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A Picture of Joe Brown

Artists: Joe Brown
Label:Coronet
Cat No:CCD2003
Format: Audio CD (Mono)
Release Date:6 December 2013

CD RRP: £5.99
Download RRP: £3.99

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Including many of his greatest hits. A Picture of Joe Brown includes 31 original recordings (not re-recordings) from the start of Joe Brown's career, released between 1959 and 1962. It contains both 1962 albums, A Picture of You (Pye) and A Picture of Joe Brown (Decca) and all of the non-album singles from this period.
Joe Brown is often considered as the archetypal "chirpy Cockney", although he was born on the 13 May 1941 in Swarby, Leicestershire due to his mother being sent to his uncle's farm to escape the bombs of the London Blitz.

By the late 1950s, Larry Parnes had become his manager, but wanted Joe to change his name like his other acts. Marty Wilde was originally Reginald Leonard Smith, Billy Fury (Ron Wycherley), Vince Eager (Roy Taylor), Dickie Pride (Richard Knellar) and Lance Fortune (Chris Morris). At a meeting he informed Joe that he wanted to rename him Elmer Twitch with the backing group the Fidgets. Joe was less then keen and stood up to walk out, Parnes backed down.

Besides playing on Boy Meets Girl and it 's successor Wham! (which he also sang in), Joe also toured in the backing groups with Parnes own stars and also on the UK tours of Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent and other American stars.

Joe was also signed by Decca Records and his first single was released in November 1959, both sides were covers of Doc Pomus & Mort Shurman penned songs People Gotta Talk (track 1) originally recorded by Ersel Hickey and Comes The Day (track 2) on the b side originally recorded by Rusty Lane. Although his was not a hit.

In January 1960, Decca released a single Savage (Parts 1 & 2) under the name of The Sneaky Petes. There is no information about the recording session, but it was included on the A Picture of Joe Brown LP released by Decca (track 12). We have identify it is part 2, although the same recording has been released on previous compilations as part 1.

The second Joe Brown single was released in March 1960, a Rock 'n' Roll cover of the Shelton Brooks' Darktown Strutter's Ball (track 3),which was originally released in 1917 and was a popular singalong at The Sultan when Joe was growing up, with the instrumental Swagger (track 4) on the B side. It was Joe's first hit, reaching number 34 and was the first single to be credited to Joe Brown & his Bruvvers. At that time the Bruvvers were just session musicians. On later recordings Pete and Tony Oakman of The Spaceman joined the Bruvvers.

The follow up was penned by Lionel Bart, Jellied Eels (track 5) which was a cockney novelty song, which was not a hit. There has been negative comments about this record, but as Joe wrote in his autobiography “I was never a snob about music, and I always tried to do anything as best I could”

By 1961, Joe had moved to Pye Records and scored a minor hit with the first single Shine (track 13) and The Switch (track 14) reaching number 33 in January. Pye launched it new imprint Piccadilly with Crazy Mixed Up Kid (track 15) and the B side being his second recording of Stick Around (Track 16) in pizzicato style of Adam Faith & Buddy Holly. He had originally recorded it for Decca, which was finally released on A Picture of Joe Brown LP in 1962 (track 8).

Goodbye and Good Luck (track 17) was in a trad jazz style which was popular in Britain at time, but it was the B side that was more popular, a rock cover of the music hall number I'm Henery The Eighth I Am (track 18) which is well remembered but surprisingly was not a hit.

In January 1962, What A Crazy World We're Living In (track 19) was released as a single, unusually for a pop single of that era, it was recorded live at the Granada Woolwich. A Lay-About Lament (track 22) was selected as the A side for the next single, it being in the same cockney novelty/ music hall style of some of the previous releases. Although the B side was getting the attention and the airplay. It was a couple of the Bruvvers (John Beveridge/Peter Oakman) who wrote A Picture of You. It became Joe biggest hit reaching Number Two in the Record Retailer’s chart and reaching number one in the NME, Melody Maker and Disc’s charts.

Due to success of A Picture of You, Pye rushed out the Golden Guinea LP under the some title, besides most of the released Pye singles, it was filled with cover versions and a couple of tracks from Saturday Club radio programme. While Decca released A Picture of Joe Brown, featuring all of their singles and also unreleased materials.

Two more singles were released in 1962, in September Your Tender Look (track 28)/ The Other Side Of Town (track 29), reached number 31 in the charts, while It Only Took A Minute (track 30)/ All Things Bright And Beautiful(track 31) reached number 6 in November.

