Author Nigel Goodall, Cliff catalogue expert and re-issue co-producer, and good friend of mine is a very welcome honorary member of this club, Detailed below are just some of his books, including his latest – Fearne Cotton: The Biography and a brief history of his work in publishing, music and television.
Nigel Goodall has been a highly respected music and film journalist for almost 20 years with over 25 books on the movie and pop world to his credit. He has written about some of the biggest names in showbusiness including Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Ray Winstone, Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, which combined, have sold over a million copies and won him a literary prize nomination. Formerly a graphic designer with over 300 record sleeves to his name, a brief spell as a pop manager, voice-over artist and disc jockey, and the co-producer of the syndicated 1978 Elvis Gospel radio special, he has also contributed to various album, video and television projects for over a decade, including most recently, the A&E Biography of Demi Moore. He lives in Sussex, England, from where he travels occasionally to New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles for research and author interviews. His current books on release are the biographies of Ray Winstone and Fearne Cotton. His next book out in September is David Tennant: A Life and Time in Space… For those who don't know, Nigel is also the co-author of several acclaimed books on Cliff (Recording Sessions, Complete Chronicle & Ultimate) and (with Peter Lewry) has also been instrumental in the revival of Cliff's back catalogue of recordings for over a decade, with some notable merits, such as the lost Live at Kingston album, the Summer Holiday 40th Anniversary special edition, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Years, and the forthcoming They Said It Wouldn’t Last (My 50 Years in Music) box set. For further information (including interviews about the Cliff at the Movies and Soundtrack Remaster CDs) visit Nigel's website at www.nigelgoodall.co.uk.
"I wasn’t old enough to remember Cliff Richard at the start, when he was the new singing sensation of the late ‘50’s. In fact it wasn’t until 1962, at the age of twelve, when my sister got a record player. An “Elizabethan” turntable in an elegant blue and white cabinet. To start with I was primarily exposed to Elvis Presley, and again thanks to my sister, the first Elvis movie I queued to see at the Essoldo in Tunbridge Wells was Kid Galahad. In that same year, I also got to see The Young Ones. At that time, to most teenagers, music was very much about making choices. You were with either for Cliff or Elvis. I chose Elvis. But of course, all that changed a few years later, when the Beatles and the Rolling Stones replaced both Elvis and Cliff as the new icons of popular music. But not for me, even though at the time, I relented, joined the masses, and like most of my friends, bought Stones and Beatles albums, I was also continuing to collect the then latest Presley records – while my sister continued with her Cliff Richard collection… I too began to buy the odd Cliff disc, album and catch his latest movie at the flicks. Wonderful Life, Finders Keepers, even Thunderbirds Are Go! But never in my wildest dreams, back then, and I had a few, did I think that one day I would have the opportunity to meet Cliff, to write about his recording sessions or be given access to Abbey Road Studios, to witness for myself, in real life, the studios were such classics as Move It and Living Doll had been recorded. Even wilder, was the idea of watching Cliff working in the studio. Neither would I have thought as I sat in the stalls of the Essoldo watching Summer Holiday in the winter of 63, that one day, I would compile and search out long forgotten out-takes to put on an album, a box set, write sleeve notes, and write a further two books on the boy that Jack Good correctly noted was gonna rock the world.
Equally exciting for me, was to be asked by Carol to become an honorary member of your fan club. Again, some years ago, more than I care to remember, that would have been unthinkable too. I feel very flattered and honoured to accept such a delightful invitation. I hope over the coming months, and years, I may have the opportunity to meet with some of you, if I haven’t already, and to keep you up to date, whenever I can, with the Cliff projects that I hope to continue to work on with my colleague and friend Peter Lewry. There’s still plenty to do! Best Wishes, Nigel." (September 2001)Daniel O'Donnell
Daniel Francis Noel O'Donnell, to give him his full title, was born in the scenic area of Kincasslagh, County Donegal in North-west Ireland on December 12, 1961. Known locally as Daniel Bosco, he was the youngest of five children, sharing a normal childhood with sisters Margo and Kathleen and brothers John and James. He attended the Belcruit National School and a few years back returned there, not to submit some late homework but, to officially open a school extension. On this special occasion Daniel presented the school with one of his many gold discs which boasted the engraving: "Follow your dream because that’s what I did".
