Bruce Channel “Hey! Baby”
This is the first of the Poetry JukeBox. The buttons were pressed by Bristol poet David C Johnson.
David has been a regular visitor to Tyneside over the years and will be returning in March 2019 as a guest poet at the Great Northern Slam. I have also some very happy memories of performing in Bristol as part of the Poetry Vandals. During the Bristol Poetry Festival we performed at the Polish Club and the evening was memorable not only for its lovely and appreciative audience but for the large quantities of ultra strong Polish beer we drank after the show.
“Hey! Baby” was released in 1962 by Bruce Channel (real name Bruce McMeans). It sold more than one million copies and was awarded a gold disc. Channel had a couple of other minor hits but his career never really took off and he is considered a one hit wonder.
Channel did tour Europe and was supported at one gig by the Beatles, (before they were famous). John Lennon, who had “Hey! Baby” on his jukebox, was fascinated by the harmonica segment in “Hey! Baby” and if you listen to “Love me Do” you can hear the influence.
The main appeal of “Hey! Baby” is probably the sustained first note, with a rhythmic pattern in the background. This device was used in 1962 for “Sherry” by the Four Seasons
Coincidentally Bruce’s birthday is the day after mine on 28th November.
A love song leads to a love poem and in this case a Geordie love poem.
A Geordie Love Poem
She’s a diamond, that lass of mine
There were days when she lost her shine
Still the light shone through the dirt and the grime
The difficult days and the uphill days
But we were always rooted in trust
And if you must, in the way we talked
About it all
Until the small hours
On summer’s nights and campsites
In bars and clubs and seedy pubs
Sulks and silence accomplish nothing
But words set us free to be
Who we are
She is better than me in so many ways
I learn to be better when she shows me the way
She is more important to me
© Jeff Price August 2018