May 05


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#209, 29th January 1966

In an ideal universe the Beatles would be hugely generous to people wanting to sample their songs and deeply harsh on people wanting to cover them. The Overlanders obviously felt that this featherweight tale of chatting up an exchange student would be improved by a dose of folky sincerity: it isn’t. The flimsy charms of the original – The Beatles’ very own “Wooden Heart”, praise be – are exchanged for a different, less knowing, kind of smarm. Those pained final “I love yous” seem imported from a different, weightier song and they sink like lead shot in candyfloss.



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  1. 91
    Paul Arnold on 30 Nov 2014 #

    Hi everybody out there; It`s been ages since I looked at these posts so some catching up to do. Thanks to this site I`ve been in contact with Peter Bartholomew and Dave Walsh. Would love to hear from Terry Widlake if anybody can put me in touch. Spent many loony hours in stitches listening to Spike Jones & His City Slickers with Terry. A great Bass player and I mean great. Kip Stewart, I guess that was one New Overlanders line where I lost my way. You`ll remember we looked more like Pinkertons Colours at that time. Hazy memories of playing the Trombone very badly while you sang Fanlight Fanny; mmmmh. Steve Coffey; you asked how the name The Overlanders name came about. This is the true version. We had made a typical pop single at the end of 62 which was shelved because some group called The Beatles emerged. We were told to go away and rethink our future. Dylan Peter Paul & Mary Seeger and their like were also making waves in the youth seen and we decided to go down a commercial folk/country/pop route. Having discussed dozens of names without agreement it was our manager Harry Hammond of NME photography fame who came up with the name. He was a fan of an Australian TV show at the time called Whiplash (I think) anyway there was always a stagecoach trundling across the outback called the Overland Stage Coach. He came up with the name The Overlanders. Always moving on/travelling, a folksy/ country type name. There you have it, that`s how the name came about. Have a great Christmas all of you out there and I`ll keep watching when I remember.

  2. 92
    Waldo on 30 Nov 2014 #

    Great to hear from you again, Paul. Brian Matthew played one of your records yesterday and also gave us the gen about the name. You too have a great Christmas and I hope you touch base with Terry soon.

  3. 93
    Steve Coffey on 22 Dec 2014 #

    To Paul Arnold (post 91), many thanks for your reply about the reason for the name ‘The Overlanders’. Merry Christmas from Italy.

  4. 94
    Paul Arnold on 3 Apr 2015 #

    It was with sadness that I read of the death of Jackie Trent last week. She was of course the ex wife of our recording manager Tony Hatch and as such one of the great song writing teams. When I left the Overlanders I was very fortunate to get a contract with Pie records to make a couple of singles. The first released in 1967 “Somewhere In A Rainbow” was written by Jackie Trent and a great song which perhaps would have a achieved greater acclaim if recorded by a successful solo artiste which I was not. With vocal coaching by Tony and Jackie it was probably the best I`d sung and I thank them both for the advice they gave me which has lasted a lifetime. Farewell to Jackie and thanks for allowing me a brief insight into your talent. You will be remembered with affection by many including myself.

  5. 95
    Paul Arnold on 3 Apr 2015 #

    My apologies for my typing error for you eagle eyed. It should of course be PYE Records

  6. 96
    Paul Arnold on 3 Jul 2015 #

    And so another great artist leaves us. I was sad to read of the death of Val Doonican. A wonderful entertainer and a very down to earth ordinary bloke. He had a smooth rich golden voice that brought pleasure and relaxation to millions. I still recall chatting to him in a BBC canteen before he found fame. He was the presenter of the BBC`s Easy Beat or was it Saturday club. He had all the time in the world for me and wanted to know about the The Overlanders. He was easy to talk to and though our paths never crossed again I remember him for the man he was; polite and genuinely interested, he was a thoroughly nice man.

