29 December 2007

End of Year Mystery Roundup (1) Solved

The Blog and The Website have a fair record in clearing up mysteries.

Sometimes it seems I just have to ask a question then sit back and wait for the answer to turn up in my Inbox.

Some examples:

Question: Did Jimmy Page play lead guitar on Security, a UK single by Thane Russal - actually Doug Gibbons - that was a hit in Australia and, as far as I can see, nowhere else?
Answer: No, that wasn't Jimmy Page, it was Bob Johnson (later with Steeleye Span).
The emailer: Mick Brill, who played bass on the record, a longtime associate of Doug Gibbons, now living in Italy.See: The Security page at The Website.

Question: Who was (E. Goldman), as he appears in the small print as the composer of Gene Pitney's lesser known gem Billy You're My Friend (1968)?
Answer: Ed Goldman, who wrote the song when he was still a piano major at the Juilliard School of Music.
The emailer: Ed Goldman. Can you imagine how excited I was to hear from him?
And Ed was delighted to learn that his song had charted in Australia, and to read comments at The Blog by a couple of Australians who had never forgotten Billy You're My Friend.
See: The small print: Ed Goldman, writer of Billy You're My Friend and earlier posts linked from there.

Question: Was Edward R. (Eddie) White the songwriter the same Edward R. White who appeared in some movie bit parts, notably Robert Duvall's Angelo My Love (1983)?
Answer: Yes, he was.
The emailer: John Sprung, who attended the premiere of Angelo My Love with his dad and Eddie White. Mr Sprung Sr and Eddie were old friends from the days when Eddie was in an orphanage where John's dad was a counselor. Following an exchange of emails with John, I ended up buying Eddie White's autobiography Yesterday's Cake, cleverly named from the practice of bakeries donating old cakes to orphanages. (It's a helluva story, something I'll save for a later post.)
See: Yesterday's Cake, Eddie White's autobiography and earlier posts linked from there.

Question: Who was the bearded panel operator for Melbourne deejay Barry Ferber, immortalised in their single The Bearded Beetle (1964)?
Answer: Dave Dexter, who later worked on air in New Zealand on Radio Hauraki.
The emailer: (1) Radio historian Wayne Mac identified Dave Dexter. (2) Dave's son Julian recently posted a comment, confirming our conclusions and providing some more background.
See: More on the Bearded Beetle, which includes Jake Dexter's comments.

Question: Who is Nick Lampe, whose fine single Flower Garden (1969) unaccountably charted in Melbourne, Australia and hardly anywhere else?
Answer: Singer-songwriter Nicholas Lampariello, who turned his back on the music business after one album on Atlantic, now a social worker in New York.
The emailer: Robert Thompson in Melbourne who read my post, persevered with his search for Nick Lampe, and ended up phoning him at his workplace in New York.
See: At last: the Nick Lampe story, probably the only biography of Nick Lampe on the Web, written with Nick as the primary source after Robert put him in touch with me. (Type "Nick Lampe" at Google, hit I'm Feeling Lucky, and you'll end up back here, at this very blog!)

There are others, but that's enough for now.

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