2007   OCTOBER 24   #297

Tony Weston!

Everything's Coming Up Roses (3:42)
When You Smile (2:54)
Make The World A Little Younger (3:26)
Nobody Does it Like Me (2:06)
Try To Remember (4:08)
My Way (5:26)
Sing, Sing a Song (3:30)
The Last Red Rose In London Town (2:35)
I'd Do It All Again (3:13)
Streets Of London (4:21)
It's You (3:34)
The Greatest Performance of My Life (3:51)

Ladies and Gentlemen, Tony Weston! - Side 1 is 'Live' ( my arse!) from Norwich circa 1970 something. (There's no date on the record though the cover of Streets of London is a clue). Side 2 consists of studio stuff.

Mr Tony Weston, otherwise variously referred to as 'Mr Vitality' - 'Mr Fabulous' - 'Mr Entertainment', with props from Liberace and Noel Coward on the sleeve. . Woo!

A Cabaret Stalwart of the old school, camp as Christmas, and a total pro. Dig the crisp annunciation and the accent that lurks somewhere between the mid atlantic, a home counties drama school and the west country (?).

This is a 'live'(cough!) recording of his last gig in Norwich. I don't know if it's his last gig anywhere or just Norwich. The applause has a habit of fading at just the right time and being sort of at one remove from the intensity of the action. He stuck it on afterwards!

It's on the same label as the Maxwell Plumm album I posted a while ago. The Raven label must have been a specialist vanity pressing set-up for cabaret artists and their ilk.

A Google search came up with this link - http://archive.thisisdorset.net/2005/4/29/56290.html

It seems Tony Weston passed away in 2005. He apparently had a large following in the UK back in the 60's and my hunch about the West country accent was right. ('Hair by Raymond of Bournmouth' is a clue as well. Why were so many hairdressers called Raymonde?) I'm glad he had a fitting send off. R.I.P. Mr Vitality' if that's not a bit of a contradiction.

Mind you, he orchestrated the send off himself, which takes a lot of posthumous chutzpah... I admire him for that. Sort of ;-)

The record is signed 'To a real super lady, Sonia, thanks you for your kind words, I never forget. I love Norwich!'

I feel I have to point out that I don't actually like this record as a piece of music, (obviously I'm far too cool, highbrow and hetero for that! Oh yes... ;-) ) but as a social document, as a slice of seventies cabaret set in aspic it is superb. I hope you enjoy it 'my loves' (as our Tony would have said), or if not that, I hope you can appreciate it as a cultural artifact. ;-) I think you will like the modest way he has the theme music for Jesus Christ Superstar as his intro music, after he has given himself a big intro in the third person (as if we wouldn't notice it was him or something? ... ) and definitely don't miss the spoken intro to My Way.

- Contributed by: Jon Allen

Images: Front Cover, Back Cover, Tony!