Granada Reports ITV carried an interesting news story last Friday all about US Soul singer Jimmy Hamilton celebrating his 80th birthday in Chorley Lancashire.
The background to this clip starts back in the 1970s, when Granada Tv made a documentary in their series 'This England'. This episode was titled 'The Realistics In Belfast' and was first broadcast on 21st June 1976
(a brief clip of this documentary was featured on Outta Sites Records facebook page and was also featured in our own video library feature here on Soul Source.)
Documentary info from tv library
The Realistics are four black American soul singers, now living in Britain. Sandy Sanders, leader of the group, fought in the front line at the height of the Vietnam War. James Hamilton worked for Martin Luther King and was beaten up, shot and nearly killed by political rivals. John Cheatdom was shot in the heart when he was a child living in Brooklyn, New York. And T.C. Anderson was brought up in the tough Chicago ghetto. They all grew up among bombs, bullets and violence. Nevertheless, when they were offered an engagement to play for a week in Northern Ireland, at the Abercorn Restaurant, Belfast, where two people were killed and over 100 injured by a bomb in 1972, they were afraid.
Granada followed The Realistics throughout their week in Belfast, as they visited both IRA and Loyalist pubs, attended a Peace Movement meeting, waited in the dark and eerie streets for taxis that took an hour to reach them, and saw the shop of one of their new-made friends, bombed.
Anyway fast forward 40 odd years and a pm showed up on here a few weeks ago from Jimmy's daughter Joanna asking for assistance in tracking down the full programme to show at a surprise 80th birthday for Jimmy who is living in the UK...
Well it turns out that Granada not only helped Joanna get a copy of the clip and other clips to show but they also went and featured the story and birthday party in its news programme Granada Reports last Friday which I managed to grab.
Here's the clip, looks like Jimmy and family had a great time! Happy Birthday Jimmy and a hats off to Joanna and Granada for making it happen!