Friday, 20 April 2012

A to Z 1950s/60s Nostalgia: R

R Smell:
Rancid butter - In the days when we didn't own a fridge, the butter often had that machine-oil-rancid aroma. 

We thought these transistor radios were so modern!
R Memories:
Radio - In the 1950s the BBC had the monopoly of radio stations. There was no advertising, strict censorship for 'social correctness', announcers were not allowed to speak with a local accent, Queen's English was to be spoken at all times. This was the set up:

  • The Home Service: news and current affairs 
  • The Light Programme: light entertainment [with only a smidgen of pop music] 
  • The Third Programme: classical music
There was something called 'needle time' which meant that the musicians union limited the amount of records that could be played on the radio. They feared that their jobs would be at risk. It wasn't until the 1970s that the present system was introduced, including Radio 1 and wall to wall pop music.

A Dansette record player
Record Player - This was one of the few ways we could listen to our favourite songs. Every week I'd go to the record shop and ask to hear a record or three in the sound booth. Then I'd buy the latest top of the pops, take it home and play it over and over again with the arm up on the record player so that the needle kept returning to the beginning of the record.

I mainly bought singles, one song on each side played at 45 revs per minute. My sister had some Elvis songs that were the old heavy 78s. They whizzed round on the record player while LPs (long players) turned at a sedate 33 revs. If you left a record in the sun it melted. If you sat on it, it broke. If you danced too enthusiastically the needle jumped across the record and once it got scratched it clicked and crackled... but I'd rather have a record than a CD any day.

Cathy McGowan, Queen of the Mods,
presented Ready Steady Go with Keith Fordyce
R Programmes:
On TV:
Brian Rix farces
Roy Rogers... and Trigger the horse of course
Rawhide... yah!
Robin Hood
Rin Tin Tin
Ready Steady Go

On Radio:
The Al Read Show
Ray's a Laugh, with Ted Ray

R Names:
Cliff Richard as he appeared on my bedroom wall, Phwah!!

Michael Redgrave
Robert Redford
Cliff Richard
Johnny Ray
Martha Reeves and the Vandellas
Otis Reading who provides the...

R Music:
Otis Reading singing Try a Little Tenderness

What Rs have I missed?

If you enjoy nostalgia then pop over and visit Anne Mackle's blog at Is Anyone There? Her A to Z Challenge is about memories of the 1960s and 70s.


  1. Oh yes - Brian Rix farces. I loved them.
    In the sixties, there was also Radio Caroline and Radio London (and others?) which broadcast from somewhere in the sea to avoid broadcasting laws. ~Miriam

  2. Hi Sis, That record player brings back many happy memories....................
    Quite a few record R's.............
    "Red River Rock" by Johhny & the Hurricanes, "Rollover Beethoven" by Chuck Berry, "Reet-petite" by Jackie Wilson, "Raining in my Heart" by the late great Buddy Holly, "Red Sails in the Sunset" sung by the wonderful dreamy Pat Boone, "Runaway" by Del Shannon, "Romeo" by Patula Clark "Reach for a Star", "River Deep and Mountain High" by Tina Turner, "Rock with the Cavemen" - Tommy Steele and "Run Around Sue" by Del Shannon.

    Films : "Reach for the Sky" staring Kenneth Moore. "Rock around the Clock" staring Bill Haley, and all the fantastic "Road Films".

    Rings - yes those lovely little silver friendship rings of the early 60's.

  3. JUST A NOTE to say, I've just posted up my responses to the Q comments. [Better late than never]. If you've commented on these A to Zs then do pop back and look at my response. You may want to respond again :-)

  4. Hi Miriam, How could I have forgotten about Pirate Radio?! I was crazy about pirate radio. I listed all the time. I can probably sing most of the jingles still... "Caroline! Carolie, ie, ie, ine!"

    Hi Rifka, Loads of lovely songs. I posted up Try a Little Tenderness because it always reminds me of you dancing in the old days... don't know why.

    Talking of films, if you pop back to Q you'll see that Arlee Bird was IN a film with Anthony Quinn! How cool is that!

