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Penny Farthing Records: Wikis


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Penny Farthing Records was established by UK record producer Larry Page, as a progression from his mildly successful 1960s record label, Page One Records. It did not repeat the top 20 hits of his earlier venture, but signed some artists of note.

These included Daniel Boone, whose "Beautiful Sunday" song, written by the singer, was a staple of early 1970s disc jockeys, and somewhat popular at weddings. Picked up by the Japanese TV show 'Beautiful Sunday' some ten years later, this song was popular all over again in Japan. Page also recorded Daniel's wife (Lesley) Lelly Boone, but with no success, despite an appearance on BBC TV's Top Of The Pops.

The Dutch group Shocking Blue also had their big hit "Venus" with Penny Farthing Records.

The UK group Heatwave (later known as The Sensations) released the single "Sister Simon (Funny Man)" on Penny Farthing Records in 1970. While the A-side received airplay, the funky B-side, "Rastus Ravel", was well-received in the clubs. Both songs were written and produced by John Edward for Instant Sound Productions. The band's members were: John Fellows (bass guitar & vocals), Terry Shea (rhythm guitar & vocals), Richard Steen (lead guitar & vocals), Martin H. Samuel (drums), Peter Allatt (lead vocals). The single featured Maggie Stredder and Jean Ryder of The Ladybirds with Doris Troy as back-up singers. The group was a regular on the BBC Radio Terry Wogan, Dave Cash, Jimmy Young and Radio One Club shows.

Ex-Honeybus bassist Colin Hare released an album 'March Hare' on Penny Farthing in 1971, which, although not a commercial success, is popular with Honeybus collectors as it features the musicianship of many of the band's ex-members. It was re-released through Hare's own Runfast label in 2004.

Page also recorded the The Barron Knights, whose comedy records had some UK chart success. However, Page's attempts to turn them into a mainstream pop group failed. He eventually resorted to the flop "The Ballad of Frank Spencer". Even his attempt to record them under another name - Philly Dog - did not produce the necessary hits.

Paul Da Vinci, the voice on The Rubettes hit "Sugar Baby Love", turned to Penny Farthing immediately after this song made the UK no. 1 slot. The resulting "Your Baby Ain't Your Baby Anymore" sold modestly.

Page One Records stalwarts The Troggs were persuaded to join Penny Farthing but their label debut, Page's attempt at the Beach Boys hit "Good Vibrations" with Reg Presley's vocals, did not produce sizeable sales.

However, Penny Farthing also recorded the Johnny Pearson Orchestra from the Top of the Pops with the hit single "Cast Your Fate To the Wind", and a promising early album by Raymond Froggatt. However, most of the company's revenue was gained from Germany, where their solo artist signing Kincade had a number of minor hits, including "Dreams Are 10 A Penny", "Big Hand For Annie" written by John Carter (of Carter - Lewis fame).

Carter, writing under a number of different names also had hits with Penny Farthing in the early seventies, such as "Lets Go to San Francisco" by The Flower Pot Men.

See also

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