28
Sep 03

DICKIE VALENTINE – “Finger Of Suspicion”

Popular17 comments • 2,565 views

#27, 7th January 1955

Dickie is backed up here by The Stargazers, who redeem themselves for “I See The Moon” by doing a slick job on a flimsy but enjoyable crooner. The song is really little more than an extended chat-up line – “Someone broke into my heart and stole a beat or two / The finger of suspicion points at you” – but it’s smartly done, nobody overdoes things, at least until a nasty organ honk in the closing seconds. Valentine seems on this showing a fairly indifferent singer, but the slight strain and rasp in his voice makes for a winning performance of a song that might easily tip into unctiousness. 5

5

Comments

  1. 1
    Matthew on 10 Jan 2009 #

    Looks a bit like the young Orson Welles. Dishy.

  2. 2
    Billy Smart on 19 Mar 2009 #

    Light entertainment watch: A few Dickie Valentine television appearances survive;

    THE ANNE SHELTON SHOW: with Joe Lynch, Terry Scott, Deryck Guyler, Dickie Valentine, Libby Morris (1959)
    THE ARTHUR HAYNES SHOW: with Dickie Valentine (1963)

    BIG NIGHT OUT: with Mike and Bernie Winters (Hosts), Lionel Blair and his Dancers, David Nixon, Dickie Valentine, Susan Maughan, Saveen with Daisy May & Company (1963)

    BIG NIGHT OUT: with Mike and Bernie Winters (Hosts), Lionel Blair and his Dancers, David Hamilton (Voice Over Opening Credits), The ABC Television Showband, Vera Lynn, Dickie Valentine, Digby Wolfe, Jack Haig (1964)

    VAL PARNELL’S SPECTACULAR: The Dickie Valentine & Roy Castle Show

    VAL PARNELL’S SPECTACULAR: The Dickie Valentine Show (1958)

    While all of these are missing;

    COMEDY BANDBOX: with Tommy Trinder, Dickie Valentine, The Monarchs, Patsy Ann Noble, Chic Murray and Maidie, Richard Hearne, Bretton Woods, Saveen and Daisy May (1964)

    CROWTHER’S IN TOWN: with Mike Yarwood, Sandy Powell, Dickie Valentine, Dilys Watling, Eddie Connor, Alex Welsh Jazz Band (1970)

    DAVID NIXON’S COMEDY BANDBOX: with Max Wall, Dickie Valentine, Mike Newman, Ted Durante (1966)

    DAVID NIXON’S COMEDY BANDBOX: with Roy Castle, Libby Morris, Dickie Valentine, Jack Douglas (1966)

    DRUMBEAT: with The Barry Sisters, The Kingpins, Dickie Valentine (1959)

    ENGELBERT: with Dickie Valentine, The Peter Gordeno Dancers, The Mike Sammes Singers, Jack Parnell and his Orchestra (1967)

    THE FRANKIE VAUGHAN SHOW: with Hattie Jacques, Dickie Valentine, Ted Rogers (1966)

    HERE’S TO THE NEXT TIME: with Cliff Richard, The Drifters, Dickie Valentine, Joan Regan, Lucille Graham, Mike Hall, The Joan Davis Dancers, The Mike Sammes Singers, Arthur Askey, Dickie Henderson (1959)

    THE LONDON PALLADIUM SHOW: with Jimmy Tarbuck (Compere), Dave King, Dickie Valentine, Rudi Schweitzer (1966)

    THE LONDON PALLADIUM SHOW: with Jack Parnell and his Orchestra, The Palladium Dancers, The Mike Sammes Singers, Bob Monkhouse, Cilla Black, Dickie Valentine, Ray Fell, Erroll Garner (1967)

    THE LONDON PALLADIUM SHOW: with Jack Parnell and his Orchestra, The Palladium Dancers, The Mike Sammes Singers, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Dave Allen, Dickie Valentine, Will Gaines (1967)

    MAGGIE’S PLACE: with Clodagh Rodgers, Dickie Valentine, Denny Willis, Kevin Colson (1970)

    OH BOY!: with Tony Hall, Dickie Valentine, Marty Wilde, The Dallas Boys, Cherry Wainer, Neville Taylor and the Cutters, ‘Cuddly’ Dudley, Red Price, Tony Sheridan, Gerry Dorsey (1959)

    SHOWTIME: with David Nixon, Gloria De Haven, Dickie Valentine (1961)

    SIX-FIVE SPECIAL: with Chris Barber’s Jazz Band with Ottilie Patterson, Don Lang and his Frantic Five, Clive Lythgoe, Dickie Valentine (1957)

    SIX-FIVE SPECIAL: with Patti Lewis, Don Lang and his Frantic Five, The Jazz Couriers with Ronnie Scott & Tubby Hayes, Jim Dale, Spike Milligan, Dickie Valentine (1957)

    SUNDAY NIGHT AT BLACKPOOL–MEET THE STARS: with Dickie Valentine, Shirley Bassey (1957)

    SUNDAY NIGHT AT THE LONDON PALLADIUM (VAL PARNELL’S …..): with The London Palladium Girls, Bruce Forsyth, The London Palladium Orchestra, Dickie Valentine, Patachou (1955)

    THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS: with Benny Hill, Dickie Valentine, Jess Conrad (1961)

    THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS: with Brian Matthew, Dickie Valentine, Jet Harris & Tony Meehan, The King Brothers, Gene Vincent, Mike Cotton Jazzmen, Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, Grazina, Ted King (1963)

    THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS: with Brian Matthew, Adam Faith, Janice Nicholls, Doug Arthur (Guest Disc Jockey), The Roulettes, Dickie Valentine, Jackie Trent, Manfred Mann, Kris Jensen, Heinz (1964)

    THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS: with Brian Matthew, Shirley Bassey, The Searchers, Ayshea, Dickie Valentine (1965)

    Also, five of the 14 editions of 1967’s THE DICKIE VALENTINE SHOW are not known to exist.

