Joined: 01 Dec 2008
|Posted: Wed Jul 17, 2019 9:50 am Post subject: Soul Music - Streets of London by Ralph McTell.
|An excellent episode of Soul Music this morning on Radio 4.
I wasn't aware of the connection between Derek Bentley's family and Ralph.
I saw Ralph sing this song at Preston Guild Hall in the eighties- a magical moment.
He was on a bill with The Everly Brothers What a night that was.
50 years after it was first recorded, Ralph McTell and others discuss a song that was written for a heroin addict, became an anthem against homelessness, and transcended the folk genre to become an enduring classic.
Ralph McTell says he’s thought constantly about the “blip in my graph” that is Streets of London. People say to him “50 years. One hit. You think you’d have given up by now”. But, Ralph says, that’s not why he writes songs. And, of course, he’s written many. Many that he considers far better than Streets of London. But this remains his best known, best loved, and most played track. It was first recorded 50 years ago, in 1969, for his album Spiral Staircase although it wasn’t released as a single until 1974.
Maria Bentley-Dingwall, the daughter of Iris Bentley. Iris was the sister of Derek Bentley who was hanged for a murder he did not commit. Iris spent her life campaigning for his conviction to be quashed. Ralph McTell grew up knowing this story, became a friend of the family, wrote a song about the case, and sang Streets of London at Iris Bentley’s funeral.