Armchair Historians

Tom Carradine, Vintage Lifestyle, Victorian Music Hall, Part 2

September 29, 2020 Tom Carradine
Armchair Historians
Tom Carradine, Vintage Lifestyle, Victorian Music Hall, Part 2
Chapters
Armchair Historians
Tom Carradine, Vintage Lifestyle, Victorian Music Hall, Part 2
Sep 29, 2020
Tom Carradine

In part 2 of Anne Marie's interview with Tom Carradine, the genius behind Carradine's Cockney Sing-a-Long, Tom shares his personal journey from science major at university to dapper sing-a-long entertainer who has truly embraced his inner vintage dandy.

Since its inception in 2014, Tom's old fashioned music hall style sing-a-long has become a fixture on the UK's thriving vintage scene. He has played sellout dates at London's historic Wilton's Music Hall, Hoxton Hall and he brings his act along with his affectionately named piano, Ol' Joanna, weekly to Mr. Fogg's Tavern where he leads the patron's in a good old fashioned "knees up". During COVID social distancing restrictions, Tom has brought his act "Carradine's Self-Isolation Singalong" to the internet every Thursday where anyone in the world with an internet connection and Facebook can tune in live.

More on Tom Carradine:
Website
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Joolz Guides


Some of the performers and songwriters Tom mentions
Max Bygraves
Dandy Wellington
Chas & Dave
Lonnie Donegan
The Sherman Brothers

Pop culture mentioned in this episode
Herman Hermits cover of "I'm Henery the Eighth, I am"
2001: A Space Odyssey

Misc.
Your Baby has Gone Down the Plug Hole
Nick and Gillian Perry Vintage Shop in Salem, MA

Show Notes Transcript

In part 2 of Anne Marie's interview with Tom Carradine, the genius behind Carradine's Cockney Sing-a-Long, Tom shares his personal journey from science major at university to dapper sing-a-long entertainer who has truly embraced his inner vintage dandy.

Since its inception in 2014, Tom's old fashioned music hall style sing-a-long has become a fixture on the UK's thriving vintage scene. He has played sellout dates at London's historic Wilton's Music Hall, Hoxton Hall and he brings his act along with his affectionately named piano, Ol' Joanna, weekly to Mr. Fogg's Tavern where he leads the patron's in a good old fashioned "knees up". During COVID social distancing restrictions, Tom has brought his act "Carradine's Self-Isolation Singalong" to the internet every Thursday where anyone in the world with an internet connection and Facebook can tune in live.

More on Tom Carradine:
Website
Facebook
Instagram
Twitter

Joolz Guides


Some of the performers and songwriters Tom mentions
Max Bygraves
Dandy Wellington
Chas & Dave
Lonnie Donegan
The Sherman Brothers

Pop culture mentioned in this episode
Herman Hermits cover of "I'm Henery the Eighth, I am"
2001: A Space Odyssey

Misc.
Your Baby has Gone Down the Plug Hole
Nick and Gillian Perry Vintage Shop in Salem, MA

Anne Marie Cannon :

Thank you for joining us today for armchair historians. I'm your host, Anne Marie Cannon, armchair historians is a Belgian rabbit production. Stay up to date with us through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Wherever you listen to your podcast that is where you'll find us. You can also find us at armchair historians.com armchair historians as an independent, commercial free podcasts. If you would like to support the show, you can buy us a cup of coffee through cofee or you can become a subscribing member through Patreon. You can find links to both in the Episode Notes. Today we pick up where we left off with musical director and Carradine's Cockney Sing-a-Long creator, Tom Carradine. If you haven't done so already, I strongly suggest you go back and listen to Part One in which Tom provides the historical context of Victorian Music Hall, which is at the root of his musical act as well as his transition over the past 10 years into a complete vintage wardrobe and lifestyle. In part two, we talk in depth about his personal journey. And why today, Tom Kara dine feels more confident as well as comfortable in his own skin than ever before.

Tom Carradine :

Yes. Yeah, I'd love to go but I wouldn't want to live in the time. But I would really like to be able to experience that firsthand, I suppose. Hmm.

Anne Marie Cannon :

I would love to go back in time. I love history was the Charlie Chaplin wasn't his father and his mother. Were they part of that? Or were they?

