Thursday, March 29, 2007


Isn't that a wonderful album sleeve? Positively demonic. Does it glow in the dark?

Thing is, Val Doonican always seemed to end each show in his series with his latest *45 rpm* release, and it was always quite a downbeat song that didn't appeal to my very young ears in the way that a song by The Monkees did. Presumably Val was more proud of these downbeat songs than the novelty hits that used to be regular favourites on Radio One's Junior Choice.

It's difficult to find out much about Val from the internet. I was searching for song lyrics but very few are available. One of these is, of course, Paddy McGinty's Goat: probably Val's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida or Third Stone From The Son. A jewel in the Doonican crown, as it were. Its stream of conciousness words gather their own (often bawdy) momentum and hurtle off into never before explored realms, in the manner of the other Irish master, James Joyce.

Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be any footage of the early, angry Doonican at his finest on YouTube. I did manage to find a clip from a 1977 show where he does a duet with a pre-Grease Olivia Newton-John.

In this series I seem to remember that Val went "a bit country, not very rock 'n' roll" which is something of a cop out in my opinion. I suppose as he grew older he found it difficult to maintain the same level of energy that used to leave him so spent at the end of earlier shows that he had to collapse into a rocking chair.

Mind you, a few of you seem to like all that Americana stuff, and this clip is no worse that some of the crap that ends up on free Uncut CD's. Besides, one of the commenters on YouTube says "bless you for posting this" which makes a change from the usual "LOL LOL ugleee, ugleee - is she a man?? LMFAO." shards of wisdom you get on there.

Spread a little niceness.

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I thought the cameraman seemed to spend too much time ogling the Australian Bruce-Welch-Baiting Minx at the expense of our Irish Perry Como.

Extensive research has produced a much more balanced up-beat number where he is singing to Pat off of East Enders.
That's a mighty odd angel he's holding his GEEETAR. Have you ever seen an intelligent comment on YouTube? It's worse than the Amazon reviews.
I wonder if any of Val's old cardigans can be bought on eBay?
First Linda Blair, now this - Betty, your blog should come with a warning...
I would have liked to see Livvy tackle Paddy McGinty's Goat, but this comes a close second - thank you!! (P.S. WHAT was that green safari suit number Val was sporting??)
oh, but he did a lovely 'elusive butterfly' and i've been looking for his 'ring of bright water' everywhere!
Was he the old git who did the chat show with Melanie Sykes?
Murph - there is a dark side to Olivia Newton John. Hasn't she murdered her husband (as foretold in that song Banks Of The Ohio)? Anyway, that woman isn't Pat Butcher (no chandelier earrings) - it's George Clooney's Auntie Rosie!

Billy - oh, the comments on YouTube seem to be written by people with *anger management issues*, don't they? Or you get the ones that say "thanking to you, this song speaks so beautiful, creative poem to me, thank you!!!!!"

Istvanski - I should imagine that an original Val rocking chair would be on offer for at least half a million.

Annie - well, I do like to keep people on their toes. It's not all joy and light around here.

Rhino - it's a pity the cameras didn't keep on rolling because the two of them did a medley comprised of Paddy McGinty's Goat, I Wanna Be Your Dog and Kick Out The Jams. As for the safari suit - I suppose Val wanted to smarten up instead of just wearing sweaters. Maybe he thought that was a way to appeal to the American market.

Beth - What Would I Be, now that was a seminal Doonican hit. Still brings a tear to the eye, that does. Which is better - his version of Elusive Butterfly, or Bob Lind's?

Kaz - no, that was the bloke who did One, Two, Three O'Leary rather than Paddy McGinty's Goat, although it's easy to get them mixed up. Judging by the YouTube video, both of them have a tendency to fondle much younger women.
It's probably Bob Lind in a head to head. But Val's is the one I remember.
Ugh, my comment yesterday was rather incoherant. Sorry about that.
Beth - Bob Lind's version probably shades it for me, but maybe it's just because I've got that one on a compilation. Wonder what weapon they should use in the head to head - pistols? Swords? Knuckledusters?

Billy - still more coherent than most of my comments. That's a mighty odd angel, though.
Right - I'm a wee bit too young for Val - but he's not really Irish - is he?

He is, I assume, a Proper Plastic Paddy like Dermot O'Leeeery?
i'm sorry, but 'The Green Shades of Val Doonican' makes it sound like it was recorded during a hangover or something.

*no clue whatsoever; Val whonigan?*
Oh, God! The awful memories …
Paddy McGinty's Goat …
O'Rafferty's Motor Car …
The Marvellous Toy …
The cardigans!
Hey! Didi you know who played guitar on most of his early hits?
Jimmy Page (none other).
Absolutely true.
Young Jimmy the session player.
Kinda makes you look sideways at Stairway to Heaven …
Spinsterella - unfortunately, Val is *really* Irish, having been born in Waterford. I got that from Wikipedia, where I also found out that although Val "says he is not an internet junkie ... he enjoys using email and online banking. He is also fond of using the 'Spell Check' function on his computer".

First Nations - I assume he was only popular in Britain (and Ireland?). He claims to have been influenced by Bing Crosby. I also refer you to my reply to Spinsterella, because I think it's important that we know about his love of the computer Spell Check facility.

Dive - yeah, he was a bit of a session musician whore was Jimmy. I bet he played on Alvin And The Chipmunks records. Mind you, it's also rumoured that he learnt all about the BLACK ARTS from Val Doonican ...
Can that really be true about Jimmy Page??

And to think I had detention for carving his name on my desk in 1977 - If I'd known that then I wouldn't have bothered
Ziggi - I suppose it must be true about Val Doonican. I know Jimmy did loads of session work with anybody and everybody during the '60's. It paid the bills though I suppose. Judging by what Led Zep got up to in their glory years, maybe he would've been better off hanging out with Val Doonican!
You can see where Vic and Bob got their inspiration for Mulligan and O' Hare can't you?!
RoMo - the only thing is, Val is a bit lacking in the breast department to be full on Mulligan and O'Hare. However, the top he's wearing looks as if it's got a high Bri-Nylon content, so that's more promising.
Val Doonican v Roger Whitaker, there's a death match worth seeing.
Foster and Allen ptah! Frank Ifield I spit on your grave. All these maudlin bastards serenade the aisles of the local supermarket.
Dave, I must admit that I quite like the sound of your local supermarket. Definitely preferable to Asda FM and its endless diet of songs by whoever came third on The X-Factor.

Roger Whitaker is a god, especially when whistling.
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