  5. Great memories, Ros. Would you believe until 1954 I had a wind-up record player!

    Rifka beat me to a few of my choices (Hi, Rifka) but her are a few more memories:

    Magazines: Robin, Romeo, Roxy.
    Washing powder - Radiant biological

    TV advert: Rowntree's Fruit Gums, chum!
    TV programme: Rag,Tag and Bobtail

    Songs/Singers: Rose Marie - Slim Whitman, Rock And Roll Waltz - Kay Starr,
    Running Bear - Johnny Preston,
    Runaway -Del Shannon, Rolling Stones Little Red Rooster,
    Righteous Brothers, Release Me - Engelbert Humperdink,
    Roses are Red - Bobby Vinton, Rubber Ball - Bobby Vee
    Marvin Rainwater, Lord Rockingham's XI

  6. Ros have just returned to Q *giggles*............
    But back to R - I missed off "Debbie Reynolds" and "Mikey Rooney", and going back to O *more giggles" comment!!!! do you remember "Ring a Ring a Roses" or was that before the 50's too!!!!!

  7. Wonderful to read, I could relate to all the things and people you mentioned....showing my age?
    Great post.


  8. I remember having to sneak across the living room because my mum was playing records and the needle would jump if I did!

  9. Hi Pat,I was in the supermarket this morning humming "Red sails in the Sunset" to myself when I thought ....."I don't think it was Pat Boone (my earlier comment today), I think it was Tab Hunter. Then I thought - Pat will know for sure - so please put my mind at ease - was it P or T? Oh and how could I forget "Rubber Ball" - it was one of my all time favourites "wow" and thanks for reminding me. And nothing to do with R's but have just been listening to Tab Hunter singing 'Young Love' on UTube talk about being catapulted back to the 50's.......

  10. Rifka, I think it was one of those a lot of stars recorded. I remember Nat King Cole and Paul Anka had versions and, yes, Tab Hunter as well. I don't think P recorded it.

    I was really, really spooked when I was shopping on the market an hour or so ago and heard 'Rubber Ball' being played by one of the stallholders. Talk about a coincidence.

  11. From the Bee Gees LP Horizon: "Really and Sincerely"
    And let's think especially of Robin Gibb...

  12. I still have one of those record players with the handle. Not that I listen to it, but it's one of those things I couldn't bring myself to get rid of. It used to be my grandmothers.

  13. I had that record player (only my dad called it a gramophone). I treasured it and played groovy 60's sounds on it.

  14. The picture of the record player is the exact same one I bought when I started working. Love Cliff loads saw him in lots of concert and even touched his arm when I went to hear him preach In Quarriers Children's home (friend worked there) Think that was about 1980. He has a facebook page too!

  15. I had the BEST purple plastic record player!! Absolutely loved it :)

  16. Otis Redding, my favorite man, gone way too soon. Thanks for sharing that great song.

  17. It's a small world. Otis Redding recorded some at Fame Studios, just down the road from me in Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

  18. Do you remember when radio Caroline was closed and everyone went round with black armbands on? I loved to stack the singles up on my record player and watch them drop one by one!

  19. Interesting facts about all of the restrictions in radio! As for the stars, Robert Redford was always one of my favorites. I really fell for him in The Way We Were! Thanks for the wonderful memories Rosalind! Julie

  20. Great song. I'm from the sixties. I remember all of this. Great memories in this post. You did a super job. Yay Rawhide. Used to watch it with my dad. Thanks! :-)

  21. Hi Pat, a wind up record player! Gosh! How funny that you heard Rubber Ball being played on the market stall and I love the Bee Gees. So sad to see how ill Robin Gibb is.

    Hi Rifka, you and Pat are certainly topping up the memories. Excellent!

    Hi Yvonne, these nostalgia posts have got us all showing our age I’m afraid.

    Hi Annalisa, it was horrible when that happened because it ruined the record.

    Hi Jaycee, I’d hold on to that if I were you. It’ll be worth something at an antique market.

    Hi Sue, we had a gramophone which was a record player and radio combined in a large wooden unit.

    Hi Anne, I bet you’ve ‘liked’ Cliff’s Facebook page… like the Follyfoot Farm one!

    Hi Jemi, a purple plastic record player! Cool!

    Hi Inger, I love that song.

    Hi Sara, fancy you living near Otis Reading’s recording studios. Gosh!

    Hi Susan, yes I do remember and I had a petition and got people to sign it.

    Hi Julie, Robert Redford was gorgeous, wasn’t he. I loved him in Butch Cassidy.

    Hi Robyn, whenever I’ve typed Rawhide for this post I’ve thought of the theme tune, Rawhide, Yah!!