Thursday, April 11, 2024

Harold Wilson's estate owes Roy Wood a fortune

It was the first record to be played on Radio One and reached number 2 in the UK singles charts, but the Move's single Flowers in the Rain didn't earn its writer Roy Wood a penny.

Because, in one of the stunts for which he was famous, the band's manager Tony Secunda issued a postcard promoting the song that showed a naked Harold Wilson, the prime minister of the day, in bed with his political secretary Marcia Williams.

Wilson sued, won his case and the High Court ordered that all royalties from the song be donated to a charity of Wilson's choice. They are still being donated today to a range of good causes chosen by the Harold Wilson Charitable Trust.

While yesterday's revelation of Wilson's affair involved another lady and took place some years after the Flowers in the Rain affair - stay with me - it still paints his character in a different light to that which must have been deployed in the High Court.

I'm not calling for the good causes to repay the money, but shouldn't the meagre royalties on Wilson's books be made over to Roy Wood until he has received his due from Flowers in the Rain?

With thanks to Stuart Whomsley on Twitter.


nigel hunter said...

!969,70 went round with a band in working men's clubs, pubs (I was the roady).We ended with this unless an encore was needed. However our aim for fame ended when the Drummer walked out and the band fizzed out.
So Wilson ended up being a naughty boy.Who would have thought it.

tonyhill said...

There is the (possibly apocryphal, but who knows) story of Marcia Williams saying to Mary Wilson, "I went to bed with your husband, and he was most unsatisfactory!" I well remember my great uncle, who was the President of East Grinstead Constituency Conservative Association, telling me that Harold Wilson was an adulterer, but perhaps that was just Tory propaganda rather than inside knowledge.