Pop Archives

The Valentines - My Old Man’s A Groovy Old Man (1969)

(Harry Vanda - George Young)
Australia Australia
#19 Sydney #4 Melbourne #7 Brisbane

Single on PhillipsFebruary 1969, B-side of Ebeneezer.

Formed in 1966, The Valentines were a popular Perth band favouring soul and British mod sounds. They had a local hit with Arthur Alexander's Every Day I Have To Cry (1967, #4 Perth). In 1967 they went to the national finals of Hoadleys' Battle of the Sounds in Melbourne (The Groop won) and moved there later in the year. They eventually became national teenybopper idols after the success of My Old Man's A Groovy Old Man. In a similar vein, Nick Nack Paddy Wack followed later in 1969 (#33 Melbourne, #20 Brisbane, #8 Adelaide).

The band featured notable co-lead vocalists: Bon Scott (1946-1980), later famous as AC/DC's lead singer from 1974, and Vince Lovegrove (1947-2012), journalist, TV presenter, booking agent and film maker.

The Valentines also recorded the Vanda & Young compositions She Said (1967, #24 Perth) and Peculiar Hole In The Sky (1968): see the A-side, Love Makes Sweet Music.

Reference: Ian McFarlane, Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop (1999), pp.660-661


Dr Marigold”s Prescription - My Old Man’s A Groovy Old Man (1968)

(Harry Vanda - George Young)

Single on PyeApril 1968 by North London band named from a Charles Dickens story.

Dr Marigold's Prescription, formed in 1967 out of The Followers, released several singles 1968-1975 and two albums but never had a UK hit, although Hello Girl was a hit in South Africa (1974, #1). They clearly built a following, and their Facebook page is still active and attracting fan comments (2015). The line-up was Fred Radley (guitar & vocals), Bill French (bass), Alan French (keyboards) and Dave Morris (drums).

Alan French has written a detailed memoir of the band's history at the Barnsbury Boys website, including their time as Billy Fury's backing band (1968-1969).

References, further reading: 1. Band member Alan French's detailed memoir about the band at the Barnsbury Boys website. (It's spread over a few pages but you'll have to go to the menu under Personal Histories to find the other pages). 2.  Album review and background notes at Radio Vickers blog. 3. Dr Marigold's Facebook page4. Springbok Radio-Radio Orion charts 1969-1989 at South Africa's Rock Lists. 5. Dr Marigold discographies at 45cat.com and discogs.com. 5. History of Billy Fury's backing bands at billyfury.com.


The Rag Dolls - My Old Man’s A Groovy Old Man (1968)

(Harry Vanda - George Young)
Original version

Single on Columbia, March 1968. 

Although the Easybeats had recorded it earlier (see below) this was the first released version of the song.

Arranged by Tony Meehan (1943-2005) who had quit as The Shadows' drummer in 1961 and started a long career as a producer and arranger. He also played on other people's records and had three Top 5 British instrumental hits in 1963 with bassist Jet Harris, his former bandmate from The Shadows' rhythm section. Meehan's credits include Louise Cordet's 1963 UK #13 I'm Just a Baby, and her charming up-tempo version of Don't Let The Sun Catch You Crying YouTube, released a few months before the hit version by the writers of the song, Gerry & The Pacemakers. Meehan produced and arranged all three of the Jet Harris & Tony Meehan hits, Diamonds (#1 UK), Scarlett O'Hara (#2) and Applejack (#5). The extent of his talents can be seen in the liner notes for Tim Hardin's 1973 album Painted Head, where he is credited for six instruments, production, and arrangements for brass, strings, woodwind and choir.

Not to be confused with: These British Rag Dolls are not the American girl-group who recorded with Bob Crewe, notably on a couple of answer songs to Four Seasons tracks: Dusty (Dawn) and Society's Girl (Rag Doll).

Further reading: Tony Meehan biography by Bruce Eder at All Music.

The Easybeats - My Old Man’s A Groovy Old Man (1969)

(Harry Vanda - George Young)
Australia Australia
Later version