I was born in Nottingham in 1967 and grew up on the Clifton housing estate (home to Jake Bugg) during the 1970s. I have very fond memories of a happy if somewhat unspectacular childhood. My parents were a respectable hard working couple who did their best to ensure that my younger brother and I were brought up the ‘right way’. Lee and I never went short of anything even though times were sometimes quite tough for them financially. We were always well fed and clothed, enjoyed some great family holidays (usually in a caravan or chalet at Skegness, Mablethorpe, Ingoldmells or Chapel St Leonards on the UK’s east coast) and Christmas was always a time to look forward to especially as my presents typically had a musical theme.
I have a lot to thank my parents for but not least that they gave me my love of music. They were always buying records, mostly 7″ singles and they already had a box full of vinyl when I came along which they had been collecting since the 1950s and 60s. I was fascinated by these colourful pieces of plastic from a very early age – possibly even more-so than my Matchbox toy cars which I cherished dearly and still keep stored safely in the attic (where else?!)
One of my earliest childhood memories is of receiving what was probably my very first record in around 1971 – a Walt Disney double A side with ‘Whistle While You Work’ on one side and ‘Heigh Ho’ on the other – both from the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. (I am pretty sure that this was also the first film my parents took me to see at the cinema). I was only 3 or 4 years old at the time but can just about pinpoint the year because a) I’ve just Googled when this version was released and b) we lived in a different house at the time (in Keyworth) and I can vaguely remember sitting on the carpet staring at it – and bursting into tears for some reason. I suspect these were tears of joy though and not because the dwarves scared me. I was Happy to have been given a record and definitely not Grumpy!
My fascination with records was matched only by my growing obsession with Top of the Pops – a staple of British TV viewing on Thursday nights since 1964 – and at a time when the programme was in it’s ‘heyday’ – the Glam era of the early 1970s. My earliest viewing of that show would have been on a black and white television set but when our first colour TV arrived in about 1972 – WOW! – Top of the Pops took on a whole new meaning for me then. The artists, the music, the glitter, the lights – it was all just too much to resist for a kid who had only just started at Primary School.
When mum and dad took us shopping on Friday nights to the UK’s first large supermarket – Gem (now Asda) in West Bridgford – my weekly treat would become a chart single rather than a toy or a Ladybird book. I couldn’t wait to get it home to play it on our Bush record player before bed time.
Here’s a few of my 7″ singles recovered from the attic along with some great footage from Top of the Pops and other shows from the era which stir up fantastic memories of my childhood in the early 70s. The writing on the records and sleeves was to prove who they belonged to if ever I took them to a birthday party or into my primary school ‘disco’ on Friday afternoons!
I have loads more records in the attic and will no doubt be adding to this post in the future. If you love a bit of music nostalgia please follow Music in the Attic on my social media channels so you don’t miss any updates!
Did you grow up listening to music and watching Top of the Pops in the 70s? Leave a comment below or join the discussion on the social media pages (links in header/footer).