Tom Carradine :

They were indeed Yeah, I'm not sure so much. There's a very fascinating Jools guides video now my good friend Julian McDonald, who you you've interviewed on your on your podcast shows, and I met about five years ago when he came to see me perform at Wilson's musical. Yeah, we kind of hit it off and we have to share a passion for London history. And he's a great fan of the music and the songs that I sing. It's been great to be able to share that and what's one of the reasons why you came to find out what I do through my appearing was music on his videos. Initially, Jules asked whether he could use some my tracks from my albums for his videos. And now sometimes you'll say, oh, if you've got if you've got a recording of you doing this song or this, so he did a great video a few weeks ago on George Laybourne, who was aka champagne Charlie, he was a musical performer. He sang things like well champagne Charlie's my name. Also the daring young man on the Flying Trapeze.

Anne Marie Cannon :

Okay,

Tom Carradine :

song and quite harrowing song actually, about a couple go to the circus to see no good they're gonna musical. They mentioned the whole and to see us speciality act, we call it a speciality act like a tumbler or a juggler or a trick cyclist or someone who a magician and things like that. They're going to see to see a musical bill and they see a daring young man on the man on the Flying Trapeze, who makes eyes at his girlfriend in the audience. They fall in love. And she runs away with the trapeze artists. Really, really, it's really sad. But it's such a great tune. And yeah, George llevan performed that one take us in Jordan have to correct me, I think Avenue Park Cemetery. And I just did a video, a video on that. So he asked me to record a little bit for that.

Anne Marie Cannon :

I want to go back to the Charlie Chaplin.

Tom Carradine :

Because fascinating.

Anne Marie Cannon :

My favorite episode today he had his Charlie drumlins grandchildren, he took them it was fascinating. And it was so informative. And we ended up going out and getting his autobiography. My boyfriend and I were reading it what oh my god, listen to this. Oh my god, listen to this. It was

Tom Carradine :

fascinating. There's a fascinating cinema Museum in. I think it's Kennington. I mean, South London South of the river, which is built in part of the workhouse that Charlie Chaplin was in at some point. So there's a it's funny to have a to have a bit of a cinema Museum, which often plays Charlie Chaplin films. But yet there's a Charlie Chaplin connection there but no, that was a fascinating, fascinating video that and that's what i think i love about Joseph's videos. Ever since I was a kid. I was not born and raised in London at all. I don't have a Cockney bone in my body. I was born and raised in Coventry. In the Midlands, and near Birmingham, but ever since I was a kid, I've always been fascinated in London history. But as perhaps that came from my father who studied to be a university lecturer in London. And that kind of rubbed off his love of London and sharing fascinating facts. And I remember it's very kind of M country kid dreaming of going and living in the big city. But I remember looking over the London eight Zed, the paper A to Zed maps, when I moved to London, actually, for university in 2000. I already knew the city really well. I knew my way around, because I kind of studied the maps over the years. And those little fascinating stories about, I don't know the ghosts of London, and horrific murders, and jack the Ripper and things like that it was his I suppose that's where my kind of love and passion for London history came from. And it's just great that now feeds into what I do with performing these musical songs which are so so ingrained in London history, and many of them ingrained in London social history as well about the working class performers that perform those songs and performance to a predominantly working class audience.

Anne Marie Cannon :

Sure. So how did you go from science to music and music hall eventually, Music Hall, I guess, music How did that happen?

Tom Carradine :

I've, when I was at university, I always wanted to move to as I said, moved to London. And I had always enjoyed music as a being a performer on stage and action singer and playing the piano. And I always thought I wanted to be an actor. But the careers advice at school said no, go and get a proper job, get a proper job. So stupidly, I listened to them. I enjoyed science I read and I still do, I suppose. But perhaps general science, I enjoy science, communication and popular science. And so the step for me was to go to university and where else but to London. So I went to Imperial College in South Kensington, just behind the Royal Albert Hall, wonderful place to study. While I was at university, I started performing with the university operatic society. So we're not performing not only kind of musical theater shows, but also Gilbert and Sullivan operetta. So again, a Victorian entertainment a slightly more kind of classy, Victorian entertainment. The musical operator and musical were very much living in a city in the same at the same time. And there was a kind of crossover in kind of themes and the way they were both kind of very satirical, but again very much for a different kind of clientele of audience. But that was great fun to do that at university. And it was during that that actually being in London, I met musical directors and keyboard players who worked on theater shows and things and kind of found my love of working as a as a musical director, music director, conductor and a keyboard player. Yeah, I started getting bits and bobs of work originally initially on the London cabaret scene, and the the fringe comedy circuit. So playing for shows. And I've always loved musical theater, and and that so it kind of Yeah, it felt great to be able to do that. I talked for a while kind of Youth Theatre projects. And then I was in the right place at the right time. And I got offered a job to go on tour with Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. And the rest is history. I then spent kind of seven years living out of a suitcase.

