Jump to content
Andy Rix

Mirwood, Cigarette Ashes & Dave Mccadden

Recommended Posts

In March 1976 Dave McCadden wrote an article for ‘Hot Buttered Soul’. I replicate the pertinent parts of that article below as it raises some interesting questions.

 

“I’ve had a letter from a guy called James Scarborough with an explanation of the Cigarette Ashes/Trips/Jimmy Conwell saga. James was a studio session man on ‘Cigarette Ashes’ so I’ll quote him…..

 

“I was a friend of Len Jewell’s and he introduced as a writer to Harry Graham. I showed him a few songs and I think he only released one, that was ‘Set Me Free’ (Performers — Mirwood 5536 — released 1967) … I’d been there a few years by then.  I’d been there about 5 months and Jimmy Conwell made ‘Second Hand Happiness’ (Mirwood 5530). We were stuck for a B side so we used the backing track of one of his earlier songs. We called it ‘Cigarette Ashes’ same as the vocal, but Jimmy didn’t record the vocal under his real name. He called himself David Graham, his son’s Christian names, and the A side of that was ‘Why Don’t You Say I Love You’.

 

‘Second Hand Happiness’ didn’t do so well so Jimmy’s next release was recorded under the name Richard Temple, a detective hero in a TV series at the time, and was called ‘That Beatin’ Rhythm’ (Mirwood 5532) and once again we used that backing track. We had a hit this time so we dropped the tune, but by 68 we had a few newcomers and we tried them out by using backing tracks to our own songs. One of these newcomers was Roy Willis and we did a few demos on him using ‘Cigarette Ashes’ and the backing track to the Olympics ‘Same Old Thing’ …….. Roy’s record using ‘Cigarette  Ashes’ was a monster number called ‘And I Kept Laughing’ and it was in the can when we closed down.

 

I found out later that Len Jewell had used ‘Cigarette Ashes’ as the backing track for a group disc on his own label …. The group contained Jimmy Conwell, Earl Nelson, Len and two brothers Paul & Harry Colbert (The Tripps — There’s That Mountain — Soundville 101)

 

Jimmy is now working as a teacher in Florida and Len runs a deli with me, but he still does a bit of production”

 

Dave goes on to say “I recently got hold of the David Graham vocal cut and it has a spoken intro, but I’d like to get hold of Willis’ version”

 

So the story doesn’t quite fit to the date of release of the 45s but might from a studio recording perspective. When Dave refers to the David Graham version does he actually mean Jimmy Conwell or is it another version .. and interesting to note James gives another song ‘Why Don’t You Say I Love You’ as the flip, has this David Graham release ever been seen assuming it exists  … and have the Roy Willis songs ever surfaced .. maybe a queston Mr Croasdell could answer….  

 

Your views are welcome

 

Andy 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David Graham Withers !

 

ROD

 

And David Graham McCadden too, if I remember rightly.

 

You'll probably remember this yourself, Rod but Dave (Withers) once told me the story behind this. Dave McCadden recorded himself doing a vocal to Cigarette Ashes with a spoken intro which went along the lines of 'Baby, you said you'd be here at eight, but you were late, and now there's just these cigarette ashes lying in the grate.'

 

According to Dave (Withers) it was actually pretty good (it was done in an American accent - not broad Mancunian!) but the tape got wiped before anything came of it.

 

As you say Tony . . .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a set of mini fanzines that Dave produced maybe late 80s or early 90s, he was always interesting to talk to, he would review records I had in my collection when I sent him tapes, using the reviews for his mag.

 

Like other individually created fanzines Daves were a source of information I struggled to find before I really had access to the web, so, appreciating Dave may have been a bit of a character on the scene he was for me a decent bloke, who was stereotypical of the vastly knowledgeable soulies on the scene, sadly some I have encountered disappear for a time, but in Daves case I heard he'd passed away.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have a set of mini fanzines that Dave produced maybe late 80s or early 90s, he was always interesting to talk to, he would review records I had in my collection when I sent him tapes, using the reviews for his mag.

 

Like other individually created fanzines Daves were a source of information I struggled to find before I really had access to the web, so, appreciating Dave may have been a bit of a character on the scene he was for me a decent bloke, who was stereotypical of the vastly knowledgeable soulies on the scene, sadly some I have encountered disappear for a time, but in Daves case I heard he'd passed away.

 

Yes, unfortunately Dave passed in 2006. Hell of a funny guy, also did stand-up comedy. RIP The Soul Fox.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this was one of Dave's wind-ups. James Scarborough was a member of The Performers with his brothers, Bobby and Larry, who had 2 discs on Mirwood and one on Sir Graham-Hank Graham's label. They were also Scarborough on E.J.Scarborough, "Make love to you", or at least James Scarborough was. It's amazing how some spoofs get written into Northern/Rare Soul folklore. I did one about Silky Hargraves in my mag "Detroit City Limits" which has since been repeated in the Groovesville book. I did put the author as "Al Lize" but nobody twigged !

Cheers Graham

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this was one of Dave's wind-ups. James Scarborough was a member of The Performers with his brothers, Bobby and Larry, who had 2 discs on Mirwood and one on Sir Graham-Hank Graham's label. They were also Scarborough on E.J.Scarborough, "Make love to you", or at least James Scarborough was. It's amazing how some spoofs get written into Northern/Rare Soul folklore. I did one about Silky Hargraves in my mag "Detroit City Limits" which has since been repeated in the Groovesville book. I did put the author as "Al Lize" but nobody twigged !

Cheers Graham

Remember it well Graham, took a couple of days to work it out, pointed it out to many people who had never noticed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think this was one of Dave's wind-ups. James Scarborough was a member of The Performers with his brothers, Bobby and Larry, who had 2 discs on Mirwood and one on Sir Graham-Hank Graham's label. They were also Scarborough on E.J.Scarborough, "Make love to you", or at least James Scarborough was. It's amazing how some spoofs get written into Northern/Rare Soul folklore. I did one about Silky Hargraves in my mag "Detroit City Limits" which has since been repeated in the Groovesville book. I did put the author as "Al Lize" but nobody twigged !

Cheers Graham

 

Yeah I thought that was real!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Comment now!

Comments are members only

Sign Up

Join Soul Source - Free & easy!

Sign up now!

Sign in

Sign in here.

Sign in now!


Related Soul Music Links

×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.