Tag Archives: Bay city rollers

almost top of the pops – kenny

(A look at bands / artists, who this day in The ‘70s were ALMOST Top of the Pops.)

12th April 1975

Kenny

‘Fancy Pants’ was the second of four chart hits for Kenny, the band who four months earlier had peaked at #3 in the UK charts with their version of ‘The Bump.’ We’ll come back to that, shall we?

As with their other three singles successes, ‘Fancy Pants’ was written by the successful Bill Martin and Phil Coulter partnership. It was they who had penned Sandie Shaw’s 1967 Eurovision Song Contest winner, ‘Puppet on a String,’ and Cliff Richard’s runner-up the following year,‘Congratulations.’ So, a decent pedigree, then.

The band though were not all they seemed.

Let’s take a step back.

In October 1974, the Bay City Rollers released what would become their fifth hit, ‘All Of Me Loves All Of You.’ The B-side, which was also written and produced by Martin and Coulter, was ‘The Bump.’ However, it did not feature the band playing their instruments. Instead, seasoned session musicians were used.   

Bay City Rollers earlier version of ‘The Bump’ – though attributing it to them may be stretching it a bit.

Around that time, an Irish vocalist from the Martin / Coulter stable decided to retire. His performing name was Kenny. The writers then opted to give some of their songs to a ‘band’ and used their former artist’s moniker as a vehicle for their own compositions. One of the first they released was ‘The Bump.’

With the song already known and having had airplay as the Bay City Rollers’ B-side, it sold well and entered the charts in December of that year. Success though brought the necessity of promotion and public appearances. But of course, there was no such band as Kenny. And the track that had proved so popular was actually just the backing track from the Bay City Rollers’ version, with new vocals added! (You see, The Rollers hadn’t played on their version either!)

So began a frantic search for a band to ‘front’ the song on Top of the Pops and other shows / teen magazines.

What led Martin and Coulter to a banana warehouse in North London, I have no idea – but that’s where they found a bunch of likely looking lads rehearsing under the name Chuff.

Kenny (and bananas.)

Signing them there and then, changing their name to Kenny and bringing in a new lead vocalist in Richard Driscoll, the writers / producers managed to secure them a contract with Mickie Most’s RAK label, and they were off. Their other three singles of the time hit the higher echelons of the chart: ‘The Bump’ reached #3 in December of ’74; ‘Baby I Love You OK’ (which I’d completely forgotten about) peaked at #12, and ‘Julie Anne’ at #10.

You’ll recognise it when the chorus kicks in!

In all, they spent thirty-nine weeks in the Top 40 between December 1974 and August ’75 – there was some overlap between ‘The Bump’ and ‘Fancy Pants,’ just in case anyone was counting!

Their success was short lived, but for most of 1975, they were everywhere. I remember their pictures on my sister’s bedroom wall and their catchy, bouncy, fun songs were hugely popular at the school disco.

They released one album towards the end of 1975 which was basically made up of their singles and some ‘filler’ material. Interestingly, one track is the original version of what would later become a #1 for Slik‘Forever and Ever.’ Indeed, Slik frontman, Midge Ure, would later confess his surprise that all he had to do was sing over the top of the same backing track the Martin / Coulter session musicians had produced for the version on the Kenny album!

What was it Johnny Rotten once said: “Ever get the feeling you’ve been cheated?”

However, as they didn’t write their own hits and didn’t play their instruments on their hits, there was very little money to be made. They tried to break free from the Martin / Coulter arrangement, and a court case ensued when the writers stood firm on their assertion that they ‘owned’ the band name ‘Kenny.

The court ruled in favour of the band though, and freed of their shackles, they signed with Polydor, released another single ‘Hot Lips’ and an album ‘Ricochet’ – before vanishing completely. (Although they did rather ironically, provide the backing to the theme tune of ‘Minder’ over which Denis Waterman sang the lyrics.)

Kenny had surfed the tail end of the Glam Rock wave. I have to say, I’ve always enjoyed a bit of cheesy glam. They were fun while they lasted, although with all the controversy over not playing their instruments on their hits, I can sympathise with the words of Vernon Joynson who states in his excellent ‘Tapestry of Delights’ book … ‘they are eminently forgettable.’

A tad harsh, methinks, for this day in 1975, Kenny and their ‘Fancy Pants’ were ALMOST Top of the Pops.

(Post by Colin ‘Jackie’ Jackson from Glasgow – April 2022)



teenage kicks – Catriona Cook

April 2021:


Name: Catriona Macintyre (Macintyre-Beon, Cook)

Where did you live: Monreith Ave, Kilmardinny Cres – Bearsden;
Kings Park Rd – Kings Park, Glasgow

Secondary school: Bearsden Academy, Kingspark Secondary

Best mates at school: Sandra McGregor, Fiona McLeod

Funniest memory from school: The school going on fire and being off for several weeks.

First holiday with your mates: 1982, Palma Nova with Wendy a fellow nurse from my year group. I met Phil from Birmingham (who was my boyfriend for a couple of years), first time on a moped, lots of alcohol.

First job: Cut n Dried hairdressers Sauchiehall Street (Saturday job), NHS nurse, midwife, neonatal intensive care.


Musical hero in 70s: Bay City Rollers, David Cassidy, Leif Garret, Pink Floyd.

