10 Jan


It was with the fleeting sadness that is probably appropriate to the death of someone you never actually knew that I read of Ed “Stewpot” Stewart’s passing. But something has stayed with me all morning. Another part of my childhood has gone.
Before watching “Robinson Crusoe”, “White Horses” (does anyone remember anything other than the theme music?) and “The Banana Splits” on Saturday morning TV, there was Stewpot’s “Junior Choice” on the radio. He was inescapably the voice of the weekend along with those songs deemed suitable for a family audience: Max Bygraves’ “Pink Toothbrush”, Danny Kaye’s “Ugly Duckling” and “Inchworm”, “Nellie the Elephant” (I learnt to do CPR to that rhythm) and, my favourite, “Three Wheels on My Wagon”. Week after week pretty much guaranteed and all very Establishment.
But the times they were a-changing. The unstoppable advance of television brought the anarchic Tiswas to our living rooms. We no longer listened to the radio in the kitchen, mostly entertaining ourselves as Mum pottered about, we were separate, soaking up a culture our parents just didn’t get, a generation being primed for the arrival of Punk. Did Sid Vicious sing along to “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic”, I wonder? Now there’s a thought. He’d have been about 10.
In my memory it is an innocent time but, of course, it was anything but, as Operation Yewtree showed only too clearly. Perhaps naive is a better word. Were we the last generation who found it unremarkable to laugh and sing along as a man yelled “Get back in the wagon, woman”? Probably not.
The picture at the top shows Stewart with pictures of The Osmonds and David Cassidy, as well as Mark Bolan and David Bowie but I just don’t associate him with their music. OK, maybe “Puppy Love” but did he really play Ziggy Stardust? I suppose I can imagine him giving T-Rex’s “Ride a White Swan” airtime but “Solid Gold Easy Action”? Oh, no. The Junior Choice I remember was way less cool. Now that really is saying something.


2 Responses to “Stewpot”

  1. brummytezza January 10, 2016 at 1:19 pm #

    Yes always sad to see another contemporary shuffle off (gulp). My favourite stewpot plays was ‘Hello Muddah hello faddah’ by Allan Sherman – well worth looking up on YouTube. Also ‘My bruvva! By Terry Scott.
    Anyway on other matters – let’s hear about the boat!

    • lamputts January 10, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

      Yes! I’d forgotten those but really love both – remember my Dad singing them, too 😃

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