Anne Marie Cannon :

So what are some of the other shows that you

Tom Carradine :

I worked on the national tours of cabaret, The Sound of Music Scrooge as well that the Christmas Carol, and also a tour of a production of Heidi high, which was a an 80s sitcom in the UK, but there was a stage version that was produced about about eight years ago, we did, what else have I done. And then also, I've had the great pleasure of playing on a couple of productions in the West End, and one new production a few years ago called the tailor made man, which was a show set in kind of pre code Hollywood, which was great fun to do. But also, I've used to be a keyboard deputy or a sub on Les Miserables in the western. That was great fun, but yeah, and while I was doing all of that, and got married and looking at starting a family decided that we wanted to settle down and move out of London. I also kind of decided that I wanted to kind of focus a bit more on work at home so I kind of hung up my touring shoes, and ended up back on the London cabaret circuit playing for playing for acts for kind of very much the kind of the modern equivalent of the musical see things where you would have a cabaret you would go for an evening you have a meal and food and a cabaret show. And the thing with that kind of circuit in the in London especially because it harks back to the Weimar kind of cabaret of the 20s and 30s And also in the music hall in some respects. And also, of course, French cabaret, I met a lot of vintage singers and performers who specialized in vintage music. I've always had a love of all things vintage, but it was during that that I kind of discovered a real kind of love for for that, but also Martin exploring my love of vintage dressing, and wearing

Anne Marie Cannon :

which I think we should add here that that's pretty much your whole wardrobe is vintage, you don't step outside of that anymore. You might

Tom Carradine :

you might see me, I mean, you can see me now this is kind of 1940's I've got some kind of khaki trousers on. And this is kind of English country gent kind of look. But yeah, that would have been performance. I'm most probably am Victorian or Edwardian that or if I'm performing a gig to do with the First World War, I might wear Edwardian for that or 1940s for a wartime a second world war gig. But ya know, pretty much exclusively vintage. And you might see me in a kind of striped Brett on top or something if it's hot. But yeah, I have no jeans or t shirts anymore.

Anne Marie Cannon :

I admire that I used to actually, I've done a lot of different things in my life. And for about five or six years, I had a vintage clothing online store. And I was really into I loved a lot. But it's a big commitment to transition over to that I think

Tom Carradine :

it is. But equally I'm a firm believer in it's funny when people kind of come to see perhaps my Instagram feed and see all of my wonderful outfits and combinations of things. You kind of forget the fact that it's taken me a while at least 10 years to build that up. And starting out by mixing and matching things. And I'm not a purist when it comes to unless I'm doing something specifically for a specific area or a specific production. I'm very much mix up things from from different areas. So in those respects, I'm not a kind of historical reenactor. Yeah, though, I am involved in a world war one reenactment group. So for that I would wear World War One officers uniform, kind of day to day I like to mix things up. I like kind of classic British tailoring, but equally I love the kind of dandy kind of culture as well. And a little bit of flamboyance and with a mustache and just Yeah, it's a Yeah, it's taken. It's taken me a good few years to kind of find my groove. But yeah, I wouldn't change it for the world.

Anne Marie Cannon :

I enjoy contemplating and wondering what your next outfits gonna be for yourself. I loved that orange vest your

Tom Carradine :

was one last amazing, useful.

Anne Marie Cannon :

That actually. Definitely a dandy definitely looked like a dandy.

Tom Carradine :

I picked up in New York actually last May when I was over visiting. I'm talking about dandies visiting my good friend, Danny Wellington, going to the bocce ball last year in New York, but I picked that one up from the wonderful Crowley vintage Sean Crowley, a vintage dealer in New York, and a fantastic menswear collection. But he specializes in American American style, but he adores and British tailoring. The Reis racks are full of fantastic Savile Row suits and waistcoats. And actually, that waistcoat was made in the Burlington arcade.

Anne Marie Cannon :

But it was bought it was made in England.

Tom Carradine :

It was made in the UK and I've taken it back. I've literally take me back to the shop doesn't exist anymore. It's the shop is there, but it's no longer the tailors that it was. And but yeah, it's been back it's done. The full circle. fascinates me about these clothes with my love of Victorian men's where I've got a little collection of Western costume company, telcos. So. The wonderful Western costume is still going and providing costumes for Hollywood movies. through a couple of vintage dealers in the UK, I've been being grateful to pick up a little collection of and the thing that fascinates me about those is they all have labels inside that say who was made for and what character they were and what they don't say what film unfortunately, things I've got a beautiful and kind of cream tail coat with ruffled cuffs and a beautiful red lining. And it was made for Alex plush Hart, who was a dancer and a choreographer and a stuntman stunt man in in Hollywood. He appears as one of the dancers in Mary Poppins. Oh, but he's not wearing that tail cut, obviously, that appeared at some point in a film that he met or a TV show that he made and his name is in it. I'm still with with all of them. I'm still trying to occasion I sit down and go on YouTube or an Internet Movie Database I'm trying to work through a lot of the the the telcos are in a kind of classic Western cart. Yeah what we have a kind of like mourning dress cart, but made it in a different fabric perhaps or, or they look very wild west. And so yeah, I would just love to be able to find pictures of them in the films but

Anne Marie Cannon :

it's a never ending quest, isn't it?

