Fred Wedlock ITV Westcountry Tonight



he was the singer songwriter comedian and presenter and and known and loved across the west country he even had a hit record in the charts well now the story of Fred wedlock's life and career is being told in a new biography in the moments we'll be talking to its author but first a reminder of the song that made him famous across the country looking a mirror in the light of day swear you died upon your heads and spray when you sip up your Wranglers and your fellows in the way you're the oldest swaggering spot the engines clapped and the driver also is the oldest vagrants I feel like the oldest swing I remember watching that on top of the pops back in 1981 I can't say I didn't know but I'm happy to say that with us is the biographer John Hudson now Fred had a very very varied career how on earth did you start when he thought about writing the book I think I started with Vistal in the West Country because he was born as you know he was born in a pub in Red Cliff in Bristol he went to school here he was brought up here and of course from an early age he was singing a used to reckon that he used to sing to the sailors in his dockside pub he used to embellish things I think a bit fret you know but he probably did a little bit but he realized that he was a good thing we became had chorister at st. Mary Red Cliff Church and because of his illness he had to train his voice a bit so he had a really good voice and it was at a time in the early 60s come the early sixties when folk music was big it was really big it was bigger than anyone could imagine it being if they weren't around at the time and that was his thing he was I mean he was known on the local circuit very much when did he get his first big break I suppose the big break wasn't long before oldest swinger in town the record there was a little bit of television work which went network he did a thing without Cutler called the Great Western musical Thunder box which I think was produced in these very studio in another age but that was a kind of lunchtime show and it wasn't until that breakthrough record in 81 that he became very well known and was appearing with legs and Co on top of the props and all the rest of it and just was getting flung Dantas was now what surprised me from the book is he didn't actually write all this swinger I always thought he did know he did a lot towards but it was written by an old Geordie folks in gold had Pickford and AD was very insistent that it was his song other debates between Fred's manager and heads people about who did what and and presumably who got the money who got the money yes I mean Fred did very well anyway with the money but at who needed a break at the time I'm glad that he got some money out of it as well and of course Fred died three years ago and his funeral was very well attended here in Bristol wasn't it just probably showed how much he was loved how much and what a vast range of people he touched in his life as well from the well television of course he was in the wonderful players the dockside and up the feeder down the mouth and where there was the the steamship turning in the harbor remember that when he touched so many people in so many ways and his audiences were so varied as well he was one of those people who could you know do the dustman's ball one day and the the Lord Mayor show the next fascinating guy that's all in the book as well isn't yep indeed thank you so much for coming in and talking to us about it thank you

Michael Martin

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