So finally after what has seemed like an eternity we have a British Wimbledon Champion!! Congratulations to Andy Murray and his team!! The Wombles can finally stand down as our most enduring Champions of Wimbledon since Fred Perry in the 1930s!!
The Record Press author has been following tennis since the early 1970s and some of my earliest childhood recollections were of my mother listening to Wimbledon on the transistor radio in the kitchen as she did her domestic chores or on the car radio, when she came to pick me up from school. My introduction to live tennis was seeing two legends and massive characters of the game, Jimmy Connors and Ilie Nastase, contest the final of the John Player Cup in Nottingham, the week before Wimbledon in 1976. Jimmy Connors had appeared in the two previous Wimbledon Finals and Ilie Nastase was to make it to the Wimbledon Final a couple of weeks later, where he was to lose to an up and coming star by the name of Bijorn Borg, as he began his run of five consecutive Wimbledon victories.
In the early 1970s, the British tennis star was Roger Taylor, who similar to Tim Henman, had agonisingly reached three Wimbledon Semi Finals, but just failed to make that step up to reach the Final. The last of Roger Taylor’s Wimbledon Semi Finals came in 1973, the year the Wombles arrived on our TV screens in the UK. From that point onwards until Tim Henman had his run of four Semi Finals and four Quarter Finals at Wimbledon between 1996 and 2004, the Wombles were our only credible British Champions of Wimbledon!!
Elizabeth Beresford’s furry vole like characters, who resided in burrows underneath Wimbledon Common, were transferred from book to TV screen in 1973. The Wombles were immediately embraced by the British nation, for their engaging personalities, endearing ways and visionary environmentally friendly litter picking message. The power of the Wombles brand was recognised at the end of 1973 when songwriter and music producer Mike Batt was approached to take them from stars of TV to music stars.
Mike Batt assembled a group of very talented session musicians in the studio and combined with his wonderful song writing and production values, created a series of hit singles and albums. The Wombles were the best selling UK music act of 1974, eclipsing Mud, Gary Glitter, Suzi Quatro and the Osmonds. The Wombles hits that followed were sophisticated arrangements that included strings, trumpets and saxophones. Their furry costumes on Top of the Pops did not detract in any way from their musical finesse; had they merely been a gimmick they would simply have had one or two novelty hit singles. As it was in 1974 they had three Top 5 hits and a string of successful singles and albums over the next two years. Mike Batt had written, arranged and produced some very well crafted pop songs – hence the longevity of their chart success!! Lest we forget the brilliance of Mike Batt, here is a Top 10 Best Wombles Songs
1) Wombling Merry Xmas ( No2 1974 )
2) Wombling Song ( No4 1974 )
3) Banana Rock ( No9 1974 )
4) Remember You’re A Womble ( No3 1974 )
5) Wombling White Tie & Tails ( No22 1975 )
6) Minuetto Allegretto ( No16 1974 )
7) Super Womble ( No20 1975 )
9) Madame Cholet ( No2 1974 )
10) Let’s Womble To The Party Tonight ( No34 1975 )
Which are your favourite Wombles songs and why? Let us know in the Reply Box below.
Celebrate your favourite Wombles song in your home or office, by ordering your favourite Wombles song in a vinyl or CD format; single, album or album cover; framed and mounted as a picture disc souvenir. You can also personalise it with an inscribed / engraved plaque……
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Framed vinyl records, framed CDs and framed DVDs with a personalised plaque, make unique presents or original gifts for a special celebration / special occasion ie a Wedding ( Wedding First Dance Song ), an Engagement Party ( Our Song ), a House Warming Party ( New Home ), a 21st, 30th, 40th, 50th, 60th Birthday ( How about the No1 song on the day of birth? ), a Silver, Ruby or Golden Wedding Anniversary, Father’s or Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day!! THE PERFECT PERSONALISED PRESENT!!