  7. 97
    lonepilgrim on 31 Aug 2015 #

    I’ve seen the occasional post on this thread pop up on the front page from time to time but it has been quite heartwarming to read the whole thread from start to finish. It’s a reminder, to me at least, that as well as the broader impact these records have they are the fruit of individuals’ labour and of relationships that spread out to embrace a significant number of folk.
    As for the song itself, I’m not a fan of the original and actually prefer this, marginally.
    There has been a lot of stuff written of the inspiration drawn from US Rock, R & B and Soul by groups in the UK but has anything been written about the European styles adapted and used by British acts?

  8. 98
    Paul Arnold on 16 Sep 2017 #

    Its now two years since anybody posted anything on this site. Is there nobody left from that era? We`ve lost so many great artist from in the last two years. The latest sad losses and heroes of mine are Don Williams and Glen Campbell. Time marches on. Anybody have anything to comment on out there. Keep this site alive

  9. 99
    Kip Stewart on 25 Sep 2017 #

    For me the saddest loss was Glen Frey from the Eagles, I guess we´re all running out of birthdays Paul.

  10. 100
    Paul Arnold on 9 Nov 2017 #

    Hi Kip, Yeah the Eagles were also heroes of mine, multi tracked a few of their numbers when I was working solo. Packed up working about 18 months ago on doctor`s orders after I`d keeled over a couple of times. Still, been on a health kick this year and sorely tempted to come out of retirement for the fifth time, watch this space. Yes I guess we are running out of Birthdays. I`m now in my 75th year, that number didn`t exist when I was 21. It doesn`t really exist now, it`s just a number. Hope you are well and growing younger gracefully.

  11. 101
    Laurence Mason on 29 Dec 2017 #

    Hi to anyone that still looks at this! I am Laurie’s grandson and named after the legend. Unfortunately he died when I was 6 months old but through life so far, I have picked up many instruments and music is my greatest passion. It’s lovely to see he touched many people’s hearts and read the memories of him. It would great to get in contact with anyone who was part of the band or those that knew him. Please leave a message with a way to contact you.

  12. 102
    Laurence Mason on 29 Dec 2017 #

    It would be great to chat Paul!

  13. 103
    Paul Arnold on 1 Jan 2018 #

    Hey Laurence Mason the Third I was one of the original trio joining Peter and Laurie in 1962 before adding Dave Walsh Drums & Terry Widlake Bass in 1965. Your grandfather would roar with laughter to hear himself called a legend, probably go into his Bugs bunny or Woody Woodpecker routine. He never smoked and never drank. You had to be in the bar to see the response when he ordered a pint of milk. If you would like to get in touch with me my email address is (paulfriswell42@hotmail.co.uk) Happy New Year all out there.

  14. 104
    Kip Stewart on 26 Feb 2018 #

    Hi Paul , Its been a while since I was last on this site, hope your on the up now after your health issues.I got married again after many years in 2016 to my beautiful Kathy who loves her country music..I´m still occasionally gigging solo here and in Spain. I’ve made good friends with Paul Lockey ( ex ¨Bronco ¨and ¨Foundations ¨I’m now using a Godin guitar and Roland synthesiser to layer up the texture.resting my vocal chords by alternately interspersing instrumentals .Are you still in the Leicester area,I remember staying at your parents lovely house and would like to catch up sometime before its too late, take care Kip and Kathy Stewart

  15. 105
    Jenny West on 10 Mar 2018 #

    I remember Laurie well! The Overlander’s had just had the hit of Michelle. Laurie, who didn’t drink or smoke, hated the travelling … and left …wanted something else …he decided to sell encyclopedia’s! I also was burnt out as a social worker — and there we both were on the road selling these books…Laurie would sing in the car – where about 6 of us rode and were dumped off to sell these books – neither of us were really interested in the books. We would stop for lunch and girls would run up to Laurie asking for his autograph as it was only a couple of weeks previously he had been on The Royal Performance. Let me say, the issue was, he hated travelling, he had no money – even though everyone thought he must be a millionaire because he had a number 1 hit! It didn’t work like that – the agents took the money. Laurie was not interested in the money and fame – he loved music and wanted to go back to his roots. I remember him telling me once he would prefer to sing in the East End of London. I then went to Australia and remember catching up with one of the members of the band in Sydney who was playing with Roy Obison at The Sydney Opera House — (cant remembe who that was now, but at the time he gave me his card)…. As Laurie sang a lot later….”Those were the days”…. Jennifer Barnett (in case anyone remembers me) now Jenny West living in Australia!

