Yetties of Yesteryear (1970-1986)
We made some 20 odd LPs over the years with different companies and we thought that some of the tracks from these, which we haven't re'recorded for various reasons, would make an excellent celebration 40th anniversary CD. So yer tis then, 21 very varied tracks from The Yetties of Yesteryear.
Keep a Runnin' (1970) I've never quite understood why the title for this album but it was the first one for the ARGO label, we'd just signed the contract and we didn't argue.
The World of Irish Dancing (1971) We had finished recording the live LP Our Friends The Yetties at Decca studios in London with time to spore so it was decided to quickly put together an LP for Decca's `World Of' series. They had a `World Of' practically everything but one thing they lacked was Irish Music. Pete, Bob, Mac with Dave Kettlewell on clarinet, Oscar Burridge on fiddle and the Decco studio caretaker on piano put together an LP in about 4 hours flat. The idea, of course, was to sell it in Ireland and therefore The Yetties would not do as a band name. The producer's name was Kevin Daly and so O'Dolaigh's Ceili Band was created for the day.
Dorset is Beautiful (1972) Our biggest seller but still produced on the cheap. Mac, for instance, took the sleeve photograph. He had to set the camera up, settle us into position, press the button and then run like hell to his allotted spot.
All at Sea (1973) By this time we were getting loads of radio ploys and publicity. Just the job but we felt like doing something a little different. Hence this LP with a seafaring theme. It's still one of my favourites.
Up in Arms (1974) The theme LP seemed to work so we had another bash with war-time songs. Recorded in Sherborne with an audience and Sherborne Town Band to aid and abet. You could just feel on stage that everyone in the hall was willing us on. Great atmosphere and lovely choruses. The Peat Bog Soldiers were the Germans that Hitler condemned to the concentration camps before the start of 2nd World War.
The Yetties of Yetminster (1975) Bandy Bertha, bless`er cotton socks, set off a whole new range of jokes which were definitely not P.C. She has proved a good friend over the years.
The Village Band (1976) This was mostly recorded in Yetminster Village Hall with Sherborne Town Bond giving it their all again. Yetminster Church bells play the National Anthem every three hours and Kevin Daly was determined to have a recording of this to start the LP He was thwarted time and time again by a passing plane or car but eventually, at three o'clock one afternoon, peace descended on the village and the recorder was started. Then, just as the first dooong sounded, someone leaned over the church wall and shouted ‘Yer, Bonny! Wonna buy a raffle ticket!'
Up Market (1977) We had violinists from the London Symphony Orchestra and other very talented musicians on this one. Barwick Green is, of course, the Archers theme tune and for over 30 years we have introduced the omnibus edition on a Sunday morning.
Dorset Style (1978) A change of studio and producer had us hopping up and down a bit but it turned out that our main worry was the cost of the studio. Not that we had to pay for the hire of it you understand but they did have a swear box.
In Concert (1979) Off to the Lake District for this one, to the Theatre in the Forest at Grisedale, one of our favourite venues and one of our favourite audiences.
Cider and Song (1983) This became the title of our Radio 2 series which ran for four years. The BBC outside broadcast unit would come down to Dorset and record the programmes in such places as Puddletown, Sherborne and Bridport. Once again our audiences did us proud. The BBC crew had never heard anything like it. I suspect they are still using the tapes now when they want some canned laughter for their shows.
A Proper Job (1981) We decided we'd had enough of recording in odd ball places so this was done in Milborne Port two miles from home. No, Milborne Port is not an odd ball place. Chris Hardcastle had set up a studio there in the old school and it proved a very convivial arrangement, until one day the grand piano suddenly disappeared through the floor. Dry rot had set in but I don't think it affected our singing or playing.
The Sound of Cricket (1984) For years we had worked with John Arlott, setting his poems to music for radio programmes about cricket so this was a natural follow up. It was a real privilege working with the great man. John Small was a member of the team from Hambledon in Hampshire who at one time were good enough to take on the England team and beat them.
The Yetties (1986) The idea for `We've Got Oil' came about after a rather riotous party at a manor house in the heart of Dorset. The guests had flown in from Farnborough Air Show and landed on the lawn for the swing ding. We, very modestly, left our planes at home and drove from Sherborne in our minibus. I can distinctly remember dancing with an inebriated lady from Texas and telling her that Dorset was very much like her home because we also had oil wells and beef cattle. There was a third common thing as well but I can't remember what it was. Maybe it was drunken Texans.