Friday 9 February 2024

I Like My Stew

A little oddity for you today from 1968, and Radio One DJ Ed ‘Stewpot’ Stewart, accompanied by a 40-strong choir of pre-pubescent boys and girls.


Edward Stewart Mainwaring (23 April 1941 – 9 January 2016) was a British radio broadcaster and TV presenter, principally known for his work as a DJ, initially (in the UK at least) at Radio London before joining BBC Radio 1 as one of their first ‘name’ presenters when the station launched in 1967. He hosted the Saturday morning show Junior Choice from 1968 until 1979, and he became a well-known face on television, as a presenter of both Top of the Pops and Crackerjack.


Credited to Stewpot and the Save The Children Fund Choir, the A-side is a cover version of the Jeff ‘Please Let Me Be a Beatle’ Lynne song I Like My Toys, originally recorded by Lynn’s band The Idle Race. The flipside, co-written by Stewart, is a song-cum-comedy sketch entitled Myrtles Birthday (sic). The disc was issued to raise money for the Save the Children Fund, and all profits ‘including half Ed’s own royalties’, according to a contemporary newspaper report in the Liverpool Echo, would go to the charity, which apparently cost £5,000 a day to run. The Echo reviewer called it ‘Cute, catchy, slightly tongue-in-cheek and engagingly youthful’. I somehow doubt this effort made much of a dent in the charity’s finances, but you can’t begrudge the effort put in by those involved.


Recorded at the legendary IBC studios, the disc was issued by MGM in October 1968, a few months after fellow DJ Kenny Everett issued his sole single on the label, covers of the Nilsson songs It’s Been So Long and  Without Her. Apparently, Everett used the backing track to I Like My Toys to make jingles for his Capital Radio show. It was produced by Bill Landis, best known for his work with Paul and Barry Ryan, and Dusty Springfield, but who also produced Tony Blackburn’s MGM single It’s Only Love. Whoever it was at MGM that thought a Radio One DJ was capable of having a hit single was wrong, as none of these baleful recordings made the charts. To Landis’s credit, he also produced the Settlers’ magnificent Lightning Tree, which most of you will remember as the theme to the 70s kid’s drama Follyfoot, and worked with Marianne Faithful.


Anyway, here are both sides of the engaging, slightly deranged I Like My Toys.




Download Toys HERE 

Download Myrtle HERE 

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