Properly in the 60’s now then, and I’m pretty confident that my 1st real memory comes from 1961 actually from Christmas 1961 not anything profound like opening presents, or a decorated tree or anything about Jesus Christ, saving in the world.  The memory is of me playing with toy cars on the floor of a strange house with a fire going and loads of people coming and going.  There was lots going on and I was generally being made a fuss of, but the thing I remember most of all is that the adults were happy, unless of course I have mistaken happy for drunk.  The studio portrait above of me and my brother in knitted jumpers is from that Christmas, whether the jumper was “for Christmas” and I ripped open the coloured paper only to be nonplussed to find a jumper I couldn’t say.


It seems to me that the thing to do in 1961, was to take young children out into the countryside, park them in the middle-of-the-road or stand them on a bank or something and take very posed pictures, posed pictures were the only sort of pictures we had then – it cost a reasonable sum of money for developing and printing – and you had to wait weeks or months depending on when you finished the film to see how good / rubbish the shots were.

Track for 1961, is Poetry in Motion, Johnny Tillotson, it was released in 1960 and number 1 in the UK in 1961 and I have chosen it to represent this year because I have an affinity with the song. Throughout my childhood, actually well into adulthood, I thought the catch line was “oh, a tree in motion” I didn’t give much thought to what it meant or what it went on to say – something about wind, which I assumed was blowing the trees and railways, oh how wrong I was.

A particularly ghastly track also released this year was My Boomerang Won’t Come Back by Charlie Drake, I wasn’t pleased to be reminded of it, so I thought I would share it.

What Else Happened in 1961.

In the UK betting shops become legal, 1st issue of satirical magazine Private Eye hits the streets, the Beatles performed their 1st concert at the Cavern Club, there is an all British final in the women’s singles at Wimbledon when Angela Mortimer beat Christine Truman.  Britain applied for membership of the European economic community and in the US JFK is inaugurated.

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