Pop Archives

The 69’ers - Harry Rag (1973)

(Ray Davies)
Australia Australia

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 (1971)

(Ray Davies)
Australia Australia

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 (1967)

(Ray Davies)
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.