Gypsy Creams

A box of old magazines, a scanner, and some server space.
Gypsy Creams is lovingly scanned and written by Tanya Jones.

Scandinavian Fashion

Woman / 25 December 1965

A rather lovely feature on Scandinavian fashion and customs, including a mention of Shetland, traditionally a link between Scotland and Scandinavia. I’m not sure what happened to the Norwegian lessons, though…

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Too Much Bother?

Woman / 25 December 1965

I can only presume that this campaign was in response to consumer research, but I must admit that I’m puzzled. Surely, if you’re already being kept up by a bunged-up kid, rubbing some Vicks on their chest isn’t THAT much of a hardship?

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Cossack Vodka

Woman / 25 December 1965

I think we can probably tell that we’re in the era of Babycham being an acceptable drink for women, with stout if it was decided you needed the iron. What is interesting is that vodka, if anything, is seen much more as a drink for women and young men nowadays, which I guess is progress, even if there’s a hint that vodka’s a good way to drink without imbibing too many calories. Still, there’s some fascinating serving suggestions here, including the now everyday ‘vodka with coke’, so bottoms up!

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Ugly Duckling

Woman / 25 December 1965

Now don’t get the wrong idea. I’m not against makeovers per se, and I’m a great believer in enhancing your best features, but *honestly*, this poor young woman.

Obviously, with this being the 1960s, the ability of this woman to get ‘boys’ to notice her is all-important, and naturally, poor Paulene had to ‘admit’ that her eyebrows were bushy (gasp!), leading Woman to advise her on a plucking method that would give her the least unnecessary pain. We’re also taken through a make-up routine to bring out her ‘latent prettiness’, which raises an interesting question; what does that actually *look* like?

The new hairstyle is quite something, too; a perfectly reasonable bob is turned into something more suited to a member of the Household Cavalry. In fact, I’m reminded of the makeover that poor Kate Middleton was subjected to when she became the Duchess of Cambridge. Still, now she’s getting admiring leers from her male co-workers, she’ll soon be able to bury any ambitions she might have had and get married. Thanks, Woman!

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Quick Spins

Disc and Music Echo / 23 November 1968

Crikey, this is really a bumper crop of single reviews, and all pleasingly short, too. Getting the feel of a single in that small space takes skill, so well done to Caroline Boucher, who I assume has written this, as there’s no other credit on this page.

This is packed with notables of the time, such as Sandy Denny, Fleetwood Mac, Danny La Rue, Marion Ryan, Kenny Lynch and Roger Whittaker, but also shows the age in which its written with the psychedelic band Tuesday’s Children, and the unusual John D. Loudermilk. One big advantage of ’60s pop from my point of view is the variety of acts that got in the charts, which I think gave the music landscape back then a certain vivacity. I suspect the eventual drive towards a celebrity, rather than music-driven, industry took the fun out of pop music a bit.

But what of Caroline Boucher? I’m pleased to see that she appears to still be active in journalism, having edited the Observer Food Monthly as recently as 2013, and had what must have been a very entertaining stint in the 1970s as Elton John’s PR representative, replacing her ex-Disc colleague Penny Valentine.

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British Blues Boom

Disc and Music Echo / 23 November 1968

Well, what a useful guide to British blues bands this is, along with some recommended clubs. It’s not immune to the usual factionalism that comes along with much music fandom, however!

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It’s Cold at the Top…

Disc and Music Echo / 23 November 1968

This is a telling article. The Marbles were essentially a one-hit wonder, and as this interview suggests, didn’t quite enjoy the success they were hoping for. I suspect the only reason they’re in this magazine is because they released their one hit in November 1968. They split the following year, but didn’t release an album until 1970. Graham Bonnet found success as a solo artist and Trevor Gordon became a music teacher, sadly passing away in 2013.

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The Iveys

Disc and Music Echo / 23 November 1968

Well, I have to remark that this is an ironically benign promotion for The Iveys (later, more famously, Badfinger), considering the sad fate of two of the band members. The band had a difficult history, but they’re probably best known for their hit “Come and Get It” from 1970, written and produced by Paul McCartney. Joey Molland, who joined the band in 1969 when they changed their name, still tours under ‘The Original Badfinger‘ today.

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Scene

Disc and Music Echo / 23 November 1968

Goodness me, what a lot of gossip. It’s always a thrill to see now-legendary figures talked about in these terms. Amongst other things, this provides a fascinating background to the launch of Barry Ryan’s solo career, a bizarre claim from Peter Frampton about The Herd’s road manager, a report of BBC royalty Robin Scott moving onto Television from Radio 1, a fascinating glimpse of Episode Six, and a review of The Kinks Are The Village Green Preservation Society which suggests that the writer considers them has-beens in pop terms, even if they respect the album.

There’s also an hilarious quote from Dave Clark about what some may have considered an attempt to piggy-back on England’s 1966 World Cup success for the single ‘Live In The Sky’. Sorry Dave, it only reached number 39.

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Hollywood Calling

Disc and Music Echo / 23 November 1968

Now, of course, gossip from the US is available on demand to Brits, so it’s odd to think that it wasn’t that long ago that US showbiz news was seen as something warranting programmes and features of its own, such as this clearly regular column in Disc. I grew up watching Entertainment USA, and still recall my excitement at discovering US pop magazines in my local newsagent (and the disappointment when they weren’t a patch on Smash Hits), so I do have some idea of the anticipation with which Disc readers must have awaited each edition.

What of Judith Sims, though? I was glad to see that she had a respectable career in journalism, including being the Los Angeles bureau chief for Rolling Stone. Her work here certainly demonstrates a keen sense of humour, which comes in useful when observing the circus around Yellow Submarine. It’s a terrible shame that cancer claimed her life whilst she was still fighting for copyright maintenance in what was then the very new medium of the World Wide Web. I wonder what she would have made of Gypsy Creams?

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