Monday, December 12, 2005

A King's Ransome?

Back in 1951 a bunch of teenagers from Baltimore got a contract with King records and recorded four ballads. Today they are one of the best loved of all Vocal Groups. Their name? The Swallows They recorded 11 singles for King over two years that are now worth a small fortune (each). Eddie Rich has one of the sweetest voices, and they could cut it with heartbreaking ballads or contagious dance numbers, and they were popular but ... they were in a car accident which can shake anyone up, so maybe that had an effect because they split in 1953. The Swallows link above is a different site, now, which has more detail, and makes sense of what happened more clearly.

On another tack ... I have been reading the Swallows and Amazons books by Arthur Ransome, and was googling for details on the boats that they sailed, wondering how practical a dream it was to take my kids sailing. I found this excellent page by Stuart Wier which details the what, how and why of getting started in such a vessel.

This lead to Nancy Blackett Trust who had the intriguing story of Arthur Ransome, Spy or Double Agent?

The image of him smoking his pipe whilst crossing the No Man's Land between the Red Army and The Estonian Army to go and Convince Lenin to let him smuggle Lenin's Personal Secretary to England, heartland of Capitalist Society (not to mention a whole bunch of cousin's of the recently deposed Tsar). Well, he did have a way with words. Did i mention Arthur and Yvegna (the PA to Lenin), were waylaid by the enemy cavalry on the way back, but got away after a quick game of chess.

The thing that comes across in his books is the little people (kids) following dreams, adventuring, all in it together, persevering, and creating whatever they needed, sometimes in spite of the world around them (adults) but often with their help and respect. And, my son said tonight, as we finished "We didn't mean to go to sea", "something good always happens at the end".
Amen to that.

Oh! Here we are! To celebrate, from that first 1951 session,

The Swallows - Will You Be Mine MP3
The Swallows - Since You've Been Away MP3

Find them and more at Amazon

PS be very careful while googling for either Swallows, or Amazons.


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