Pray for Joanne

A shortish post today, primarily because I am still having problems with Facebook: the social media behemoth refuses to engage with me and I cannot find out why they have decided to ban any and all links from the World's Worst Records.

I only became aware of the Joanne Duo catalogue a short time ago, when Ronnie Carrott (great name), who was listening in to the debut World's Worst Records Radio Show, pointed me towards their miserable rerecording of My Prayer, the 1939 song with music by violinist Georges Boulanger and lyrics by Carlos Gomez Barrera and Jimmy Kennedy. It's shocking, with distinct overtones of the great Grace Pauline Chew, and - naturally - I went off in search of more. 

Discogs only carries a listing for one EP, a copy of which I immediately bought (autographed, for just £1!), but the Joanne Duo apparently also issued a full-length album and a cassette-only collection too.

Tom and Joanne Clarkson were regulars on the South Coast cabaret scene, and frequently found in the lounge of Mediterranean cruise ships, entertaining the passengers. Originally from Leeds, the multi-instrumentalists (Tom appears to have played keyboards, guitar, bass and xylophone, his wife all manner of percussion) settled in the tiny fishing village of Kingsdown, a few miles along the coast from Dover sometime in the late 70s, and were active from 1978 (or earlier: that's the first mention of them I can find in The Stage) until at least 1989. Appearing with light entertainment heavyweights including Freddie "Parrotface" Davies and Roy Hudd, it seems the Duo made a decent living. One can only assume that their magic was impossible to capture on disc.

Here's The Joanne Duo with My Prayer and their disco stomper Those Fascinating Eyes, which was composed for Joanne by Dover restaurant owner Julian Laffranchi. 


Download Prayer HERE

Download Eyes HERE

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