4
Jan 05

THE FOUR PENNIES – “Juliet”

Popular40 comments • 8,171 views

#169, 23rd May 1964

Genteel, repetitive ballad whose soft, trained vocals and precise lyrics (“reminiscent of you”) initially seem to drape the record in a smothering courtliness. Repeated listens make “Juliet” seem no less quaint, but its charm starts to show through the gauze. Eventually I’ve come to find it soothing, like a lullaby. You could draw a crooked path from this to Mick Jagger’s mock-chivalric oddities, but the Four Pennies let no humour or threat into their world.

6

Comments

  1. 1
    Anonymous on 23 Mar 2006 #

    Hi,
    I seem to remember that Lionel Morton, lead singer with the four pennies was married to Julia Foster who is Ben Fogle’s mother. Is this correct?

  2. 2
    bramble on 7 Sep 2006 #

    Yes, Lionel Morton was married at the time to Julia Foster, then riding high with Half a Sixpence.I think they were divorced by the time Ben Fogle came along.

  3. 3
    Azanti on 15 Mar 2007 #

    Lionel was indeed married to Julia, he had one child with her, Emily. Julia went on to marry Bruce Fogel and then had son Ben with him. He (Lionel) had two other children, both sons from previous relationships and then would have another six children from two other marriages, the last four being with his current wife.

  4. 4
    Alistair(allyboi)Wilshaw. on 22 May 2008 #

    Can you contact me a.s.a.p. as i have tried to get Sue”s adress for Mike iam his Nephew contact me @allyboi62@hotmail.co.uk

  5. 5
    Alistair on 25 Jul 2008 #

    Please contact me as i would be most greatfull for the contact as i cant locate Sue or anyone else and i would like to see you all again as it has been a while and the family are always asking after all of you….. i look forward to hearing from you soon Chreers Allyboi.x

  6. 6
    wichita lineman on 25 Jul 2008 #

    This and Don’t Throw Your Love Away make for two of the least remembered number ones of the mid-sixties. Never quite got Juliet, which – like Maggie May – proudly boasts a ‘B’ on its label (can’t remember the original A-side off the top of my head). It’s one of the hits – like Where Are You Now a year on – that makes me think THIS is what the sixties felt like for most people, and not All You Need Is Love. It gives the impression of having a work ethic. Julia Foster must have been impressed anyway, which impresses me.

  7. 7
    rosie on 28 Jul 2008 #

    wichita @ 6: which all goes to show that one person’s ‘least remembered’ is another’s milestone. Or maybe millstone, I’m not sure, but I loved this at the time and like it a lot even now.

  8. 8
    DJ Punctum on 28 Jul 2008 #

    If oldies radio is anything to go by, I would have thought that both songs were pretty well remembered.

  9. 9
    wichita lineman on 28 Jul 2008 #

    Didn’t think I was being controversial there – Sweets and Needles have had more spins than Don’t Throw over the years, and I’m fairly sure would register with 45-and-unders a little more readily. But it’s all relative – number ones are never obscure by definition (with the strange, solitary exception of Baby Jump). I don’t think I’ve ever heard Juliet outside of Sounds Of The Sixties. Oh, I was born the year it came out.

    Out of interest, DJP and Rosie, what would you say were the least remembered no.1s of the sixties?

  10. 10
    rosie on 28 Jul 2008 #

    I think of Jackie Trent’s offering as perhaps the most obscure.

    I’m not trying to be controversial, just pointing out that, actually, my sister and I between us bought both this and DTYLA, so they weren’t obscure to me!

  11. 11
    wichita lineman on 28 Jul 2008 #

    Jackie T was played on SOTS last week, funnily enough! But, yes, I remember a friend having an Arcade comp called 20 Number Ones Of The Sixties or somesuch – and Jackie’s cut was entirely new to us.

    On The Rebound, maybe?

    Spoiler Bunny forbids me from suggesting the least remembered 70s number one….

  12. 12
    rosie on 28 Jul 2008 #

    On The Rebound was a theme tune for something on Radio 1 in the late 60s. Was it Savile’s Travels? I’m sure somebody must know. Anyway, I didn’t think I remembered it when I first encountered it in Popular but when I obtained an mp3 to listen to it was very familiar in a brings-back-Sunday-afternoons kind of way. I’m pretty sure it came between Jimmy Savile and John Peel.

    (Actually, now that I have had a look, everything currently waiting in the warren for the 70s I remember quite clearly. If I’d had to name the least memorable 70s single it might well be Float On which has already slipped out of Bunny’s paws.

  13. 13
    DJ Punctum on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Now you’ve got me thinking. I’m not sure whether it was used on Savile’s Travels; it might have been used for Speakeasy, which was the other show Savile had on Sunday afternoons on R1 for a time. Google’s unhelpful on this front but I’m absolutely certain that R1 did use it for something.