  3. 3
    wichita lineman on 19 Mar 2009 #

    Also FAN FEVER, an ace ITV doc from ’56 which explores the strange phenomenon of screaming kids – and it is rather odd indeed that they were screaming at Cuddly Dickie, resemblance to Orson W notwithstanding.

    Finger Of Suspicion does sound at least 20 years out of date, something the young Bing Crosby would hardly have blanched at, but is a proper earworm, and highly whistleable. As far as I know, in spite of all his late TV appearances, he never dallied with ‘beat’ music of any kind.

    For details of his sad and grisly demise, see Christmas Alphabet post.

  4. 4
    Grace on 19 Apr 2009 #

    informative piece there, Thanks for this.its wonderfull to see someone with a like mind.

  5. 5
    terence murphy on 30 Dec 2009 #

    its great to hear that finger of suspicion is being made into a film,
    starring Glen Murphy,it is for sure Dickie Valentines song, with be the sound track,unless Chris Thompson gets the gig

  6. 6
    Eli on 20 Dec 2010 #

    No, wichita – he did make a couple of rock n roll records, which aren’t that bad really.

    I agree that his voice is pretty ordinary, all things considered – but he was adored in pre-rock Britain by armies of screaming girls. A very cosy number, this – remarkable that for a brief time he was still challenging Bill Haley’s records for popularity.

  7. 7
    wichita lineman on 20 Dec 2010 #

    I’m intrigued. Can you let me know the titles? Thanks.

  8. 8
    Eli on 21 Dec 2010 #

    Bob, you need to reply to my emails… ;)

    Titles that spring to mind: Dickie Valentine’s Rock n Roll Party (which he later regretted!) and his cover of A Teenager in Love. I haven’t heard any of his Beatles-era recordings and I’d be surprised if any of them were beat-orientated.

  9. 9
    Mutley on 21 Dec 2010 #

    Dickie Valentine’s Rock’n’Roll Party isn’t really rock’n’roll, but consists largely of standards like Mountain Greenery (hit for Mel Torme) and contemporary non-rock’n’roll numbers like Just Walking in the Rain (Johnny Ray), with barely a trace of an r’n’r beat. At that time quite a few non-r’n’r singers were jumping on the r’n’r bandwagon, but largely retaining their traditional sound, particularly those from a big band tradition. The example in these charts is Kay Starr’s Rock and Roll Waltz (no.1 March/April 1956). Interestingly, Dickie’s Rock’n’Roll Party was entitled Parts 1 and 2, about 15 years before Gary Glitter’s Rock and Roll Parts 1 and 2.

    I quite like Dickie’s Teenager in Love – would have loved to have heard his take on Runaround Sue.

  10. 10
    wichita lineman on 21 Dec 2010 #

    My favourite in this vein is Don Lusher’s Rock’n’Roll which, theoretically, is the first British R’n’r 45, but in reality swings less hard than most Ted Heath records.

  11. 11
    Mutley on 21 Dec 2010 #

    Although didn’t Don Lusher get it right next time round when he performed on the CCS hit version of Whole Lotta Love circa 1970?

  12. 12
    Eli on 21 Dec 2010 #

    Indeed, Mutley. It’s quite odd that the songs chosen for the medley weren’t RnR at all… and I too like his Teenager in Love, even if he was approaching 30 at the time.

    He also covered Putting on the Style, swing-style though.

  13. 13
    Mutley on 21 Dec 2010 #

    If we take a very broad definition of rock’n’roll, he also battled it out with Frankie Avalon in 1959 to get “Venus” to no.20

  14. 14
    Eli on 21 Dec 2010 #

    Shameless plug: to hear more 50s balladeers doing rock n roll (if your ears can stand it) check this out
    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Crooners-Rock/dp/B0049VGS4I

  15. 15
    Mutley on 22 Dec 2010 #

    Thanks for the tip, Eli – a fascinating collection that sums up the spirit of the times in the UK in the mid- to late 50s much better than any of the countless rock’n’roll classics compilations available now.

    It’s an interesting mixture of the sublime (Sarah Vaughan’s “Broken Hearted Melody”) and the ridiculous (Donald Peers’ “Start Movin’ (in my Direction)”) The latter is pure 50’s style teenage sexual yearning – hopefully, for the singer, the prequel to “Such a Night” – and is just right for the 16 year old Sal Mineo who had a hit with it in the US and UK (reaching no.16 in 1957 in the UK). Sal had added teen credibility, having already appeared in two films with James Dean. On the other hand, Donald Peers, a really big British star in his day, was nearly 50 years old when he recorded it. That said, Donald had a long and interesting life, including his childhood when he was brought up in the Plymouth Brethren. He got to no.3 in the UK charts as late as 1969 with “Please Don’t Go”.

  16. 16
    Eli on 22 Dec 2010 #

    Thanks Mutley – I compiled it! The Donald Peers track surprised me by being, actually – not that bad, if you forget it’s him. The Sal Mineo version is fantastic, though.

  17. 17
    Mutley on 22 Dec 2010 #

    Congratulations Eli. An original compilation.

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