Spotlight on ....

Ken Dodd

 

Ken Dodd is a veteran British comedian and singer, famous for his buck teeth, frizzy hair, and "tickling stick", as well as the catchphrase, "How tickled I am!" He was born on November 8, 7 in an old farmhouse on the outskirts of Liverpool, in a village called Knotty Ash.

He is the son of Arthur and Sarah Dodd. He attended the Knotty Ash School, and sang in the local choir of St. John’s Church. At the age of seven, he was dared by his school chums to ride his bike with his eyes shut..... which he did, for about 10 feet and then the bike hit the kerb, as did the young man riding it, landing open mouthed onto the tarmac. This accident is solely responsible for the trademark teeth Doddy is known for.
After seeing an advert in a comic, “Fool Your Teachers, Amaze Your Friends - send 6d in stamps and become a ventriloquist”, he promptly sent off for the book. Not long after, his father bought him a ventriloquist's dummy and Doddy called it Charlie Brown. He started entertaining at the local orphanage, then at various other local community functions.
At 14 he left the High School, and went into his dad's coal business. By his early twenties he had branched out on his own selling pots, pans and brushes. He worked hard by day, selling his wares round the streets of Liverpool. By night he became a regular and very popular performer on the club's circuit as Professor Yaffle Chuckabutty, operatic tenor and sausage-knotter.
It was in September 1954, he got his big break by appearing at the Nottingham Playhouse.
A nervous young man, he sat in a local Milk Bar for most of the afternoon going over and over his lines before going to the theatre. Although he can't remember much of that night, he did recall that the audience hadn’t booed him off the stage. Dodd's act went from strength to strength, eventually topping the bill at Blackpool in 1958.

He works largely in the music hall tradition, although he has appeared in several dramatic plays and as the Tollmaster in the Doctor Who story “Delta and the Bannermen”.
His comedy style is fast and furious, relying on a high number of one-liner jokes. Dodd sometimes intersperses his comedy with music, and sings with a baritone voice.
Ken also started to work in radio with the BBC. " The Ken Dodd Show " " Beyond Our Ken " and Ken Dodd's Laughter Show " were all extremely popular productions. Televisions also beckoned and in the late 50’s the “Ken Dodd Show” was broadcast live from the Opera House in Blackpool. Other series followed: “Doddy's Music Box”, “The Good Old Days”, “Ken Dodd's World Of Laughter” and “Ken Dodd and the Diddymen”.

Ken entered the big time in 1965 with the longest run ever recorded at the London Palladium. 42 straight weeks, which broke all box office records.
His performance stamina is legendary. His solo stage shows can still run for more than three hours. He claims that on one occasion the caretaker of the theatre handed him the keys on stage and told him “to lock up when he was finished”.

At about that time Ken began his singing career. Ken had a big hit in 1960, with his first ever 45 rpm single “Love is Like a Violin” which spent over four months in the charts. Throughout 1963 and 1964 Ken had several excellent hits: ‘Still’, ‘Eight By Ten’, ‘Happiness’ and ‘So Deep Is The Night’.

Tears’ entered the charts early in September 1965 – it didn’t drop out until almost six months later by which time the follow up ‘The River’ had also charted and the pair of records were in the top five at the same time! ‘Tears’ was outstanding and spent seven weeks at Number One in the hit parade and sold over two million copies. ‘Promises’ in 1966 completed the hat-trick of Top Ten hits for Ken and just those three records together spent fifty two weeks in the charts – a whole year. (Ken has actually spent just over four years in the hit listings).

Ken had more hits in the sixties, and the seventies (one of them ’Think Of Me Wherever You Are’ getting him back on ‘Top Of The Pops’ towards Christmas 1975. Not many singers can claim to have had a twenty-one year chart career!

Ken Dodd is still a very busy man today, and at over seventy years of age he is still packing them in at theatres up and down the country accompanied regularly by his own creations the Diddymen.

E.M.I now feels that the timing is right to acknowledge the artist behind the comedy mask and to prove that as well as a top class comedian, Dodd is also a fine vocalist whose talents have spanned over 40 years. Both artist and record company have worked on this new release, which is due out on 19th December.