By the end of 1962 Joe Brown was at the height of his popularity, winning the NME's Music Personality of Year, held at Empire Pool Wembley in November, but pop music was about to change. One of his support acts during year was The Beatles and he witnessed the pandemonium surrounding them on stage. He realised that “... the writing on the wall” and needed to change direction.

Joe continue to record and release records, but started to become all round entertainer appearing both on television entertainment programmes and dramas, as well as films such as What A Crazy World and on stage in pantomime and most famously in the musical Charlie Girl which he started in the London's West End production for three years from 1965.

He has continued to tour and record, with his most recent album The Ukulele Album being a commercial and critical success.

PREVIEW



TRACKLISTING
1 PEOPLE GOTTA TALK 2:13
(Doc Pomus /Mort Shuman)
Original Release: Decca F11185 (1959)


2 COMES THE DAY 2:12
(Doc Pomus /Mort Shuman)
Original Release: Decca F11185 (1959)


3 DARKTOWN STRUTTER'S BALL 2:11
(Shelton Brooks)
Original Release: Decca F11207 (1960)#


4 SWAGGER
2:12
(Rogers)
Original Release: Decca F11207 (1960)#


5 JELLIED EELS
2:32
(Lionel Bart)
Original Release: Decca F11246 (1960)#


6 DINAH
2:29
(Harry Akst/Joseph Lewis/Sam Young)
Original Release: Decca F11246 (1960)#

7 TURNED UP
2:12
(Rule/Castling)
Original Release: Decca ACL 1127 (1962)


8 STICK AROUND
2:34
(Trevor Peacock)
Original Release: Decca ACL 1127 (1962)

9 MAN MOUNTAIN
2:59
(Lightborn)
Original Release: Decca ACL 1127 (1962)


10 A LETTER OF LOVE
3:03
(Compton/Jones/Dun)
Original Release: Decca ACL 1127 (1962)


11 YOU MAKE A MONKEY OUT OF ME
2:59
(Compton/Jones/Stevens)
Original Release: Decca ACL 1127 (1962)


12 SAVAGE
2:06
(Doc Pomus /Mort Shuman)
Original Release:Decca ACL 1127 (1962)*


13 SHINE
2:00
(Cecil Mack/Lew Brown/Ford Dabney)
Original Release: Pye 7N15322 (1960)


14 THE SWITCH
2:06
(Joe Brown)
Original Release: Pye 7N15322 (1960)

15 CRAZY MIXED UP KID
1:59
(James Murray)
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35000 (1961)

16 STICK AROUND
2:22
(Trevor Peacock)
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35000 (1961)

17 GOOD LUCK AND GOODBYE
2:24
(Francis Oakman)
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35005 (1961)


18 I'M HENERY THE EIGHTH I AM
1:56
(Robert Patrick Weston/Fred Murray)
Arranged by Joe Brown
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35005 (1961)


19 WHAT A CRAZY WORLD WE'RE LIVING IN
2:42
(Alan Klein)
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35024 (1962)
(Live at the Granada Woolwich)#


20 POP CORN
2:14
(Roger Wray)
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35024 (1962)#


21 A PICTURE OF YOU
2:19
(John Beveridge/Peter Oakman)
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35047 (1962)#

22 A LAY-ABOUT'S LAMENT
2:26
(Alan Klein)
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35047 (1962)#


23 LONELY ISLAND PEARL
2:00
(Mel Tillis/Buck Peddy)
Original Release: Pye Golden Guinea GGL0146#


24 TALKING GUITAR
1:55
(Bill Compton/Morgan Jones)
Original Release: Pye Golden Guinea GGL0146#


25 THE SURREY WITH THE FRINGE ON TOP
2:27
(Richard Rogers/Oscar Hammerstein II)
Original Release: Pye Golden Guinea GGL0146#


26 ENGLISH COUNTRY GARDEN
1:04
(Robert Jordan)
Original Release: Pye Golden Guinea GGL0146#

27 PUT ON A HAPPY FACE
1:37
(Charles Strouse/ Lee Adams)
Original Release: Pye Golden Guinea GGL0146#


28 YOUR TENDER LOOK
2:12
(John Beveridge/Peter Oakman)
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35058 (1962)#


29 THE OTHER SIDE OF TOWN
2:19
(Joe Brown)
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35058 (1962)#


30 IT ONLY TOOK A MINUTE
1:58
(Mort Garson/Hal David)
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35082 (1962)#


31 ALL THINGS BRIGHT AND BEAUTIFUL
1:52
(William Henry Monk/Alexander)
Arranged by Joe Brown
Original Release: Piccadilly 7N35082 (1962)#


# - Credited to Joe Brown and the Bruvvers
* - Originally credited to The Sneaky Petes
on Decca F 11199