Sunday, March 19, 2006


You didn't know John Lennon's father recorded a single?
I hope so. I wouldn't want to be alone. I only found out through reading Cynthia Lennon's second bio of John. She didn't pull any punches about Alfred "Freddie" Lennon being a disappointment to John. I just wondered how much of a disappointment he was to the music world.
As you'll hear, the bloke wasn't half bad. Or he was only half bad. John inherited some of his famous nasal voice from "Freddie," that's for sure. On the A-side, co-written by Freddie, he offers an autobiographical apology for his love of sailing (which made him an absentee father and husband).
Who'd be buying this? Well, if you check what else was on the charts when The Beatles were first getting was Louis Armstrong doing "Hello Dolly" and Andy Williams, Peggy Lee, Patti Page etc. And only a few years earlier Walter Brennan was offering talk-novelties with middle-aged background singers.
In Great Britain, even the grand Goon Spike Milligan offered up sentimentality on a 45 rpm from time to time. "Freddie" shares Spike's sentimentality and weak romantic tenor (Milligan sang much stronger on the novelty Goon numbers John Lennon loved so much and was so influenced by). No use belaboring this any further. Here, Fred Lennon gets his 3 minutes of fame, and toward the end, actually sings and hits a few notes.
Alfred "Freddie" Lennon, the sailor come home from the sea. To cash in on his son.

That's My Life... FREDDIE LENNON
b-side, The Next Time You Feel Important


The Baz said...

This is teethgrindingly comical! No wonder John was horrified when he heard this and looked upon his Dad as a complete embarassment - this proves it! The fake sincerity had me gagging with laughter!

Nice One!

Saw yer link on Lost and Found and have added it to my own blog.
Best Wishes for the future!

Anonymous said...

I would love to hear it!!

dean said...

This record was on Pye Records, correct?

Norwegian said...

I have the recording on tape. I recorded it from Swedish radio back in the 60s

Sheri said...

You can hear the song on Rhapsody. You can even by a download. It's on an album of the times, titled."The Piccadilly Story". There are many songs from a wide selection of artists of that era; some of whom actually went on to become financially successful artists.

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Anonymous said...

Does anyone else find the opening chords eerily reminiscent of "Imagine"? As a matter of fact if you listen to them back to back you'll find they're in the same key (though "Imagine" adds a 9th to the opening C chord) and they're almost the same same tempo, "Imagine" being a bit slower. The similarity ends after the first few seconds but it is pretty strange. What year was Freddie's song released?
And I couldn't agree more with sexy.

Anonymous said...

Me again. Well, it turns out it was released in 1965 which means John may have just turned around and cashed in on his father cashing in. Of course that can't be proved but I think it's likely that John heard this recording at least once. Maybe it stuck in his head and came out 6 years later as "Imagine"? Stranger things have happened. Discuss.

mif the mad said...

umm... interesting I guess