Tom Carradine :

Yeah, indeed. But it's fascinating. And in the same way with British tailoring, all of the Savile Row suits when they were made custom made for people have name labels in so unless a dealer has taken them out, occasionally they do all black them out with a pen. It's always fascinating to be able to know the history of who wore your clothes. It's funny I've got a friend of mine gave me a pair of morning dress trousers. So what you kind of wear to a wedding with a with a morning coat that was owned by Lord St. Well now Lord Sainsbury. He wasn't Lord at the time of the saints be family who owned the big big supermarkets in the UK. So um, yes, I have a Lord's trousers that I wear.

Anne Marie Cannon :

That's amazing. I love it. That sounds like another episode of armchair historians

Tom Carradine :

talking about stress, wrenching stress. Indeed, I dabble and delve in it. I like to play. I like to have fun with one wearing and you've got a fantastic dress on today.

Anne Marie Cannon :

Oh, thank you. It's not historical. It's actually a costume. You know, I had to put paper in the sleeves to keep them puffed. I need to get some netting to sew in there. But no, I really wanted them to be booked for this. So I've been watching, I watched the alienist it's an American show Dakota Fanning. I love the costumes in that. It's amazing. So this, this made me think of that. So I was going through for a late Victorian kind of luck. And I get my watch chain on from it's actually Victorian. Yeah, this was actually a gift from my friend's mother. But

Tom Carradine :

this is a folk watch.

Anne Marie Cannon :

It is it's it's contemporary. It's it's a wash. It's it's you know, contemporary, but it looks

Tom Carradine :

perfectly every season. I'm certainly one for I loved as I said for mixing and matching things. It's part of the game and playing the kind of long game with with vintage clothing. In my wardrobe that I've never worn, I get my wife sitting here she's listening in. There's stuff in my stuff in my wardrobe, unworn, because I'm waiting to find the right waistcoat or the right, and the right accessory or tie to go with it. So. So yeah, a lot of it is the long game, I had a revelation with a velvet jacket that I had, that I picked up last year. And I happen across a kind of slightly gold kind of pocket square. And as soon as I picked that up, I was like, okay, just just that all goes together. So it's kind of one thing that kind of pulls everything together. And

Anne Marie Cannon :

I have to say I'm kind of inspired. And I'm thinking about going back to my vintage roots and maybe kind of working like you're saying that long game because it's such there's just such a pleasure in it to put on vintage clothing and recreate different styles. I do like mid century I have some really beautiful midcentury dresses, that type of thing. But I'm kind of inspired by this whole thing.

Tom Carradine :

Oh, well, it does take some some balls, it takes some balls to wear what I wear and go out in the street. But yeah, I've never felt more confident in who I am and what I do. And again, just feel kind of grateful that that I make a living or but I suppose pre COVID I used to make a living from marrying together my love of vintage clothing and vintage wear dress. We think with that music and sharing that with people. And also that kind of being able to be myself, I suppose, certainly on the fair to think of the cabaret circuit. When performers perform, perhaps under either a persona of character, or even as themselves often it's a fabricated kind of character. And yet when I perform It's me, it's it might be a kind of extra showing me it's not me sitting on the sofa or reading a book or kind of being quiet in the corner of a party. It's perhaps it's a heightened version of me, but the crux of the matter is it is me it's not a character. This is me just sharing my love of the songs, which actually in some respects makes it harder when criticism comes my way I suppose. Because on the internet, the wonderful internet haters are gonna hate I suppose haters

Anne Marie Cannon :

are gonna hate you. Right? And you get it. And

Tom Carradine :

it probably smarts a bit more because when people comment on that they don't like something about a medley I've done or a song or whatever, because it's me It hurts but equally Yeah, I don't have anybody else. This is who I am. And as you you very kindly said, Iran, there are many people who are enjoying what I do. Certainly the self isolation singalongs during lockdown, and now with things easing, and that we've created a real kind of community around that. And people can share, share their love, as well of it with people who tune in every Thursday night.

