Friday, 21 April 2017

Read A Book .... You Never Know What You Might Find Out


Groucho Marx once remarked on the educational value of television. "Every time someone turns on the TV, I go into another room and read a book". The quote is not exact but you get the idea.

While I like reading books, my mum taught me to read before I went to primary school aged 4, and I remember something about a dog and some kids and the word "pretty" which I pronounced wrongly when I first read it, there were two instances that caused me to be disappointed related to books.

One was when my mum gave away two sets of vintage encyclopedias because she decided she "didn't like books anymore", but one of those sets was a vintage set from my grandma on my dad's side and the other was one that my mum had worked hard to buy after being sold them by an Australian door to door salesman who she mistakenly believed was a friend of my uncle (her brother) who had gone out to Australia on an assisted passage in the sixties. Those sets of encyclopedias were my internet in the sixties and early seventies and I am thankful to my mum and dad for making sure I had access to lots of reading material. It was really because it was so unexpected which is why I was disappointed.

A couple of years ago for World Book Night (which for the first time I am not taking part in because it's become very corporate and they now expect you to give away books you have or be a recognised "organisation" to take part and that's a third disappointment), I gave away "A Little History Of The World" by EH Gombrich , a great book for parents and children, and one person who had two children said "That's going straight in the dustbin", I asked for it back but he said "You gave it to ME, it's mine now".

Anyway that's about book disappointments in among positives , but I'm reading "The Age Of Bowie" by Tony Morley, and I was well aware of Anthony Newley's influence on David Bowie, usually as sub Dick Van Dyke cockney on "Laughing Gnome" and I was aware of Newley's entertainment, middle England compartmentalisation, and always found him a little annoying. Reading Morley's book I today found out that Newley along with Leslie Bricusse composed "Feelin' Good", covered by Nina Simone, Muse and many others. The song is from the 1964 musical, "The Roar of the Greasepaint — The Smell of the Crowd.". The two also collaborated with John Barry for Shirley Bassey's theme for the James Bond film "Goldfinger.

So basically reading a book has raised Anthony Newley in my estimation and his version of "Feelin' Good" as not bad at all. I thought it would be mannered and rubbish, especially being from a musical (I'm generally not a fan of musicals), but it's not, it is very good, listen to it.

Anyway it's Friday, the sun is shining and it's World Record Store Day tomorrow, so have a great day everyone.

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