THE 69'ERS
Harry Rag
(Ray Davies)
Australia 1973

Single on Infinity, a re-recording of the earlier album track and single on Du Monde. The song had become a 69'ers signature tune.

The 69'ers' performance of Harry Rag at the Sunbury Festival was included on the 1973 Mushroom album The Great Australian Rock Festival, Sunbury 1973.

The good-humoured and eclectic 69'ers, from Sydney, were a popular live band that saw many line-up changes 1969-1976. Founding member Francis Butler was a constant presence throughout, except for a few months in 1973 when he was missing from Peter Knox's New Improved 69'ers.

Terry Stacey (bass, kazoo & vocals, 1973-4) has written a detailed history of the band for Milesago [link] which includes various personnel lists and a discography. The phrase "jug band" pops up often, which may give some idea of the band's tendencies.

THE 69'ERS
Harry Rag
(Ray Davies)
Australia 1971

Track on The 69'ers Album (1971) on Du Monde.

This track was released as a single on Du Monde in August 1972 and the song was re-recorded for a 1973 single on Infinity.

The writers: The single credits both Ray and Dave Davies as writers, but the song seems to be Ray's (BMI Work #529033) and is credited that way on the Reprise single.

The apostrophe: Reliable sources and the Great Australian Rock Festival album place it thus: 69'ers. On the Du Monde album sleeve and on this Sunbury Festival promo album it was omitted: 69ers. For the single it has been put back, in a different place: '69ers.

THE KINKS
Harry Rag
(Ray Davies)
UK 1967
Original version

On album Something Else By The Kinks, October 1967.

In the US (but not in the UK) Harry Rag was on a Reprise single, B-side of Mr Pleasant.

A harry rag is a cigarette (fag) in Cockney rhyming slang, apparently a play on the name of Harry Wragg the British jockey (1902-1985).

Further reading: 1. Lyrics and release history of Harry Rag at KindaKinks.net. An alternative take was added to a 2011 reissue of the album. 2. Harry Wragg at Wikipedia: see under Popular culture. 3. Guardian story about Cockney Rhyming Slang.

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