Anne Marie Cannon :

Yeah. So I have a couple of things still that we need to cover. But I know we've been talking for a long time, and I definitely appreciate your time. So I do want to say I have this up here in place of I'm having it framed, I bought. So I wanted to put that up there as hoping I get the framed version back. I'm really excited. I have it framed in black. And then there's a little red border around it. That when you've done that, I will send it out put a picture on single honors. What I'm talking about for listeners is my tea towel that you had created for a special edition. It's the What does it say? It says, I carried on with teradyne self isolation singalong. I love that. I will always cherish that.

Tom Carradine :

I can say I'm the wonderful design work done by my designer Tony Bannister, when I created the act six years ago, which is something I've always been doing and singing singing songs around the piano and encouraging people to join in. It's just kind of solidified throughout performing at the twin would vintage Music Festival, the way that that it kind of created. It was actually it was Tony's original design of my very first like kind of wood cuts. It looks like a Victorian musical bale that really kind of for me, solidified what I do. And I'm forever grateful for Tony for

Anne Marie Cannon :

you that he he helps you to brand yourself. That's awesome.

Tom Carradine :

Absolutely. And very much As you've seen, that's, that's what I do. And all of my CD designs and even when I mail stuff out, and he's got the mustache over it or it's got nice, yeah, yeah, you're right, Tony, Tony kind of showed me in an image what, what it is, and he gets it gets many compliments. So yeah, I look forward to seeing your, your framework. That sounds good. I'm excited about it. I did spend a lot more money on the framing than I did on the tea towel. But it's

Anne Marie Cannon :

so um, and also I do want to say about the tea towels. So the guys playing the piano, I guess that's you with the mask on. And there's a bunch of rolls of toilet paper around them.

Tom Carradine :

Yeah, I didn't ask for that when Tony did the initial design self isolation signal. And by I just asked for the logo, but with the self isolation, and Tony sent it back. And I laughed so hard. It's in, and it just so

Anne Marie Cannon :

yeah, we're all we're all in on it, we get the joke. The other thing is where do we find this history that we talked about in pop culture.

Tom Carradine :

It's funny these these songs. And the thing that fascinates me about them is the fact that we all have a different frame of reference for them. So for me, it's my parents and my grandparents singing them to me, to some people it might be singing them at school, I had a lovely email from from a guy in the states from Arizona the other day saying love all the songs you sing it takes me back to my childhood is the songs we sang. You know how

Anne Marie Cannon :

they you said that that's what we did in school. Those were the kinds of songs that we sang in school and I am so musically and inclined, but I love music and I love being entertained and somebody has to appreciate the the musicians and the performers, right? But I remember when we were little and I was learning about music, which I'm just I don't have that skill. But that was the kind of music that we we sang to

Tom Carradine :

Yeah, it's again, it's it's folk music, irrespective of where it comes from. They're all music. A lot of the music that I perform is music that comes from other folk music background, or even even the musical songs are kind of really rooted. In fact, they're about telling stories, as I said get revived over the years. I mean, you only have to look at something like Daisy Daisy Daisy Bell, a bicycle made for to written in 1892 by an Englishman Harry Dacre. And but he wrote actually when he was in the States, he emigrated to the States. The apocryphal story is that he got charged customs duty to bring his bike into the states. And a friend of his joked that if it had been a tandem, it would have cost him extra. It didn't cost him double that apparently he was inspired to write this song. It's a complete joke. But he wrote he wrote bicycle built for two, but that song was lived on ever since because it's such a simple tune. It appears many times in kind of popular culture. The most famous one, I suppose, is Stanley Kubrick's 2001 A Space Odyssey when as how the computer is breaking down and kind of dying towards the end? It seems. Daisy, Daisy.

Anne Marie Cannon :

Oh, I have to go back and watch that now.

Tom Carradine :

It's a lovely little moment. And the reason why Stanley Kubrick Kubrick used that was because Daisy Daisy was the first soul that was ever programmed for a computer to sing by a synthesizer voice. Oh, wow. You got to YouTube and have a look of a daisy Bell synthesized voice. I think it's probably back in the 60s that they program the computer gaming games and gave me around doing your they managed to synthesize the voice. So yeah, those songs.

Anne Marie Cannon :

It's a tough question because it's everywhere.

Tom Carradine :

One of my favorites actually is I'm Henry the Eighth I am.

Anne Marie Cannon :

Yeah.

Tom Carradine :

Which of course for us is a musical song, written in 1911 and performed by Harry champion, a very famous British musical singer. But it was recorded, of course in 1965 by Herman's Hermits.

