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Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Tue Mar 23, 2010 7:10 pm
by NormanD
"... he knew his way around a football pitch. The initial resistance of any of the youngsters - to this white-haired old geezer playing football - soon evaporated when they saw him move. Oh boy! Charlie could shift!"

Amongst all the tributes to Charlie, his lesser-known, but high, interest in sport gets mentioned a lot. He was also an active participant, as Ivan Gillett (above) and many others have said elsewhere here.

Having little interest in most sport, I never bothered to buy Charlie's book on the subject, "All In The Game", when I once saw a second-hand copy. This was published in 1971, just after "The Sound Of The City". Alan Balfour (who did buy a copy) has scanned the front and back, and sent it me to post:

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Apologies for smallish image, I had trouble uploading a larger one. If you can see, check the back cover for the photo of the author, circled on front right.

Re: Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:38 am
by jackdaw version
Enthusiasm and energy seem to have been two of Charlie's key qualities. When I think about all he did, I'm astounded. I probably should have stuck with school sports myself — but that's another of my disreputable stories.

Re: Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:47 am
by taiyo no otosan
Interesting to see that, Norman.

I'm struck by the jacket design.......rather similar to this, don't you reckon?

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Is this a KUU, Howard?!

Re: Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:01 am
by NormanD
Hmmm......

The book cover is cigarette / tea cards, from sets of sports players, and the album below uses postage stamps. So, apart from the black background, non-symmetric layout, and use of everyday objects in the design, my thumb is down. But what do I know?

Re: Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 11:59 pm
by Hugh Weldon
I remember the 'Connexions' series from my English teaching days, they were in fact a series of themed text books to stimulate creative writing. I assume this goes back to Charlie's time as a teacher himself. Late sixties early seventies I would guess when English teaching was all about stimulating expression and engaging interest in anything going on in the world really - there were some brilliant, very well designed and illustrated books of the same kind coming out around that time. Wonder if he ever tried to get the publishers interested in a music volume?

Re: Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 12:03 pm
by Alan Balfour
Hugh Weldon wrote:I remember the 'Connexions' series from my English teaching days, they were in fact a series of themed text books to stimulate creative writing. I assume this goes back to Charlie's time as a teacher himself. Late sixties early seventies I would guess when English teaching was all about stimulating expression and engaging interest in anything going on in the world really - there were some brilliant, very well designed and illustrated books of the same kind coming out around that time. Wonder if he ever tried to get the publishers interested in a music volume?
Sorry to be rather late on this but whilst looking for something else I found I own a "music" volume written by Richard Mabey, "Behind The Scene" published in 1968. Described in part thus "...examines what the pop scene is all about, what its value is for young people and some of its possible effects". My copy is somewhat sellotaped together but I could ask Norman to post a scan if anybody is interested. This booklet later developed into a book by Mabey "The Pop Process" (Hutchinson Educational, 1969). In his preface he outlines the motivation behind writing the Penguin.

Re: Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:56 pm
by Des
Wow this amazing. As a huge fan of Richard's, I had no idea he wrote anything about popular culture, especially pop music. Thanks for this - will try and get hold of a copy.

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Re: Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:52 pm
by Alan Balfour
Des wrote:Wow this amazing. As a huge fan of Richard's, I had no idea he wrote anything about popular culture, especially pop music. Thanks for this - will try and get hold of a copy.
Here's the biographical blurb from the inside flap of the dust jacket.

Richard Mabey, an established author, is now a senior editor in a leading London publishing house. He lectured in Liberal Studies at a College of Further Education for two years, has introduced programmes for schools on television and has lectured extensively to audiences ranging from sixth-formers to university post-graduate seminars specifically on the phenomenon of the 'pop' music world. He is therefore well placed to observe the restless, shifting development of 'pop' music and to place it in context in the turbulent nervy mass media scene.

Re: Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:34 pm
by Des
Thanks Alan - seems I've been unaware all these years of his pre-nature writing life. A biography is well overdue.

Re: Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Wed Jun 16, 2010 7:55 pm
by Hugh Weldon
Just as interesting as the Richard Mabey angle is the contemporary reaction of serious mainstream publishing to a phenomenon they'd never really had to confront before. Perhaps more folk devil than moral panic, but those adjectives in the blurb Alan quotes - "restless", "shifting", "turbulent", "nervy" - do really demonstrate fear and uncertainty rather than celebration or welcome, don't they? Nice to be reminded there was a time when pop was considered almost completely unrespectable and probably quite dangerous.

Re: Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Sun Jun 20, 2010 11:18 pm
by Hugh Weldon
Further on Mabey, interesting piece in the Times yesterday on him and the connections between musos and nature and nature writing. With video interview.

The Times is starting to charge soon for viewing its content I believe, but you can sign up free for a limited period.

http://www.thetimes.co.uk/tto/arts/book ... 562139.ece

Re: Charlie and Sport: "Charlie could shift!"

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:11 am
by Des
Tremendous vid - thanks Hugh.