ALL THE SONGS I LOVE - KEN DODD

DISC ONE

Happiness
For Someone Special
If
Every Second Every Minute
When There Was You
As Time Goes By
I Wish You Love
Happy Days and Lonely Nights
Somewhere My Love
Among My Souvenirs
When Love Comes Round Again
Those Golden Days
The Stars Will Remember
Just Out Of Reach
And I Love Her
If You Love Me I Won’t Care
How Wonderful To Know
More Than Love
I’d Do Anything For You
It’s A Funny Old World
Let Me Cry On Your Shoulder
Think Of Me Wherever You Are
Tears Won’t Wash Away These Heartaches
You Wanted Someone To Play With
Road To Happiness
It’s Love
Tears

DISC TWO

Promises
Still
I Can’t Begin To Tell You
The Sum of One
True
Eight By Ten
Azzuro
Sweet Memories
I’ll Find A Way
If I Should Lose
Once In A While
Four Strong Wind
In The Morning
What A Wonderful World
I’m Always Chasing Rainbows
Romantica
True Love
Love Me With All Of Your Heart
The Old Fashioned Way
For All We Know
My Thanks To You
More Than Ever
Someday You’ll Want Me To Want You
My Little Corner Of The World
She
May You Always
Younger Than Springtime

DISC THREE

The River
Love Is Like A Violin
The Story Of A Starry Night
Say
With All My Heart
Because I Love You
Every Little Tear
Back In your Own Backyard
My Life
Try To Remember
I Can’t Hold Back The Tears
Another Time-Another Place
One Upon A Time
If I Give My Heart To You
Morning Please Don’t Come
Close To You
A Pink and Pleasant land
You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me
My Heart Tells Me
Only You
A House With No Windows
Can I Forget You
It Is No Secret
So Deep Is The Night
The Key
Brokenhearted

The eighty plus songs gathered here in this compilation have been picked by Ken himself. ”These songs are the ones that I love to sing”.

The rich warm voice of Ken Dodd has taken many ballads high into the record charts. Record making and record breaking are nothing new to one of the most talented, all round entertainers of modern times. Here then are some of Ken’s favourite songs, sung as only he can sing them. Songs for sweethearts of all ages, sentimental songs and sad songs. Songs for people who know what love is all about and for those who hope to find out someday.

Ken is still packing them into theatres across the country as well as his television shows including the much acclaimed two “Audience With” programmes on prime time TV in recent years, and he is of course still delighting us with his voice, with a magic and warmth that flows with all the emotion you could imagine. Sincerity and hard work go into everything he does.

Listen to these songs and hear how Ken can take a sad phrase and perform the words in a way very few singers can. The warmth of ‘Younger Than Springtime’ and the tenderness of ‘I’ll Be Seeing You’. This is why he is such a master craftsman.

He sings for everyone – warm and endearing, adding the hallmark of total sincerity to every performance. He tries to get every ounce of meaning out of every word he sings. His selection of songs are always those where he can make the most of a lyric and he performs a song that the listener immediately associates with an occasion in his or her own life. A dream and a hope, a never to be forgotten love, a dream of yesterday or a dream of tomorrow and for the lucky ones a dream of today.

In this bouquet of ballads as we try to recapture some of the romantic moments past, present and who knows yet to come, we have songs that will revive memories and perhaps take you on a sentimental journey into the past, recalling a certain time, a certain place, a certain someone. They will provide you with a key with which you can open another treasure house of dreams.

Ken says himself “I’ve listened to between two and three hundred of my songs and I’ve tried to pick the great ones. My personal favourites – they are the songs that I love and had great pleasure recording”.

Ken Dodd is undoubtedly ‘Someone Special’ to millions of people. The music belongs to everyone – the memories are yours alone.

I have one very special copy of the new Ken Dodd – “All The Songs I Love” to give away to the first person to correctly tell me –

What are the names of Ken Dodd’s Diddymen?


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