Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Terry, Lil' and The Power Game

Mum's christian name was Lilian, which is what Nan invariably called her. To my cousins, she was Aunty Lily and to practically everyone else, she was just plain Lily. Except Dad. To him alone, she was always Lil'. Terry and Lil' were married 59 years ago today. I wrote a little bit about their anniversary a couple of years ago (here) and had no intention of doing so again this year, until one of life's funny little moments tapped me on the shoulder at the weekend.

Unknown to me, for my 6th birthday Dad sent a request into Two-Way Family Favourites on the BBC Light Programme. The tune he asked them to play for me was 'The Theme from The Power Game' by the Cyril Stapleton Orchestra, which I was obsessed with at the time. Much to my surprise and delight, Michael Aspel read my name and address out on the radio and duly played the record. Dad was on hand to capture the moment with his trusty reel-to-reel and I played the resulting tape of the broadcast to death after the event. Surprisingly, given that later in life I spent 21 years behind the counter of a record shop, I never did pick up a copy of 'The Theme from The Power Game' on any format, but I do still have that reel-to-reel tape.

Last Sunday morning, as I browsed idly through a box of singles at a car-boot sale, there it was. 'The Theme from The Power Game' by the Cyril Stapleton a picture sleeve no less! I'd never actually ever seen a copy and I confess that I nearly had a bit of a 'moment' as I slid the record gently from the sleeve to discover that it was in pristine condition. The man on the stall was asking 20p, which I gladly handed over. Back at home, a couple of hours later, I blasted that big tune out at full volume, three or four times, one after another, reflecting on the lifetime that's passed since the afternoon in 1966, when Michael Aspel read out a little boy's birthday request on the radio.

As I gathered my thoughts, I began to wonder what might be on the b-side. The sleeve just mentions the title of the a-side and the only other Cyril Stapleton tune I know offhand is the theme from 'Department S', but that came a few years later. I lifted the single from the turntable, flipped it over, read the label and smiled. The b-side is entitled 'Lil'. Of course it is.

Here are both tunes.


C said...

What a lovely little piece of serendipity.

Erik Bartlam said...

Just sweet...that's all.

The picture is precious.

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful post. I need to add that the fact that at six years of age you were obsessed by Cyril Stapleton's 'Theme From The Power Game' completely knocks me out. 'Lil' is a cheeky little tune, too.

Old Pa's Corner said...

Brilliant story TS and I remember the programme well...celebrating my 40th next month....blood 'ell!

Alyson said...

What a lovely story - Glad Rol's post prompted you to re-share it.

Rol said...

Great story.

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