Friday, 3 May 2013

Tinsley - My Brother Mary (1971)

Here's one for the Kinks fans out there. I might have been writing my theory on how Tinsley was a pseudonym for Ray Davies had I not found out that it was in fact Mike Tinsley, ex vocalist from the Hedgehoppers Anonymous who had a UK hit in 1965 with "It's Good News Week".

Tinsley released this one off single for Pye records in April 1971. "My Brother Mary" is a song about a chaps brother and sister who both happen to be cross dressers. What are the chances of that?! This topic was covered by the Kinks on "Lola" but the comparisons don't stop there. The vocals also sound a lot like that of Ray Davis' and the chorus is rather Kinksy, simple and catchy, almost nursery rhyme like and will stay in your head for days. The song was written and produced by Peter Hawkins, the guitarist from Pickettywitch and Ron Roker who co-wrote "Storm In A Teacup" with Lynsey De Paul. The b-side, a funky pop song called "Situations Vacant" was written by Tinsley himself. Not a bad tune but the vocals are a bit too blue eyed soul, cabaret style for my liking.

Tinsley with a horse
"My Brother Mary" failed to chart. I'm not even sure if it even got a proper release as the only copies that I've seen have been the yellow Pye promo discs. Still, it took more than a flop record to obstruct Tinsley in his music career as he go on would team up with fellow songwriters Peter Yellowstone and Steve Voice (the Yellowstone & Voice album is a big, big fave of mine) penning songs and ultimately bringing fame for Kelly Marie and Joe Dolan. There's an informative website (although there's no mention of "My Brother Mary") which covers Mike Tinsley from the Hedgehoppers to the present day (yes, he's still going!) and you can check it out here.

Warning!!! The following song is ultra catchy!

My Brother Mary - Lyrics
(Roker, Hawkins)
My brother Mary goes to the west
and dressed in a dress made of hessian weave
No one believes my brother Mary

My sister Billy loves Piccadilly
walks down the strand like Burlington Bill
No one believes my sister Billy

Isn't it a funny world we're living in today
Everybody's going to the moon
Funny people acting in a very funny way
Things are getting better pretty soon

Ask me why am I singing this song
Ask me why are you singing along
Ask me why are we singing it wrong I don't know

Isn't it a funny world we're living in today
Everybody's running out of air
Funny people acting in a very funny way
Never really getting anywhere

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