Anne Marie Cannon :

Yeah, now that it was, I didn't realize that it was written in 1911. That's an interesting fact, though,

Tom Carradine :

of course, it actually says that it was in ghost the movie so and I think it's also in an episode of The Simpsons, this Okay, don't appear the thing with that version of that song. The Hermit hermit only sang the chorus. They didn't sing the verse Harry champions versus so many people in the States. And certainly when I've been over in the states have mentioned it, people know the song, or when Americans come to the sing along in the UK, they know the chorus. And they've never heard the verse before.

Anne Marie Cannon :

Yeah, but you always give the music and I love that about your sing along.

Tom Carradine :

And, and share that really,

Anne Marie Cannon :

I'm so glad you're doing that. I love that I every little bit of history to me that I always say that I let my guests do the heavy lifting because they tell me these great historical stories. And I love it. I've always been attracted to the historical background of pretty much everything.

Tom Carradine :

Yeah, that's what excites me as well, you've summed up is the stories, because the songs are rooted in a specific time and a social kind of world. That actually perhaps, if time had been different if the Industrial Revolution hadn't kind of pushed so many people brought so many people into the into London and into other industrial working towns in the UK, you wouldn't have had that huge need and want for that kind of entertainment. And you would have perhaps not got musical into the kind of the perfect storm where everything comes together. And also because the audience's that went to see musical shows enjoyed seeing themselves on stage. So you get performers like Harry champion, and who's portraying the working class, London. And people like Mara Lloyd, as I said, the most one of most famous female musical performers, she just portrayed slightly naughty and saucy British working class woman, whatever she sang the funny songs and stories that she she performed, really resonated with the audience. And that's why we're any music that resonates with people and makes you feel something or may you find it funny. That's what makes it work. So, but equally, those songs I said have been revived over the years because they're often so simple. Those singalong songs in the music hall, there's a very famous musical kind of idea that if a performer sang a new song in the halls, if the audience weren't singing along by the second chorus, they would never sing that song again. Because we're talking pre wireless, we're talking pre television, we're talking. The way that music got passed on was either orally by listening to it in the halls, or buying the sheet music, which is kind of like the iTunes download of the day, I suppose. Yeah, she stopped when you would buy your penny sheet music. And you would go in knowing Oh, that song Mari Lloyd saying the other day or that one don't dilly dally that one. And you would go by and actually music, and then every house every house, or at least every family would have a pair of Apollo piano. And the someone mum dad Artie Doris could play the piano and bash out the version of the song. And because also, that was a huge form of entertainment in the same way in the states with parlor, pianos and Ragtime, and all of that the people join us together around a party around the piano and music. And yeah, in the certainly in the UK, again, talking about kind of popular culture and the way that things that tradition has continued those songs have lived on, they've been revived over the years. Be that in the First and Second World War, or be that for us through Mrs. Mills and Winifred out well and, and Max by graves or even we had a top Jew Oh, Cool Chaz, and Dave, who are great musical fans, and unfortunately, Chazz died a couple of years ago. But they would sing, they would write their own songs in a musical style, but also sing all of those old Cockney songs or these old London musical songs that actually, very few people would were singing them, but they kept them alive and they kept them going. And so a lot of people, certainly in the UK know my songs know the songs because of those chats. And Dave covers all the max by Greg's covers, and again, kind of skip for music, I suppose. lolly dunagan heading, the kind of skiffle phrase in the 60s in the UK, he wrote songs in a musical style. He was a great fan of variety, songs and funny songs. They've always been part of our culture over here. And I hope Fingers crossed, a that I'm doing something to keep them alive. But equally, there are other people out there. It's an all tradition thing again, the way these songs get passed on, people say I'm so glad you sang that song. Like I remember my mom singing to me or my nan, or I thought my dad made that song up. Because it sounds so far fetched. But then, when they come and say, oh, that that's some about your baby has gone down the plug hole. I thought my dad made that one up. That's not real. I'm like, Yes, it is. So that's an interesting fact. Absolutely fascinates me. And yeah, I hopefully, in years to come, okay, we might be singing songs by The Beatles or songs by Queen or Abba or, sweetie.

Anne Marie Cannon :

Occasionally Do you occasionally.

Tom Carradine :

Indeed, because when I created the sing along and kind of was finding my feet in the early days, I because I don't mean Victorian musical songs so much. I wanted to do something purely musical. The problem with that is when you play to a pub crowd, in order to create the atmosphere of a good old fashioned, Victorian or wartime pub sing along, you need to be just singing stuff that everybody knows so that it can all join in very often without the songbooks. The problem with that is, of course, as many of these songs that people don't know. So in order to create the atmosphere of an old fashioned pub sing along, it's about playing the playing the game, and I might do, I might start with some London songs that most people know the popular things Daisy, Daisy, Ivor, own bubbles, the Lambeth walk, let's all go down the strand. Then I can maybe do a Mary Poppins medley. Everybody knows Mary Poppins. That's rooted in musical, though there's kind of this the sounds and the songs of the Sherman Brothers, but people know it. And then I can throw in something like Henry the Eighth or a song they've never heard of before. Because they're so sing along a ball. Is that a word? It is now,

Anne Marie Cannon :

it works for me, I know what you mean.

