Allan Smethurst

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Allan Smethurst
Birth name Allan Francis Smethurst
Also known as The Singing Postman
Born (1927-11-19)19 November 1927
Sheringham, Norfolk, England
Died 24 December 2000(2000-12-24) (aged 73)
Grimsby, Lincolnshire, England
Genres Folk, novelty
Occupations Singer,postman
Years active 1960s–1970
Labels EMI

Allan Francis Smethurst (19 November 1927[1] – 24 December 2000),[2] aka The Singing Postman was an English folk singer[3] and postman. He is best known for his self-penned novelty song, "Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy?", which earned him an Ivor Novello Award in 1966, and "A Miss from Diss".[2]

Life and career[edit]

Born in Walshaw, Lancashire, England,[4] the son of Allan and Gladys Mabel (née Curson),[5] Smethurst was raised in Sheringham, Norfolk. His mother came from the nearby village of Stiffkey. He later became a postman in Grimsby.[4]

Smethurst hummed tunes on his daily post round for twelve years, writing and singing songs in his native Norfolk dialect.[4] An audition tape sent to a BBC regional radio programme earned him a spot on Ralph Tuck's local radio show, and Tuck recorded Smethurst on his own record label, The Smallest Recording Organisation in the World, based in Lowestoft. A four track EP made the EP charts in 1965 and, after another EP release by Ralph Tuck, and an album The Singing Postman's Year, he was signed to EMI who re-released earlier songs and recorded new items. He made numerous live and promotional performances, including on Top of the Pops, but was afflicted by nerves and stage fright.

In 1966, the Singing Postman's best known hit "Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy?" won Smethurst the Ivor Novello Award for best novelty song of the year. Rolf Harris recorded a cover version without success. The song had a small comeback in 1994, when it was featured on a television commercial for Ovaltine.

Smethurst left the music industry in 1970, later admitting he had an alcohol problem and that he had spent all of his money and was penniless. He spent his last few years living quietly in a Salvation Army hostel in Grimsby, where he died from a heart attack in December 2000.[2]

In September 2010, a BBC Radio 4 programme, "In Search of the Singing Postman", was broadcast which was written and presented by D. J. Taylor.[6]

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

  • The Singing Postman's Year (RTP)[7]
  • Recorded Delivery (Parlophone, 1966)[8]
  • The Sound Barrier (Parlophone, 1967)[9]
  • The Best of the Singing Postman (Starline, 1967)[10]
  • First Class Male (1971, Gemini)[11]
  • Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy? (Parlophone, 2005)[3]

Singles and EPs[edit]

  • "First Delivery EP" (EMI, 1966)[12] No. 7 UK EP chart[13]
  • "Second Delivery EP" (Parlophone, 1966)[14]
  • "Third Delivery EP" (Parlophone, 1966)[15]
  • "Fourth Delivery EP" (Parlophone, 1966)[16]
  • "Ladies Darts Team" / "Roundabout" (Parlophone, 1966)[17]
  • "Mind How You Go" (Parlophone, 1967)[18]
  • "Please Mr. Postman" (Parlophone, 1967)[19]
  • "Fertilising Lisa" / "Ballad of A Ten Bob Note" (President PVK.005, 1977)[20]
  • "Hey the Bottom Dropped Owt" (Ralph Tuck, 1997)[21]

References[edit]

  1. ^ GRO Dec. 1927 Bury Volume 8c page 598
  2. ^ a b c Doc Rock. "The Dead Rock Stars Club 2000". Thedeadrockstarsclub.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Hev Yew Gotta Loight, Boy?". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b c Eric Wainwright (1965) Daily Mirror 28 May p13 "The Postman who Swings into a £50-a-week Summer"
  5. ^ GRO June 1919 Bury, Vol 8c page 1328
  6. ^ "The Singing Postman (Allan Smethurst)". Literarynorfolk.co.uk. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 
  7. ^ "Singing Postman, The – The Singing Postman's Year (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  8. ^ "Singing Postman, The – Recorded Delivery (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  9. ^ "Singing Postman, The – Sound Barrier (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  10. ^ "Singing Postman, The – The Best of the Singing Postman (Vinyl, LP) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "Singing Postman, The – First Class Male (Vinyl, Album, LP) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  12. ^ "Singing Postman, The – First Delivery (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  13. ^ Brown Kutner and Warwick The Complete Book of the British Charts Omnibus Press
  14. ^ "Singing Postman, The – Second Delivery (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  15. ^ "Singing Postman, The – Third Delivery (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  16. ^ "Singing Postman, The – Fourth Delivery (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  17. ^ "Singing Postman, The – Ladies Darts Team / Roundabout (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 6 September 1966. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  18. ^ "Singing Postman, The – Mind How You Go / Daddy's Trombone (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 23 February 1967. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  19. ^ "Singing Postman, The – Please Mr. Postman (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  20. ^ "Singing Postman, The – Fertilising Liza (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 29 January 2014. 
  21. ^ "Hey the Bottom Dropped Owt". Allmusic. Retrieved 25 March 2012. 

External links[edit]