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Friday 8 December 2023

I Haven’t Time To Be A Millionaire

What do young people do when they begin to take more than just a passing interest in each other? One answer it that they walk in the countryside. Our children did so with there special friends, and I have written about how I was smitten one warm evening in peaceful Leicestershire ridge and furrow. 

My parents were no different. This pair of photographs is from 1945. That is Rawcliffe Church in the distance. 

I was selecting images to illustrate the old family audiotapes I have mentioned several times, with a view to putting them on YouTube to minimise risk of loss. Here, yet again, is my dad singing “I Haven’t Time To Be A Millionaire”, this time as a video with images. It may not be particularly sophisticated, but it seems to work well.

I bet he imagined he was Bing Crosby singing with Gloria Jean in “If I Had My Way”. Let’s say he makes a recognisable attempt. I cannot imagine my mum managing Gloria Jean’s coloratura soprano, though. I looked up the original. What a delight! Astonishingly, Gloria Jean was just 14 at the time, playing the part of an orphaned child. She’s nearly as good as Bing. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kqzBUaonyZw

Dad sang a lot of Bing Crosby songs to us; there are more on the full audiotape, such as (from the same film): “If I had my way forever there’d be, a garden of roses for you and for me”, and (from “Rhythm on the River”): “Do I want to be with you, as the years come and go? Only forever, if you care to know”. 

“Stop being soppy,” I hear my mum say, which of course encouraged him. 

Isn’t it great to be able to share our parents’ musical obsessions, even years too late. I wish I could watch the films with them now. 

26 comments:

  1. That was lovely. Thank you. If only we could talk to our parents now and ask them the things we could and should have asked. There's never the right sort of time.

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    1. True, but the thing is that we would not always know what questions to ask. My dad often used to talk and the things to do was just to listen. That, for example, is how I know that when these films came out he had a different girlfriend who was close enough to be named with him as a couple in family announcements in newspapers. That of course gives rise to further question never asked.

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    1. I'm just a brute. But which bit had this effect. I need to know so I can be even more manipulative.

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  3. I love the "Boo..boo...boo...boo...boo" at the end. A caption for your mother's photo could have been, "Come and get me baby!"... and of course your father did!

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    1. He made up the Boo Boos. We are so lucky to have these tapes, and that I digitised them when we still had the means. The Crosby version is of course the slickest, but does not have the personal meaning of my dad's.

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  4. Lovely to grow up with the enjoyment of people around singing unselfconsciously. And to have a recording of the voice of a loved one.

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    1. It is. The whole tape is around an hour long, recorded at various times over 6 or 7 years. We are so lucky to have it. See also response to comment immediately above.

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  5. To have voice recordings of your father singing is a wonderful thing. You've done so well with the YouTube creation. I think my sister took some audio of my mother 'being interviewed'.

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    1. Yes, the take could so easily have been thrown away or lost in a house move. Overlaying it with images has powerful effect.

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  6. Everything we can save is precious, if only to us. When I got all the old home movies on CD, I asked my aunt, the last survivor of my parents' generation, to watch and talk about what she saw. I later had it transposed to the CD and gave copies to my children and cousins. They weren't impressed.

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    1. They must be very precious. The younger generation only begins to appreciate such things as they get older and begin to wonder about things. I would love to be able to see my grandma's photographs now - I never looked when I could and after she died an uncle threw then all away.

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  7. My Dad used to sing songs from the Great Depression like "Big Rock Candy Mountain" and "Hallelujah, I'm a Bum."

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    1. Buddy Can You Spare A Dime is my favourite. I wish everyone had recordings of their parents. My family is so lucky.

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  8. I really love reading the reminiscences of bloggers. You and Weaver do such a good job at that. I know that I've said it before. You father sounds like a man content to be right where he was. I love that. It must be a great private joy to pull up those tapes and hear those voices once again.

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    1. Weaver is incredible. She writes those posts almost straight off, whereas I am a preparer. Yes, it makes me think to get the tapes, films and photographs out from time to time. It reminds me what are the important things in life.

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  9. I love what you've done with your Dad's recordings. That is a precious gift for you and your family. I have loads of photos but no audio or video recordings of my parents. What I'd give to hear their voices again.

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    1. The recordings have become increasingly precious over time. My grandma appears at one point, speaking in her village accent formed in the 1890s.

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  10. I suppose there is a sad/happy feeling as you listen to the long gone voice of your father. He was part of the lovely simple life before computers and digitilisation, when you could sing. A further thought, where have all the whistlers gone?

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    1. Whistler Roger Whittaker died just a few months ago. But, yes, ordinary people used to walk along the street whistling away. You would get funny looks now. I used to know a chap who could whistle giving the impression of a 2-part harmony. His Beethoven 6th was unforgetable.

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  11. Wow, that is oh so lovely, Tasker! Thank you! Voices are so impressive and characteristic , and to hear them makes memory work.

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    1. That's true. The full hour+ tape sparks off all kinds of thoughts, not just for me but for other family members who knew my dad.

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  12. What a wonderful record to have. Learning about treasure like this is what I love about blogging.

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    1. I think a lot of us have photographs, but not many have tapes. If they do, then they need to be digitised as soon as possible because the sound deteriorates.

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  13. I have only just now had the opportunity to listen to your Dad singing. Like yours, my Dad had a beautiful singing voice. He really should have been in a choir, but what with work and raising a family, he never seemed to be interested in an additional committment of any kind.
    We have tapes on large reels and a tape recorder my Dad used at home, he made tapes of my sister and I as little girls singing songs we'd learned in kindergarden, and one that I can still recite almost word for word when he reads a bed-time story. Your post made me think that we really should look into digitalising those tapes.

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    1. Do have them digitised as soon as you can because even reel tapes become less clear over time, and cassettes are worse. I digitised these some years ago when computers still had connections you could plug the recorder in to. It's as I mentioned in a recent post, these features have gradually been discontinued. I agree my dad had a good voice but I think singing is a skill you slowly lose if you don't practice, which perhaps shows here.

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I welcome comments and hope to respond within a day or two, but vision issues are making this increasingly difficult. Please note: comments on posts over a month old will not appear until they have been moderated.