Favourite single: If you Leave Me Now – Chicago (reminds me of discos at Westerton Tennis Club)

Favourite album: Parallel lines – Blondie

First gig: Blondie or The Police at The Apollo

Most Disappointing Gig: Whitney Houston at SECC (Sound was terrible)

Favourite 70s movie:  Carrie (sneaked in aged 9) RIO cinema, Bearsden.
(Admin – Wow 😳 )

Rio Picture House, Canniesburn Toll, Bearsden

Who was on your wall in 70s: Bay City Rollers, Leif Garrett, David Cassidy

What do you miss most from the 70s: My big brother Graham

What advice would you give your 14yr old self: Go girl have some fun!

Fantasy 70s pub session: Centre Court in Glasgow with Pat Cash, Debbie Harry, Marc Bolan & David Bowie. 

No description available.
That’s me in the blue wellies

welcome to the unnatural history museum

(By George Cheyne – Glasgow, March 2021)

Traipsing round a stuffy museum on a school trip can’t be many people’s idea of fun – it certainly wasn’t mine.

I remember dragging my heels as we toured Glasgow’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in the Seventies for some history project or other. Yawn!

In and out of airless rooms with an interminable amount of portraits, old stones, suits of armour, stuffed animals and some painting of Jesus on the cross from above. At least I think it was Jesus…you couldn’t even see the guy’s face!

The trouble was not so much about what was in Kelvingrove, but what WASN’T in it. A wee bit of pzazz and a helluva lot of imagination and it could have been far more interesting.

So here are some alternative exhibits for the museum – a shrine to the 60s and 70s, if you will – with some of my own historical notes to go alongside.

Loch Ness Monster

The centuries-old Nessie mystery was finally solved in 1971 when a perfectly-formed skeleton of a 27-metre-long Spinosaurus was discovered on the shores of Loch Ness.

The discovery was hushed up because of national security but the bones have now been released under the 50-year rule and will take pride of place in Kelvingrove.

To give context, the diplodocus dinosaur that was the main exhibit at the entrance to London’s Natural History Museum until 2017 was 26 metres long. It is understood the diplodocus was moved out because the London museum knew Nessie would be a bigger attraction – in every way.

Secret soft-drink formula

This was found in a disused store cupboard at AG Barr’s plant in Cumbernauld. Dating from 1968, it was stuck to an iron girder after some Irn Bru had been spilled on it.

Barr’s donated the secret recipe – for a soft-drink called “ginger” – to the museum because it would be illegal to make these days given the high amount of sugar required.

The alchemist who came up with the formula did so in an attempt to avoid confusion in shops when kids would ask for “ginger” without actually knowing what flavour they wanted.

Robert Burns poem

An original work of the Bard – authenticated by a host of Burns experts – was recently discovered behind a false wall in an 18th-century house in Alloway, Ayrshire.

Historians have long since argued about the “Seventies” mentioned in the poem and, while it was originally thought to be the Bard’s look ahead to the 1870s, it is now widely accepted he was referring to the 1970s. 

Ode to a Haggis Supper

Ah could fair stuff my sonsie face,

Wi’ a chieftain o’ the puddin-race,

Dripping in batter and plunged intae hot fat,

Now that wid mak ye a man for a’ that,

Lying on the coonter, O what a glorious sight,

Served up wi’ chips so fluffy and light,

In the Seventies every groaning trencher,

Is bound to be droont in salt ‘n vinegar

Elvis Presley song

An unpublished Elvis Presley song – written on the back of a fag packet – has been donated to Kelvingrove by the late Senga McGlumphey’s family.

Senga was working as a cleaner at Prestwick Airport when Elvis flew in for a stopover in 1960 and got chatting to the legendary singer.

After asking her name, the King started scribbling on a fag packet that Senga had picked up and began humming a tune. A few minutes later Elvis had to leave the building and handed over the Embassy Regal packet with the lyrics to Return To Senga on it.

The song was never published, but it bears an uncanny resemblance to an Elvis smash hit which came out two years later.

Bay City Rollers tartan

This was commissioned in the late 1970s as Les, Eric and the lads tried to unify the tartan clobber they wore to maximise merchandising potential.

Rollers manager Tam Paton came up with the plan to design a new tartan, copyright it and then rake in the big bucks from the new-look merch.

Unfortunately, the band couldn’t agree on a design and the tartan swatches dropped out of sight – until now.

The World Cup trophy

Awarded to Scotland after a series of bizarre FIFA rulings. First, Willie Johnston was granted a free pardon after FIFA admitted it was their doctor who had prescribed the winger the banned tablets at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina.

Then FIFA agreed to look at the results from the tournament retrospectively and considered Archie Gemmill’s goal against Holland so good that it was decided Scotland should go through to the next round in their place.

The bigwigs further ruled that if Holland could beat Austria, draw with Germany and beat Italy, then surely Scotland could have – so they were automatically put into a final against Argentina.

This match was to be played in 2021 using the original squads from 43 years ago, but Covid restrictions prevented it taking place.

Under pressure to come up with a solution, FIFA then decided the final would be determined by a shots-drinking competition which, unsurprisingly, Scotland won.

But it wouldn’t be Scotland without some sort of problem and Argentina appealed on the grounds that legendary hardman defender Kenny Burns threatened five of their players during the live Zoom event.

However, the SFA put forward a rigorous defence to FIFA, insisting the player had become something of a philosopher in his old age. And they contested that Burns, when asked where he thought the game should be played, had merely said: “Bright views…ergo outside” instead of the widely-quoted “Right yous…square go outside.”

Do you believe that? Nope, me neither. Kenny Burns only threatening five of them? No chance.

The SFA, rightly thinking they had probably got away with one, decided not to organise a lap of honour round Hampden with the trophy for fear of further antagonising the Argentinians.

“In any case,” a spokesman said, “We already did one of those back in 1978 before the tournament started!”