Tom Carradine :

Once you've galvanized the crowd, and you've got them in your palm of your hands. You can you can tell them something that they don't know. And as long as the course is, as long as the course is easy enough to pick up. They'll be singing now. And then I'll do a Beatles medley. But then I might throw in two lovely black eyes of Victorian musical song. People might know the chorus, but they weren't underverse. And he's just about kind of playing that game with a crowd. And equally, there are times if I play a pub gig wine. I look around and no one's interested. And he's just about me playing selections from Yeah, my fair lady Oliver. Yeah, as I said, Sweet Caroline, country roads, anything that that's going to get an audience singing along. So you got one song? There are two songs actually, that I'll let you into my secret. There are two songs that irrespective of where anybody comes in the world comes from in the world. Chances are they No, one of them is easy. One of them is hard. The one that easy one is you are my sunshine. Okay. 1940s, American song, kind of cowboy kind of style song. But everybody seems to know it. Because again, the verse in the chorus is the same tune. It's really easy to pick up. But the second one that everybody knows, is really hard to sing. It's really hard to play and the lyrics mean nothing. And that's better than the Rhapsody.

Anne Marie Cannon :

I know I can. Yeah, every

Tom Carradine :

everybody knows it. But it's funny that of all the songs in the world. By theme, I know if I'm if I'm playing to a completely cold crowd. If I started with Bohemian Rhapsody, or I started with your UI sunshine. I will pretty much get everybody singing along. It's just That's amazing. It is a small world.

Anne Marie Cannon :

It is a small world. Oh, there's another song. It's a small world, after all,

Tom Carradine :

of course. Again, that harks back to all the Disney stuff here. respective of when you grow up I'm assuming the majority was watch Disney films as kids so okay you can you can kind of sometimes tell where how old people are through the films they know and what they're kind of sweet spot of Disney is for me Actually I was chatting with a friend about this the other day. Mine was the kind of pre beauty in the beast and Little Mermaid. So kind of the dark days of Disney the the Fox and the Hound and Basil the Great Mouse Detective, which I adore as a film, but then the kind of in the kind of late 80s just prior to Little Mermaid, Aladdin Lion King, all of that. But yeah, it's funny you can kind of but even then, as a kid I remember listening to or watching The Jungle Book. And Mary Poppins or said, Yeah,

Anne Marie Cannon :

that was the first movie I ever the first movie I ever saw at the movie theater. My mother told me was Mary Poppins. And I don't really remember it. I must have been pretty young. But she said in the middle of it. I said, Can we change the channel?

Tom Carradine :

Oh, I couldn't even imagine as a kid guide to see Mary Poppins on the big screen. That would have been

Anne Marie Cannon :

Yeah. Amazing. I love Mary Poppins. Yeah, I think we've pretty much covered everything I wrote notes about. But So do you have any questions for me? Do we not talk about something that you want to talk about? Or?

Tom Carradine :

No, I think we've, I think, yeah, if you're happy with what we've covered the night very happy

Anne Marie Cannon :

with it, I will probably end up getting two episodes out of this. Cuz I'm seeing that we really have talked for a long time, which I'm so grateful for your time

Tom Carradine :

out, send me the link. And I'll share I'll share around because that's one of the lovely things about the the especially the single longest group is doing interviews like this, and podcasting things. It's been great to kind of share even more about my kind of background and how I came to it for people because people have been fascinated about this bizarre about me, and how I've kind of come to these things. So and equally these fascinating bits of history about the songs. So

Anne Marie Cannon :

yeah, well, and you're keeping that history alive. And I hope they it seems like you really enjoy talking about the history of, you know, everything you've learned, and you have so much information that that could be part of getting into something else. You know, hopefully Are you coming to Boulder next year.

Tom Carradine :

That's the plan. Indeed. I'm from the 1940s ball. And I've seen

Anne Marie Cannon :

that advertised. I've never gone to it. But yeah, you guys come.

