The top ten dubious songs of the Jimmy Savile era
NOW that the dam has burst, and Sir Jimmy Savile stands exposed, the revelations about him and his fellow DJs confirm what many have known for years: that the pop music business of the fifties, sixties and seventies was a world in which middle-aged men surrounded themselves with young girls and boys and indulged themselves with impunity.
And the musical clues weren’t always subtle either. So as our contribution to the great debate, ladies and gentlemen/guys and gals, we present the top ten dubious songs of the Savile era…
Good Morning Little Schoolgirl – Sonny Boy Williamson (1937)
First recorded before the war, covered later by the legendary electric bluesmen, then later still by the bands of the mid-sixties British “blues boom” of the mid-sixties. This would be the template for all that followed.
Little Child – The Beatles (1963)
“Baby” and “child” were part of the rock’n’roll lexicon from the get-go, but this title nevertheless remains uniquely peculiar.
Young Girl – Gary Puckett & The Union Gap (1968)
This chart-topping Top of the Pops favourite is highly unusual, in that it actually questions the idea of “going too far”, and concludes that it might not be such a great idea after all…
Stray Cat Blues – The Rolling Stones (1968)
The 15-year-old subject of this sordid tail would later be adjusted to 16 for live performances
Vagabond Virgin – Traffic (1968)
“You were barely thirteen, so fresh on the scene…”
Born Late ’58 – Mott the Hoople (1974)
“Detonator, jail-baiter,” proclaims Overend Watts. Take the title and the release date and “do the math”.
Sick Again – Led Zeppelin (1975)
Jimmy Page’s 14-year-old girlfriend was referenced in “New Style” by the Beastie Boys (If I played guitar I’d be Jimmy page/the girls I like are underage) but Zep’s paean to juvenile groupies said it all years earlier…
Jailbait – Ted Nugent (1981)
“Jailbait’ was a popular phrase of the time, and several artists released tracks with that title, including Wishbone Ash, Nils Lofgren and Motorhead. This is Ted Nugent’s typically unsubtle take on the subject. (Well I don’t care if you’re just thirteen/You look too good to be true/ I just know that you’re probably clean There’s one lil’ thing I got do to you.)
Lemon Incest – Serge & Charlotte Gainsbourg (1985)
The most inappropriate father-and-daughter duet since Frank and Nancy’s “Something Stupid”. Charlotte later described the single, recorded when she was 12, as a “provocation”. It is the 630th best-selling single of all time in France…
Playground Bang-a-round – Rye Spangle (2001)
OK, this is actually a Chris Morris spoof, but a gold disc would surely have awaited this glam classic back in 1973…