His family home was situated below Kincasslagh village and from its back yard you could enjoy the view of Errigal Mountain, Ireland’s second highest peak as well as the roaring Atlantic Ocean. Like any small Irish village, Kincasslagh’s popular tourist landmarks included a bar, a post office and the local shop, where Daniel worked when he was nine. The beaches proved to be the children’s local playground. Nearby was the chapel where Daniel sang as a choirboy and has fond memories of singing there on Christmas night. However Daniel’s first stage appearance came a few years earlier at Kincasslagh Hall when he received the first of many rounds of applause for his rendition of Little Cabin On The Hill.
Even though his sister Margo was now a successful recording star, Daniel had no desire to follow in her footsteps. He first began training to be a teacher before changing to study commerce at Galway College. But his career took a dramatic change when Margo made him an offer he couldn’t refuse and he joined her band him as rhythm guitarist even though, by his own admission, he couldn’t play a note! However he proved to be a quick learner and soon established himself in the band. Eventually he summed up enough courage to try out in front of the microphone whenever Margo took a break.
After two years of performing on the live music circuit, Daniel was growing in confidence and took the brave decision to go solo. He still held down a day job, washing dishes at the Central Hotel in Dublin and managed to save £600 which he used to finance the release of his debut single. A thousand copies of the single, featuring My Donegal Shore and Stand Beside Me, were pressed and Daniel sold them at every opportunity, even once to a bus full of pilgrims on the way to Knock shrine! He formed a couple of bands, firstly Country Fever and then Grassroots which helped him grow in confidence as a performer.
His big break came after performing in front of 70,000 people at the London-Irish Festival when he impressed Ritz Music Group Chairman, Mick Clerkin, who signed him to his label. The first fruits of their working relationship came with the release of his debut album, Two Sides Of Daniel O’Donnell and this was receiving positive airplay both in Ireland and the UK.
He was now coming to the attention of many new fans thanks to a hectic tour schedule of the UK and Ireland together with radio and press promotions. Then in 1987 Daniel scored his first No 1 in the UK Country Chart with his third album Don’t Forget To Remember. It crashed straight into the top of the charts on the first week of release, a feat previously achieved only by top American acts. He followed this with glowing performances in Peterborough and at the Wembley International Festival of Country Music and amazingly enough was making far greater inroads in the UK than in his native Ireland.
His 1988 album From The Heart not only topped the Country Charts but also featured in the UK Pop Charts where it remained for 12 weeks. This proved to be a huge breakthrough success for Daniel and opened the door for his other albums, total sales of which stand at over 3.5 million.
To date he has had six Top 20 album successes in the UK Pop Charts as well as one Top 10 smash hit album with 1998's Love Songs, which peaked at No 9. His Top 20 successes to date are: Follow Your Dream (No 17 in 1992), Especially For You (No 14 in 1994), while in 1996 he had two hit albums with Timeless (No 13) and Songs Of Inspiration (No 11). In 1997 I Believe also charted at No 11 while all his albums have either secured gold (100,000 units) or platinum (300,000 units) status as well as top the UK Country Charts.
Daniel's crossover appeal has further underlined with the single Give A Little Love, which gave him his first ever Top 10 hit in the UK Pop Charts, reaching No 7 in April 1998. This single appears on his Love Songs album, which now boasts three hits: The Magic Is There peaked at No 16 in October 1998 while The Way Dreams Are reached No 18 in March 1999. He followed this with Uno Mas (Spanish for One More), a No 25 hit in July. In total he has enjoyed 11 Top 40 successes in the UK Pop Charts, the others being: The Love Songs EP (No 27 in 1997) while in 1996 Footsteps and Timeless (his duet with Mary Duff) reached Nos 25 and 32 respectively. In 1995, Secret Love peaked at No 28, Singing The Blues (No 23 in 1994) while Whatever Happened To Old Fashioned Love entered the pop charts at No 21. I Just Want To Dance With You began his run of hits when it charted at No 20 in 1992.
Despite all his success, Daniel’s feet have remained firmly on the ground. He lives near his family and takes a genuine interest in the running of his own hotel, The Viking House, where many guests have been treated to impromptu musical performances by Daniel.
Daniel joins the London and Surrey Club as a result of my politely 'accosting' him in a motorway service station in the middle of the night, on the way home from the Tennis in Birmingham on 17th December 2000. He was extremely polite and courteous at all times, even when I asked him to say hello to the others on our coach, which didn't give him the chance to eat the white chocolate Magnum that he'd just unwrapped.
Daniel has written a message for all of the London and Surrey fans:
I hope these few lines find you well and that you had a nice Christmas. I must say that I am delighted that Carol asked me to become a member of the Cliff Richard London and Surrey fan club. I have followed Cliff’s career for many years so I had no hesitation in accepting Carol's kind invitation.
I look forward to reading all the bits and pieces in the newsletters and I hope I can contribute some news of interest from time to time. If our paths ever cross and you know who I am, please say hello!
Daniel O Donnell."
The London and Surrey club look forward to a long partnership with Daniel and hope that he will enjoy his time with us.
Jill Dando was an honorary member of this club until her untimely death. No-one can replace Jill, we all know that, but Nigel agreed to become an honorary member in memory of Jill. Nigel has become involved in many causes in which Jill was involved, like the Weston Hospice, but I thought it appropriate that Nigel be offered the chance of taking over from Jill’s small involvement with our club too. Since Cliff was actively involved in Jill’s life, being the good friends that they were, Nigel has also become involved in Cliff’s life, as they, together with many other people, continue to promote the many good things that Jill represented. His message to the club is below:
“Jill was a real friend AND a true fan of Cliff and it is therefore a privilege for me to be asked to become an honorary member of the fan club. Cliff was on brilliant form at a charity evening earlier this year in Jill’s home town of Weston Super Mare where his star performance helped to raise more than £60k for Weston Hospice, a cause very close to Jill’s heart.” (Written April 2000)
Tony Jasper has interviewed Cliff for radio and newspaper over many years. He was one time Charts Editor of Record Mirror and has compiled numerous factual and statistical books on the music scene. He has written many books which include volumes on religion and human relationships. He lives in London. His latest message to the London and Surrey fan club, received December 2000, was as follows:
"Dear Carol, The issue of Cliff-Guaranteed just received is really, really very good! Congratulations! Keep up the hard work. Thanks for the mags!"
Mike Wilson is an honorary member because of all the help he has given me in the past and to date. Mike is a huge Cliff Richard fan and the creator of our discography. He regularly contributes to our club magazine, where he details all of Cliff's "mentioned" in the media. His Cliff radar ears and eyes are quick to detect Cliff's presence on either TV, radio or in magazines which he then lists on a bi-monthly basis in our magazine. I couldn't run the club without his help.
Cathy Hogg, once a regular member, has always religiously sent me newspaper clippings and magazine articles to use in our club magazines. She also has written articles and poems which I have printed in the past. The expense and trouble she has gone to since I've taken over the club warrants her honorary membership for pure dedication to us and Cliff Richard, her hero!
Where-ever Cliff is, you can be sure Sue will there too. Sue is one of Cliff's official photographers and I regularly use the pictures that she takes. She always offers them for sale at reasonable prices and also can provide gifts using the pictures too. View some of her pictures here.