Tom Carradine :

Yeah, I would love it. We're done. Well forget just Fingers crossed. I just hope things are kind of blown over by then. And we can be back to some sense of normality. Love to do it. Because Have you been to Colorado? No, not at all. I've only been saying when vain I came to we did our honeymoon 14 years ago. So tomorrow is our wedding anniversary tomorrow. Happy anniversary. So yeah, 14 years ago, we get to New York. And we did actually we did the classic. New York honeymoon. We went up we went on the train to Niagara.

Anne Marie Cannon :

Oh yay. My, my French relatives every time they came, they come over they want to go to Niagara.

Tom Carradine :

Yeah. So we did. We did Niagara and overnight. So it was it was just like an overnight thing. And then we went to Boston, and that was lovely. I love Boston. Boston reminds me of London a little bit if there's anywhere in the United States. Yeah, similar. It's boss Agreed. Agreed. We like to and obviously so much history in Boston to it was we're planning to do New York again next, or we're planning to do New York this October. But that sort of happened. So we've kicked that back till next October half term, but equally up now with the sing along. got kind of friends and contacts all over. So Nick and Jillian Perry, who run a vintage shop in Salem, in near Boston, we I'd like to go and see them at some point. So it's just trying to work out and equally Yeah, come back to New York see dandy and see some of my kind of friends over in New York to Yeah, just take that. We can kind of get back some sense of normality though. I suppose in if there's one thing that kind of COVID and lockdown is kind of free to me is that we kind of take international trouble for granted. But yeah, we'll see how things go see Yeah, it's just that's it. It's we just don't know. Hopefully, when you come we'll have a

Anne Marie Cannon :

have a better president. Oh, my God.

Tom Carradine :

I feel free I feel for you guys. And actually, not only with with john but the sense of unease under kind of divide within the country.

Anne Marie Cannon :

I didn't realize, you know, until the last election, it was a real eye opener because I live in this bubble of you know, people who are loving and accepting and liberal and I didn't realize that there was so much divisive kind of beliefs in this. I didn't realize it

Tom Carradine :

Yeah. It's, yeah, we have similar photos and with Brexit, and it's very much a kind of you sit on one side or the other, as you can appreciate from what I do with the sing along, because a lot of what I do is kind of patriotic, I sit on a very fine line between. And I think there is a time and a place for healthy patriotism, but not in a nasty way. But one of the things that I love to celebrate with singing patriotic British songs, is not about the smiting our enemies and not being slaves to anybody else is about that actually, I'm proud to be British, because we are such, especially London is such a melting pot of cultures and communities. And actually, musically, we would not have half of what we have if we didn't have that thinking of French Huguenots, who came over to London in the 1800s, or the Jewish immigrants, or as we said, the Belgian refugees, those kind of things that in the same way, in the States, I suppose the kind of immigrants that came into New York or the Tin Pan Alley composers, you think, in fact did happen, that whole history would have would be told differently. But the, with what I do, it's such a tricky position to be in because but you bring it

Anne Marie Cannon :

you avidly don't even know you're doing it, but you bring everybody together that, you know, you don't know what their belief system or whatever is. But when everybody starts singing those songs, you're all together. And that's a beautiful thing. I have hope. I have hope for next year. Fingers crossed. So I guess I'll see you on Thursday.

Tom Carradine :

The first day. Well, we still got a couple of days. I mean, I wouldn't. Yeah. Yeah.

Anne Marie Cannon :

Tomorrow's wedding anniversary. Yeah. Yes. Giving all your RAM.

Tom Carradine :

I would normally be prepping so it's gonna be thrown together this way. So in which I samri could I play your request? Is there anything that you would like?

Anne Marie Cannon :

I don't know. So

Tom Carradine :

I've put you on the spot. How to think. And you're like,

Anne Marie Cannon :

Oh, you're so sweet. Thank you so much. Happy anniversary today.

Tom Carradine :

Oh, by the

Anne Marie Cannon :

way. It was a great interview. Thank you so much. Um, yeah.

Tom Carradine :

Well, you can't see it. Of course, we're in the middle of building works. And literally upstairs. My old music is a completely different thing now. But all of the junk is tucked below camera shot down here.

Anne Marie Cannon :

I know you showed us last week and face. Oh, that'll be nice. Yeah. Tom Caroline, thank you so much for being here today.

Tom Carradine :

Oh, my pleasure. It's been wonderful to chat with you.

Anne Marie Cannon :

By goodnight. PS I did come up with a request for that week. It was something French in honor of my mom trez who passed away three years ago. Without knowing it. Tom selected one of my mom's favorites. The signature song of Edith Piaf. lovey and Rose, it literally brought a tear to my eye. Thanks for that, Tom. Be sure to check out this week's episode notes. For more information on Tom as well as resources about his favorite history. Thanks for listening. Have a great week. New Day