Memories are Made of This – Songs of the 1950s & 1960s
by Robert Barber
Thursday 27th February 2014
Fond memories of the popular music of the 1950s and 60s were revived when, Kidderminster based, multi-instrumentalist Robert Barber entertained the Historical Society at their February meeting. The Friends’ Meeting House, Cowl Street, Evesham echoed to the strains of Dean Martin’s “Memories are made of This” and “When Whippoorwills Call”, and George Formby’s “That’s My Baby”, “Bill Bailey”, and “Pack Up Your Troubles” with many others.
Robert described himself as a one-man band, but the bass drum strapped to the back and operated by a piece of string, had been replaced by more modern technology. Using his guitar, ukulele and banjo he continued with such familiar songs as Frankie Lane’s “I Believe”, “Your Cheating Heart”, and “Ghost Riders in the Sky”, Lonnie Donegan’s skiffle music with “The Rock Island Line”, and the Everly Brothers “Crying in the Rain”. He appropriately brought the evening to a close with Elvis Presley’s “The Carnival is Over”. The lyrics of the songs were displayed and “If I Were a Carpenter” introduced everyone to a new word in the English language “only-ness”!
Robert had started as a semi-professional musician in the 1960s playing in groups called Birds Nest, Scorpions and Reflections at many local gigs. Later he became an agent for Pearl Insurance at their Evesham Office. He is proud of a family connection with, the hard working Almonry founder member, Tom Baylis, author of the articles edited together for the VEHS book on Evesham Inns & Signs.
Updates & Other News
Chairman John Kyte welcomed the packed audience and especially those guests who had come along. Close co-operation with the Church Conservation Trust was continuing with a view to arranging displays and other activity in St Lawrence Church. A party had also recently visited the Worcester County Council, Hive, to see the Archaeology Department work and to discuss possible joint archaeological activities. Several members had shown they wish to get involved in the Society’s work and they would be contacted shortly. There is always room for more people, so do come along and help.
Secretary, Rachel Knowles, circulated a list of possible summer outings to gauge what members might prefer. The result will be announced at the next meeting. She was also arranging a World War I display for the Riverside Shopping Centre and would welcome reminiscences or any other local connection people may have with that tumultuous conflict and which can help to show the local impact.
A “Tudor Evening” will be held at the Almonry Heritage Centre on Saturday 10th May between 6.30pm and 8.30pm in aid of the Great Big Almonry Fund Raising Project. There will be period music from the group Music Anon, Tudor food and Tudor maids. Ticket at £5 may be purchased from the Almonry.
Members were also invited to support the Evesham Civic Society, on Tuesday 18th March, at the Ecgwin’s Club at 7.30pm, when that well-known historical speaker, Gillian White, will be talking about the “Great Fire of Warwick”.
Society working evenings are held on Thursdays at the Almonry at 7.30 pm. All members or non-members interested in the history of Evesham and the Vale, or in the well-being and future of our Museum, will be most welcome.