Voices I Recall…

I’m beginning to wonder why on Earth I would think up such a subject for this week’s offerings in the LBC  series. I wonder just how my fellow Consortium members, Anu, Ashok, gaelikaa, Ginger, Grannymar, Helen, Judy, Conrad, Maria and Ramana.,will deal with this subject. Do not hesitate go and have a look, having survived whatever I have in store to bore this week.

Voices! Those of us who have one are each blessed with something unique to each one of us. Oh yes, people mistake my sons for me on the telephone, and vice versa but each one’s voice  is unique.

As an example, my voice, as a teacher, was often an instrument of control. It has a quality which means that it carries and can be very penetrating. Several years ago I was letting a child know exactly how I felt about her dangerous and selfish behaviour during a Games lesson. During the said tirade the School Dinners were delivered by one of our Borough Buses. At the same time the Dinner ladies were “delivered”. These lovely ladies were amazed at the reaction of their driver on hearing my voice. He was struck rigid and according to him the hairs on the back of his neck stood to attention, “My god. I recognise that voice.” he said. He was an ex pupil who had been told off by me on at least one occasion.

So yes, sometimes we can recall voices.

Both my parents are dead, they died quite young. I cannot recall their voices in  my concious moments. In dreams it appears to be different as vague shapes and silhouettes are identified to me when they speak.

So, which voices do I recall? Of course the late great Kenneth Williams…..I need say no more than…enjoy!

Then there’s Leslie Phillips, heard here in the classic Navy Lark from The BBC and my childhood! Phillips is the one who says, among other things, “Oh Lor.'” I strongly recommend you view a few more videos that include Phillips and hear some other Classic British Comedy Voices.

Now, have you a voice that influenced your taste in music…..time to admit that I have…Burl Ives…. just listen to this, the best of many, recording of Ghost Riders in The Sky And he could surely play his guitar. And here is a comment worth reading….

“amazing you can never replecate this sound this vintage music is gone from the present but will live on in our hearts forever im a twenty year old “hood” but i know great music and the trash that musicians are singing to day cant be called music this was music at its best thank you”

Then I found this one: Noah Found Grace….

and here he is introduced by another famous voice .

Next…. a voice to raise your spirits and at the same time bring tears to your eyes…… and then this recording in English, both sides of a 12 inch 78 rpm recording.

and how can anyone leave tis recording out of the collection? For once a Traditional English Song sung by a Classical singer and adding something to it, such a rare thing to hear. Britten and Pears never managed it, nor did Butterworth or even Vaughan Williams.

Come on, wipe your eyes. I could have found many more great renditions of great music by Kathleen Ferrier, I had to leave out Schubert’s An Die Musik.

I am going to have to stop at some time…and I haven’t even mentioned my teachers…. or my mother in law and father in law.

Here is a friend of mine whom I first met back in 1968 ….. and I danced with his wife and didn’t know she was his wife…. I met Cyril again years later. If you ever get a chance to listen to his music do so….. probably his most famous song is Grey Funnel Line. Cyril served in the Royal Navy on submarines…now here’s a surprise...yikes! I hope Rosemary gets the royalties!!!!

Let’s have a bit of fun with another musical voice before we go…….. Number one, Number two,


8 Responses to “Voices I Recall…”

  1. Grannymar Says:

    What a trip down memory lane! Kenneth and Leslie are oft repeated on the BBC, but why did I forget Burl Ives completely. Listening to the link above I was reminded of several other numbers that he sang. Kathleen Ferrier left school at 14 and became a telephone operator. Like Iris Williams on my blog she rose to great heights! She struggled bravely through cancer and died far too soon aged 41.

  2. Ursula Says:

    Magpie, I know this sounds harsh: I have always assumed that people who SING in public have to have a reasonable voice. Otherwise one would assume they’d keep shtum.