    (My favourite one was the version of “Soul Serenade” they used as the theme for the Mike Raven show if anyone other than me – Rosie? Waldo? – remembers him…ultra-hip soul and R&B jock who pursued a bizarre parallel career as a Hammer horror actor…)

    Least remembered number ones of the sixties? Not too many candidates, but most of them would come from the pre-Beatles era; “I Love You,” “Surrender” and “Temptation” in particular spring to mind (and I’d guess not too many folk recall “You’re Driving Me Crazy” these days either).

    As for the seventies, I really don’t think we can top “Baby Jump”; the remaining seventies chart toppers will I suspect be very familiar to most, with just two possible and partial exceptions…

  14. 14
    DJ Punctum on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Then again, “I Remember You” aside, one could argue that the Frank Ifield quattrain of number ones also counts, which I think is a pity…

  15. 15
    rosie on 29 Jul 2008 #

    But there again, my Dad liked Frank Ifield and bought at least three of the quattrain so they were familiar in our house.

    The paradox is, somebody must have been buying even the most obscure number ones for them to be number ones, so they’ll be familiar to somebody.

    The name Mike Raven rings bells but I can’t hear anything in my head. If I find an mp3 of Soul Serenade it may jog a memory.

  16. 16
    DJ Punctum on 29 Jul 2008 #

    The tendency seemed to be automatic number ones for big name acts but they haven’t gone on to become “classics” in the oldies radio sense of the term; I occasionally hear “Temptation” but that’s about it.

    Again this highlights the randomness of time, popularity and circumstance which defines chart performance; plenty of Billy Fury’s hits remain fondly remembered and played but statistically his biggest hit (“Jezebel”) is probably the one least remembered these days.

  17. 17
    Mark G on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Well, the song is well known/remembered, but Billy Fury’s version probably not.

    A bit like Little Richard’s biggest hit being his version of “Baby Face”

  18. 18
    DJ Punctum on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Speaking of which, whatever did happen to the Wing and a Prayer Fife and Drum Corps?

  19. 19
    Mark G on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Oh yeah, they were very “Kid Creole” style, but nothing came afterwards.

    Seems like it was a one-off for http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harold_Wheeler

  20. 20
    mike on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Count me in as another one who remembers “On The Rebound” as a Radio One signature tune. This must have been early 1970s, as I didn’t own a radio until 1971. I’ve also got vague memories of it being used on one of the Savile shows, but no idea as to which.

    (Incidentally, Savile’s Speakeasy was responsible for introducing me to the terms “gay” and “straight”, circa 1972. Quite bold for its time, really.)

    As regards the Four Pennies, I’m one of the generation that had Lionel Morton as one of their regular Play School presenters. Sporting the longest hair of any of the male presenters, he struck me as being “the trendy one” – and I thought it was ever-so-ever-so cool that he was a former pop star to boot…

  21. 21
    DJ Punctum on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Although I guess the coolest Play School presenter, in retrospect, must have been young Judi Dench…

  22. 22
    mike on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Or what about folk-rock godmother Toni Arthur, who was very much one of the “faces” on the London hippy scene (or so I was told by a fellow survivor)…

  23. 23
    DJ Punctum on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Oh yeah, she graduated to Play Away, didn’t she? I was very fond of her when I were a lad…she’s also been on the folk scene for donkey’s years and still turns up on the Mike Harding Show etc. from time to time.

  24. 24
    Mark G on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Lionel Morton used to pop up a lot on the Sooty and Sweep show. I think he was a mate of Matthew’s.

  25. 25
    DJ Punctum on 29 Jul 2008 #

    So did Gerry Marsden and Peter Butterworth. It was all very strange.

  26. 26
    rosie on 29 Jul 2008 #

    There was a childrens TV series called If You Were Me, which followed the fortunes of kids who went on exchanges. A kind of precursor to Wife Swap, if you will. It had a very catchy theme song with the same title sung by Lionel Morton.

    Anybody else remember it? Or am I hallucinating in my old age?

  27. 27
    DJ Punctum on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Even I can’t remember that one, I’m afraid.

  28. 28
    Mark G on 29 Jul 2008 #

    Dimly…

    “If You Were Me, (if you were me)
    and if I were you (if I were you)….”

  29. 29
    wichita lineman on 1 Aug 2008 #

    Re 22. Yes, Toni Arthur is a gen-u-ine witch, too. Hearken The Witches Rune, with (ex) husband Dave Arthur is a properly eerie album. I went to school with their son Jonathan who was a nasty piece of work, a psychological bully. Not that it affected me so much I still remember 30-odd years later… He also had an enviable David Cassidy mane, the bastard!

