The tip of the iceberg

Bill Anderson
Bill Anderson
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Re: Blinding knowledge, Letters page, February 6. I am sorry that Sonny Parks took my response to his little poem as an objection, as it wasn’t meant to be.

I was simply passing on more information to Star readers about who wrote and recorded the song, The Tip of my Fingers, that his little poem came from, and also offering people the chance to hear it.

I would agree that the response from J Barnes was an objection, on two counts.

Firstly, that readers could have unknowingly thought they were reading original lines from Sonny Parks because he didn’t mention the writer of those lyrics, Bill Anderson.

The second objection was that The Star printed lyrics from a song, without relevance to anything. I feel that is unfair to staff at The Star, for how were they supposed to know that the lyrics were from a song, out of all the millions that have been written.

With regard to using my complaint to further my project - if you wish to call it that - is to provide pleasure for people, through the medium of music, whilst also enjoying it myself.

I feel privileged that The Hillbilly Cats, Sheffield’s longest active band, 50 years and counting , allow me to do this for their monthly concerts at The Railway Hotel, as I have done for a number of years now.

I don’t get, or require, payment for this, other than from the aforementioned pleasure of pleasing the audience, whilst also enjoying it myself.

Someone did request The Tip of my Fingers last Friday having seen the letters in The Star’, and I was happy to oblige.

Another request that went down well was from a chap called Andy, who attends classic car meetings at which they play great music from the 50/60s. He wanted to hear Ain’t Gotta Home by Clarence ‘Frogman’ Henry, who is best remembered for his hits, “You Always Hurt the One you Love’ and “But I Do”. It was a pleasure to play it for him and to play all the other requests that night from an appreciative audience.

Sonny Parks says, “If I could see them in civvy street, I would blind them with my knowledge of music”, meaning J. Barnes, and myself.

I don’t know if he is in the armed forces, but if he gets leave, I am available for a friendly chat about music, the first Friday of each month, at the Railway Hotel, Wadsley Bridge. On Friday, March 4, I will be featuring music from Patsy Cline, to mark the anniversary of her death in a plane crash, in March 1963, along with playing requests from the audience.

With regard to his knowledge of music, I wouldn’t dispute that he could blind me with it, as I don’t know the extent of his knowledge, although, by the same token, he doesn’t know mine either.

What I do know, is that his knowledge of the song, The Tip of my Fingers, is strictly limited, if he thinks that PJ Proby’s is the original, and/or only version. I mentioned in my first response that PJ Proby had recorded it, which I believe was around 1965, and I actually have it in my music collection, along with other versions of the song.

The information that J Barnes and myself gave is correct in that the song was written and recorded by American singer/songwriter Bill Anderson, well before PJ Proby came on the British music scene.

Mike Lawto