  16. 106
    Paul Friswell on 20 Dec 2018 #

    stork-boy What the hell`s that all about? Your damn right I was there; right in the middle. I do occasionally look at this web site from time to time but it seems to me it`s past it`s sell by date now. I did mange to contact two of the original band mates through this site but there is very little activity here now. To all past users of this site I would just like to say have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

    ps I`ll kook from time to time just in case somebody pops up from the .

  17. 107
    Tony Barreto on 1 May 2019 #

    Uh nope not number one…was born bit before that.

    Alan if you’re still on here and want to know what happened to “Maggie” ie Marjorie to me, she is well and living again in England.
    She came for a visit to Florida to visit h her sister and Laurie. I met her, I married her, and the rest as they say is history.
    I’m also a drummer/songwriter but American one who came out of the New Orleans crowd. Starting playing with Mac aka Dr. John when I was a wee thing.
    Shelagh came to stay at our house also in Florida right after Laurie had his heart attack. About 6 years after Marjorie came to Florida for a very prolonged visit. We’ve been married for hmmm 25 yrs now.
    Nice to see everyone communicate.
    Did want to let you know about the Maggie girl.

  18. 108
    Paul Arnold on 12 Sep 2019 #

    To all those out there who have shown an interest in The Overlanders over the years I can let you know that after fifty three years the remaining four original Overlanders met up. Myself Paul Arnold Peter Bartholomew Terry Widlake and Dave Walsh. It was an absolutely fabulous day and it would never have happened if it hadn`t been for this web site. It`s never to late to experience a feel good factor.

  19. 109
    Gareth Parker on 8 Jun 2021 #

    Not a favourite song of mine, but I think the Overlanders do a decent job here. A generous 6/10 for me.

  20. 110
    Ken Morris on 4 Jul 2021 #

    Congrats to all the remaining members who finally met up in 2019, I hope you are all enjoying life and staying safe. Ken Morris

  21. 111
    hoferj on 16 Oct 2021 #

    Lance was a client many years ago (very nice man by the way) and I suddenly thought of him again when I bumped into someone with an identical voice! Next thing I know is I am playing Michelle to my wife via Youtube. Gosh what a lovely song it is too. The Beatles version was always too thin for me. It’s great that the band members can meet up again. Next quest is to seek out other Overlanders’ songs and, of course, say hello to Lance.. PS check out Herb Alpert’s version of Michelle – it’s also pretty good. It’s got swing !

  22. 112
    Lizzy Kelly on 21 Dec 2021 #

    Hello ADMIN person(s),
    I’ve sent several emails to you as I have been trying to contact Liz Kelly (post #67 Dec 2012) since then and no response. If you get this, can you pass my email on to her please,
    Many Thanks
    Dave Walsh

    Hi I’m liz Kelly. I just saw this by chance and saw Dave Walsh had mentioned me. I’ve got an old photograph of Dave and Prof (Peter) somewhere I’m sure. I wonder how Terry is as well. I don’t expect to hear from anyone but thought I’d add my bit though. Thanks x

  23. 113
    Lizzy Kelly on 21 Dec 2021 #

    Hi I’m liz Kelly. I just saw this by chance and saw Dave Walsh had mentioned me. I’ve got an old photograph of Dave and Prof (Peter) somewhere I’m sure. I wonder how Terry is as well. I don’t expect to hear from anyone but thought I’d add my bit though. Thanks x

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