    Talking of Play School presenters Julie Stevens also made a couple of very nice singles in a similar posh-pop vein to Julie Covington’s The Beautiful Changes.

  30. 30
    wichita lineman on 1 Aug 2008 #

    Re 16 Billy Fury’s highest chart position was with the ok Jealousy in 1961; Jezebel was a Marty Wilde hit from the following year, arguably his best, a raucous update of one of Frankie Laine’s best singles (1951, so pre-chart).

  31. 31
    DJ Punctum on 1 Aug 2008 #

    “Jealousy,” of course…I really am in the grip of incipient Alzheimer’s… :-(

  32. 32
    Billy Smart on 16 Dec 2009 #

    TOTPWatch: The Four Pennies performed Juliet on Top Of The Pops five times. None of the shows survive;

    8 April 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Millie, Peter & Gordon and The Swinging Blue Jeans. Pete Murray was the host.

    22 April 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Millie, Peter & Gordon, The Mojos and The Searchers. Jimmy Saville was the host.

    6 May 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Billy Fury, Millie, The Fourmost and The Merseybeats. David Jacobs was the host.

    13 May 1964. Also in the studio that week were; Cilla Black, Freddie & The Dreamers, Millie and The Fourmost.

    27 May 1964. also in the studio that week were; Billy Fury, Freddie & The Dreamers and The Hollies. Alan Freeman was the host.

  33. 34
    gregorysgal on 27 Jan 2012 #

    in work this week i met the original drummer of the four pennies , he used the stage name of ray davies until kinks ray davies made him use his own , nice man , northern acccent stands out in wales

  34. 35
    Paulito on 28 Jan 2012 #

    On the topic of the most forgotten no. 1s of the 60s: what about “Good Timin'”? Just played it on Youtube and I’m quite sure I’ve never heard it before – unlike “On The Rebound”, one of those tunes I always knew without knowing that I knew it (as Donald Rumsfeld would describe it, an “unknown known”) until its memorable use in ‘An Education’, which prompted me to find out what it was. I wouldn’t describe “Don’t Throw Your Love Away” or “Surrender” as forgotten either; I’ve heard them innumerable times on the radio.

    Other candidates for the award of least remembered 60s chart-topper must surely include “Starry Eyed”, “Do You Mind”, “Diane”, “Get Away” and the covers of “Michelle” and “Ob La Di”.

  35. 36
    Paulito on 28 Jan 2012 #

    As for “Juliet”: it belongs to the same sombre, close harmony folk-pop vein as the Seekers and, like them, sounds very antiquated these days yet retains a certain old-world appeal.

    Considerably more interesting than “Juliet” is the Pennies’ take on Leadbelly’s “Where Did You Sleep Last Night” (aka “Black Girl”) – a top 20 hit for them in the same year, and a fairly courageous effort given the song’s dark subject matter and the fact that they were decidedly not a blues band. It starts off similarly solemnly and in a rather awkward, staccato fashion, but develops into a pretty intense, full-blooded workout – these guys mean it, man! Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EEDHl9L2BWY

  36. 37
    mick dias on 4 Nov 2012 #

    yes- lionel morton did sing the theme tune to the children’s bbc1 tv show ‘if you were me’- been trying to find the theme or anything to do with this programme for longer than i can remember- but from what i CAN remember, these are some of the lyrics:

    ‘if you were me, see the things i see, do the things i do if i were you
    if you were me, what would you be, if i were you, what would i do’
    followed by a piece played possibly on a kazoo or something like it
    please, could someone somewhere upload this theme or clip onto you tube??!!

  37. 38
    Patrick Mexico on 24 May 2014 #

    A Blackburn number one!!! Only found that out five minutes ago.

    I guess we’ll have to wait till 2010 for the next one from the town where I wasn’t born so much as I fell out, and nobody seemed to notice me.

    Unless I criminally overlooked Blancmange, The Stiffs, The Burn, or :ahem: Selfish Cunt as in “My [frontman Martin Tomlinson’s] dad’s appalled by the name, he refuses to say it.” What a motley crew (for once, even by my low moral standards, no pun intended.)

  38. 39
    lonepilgrim on 18 Mar 2015 #

    this is not a song that I remember from the time or that I can recall from nostalgia type programmes. It does have a strange otherworldly quality about it that for some reason puts me in mind of some of Richard Manuel’s songs from ‘Music from Big Pink’.

  39. 40
    Jonathan Bignell on 4 Mar 2016 #

    Details of the BBC TV show “If You Were Me” here: http://cstonline.tv/if-you-were-me

Add your comment

(Register to guarantee your comments don't get marked as spam.)


If this was number 1 when you were born paste [stork-boy] or [stork-girl] into the start of your comment :)

Required

Required (Your email address will not be published)

Top of page