Thursday, June 24, 2010



I’m managing the Popular Records Division and we are having a great year. Our start of turning Decca around began with re-working our strong catalogue: we came up with big selling hits albums from The Rolling Stones (Rolled Gold), Tom Jones and Engelbert Humperdinck. We had hits from international artists Maurice Albert with “Feeling” and French superstar Gilbert Becaud with “A Little Love and Understanding”: we successfully re-launched the career of Peter Skellern with a hit single “Hold On To Love”.

We hit big with Moody Blues members, Justin Haywood and John Lodge and their album “Blue Jays”. From our USA affiliates we had major sales success with albums from Al Green and The Chi-Lites.

Whilst I was closely involved in the selection and marketing of all these successful singles and albums our biggest success of the year happened almost “in spite of me”.

One day our two most enthusiastic A&R guys came to me seeking permission to do a deal for a summer single they were really excited about. They played me a novelty number titled “Barbados” by a group called Typically Tropical. I thought it fun and probably a top 20-chart entry; but as I didn’t see an album or long-term artist development in the single I was “less than enthusiastic”.

The guys pleaded with me to let them do the deal and genuinely saw the record as a No1 single. On giving them the OK, I also made the comment, “If that goes to No1, I’ll eat my hat”.

The two enthusiastic A&R guys were right. The single went to No1 and was the biggest hit of the 1975 summer in the UK.

One morning I was invited to join the A&R team for morning tea: the group took great delight in presenting me with a chocolate hat to eat and enjoy with my cup of tea. I ate a little “humble pie” as well.

1 comment:

  1. It's amazing to learn only now just how many huge hits from my youth in which you had a hand.