19
May 05

THE OVERLANDERS – “Michelle”

Popular97 comments • 8,102 views

#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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Comments

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  1. 76
    kenmo52 on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Hi Paul, many thanks for your kind reply, it is indeed very helpful, it all seems such a long time ago now, 30 years or more, where does the time go to ?. I just remember being stunned by this lady’s stunning good looks, and her legs. I wonder what she is doing these days ?

    I hope you are well and still singing, you all brought so much pleasure into peoples lives in the old days. I feel very privileged to actually be talking with one of my musical icons from th 60’s.
    Kind regards Ken

  2. 77
    kenmo52 on 27 Jun 2013 #

    Hi Peter
    Many thanks for the info on Sandra, all very helpful on this site.
    Kind regards Ken

  3. 78
    David Kip Stewart on 11 Aug 2013 #

    Hi Paul , good to hear that your well and still earning a bob or two with your easy relaxed singing style. The Overlanders were a short and sweet experience for me , I´ll never forget that north east corner of England ( first time up there for me ) and Manchester ,Cardiff etc. I´ve been divorced many years now from Moggy ( Dick Roes ex secretary ) but have beautiful daughter Melody . Keep on playing it makes life sweet . Kip Stewart

  4. 79
    Waldo on 3 Sep 2013 #

    Solely because of Terry Widlake’s post at #5, where David Jacobs was mentioned, insisting that Max Bygraves was mistaken in electing “Michelle” a MISS, this seems as good a place as any to pay tribute to David on his passing. A pioneering groover of a popular music broadcaster to be sure. RIP.

  5. 80
    David Kip Stewart on 24 Oct 2013 #

    when did Rik Wilde join the Overlanders and are there any of the sixties Overlanders or “New Overlanders in the lineup at all ?

  6. 81
    mapman132 on 14 Feb 2014 #

    #16 We can now add Jyoti Mishra to the list.

    Back on topic for this record, the Beatles cover seems to be a minor subgenre in UK number ones. By contrast the only Beatles cover to hit #1 in the US was Elton John’s version of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” in 1975. (that is, unless you count whatever that Stars on 45 garbage was supposed to be)

  7. 82
    Erithian on 14 Feb 2014 #

    Mapman – others on the list since Marcello wrote that post include Martin Murray of the Honeycombs, Steve Ellis and Fergie Maynard of the Love Affair, Herbie Flowers, Doug Bush from Tommy Roe’s band, Stuart Edwards of Edison Lighthouse, Nic Culverwell the New Seekers manager, Laurel Masse of Manhattan Transfer, Brian and Michael, and Marco Pirroni of Adam and the Ants. More of this kind of thing always welcome!

  8. 83
    mapman132 on 14 Feb 2014 #

    Wow, haven’t made it to those entries yet!

  9. 84
    DanH on 15 Feb 2014 #

    Also the Doctor comments on the Doctor and the Medics thread

  10. 85
    Steve Coffey on 17 Mar 2014 #

    Hi. Can anyone tell me where the name The Overlanders came from (i.e. who chose it, and why)? Thanks.

  11. 86
    Dave Walsh on 25 Jun 2014 #

    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

  12. 87

    Hi Dave,

    Done as requested. It probably is simplest if people leave requests like this in comments — the admin email does not seem to be very effective.

    yr pal,
    sükråt of that ilk

  13. 88
    Terry Widlake on 16 Jul 2014 #

    Hey, Dave Walsh! What happened to you? I lost your address and phone#

  14. 89
    Tony.T on 17 Jul 2014 #

    Hi, does anyone know how I could get in contact with Peter Bartholomew, I’ve left a message on the email address he posted but as it’s only a temporary address I don’t hold out much hope.

  15. 90
    Dave Walsh on 31 Jul 2014 #

    Hi Administrators, just had a blast from the past and a note from Terry Widlake, Overlanders bass player…..post number 88 on 16th of July, can you forward him my email please ? I would love to be in contact.
    Gordon Bennett Widlake! Living in Spain now Terry……how the devil are you?

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 95
    Paul Arnold on 3 Apr 2015 #

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

  21. 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.

  22. 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?

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