My Favourite Album
I came across one of those surveys lately where they were asking people to name the first piece of music they ever bought. I didn’t have to think for long. I still have my first LP (long playing record for you young ones!). And it was released 50 years ago!
In 1973, at the age of 7, I won an art competition on Aillio, an RTE children's TV show very popular at the time. It used to be presented by a young Jimmy Greeley (on whom I had a big girlhood crush), Hilary Orpen and Bríd Ní Bhaoill (for Irish language commentary). I remember we had to submit a drawing of our favourite nursery rhyme. I loved drawing so did two crayon drawings; one of Jack and Jill (complete with spilled pail of water and the two tumbling down the hill) and one of Humpty Dumpty (falling off his wall)…(why all the falls in nursery rhymes back in the day?? No Health & Safety!!) 🤣
Above: Photos from the RTE Photographic Archive from Aillio (1972/73) with Jimmy, Brid & Hilary
Anyway, my Aunty Ally was visiting from across the road when I attached a postcard to the drawings with my name and address and put them in an envelope to send to RTE. A week later (sometime in Mar/ April 1973) I was watching the show on the tele when my pictures were pulled out by the guest, “Snow White”….but you could see the postcard falling back into the bag. They asked for whoever had drawn them to contact RTE as there were no contact details on the back. There followed a scurry of letters from my mam, my Aunty Ally and even my 1st class teacher, Miss O’Connell to RTE verifying that I had drawn them and claiming my prize for me.
The eventual reply letter dated 1 May 1973 is below (Phew the relief I felt!) and I duly received the winning prize: a IR£2 record token. Problem was we had no record player! But how or never, I remember being sent around the classrooms in the Presentation Convent to show off my letter from RTE to all of the girls. I remember my 7-year old indignation when a girl in 6th class had the temerity to ask if the drawing on the letter was the one I had sent in (!) … “Sure mine was WAAY better than that!”
I still have a clear memory of going with Peggy into the late Christy Butler's shop on Carrick's Main Street (now part of the Carraig Hotel) where he had a small music/ record section that you had to go down steps into from the rest of the shop. It had a big window and leatherette seats with the records in cubby boxes on the wall over a record player console cabinet. That is where the ever-patient Christy let me pick out an LP AND a single for my IR£2 gift token. After much deliberation (and Christy's helpful suggestions), I picked out "Top of The Tots: Pop Party" as the LP.
Eventually, when my brother Martin started working the following year (1974) he bought a portable record player. A grey and white plastic one that looked like an attaché case with the speaker in the cover. Looking back, the sound quality was probably atrocious…..DOLBY surround sound NOT...but I didn’t care, I was so happy when I could finally enjoy my prize!!
The single has been long forgotten but that LP, “Top of the Tots” was played well into my teenage years…and I still have it almost 50 years later. Yellow Submarine; Boom Bang A Bang; and Good Morning Starshine were my favourites. I managed to find a YouTube video where someone had recorded the whole album:
In the RTE photo archive, I even managed to find the said “Snow White” on Aillio on the very show where I had won! Some sweet memories there especially when I hear “Knock Three Times”. When we moved to Hill View in 1974 my bestie’s bedroom, Anne-Marie, was next to mine so we used to knock messages to each other on the wrought-iron fireplaces in our rooms! Sweet memories indeed! Enjoy! ❤
Above: Photos from the RTE Photographic Archive of Snow White & the 7 Dwarfs on Aillio - Mar/April 1973
Bucket List Items Ticked Off in the above Blog 85
Number 74 - Experiences
Other Blog Posts
Blog 11 - Sydney, Australia
Blog 12 - Hong Kong, China
Blog 17 - Beijing, Xi'an & Shanghai, China
Blog 19 - California, USA
Blog 27 - Scotland
Blog 28 - Barbados
Blog 29 - Canada
Blog 30 - Alaska
Blog 31 - Everglades, Florida
Have you got a favourite album? Tell me about it in the comments section below.
If you liked this post, please share. Sharing is caring 😊
My name is Mary and this is my bucket list blog ...having survived a near-death experience. I hope it encourages you to "live your best life". See how I'm completing my own bucket list items. And let me know how you're getting on with yours!