Monday February 17th
Petula Clark - still Sailing at Number One
February 23 1961 and Petula Clark’s recording of ‘Sailor’ is number one in the UK charts.
Fifty-three years on and hundreds of elderly people who attend the daytime singing and activity sessions organised by the charity Golden-Oldies have voted ‘Sailor’ as their number one hit in the Goldies Top 20 which has just been released.
The charity has attracted world-wide media interest and become fondly known simply as Goldies. It started six years ago in and around Bath with just four singing and activity sessions led by local musician and choir leader Grenville Jones. In a very short space of time the small charity has grown to the point where it now runs over 80 singing and activity sessions taken by 25 dedicated session leaders. The sessions are based on the memory-evoking hits of the 50s 60s and onwards.
Goldies gets hundreds of elderly folk singing, smiling and dancing each week across Southern England and South Wales and independent academic research has endorsed the fact that the charity is having a positive impact on the wellbeing of those who attend.
Founder Grenville Jones recently had call from a lady who lives in Keynsham. She said;
My Uncle and Aunty were joined together ‘at the hip’ and when she died suddenly, without warning, a few years ago, we were all very concerned of how he would cope. He joined the Golden-Oldies. His life now is singing, he loves it, when I see him now that’s all he can talk about. He has made many friends and it has given him a well-deserved new lease of life and it is lovely to see. He has even cut right back on his smoking.
“Without Goldies his life would be so very different.”
For many, attending a Goldies session is the only time that they get out to be with others. Goldies welcomes everyone and many who attend have severe learning difficulties or dementia. The sessions take place in sheltered housing meeting rooms church halls and community centres.
Sir Cliff Richard is the supportive Patron of Goldies. His 1963 hit ‘Summer Holiday’ was edged into second place in the Goldies Top 20 listing.
Under the Goldies CYMRU banner the charity is now growing across South Wales and the 1968 Tom Jones hit ‘Delilah’ gave Sir Cliff a run for his money coming in at number three. BIG Lottery Wales recently awarded the charity a major grant to support its development across Wales in the next 3 years.
Grenville Jones is the charity founder, he said;
“We sent a questionnaire out to hundreds of our Goldies and ‘Sailor’ was, without question, the most popular song. I have to admit that I was surprised but I do know from all the session leaders that it is the one song that is constantly requested at our monthly singing and activity sessions. It was also a hit for Anne Shelton in the early 60s.
“I think it is the fact that ‘Sailor’ is written in an easy-to-sing key signature. Our Goldies just love singing it.”
All the sessions use song books which feature over 80 well-loved tunes.
The charity plans to add 30 new sessions this year and aspires to become Goldies UK in the years ahead.
Press enquiries to Grenville Jones on 07778 282934.
Petula Clark’s ‘Sailor’ entered the UK top 50 charts at number 18 and topped the charts on 23rd February 1961.
Picture shows some of our Devizes Goldies (left to right) Betty, Dot, Gwen, Titch, Doreen and Rose with the Petula Clark record cover.