The 1951 Rolling Review Show … # 72
Welcome to the 1951 Rolling Review Show which twice weekly features pieces of music I have enjoyed at some time in my life. I hope you enjoy them as well. Let me know if you do.
David McWilliams – Days Of Pearly Spencer
“Days of Pearly Spencer” is a 1967 song written and originally performed by the Northern Irish singer-songwriter David McWilliams and included on his second album David McWilliams.
This was a song about a homeless man McWilliams had encountered in Ballymena, and featured a sweeping orchestral arrangement and a chorus sung as if through a megaphone. This low-tech effect was actually achieved by recording the vocals from a phone box near the studio. Massive exposure on Radio Caroline and through advertisements in the UK music press in the summer of 1967 helped generate interest and sales in continental Europe, and the record topped the charts in numerous countries including France and the Netherlands, selling a million copies worldwide. However, although it became well known in the UK, “Days of Pearly Spencer” failed to make the charts, perhaps because the BBC refused to play it owing to his manager’s links to pirate radio.