I jointly dedicate my song today to my sister-in-law, Linda Forde from Dewsbury and Linda’s daughter, Sam who shares her mum’s birthday. Sam and her partner Darren live up in Aberdeen with their children. I also dedicate my song today to my Facebook friend, Alan Foster who also celebrates his birthday today. Alan originates from Heckmondwike in West Yorkshire but now lives in Adelaide, South Australia. Have a smashing birthday, you birthday boy and girls, and leave some room for lots of cake and suitable refreshments.
Two years ago, today (11 March 2018) the great comedian, singer of Knotty Ash in Liverpool, Ken Dodd died aged 90 years old. Sir Kenneth Arthur Dodd OBE was born in November 1927. He is remembered today as being ‘the last great music hall entertainers of his day’, and was primarily known for his live stand-up performances that would often extend for three or four hours, leaving the audience without transport home.
A lifelong resident of Knotty Ash in Liverpool, Dodd's career as an entertainer started in the mid-1950s. His performances included rapid and incessant delivery of often surreal jokes and would run for several hours, frequently past midnight. His verbal and physical comedy was supplemented by his red, white and blue ‘Tickling Stick’ prop and often introduced by his characteristic upbeat greeting of “How tickled I am!" He interspersed the comedy with songs, both serious and humorous, and with his original speciality, ventriloquism. He also had several hit singles primarily as a ballad singer in the 1960s, and occasionally appeared in dramatic roles. He performed on radio and television and popularised the characters of the ‘Diddy Men’.
He was knighted in the 2017 New Year’s Honours for services to entertainment and charity. His stage career lasted for over 60 years, and he continued to perform until the end of 2017 when his health permitted; he died on 11 March 2018, aged 90.
Ken Dodd is one of the few men who appeared before a Crown Court for Defrauding ‘HM Revenue and Dept of Taxes’ (Tax evasion), and despite everyone in the country knowing in their heart of hearts that he was obviously ‘guilty as charged’, his sheer popularity in the eyes of the eleven jurors and the fact that Ken was one of the most loved comedians in the country, proved to be enough for him to be found ‘Not Guilty’ as charged.
In memory of Ken Dodd’s life and the laughter and pleasure he brought to millions of people during his long career, I sing my favourite song that frequently sang in his shows, ‘Love Me With All Of Your Heart’ (a popular song that was based on the Spanish language song’ Cuando calienta el sol’; originally composed as "Cuando Calienta El Sol En Masachapa. I can never hear this song without thinking about Doddy as he became affectionately known. Rest in peace, Ken.
Love and peace Bill xxx