Oct 03

JIMMY YOUNG – “Unchained Melody”

Popular36 comments • 3,675 views

#34, 24th June 1955

Some pub debate as to whether Jimmy was the only BBC Radio DJ to hit the top of the charts (“The Floral Dance”, heavens be thanked, did not.). It makes for a curious listen because this is a song that everyone knows, and we know it with a completely different arrangement and approach to this recording, which is porridgey at best. Jimmy Young’s singing on this is horribly British, all studious strain and variety show bellow: his “lonely rivers flow'” is particularly stiff-backed and embarrassing.* The arrangement meanwhile is just odd: a patchwork of acoustic guitar, Spanish guitar, and big whomps of strings which never really fits together.

*At the end he audibly sings “God speed your lub”, though, which makes up for a lot.



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  1. 26
    Paulito on 23 Sep 2011 #

    @12 I see your prediction was spot on!

  2. 27
    MarkG on 23 Sep 2011 #

    So, how many of those box sets exist?

  3. 28
    punctum on 23 Sep 2011 #

    A quick glance at Amazon reveals that the 1952 and 1953 sets appear to be currently out of print, and everything from 1954 onwards is still available at varying prices. Only box sets for ’60 and ’61 (two 6CD jobs apiece), multiple-CD sets beforehand, increasingly in separate volumes covering half or quarter of the year in question.

    The ideal solution would be for a job lot suddenly to appear in The Charity Shop at £2.99 each but you never see them.

    On Vol. 1 of the ’56 edition “Chain Gang” is sandwiched between Dick Hyman’s version of “Theme From Threepenny Opera” and “The Trouble With Harry” by Alfi and Harry.

  4. 29
    Mutley on 23 Sep 2011 #

    I take it that Elvis’ RCA Victor recordings weren’t included in the box sets? e.g. According to the Amazon listing 1956 includes Hound Dog but not Heartbreak Hotel – apart from the Stan Freberg version. I note that Stan is still with us, but presumably not covering bunny-embargoed current material.

  5. 30
    MarkG on 23 Sep 2011 #

    When RCA made their 10″ re-release box of Elvis’ number ones, I did see that HMV records also issued a 10″ of “My Baby Left Me”, presumably because the copyright of the performance was now in the public domain.

  6. 31
    punctum on 23 Sep 2011 #

    “Heartbreak Hotel” is on there; disc 3, track 15.

  7. 32
    Jenkins Wood on 14 Oct 2015 #

    I think the above critique of Jimmy Youngs Uncahined Melody is a bit silly
    when you think back to the time it was recorded
    It was a big hit and has been a Big Hit for many others in recent years Young sings it well and that why he sold records Since that time musicians have got better and producers have the advantage of whats gone on over the years at that time of Youngs number one ,The Guitar was a background instrument, it had not become a lead instrument in those days Every thing works for the knowledge and technical no how of the period Vinyl is still far superior than digital in actual recording natural sound but I appreciate 78 recordings were on a form of shellac not diss similar to Vinyl

  8. 33
    enitharmon on 7 Nov 2016 #

    And orf we jolly well go, says Jimmy.

  9. 34
    Jimmy the Swede on 10 Nov 2016 #

    Yes, it’s TTFN for Jimmy, surely one of the most pleasant people ever to go into broadcasting. Not a bad word to say about anyone. RIP.

    Also, a bit of a shame to hear of the passing of the Old Woman from Steve Wright in the Afternoon. A typically quirky Wrighty sidekick. RIP.

  10. 35
    Ed on 11 Nov 2016 #

    I had the pleasure of working with JY a few times back in the dim distant, and I can confirm what a delightful guy he was IRL, as well as on air.

    He was the grand old man, and I was one of a succession of gormless youths passing through his studio, but he was invariably charming and engaged, and always sympathetic to my many cock-ups.

    He was also razor sharp on current events. He wore his intelligence lightly, but he was probably the most perceptive and thoughtful radio or TV presenter I have ever met.


  11. 36
    Lazarus on 11 Nov 2016 #

    #34 – that’s a shocker for me. Just seen the message on Facebook. RIP Joyce.

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