Songs Of The Day 7/6/2016: Clive Dunn – “Granddad” + St. Winifred’s School Choir – “There’s No One Quite Like Grandma”

British Hits, American Misses II – The fact that both these British chart-toppers eluded American success shouldn't be too much of a surprise. After rock and roll hit the American shores it was all youth movement. Whereas the sentimentality that played a significant role in Britain's music-hall tradition, and which grows in proportion to the increase in one's general condition of being aged, was still very evident over there. You could still get away with being revered and respected as you got older in Europe, whereas in America you were doomed to disregard and obsolescence, or even worse re-elected as Senator from South Carolina for 48 years.

Clive Dunn was best known for his role in the English sitcom Dad's Army. Dunn played a 70-year-old character named Lance Corporal Jones, although the actor was only 48 when the series started. "Grandad" was an attempt to capitalize on Dunn's knack at playing septuagenarians, as he grasps at fraying memories of childhood while his multiple grandchildren reassure him that he's still good for a laugh. If you like that kind of thing it's rather affecting, in a final-talent-show-on-a-2-week-cruise kind of way. St. Winifred’s School Choir recorded "There's No One Quite Like Grandma" in honor of the Queen Mother in 1980. It went straight to the top of the charts and sold one million copies, "most of them Christmas presents from grandchildren" according to Wikipedia. Really, just go ahead and get me the commemorative mug, kids. (Apologies for presenting a video with Jimmy Savile appearing briefly in the beginning. We'll leave that there.)

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