out as entertainers/singers in the working men's clubs in the north, and that's why some of them released records after they became famous on "the street"... and that also explains why, as you say, he did not put much effort into his singing.. they weren't soul singers or rock singers, they were more lounge singers or cabaret singers, so no effort or passion was needed.

Nice post and nice to see old Elsie again.. she was a character and a half on that show :)

6:50 pm  

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