6/5/17 – The Idle Race – Happy Birthday/The Birthday Party – 1968

Song Of The Day

Jeff Lynne had caught the tail end of Birmingham’s The Nightriders, formed in 1959 and with line up changes galore, a new vision with Lynne at the creative helm made them decide to change their name to The Idle Race in 1966. Despite glowing reviews and memorable songs The Birthday Party (1968) failed to ignite the public’s imagination.

Another self-titled album followed (1969) but despite its qualities it was also a commercial failure. A third album Time Is (1971) was made as Lynne left to join The Move at the invitation of Roy Wood, eventually morphing into ELO and finding massive commercial success.

The Idle Race did finally gain success in Argentina in 1970 with a cover of Ray Dorset and Mungo Jerry’s In The Summertime (En El Verano) backed with Told You Twice (Te Lo Dije Los Veces). It’s not clear if this incarnation included Jeff Lynne or not as it didn’t appear on any of the albums although it’s definitely not Jeff Lynne singing on either side. Unbelievably I found the single in Buenos Aires in February. The last incarnation of The Idle Race changed their name again in 1971 and became Steve Gibbons Band.

If you are a fan of The Beatles or The Move or all those wonderful melodic experiments that were part of the music revolution at the end of the sixties that spawned an almost infinite list of fantastic English bands then check out The Idle Race because they were one that inexplicably got away.

Last but not least Happy Birthday To You is finally out of copyright and in the public domain:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Birthday_to_You

She had a birthday yesterday she cried
Took off her glasses let her hair down cried
She told them all at work about the day
How it is no-one came?
Wo-oh woh, oh woh-oh

She sent the invitations to her friends
They were too busy doing other things
She told them all at work about the day
How it is no-one came?

Wo-oh woh, oh woh-oh

She took the decorations from the wall
Was it the ladder loose that made her fall?
She told them all at work about the day
How it is no-one came?
Wo-oh woh, oh woh-oh

She had a birthday yesterday she cried

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Idle_Race

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Move

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electric_Light_Orchestra

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeff_Lynne

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Gibbons_(musician)

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