If you have visited here in the last day or so, you will have seen my experiment with some of the new templates. Not so new, really, but new to me. I found that the new-look Random Distractions took up to ten minutes to upload fully so I have returned to my old format. It may not be snazzy but at least I can get instant access.
The highlight of today for me was a trip further back in time. A new series of The Reunion started on Radio 4 this morning, bringing together some of the iconic girl singers of the 1960s. You can listen to the programme on BBC iPlayer for the next 7 days, an absolute must if you can remember the '60s. It is always said that if you can remember the '60s then you weren't there. Well, I can remember them very well as I spent the first seven years of them in a convent school followed by a convent college! We didn't get many opportunities to join in the fun but we had the records and Top of the Pops.
The guests on The Reunion were singers Sandie Shaw, Petula Clark, Helen Shapiro and Jackie Trent along with Vicki Wickham, the producer of Ready, Steady, Go! Also present in spirit, as she was so important both to the music of that period and to the women in the studio, was Dusty Springfield. Listening to the anecdotes and the all too brief clips of music took me right back to being 18 again. I must say that, apart from Puppet on a String, all of the songs have stood the test of time and I didn't squirm with embarrassment at being reminded of the music I loved in my youth.
Sandie Shaw had one of the loveliest voices. I saw her recently on the Jools Holland's show and she still sings well and can still show off her feet but we all have to admit to having changed over a forty year period. This is the girl we used to cram into the common room to watch on the only TV around:
I hadn't really thought of Petula Clark as a sixties singer as she had seemingly always been around, having appeared regularly on the radio since about 1940; however, this has to be one of the greatest hits of the '60s
Helen Shapiro wasn't among my favourites until she switched from pop to jazz but what a voice she had as a fifteen year old:
I remember Jackie Trent more for her songwriting than as a singer but this one was a great hit:
I would have loved to have been in the studio when The Reunion was being recorded. Sue MacGregor tried hard to keep the discussion under control but she was in a room with five very strong, successful women so she did the best thing possible - she joined in with the banter and laughter. It was great fun to listen to. I'll finish this nostalgic trip with the song that Sue MacGregor played at the end of The Reunion: the great, the one and only Dusty Springfield: