Sunday, October 04, 2009

Clifford T. Ward: Home Thoughts from Abroad

Back in the early 1970s Radio One DJs had a habit of playing what I regarded as soppy songs by Clifford T. Ward. Most often it was Gaye, which reached no. 8 in the singles chart in 1973.

I find his songs rather touching today. He is certainly a 1970s' singer-songwriter, but there is something awkward and heartfelt about his work that makes in stand out. In this video he also looks like the former school teacher he was and even his name is a little naff.

Before going into teaching he had an unsuccessful shot at pop stardom as the lead singer of Cliff Ward and the Cruisers.

Ward died in 2001 after suffering with multiple sclerosis for many years. The Independent printed his obituary and there is a website devoted to remembering and promoting his work.


Backwatersman said...

I've been meaning to post this - or Gaye - on my blog for a while now, but I see you've beaten me to it.

I think partly why I find it interesting is that I simply can't imagine anyone making a record like this today - as you say it is too "awkward and heartfelt", but also so self-consciously artful - so uncool,in short.

I also remember Anne Nightingale playing this song in particular on her Sunday afternoon request show long after it was originally released - usually requested by students off on some sort of foreign jaunt.

Another one I remember from that show, now I think about, it was "O Caroline" by Matching Mole (feat. Robert Wyatt), though I've never been able to track that down on YouTube, or anywhere else for that matter.

moggy said...

aaaaaaaaa the lovely 70s with on north sea the LA days great days thats why shes still there in tilbury playing the songs we all love ,i never forget what happen on 14/aug/1967

Paul Walter said...

Thank you Jonathan. A fine singer songwriter he was. "Werewithal" is also worth a mention. I had it on my MP3 player until very recently.