    Softly, softly, to me the SPEAKING voice so much more interesting: I fell for Richard Burton when I heard him reciting “Under the Milkwood Tree”. Who wouldn’t? Three years ago I fell in love with a man (gay, naturally) on the strength of sending me his own voice recording of a poem which, for the purposes of discretion, shall remain unnamed. What can I say? The power of timbre … I could go on giving many more examples, not least our very own Eddie Mair of BBC’s Radio Four PM programme. I haven’t got the faintest idea what the guy looks like: Turn off the light and talk to me …

    Admittedly there can be a conflict of interest: In my eyes a great voice and a lack of intellect do have a way of cancelling each other out.

    Maybe odd, maybe not: Women’s voices do not carry any weight whatsoever – which is not the same as saying that they are not memorable. And yes, I know, all of us have at least one shrew in our life but that’s just volume not depth of the vocal cords.

    Screeching and yours,

    • magpie11 Says:

      No! Not harsh at all… I enjoy spoken voices as much…. I have a feeling that Burl Ives’ speaking voice would have that same burr and Cyril Tawny certainly had.

      I did start with speaking voices and have been thinking about making more jottings along those lines.

      As for Burton…my mother used to rave about Under Milkwood and I could never understand the reason, perhaps there are such things as vocal pheromones. I certainly recall Fenella Fielding from long before I understood Double Entendre. I like Wendy Hiller, who played opposite Paul Schofield in A Man for All Seasons. There are voices I recall with pleasure.

      These are actors whose craft is to project emotion in their voices and with their voices. As ever, some are better than others at their craft.

      Ordinary, everyday people, can also have memorable voices, if for negative reasons like mine. As a pupil I was able to mimic many of my teachers voices and idiosyncrasies. Humour again playing its part.

      You pose an interesting conundrum as to why it seems to be men’s voices that are most often memorable. You mention depth …. Margaret Thatcher springs to mind …. I would love to hear her childhood voice. Did she, I wonder, have a Grantham accent? If so why did she adopt that awful drawl (I have left out the adjectives I thought of to go with drawl)

      On shrews…the pitch is always high!

      On singing…. I do not like musical acrobatics. So much of classical singing consists of this, rather like Charlie Parker’s saxophony. As a non singer, often told that I cannot sing, I would never stop anyone singing in public. I might not pay to hear some of them but the traditional singer of old songs in a pub should be encouraged. Do people realise that pubs now have have a license for any music at all? The nasty, totalitarian, Labour government thought that music always leads to trouble. Large T.V. screens however do not need a license.

      Keep Music Live!

  3. Rummuser Says:

    It is sad that I recognize none of the names here for the music that we were exposed to from Britain in my youth was limited to the Beatles, The Bee Gees, Cliff Richards, Eric Clapton, etc and not the type that you have listed here. The American voices were given more exposure in India and so, I have heard a great deal more of American singers.

  4. magpie11 Says:

    Oh! The Beatles…. Eric Clapton….. Cliff Richard…. Bee gees…. forget the Gibb family… all the others were inspired by American Music… going back to rural blues… Cliff was a Rock and Roller, The Beatles were inspired by the likes of Buddy Holly and the Blues. Clapton was a blues inspired player.

    I preferred the (Rolling) Stones, the Animals, Manfred Mann… I positively disliked John “Look at me everyone. I’m in bed for peace but I relay want you to like me.” Lennon! As you might tell.

    Sorry Beatles and Lennon fans. I just couldn’t help it…still can’t.

    As for spoken word…if you ever get a chance to, listen to Rambling Sid Rumpo! aka Kenneth Williams.

  5. gaelikaa Says:

    Cliff Richard was born in Lucknow, where I live. He was liked a lot in Dublin where I come from. Kenneth Williams had a remarkable voice all right. Well done Magpie, what an interesting post, I really mean that.

  6. gaelikaa Says:

    That’s another voice I love – speaking voice, I mean – Felicity Kendall’s.

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