Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Parallel Universes

The other morning I was listening to my favourite Radio Station, Four Extra (no News or annoying presenters - apart from Arthur Smith), and enjoying a step back in time to simpler days in an episode of "Marriage Lines" starring the redoubtable Richard Briers and the lovely Prunella Scales. Those lovely clipped English accents and that innocent flavour of the 1950's. Black and White Radio at its best!

It was an episode which included a neighbour's party and I was suddenly taken by the record they used in the background. "She Loves You" by the Beatles. Yes, the 1950's had morphed into the swinging 60's before my very ears. Fortunately Wiki help was at hand and I could clarify the fact that Marriage Lines series 1 was broadcast in 1963, the same year that the Fab Four achieved their first three number ones.

False memory syndrome is obviously at work here. It is easy to build up a mental picture of a period in time as an amorphous lump, only to find that it is a complex web of competing threads of history which just don't seem to marry up.

Digging down through the strata of events one finds that 1963 was the same year that Cliff Richard's Summer Holiday premiered, Harold Macmillan and Alex Douglas Home were both Premiers and John Profumo was in the dog house. The Dartford Tunnel and UEA opened. Mersey Madness may have been sweeping through the charts but that didn't stop Frank Ifield from yodelling his way to number one twice.and spending months in the charts.

The same odd mish-mash-memories can be found at any age. We are programmed to believe 1976 was a Punk Revolution, yet checking the charts for that year reveals not a single Punk "hit" but just a Middle-of-the-Road continuum of Brotherhood of Man, Showaddywaddy, Abba and (yes) The Wurzels. Production of the Hillman Imp ceased and the Cortina Mk IV was launched. The Queen opened the NEC in Birmingham (I was there!).

Anyway that's enough conflicting nostalgia. I'm off to listen to the brilliant "North by Northampton"  on 4Extra.


Z said...

Marriage Lines started as a tv programme and the radio version was the spin off, remarkably. I've been listening to it too, usually at about 3 am. I remember the television version better, because Edward de Souza as Miles was one of my early heart-throbs. Number 3 chronologically, I should think - not that I was flighty, just that I spread my affections as a small child - and why not?

Tim said...

I do hope the Beeb have paid the requisite royalties to whoever is the current corporate custodian of the Fab Four songbook. It was one M Jackson, but then, I seem to remember, got sold on to Sony. Anyway, you can't hum a Beatles song on the bus without shelling out or risking a lawsuit.

Nota Bene said...

No no no. Brotherhood of Man when I thought I was listening to Never mind the b*ll*cks??

Rog said...

Z: Funny how some shows take the reverse route from TV to Radio. I think Dad's Army and Steptoe also went in that direction. I think normally Radio is better when you have no pre-cast palette of characters and have to create them yourself in your head.

Tim: I know. And some rich sod in the USA is still getting rich on "Happy Birthday" if a recent top 40 programme is to be believed.

Nota: "Save all your *&%ing kisses for me" etc etc

Anonymous said...

Memory is a strange thing indeed!

Pat said...

Yeah yeah yeah!
Wonder whatever happened to Frank- he was quite dishy.