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BASCA e-mail

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  1. Dear Ian,
  2. Many thanks for the email and the update.  I've had a conversation with The Ivors Committee Chairman and I'm
  3.  
  4. afraid we don't have any further information or comment on that from 2014.  Sorry I can't shed any more light on
  5.  
  6. the situation.
  7. Best wishes, Fran
  8.  
  9. Fran Matthews
  10. Ivor Novello Awards - Gold Badge Awards - British Composer Awards
  11. BASCA
  12.  
  13.  
  14. -----Original Message-----
  15. From: ian
  16. Sent: 11 July 2016 09:07
  17. To: Fran Matthews
  18. Subject: Jonathan King and the Ivor Novello Award again
  19.  
  20. Hello, back in January 2014, I wrote an e-mail to BASCA inquiring about Jonathan King's claim to have won an
  21.  
  22. Ivor Novello Award for his version of the song "Una Paloma Blanca". In reply, it was said that BASCA has no
  23.  
  24. record of this award being given to King, and that the awards are given only for songwriting and composing. The
  25.  
  26. songwriting credit for this song is Johannes Bouwens, who originally released it in March 1975 under his stage
  27.  
  28. name George Baker, as part of the band the George Baker Selection, with the title Paloma Blanca. Bouwens is a
  29.  
  30. Dutch citizen, so under current BASCA rules he would not have been eligible unless he was living in Britain or
  31.  
  32. Ireland during 1975.
  33.  
  34. Since then, Jonathan King has published the second installment of his autobiography, 70 FFFY, in which he
  35.  
  36. mentions this incident in Chapter 23, reprinted below:
  37.  
  38. "Chapter 23
  39.  
  40. Ivor Novello
  41.  
  42. Way, way back in time, like 1975 or 1976, before you were born dearly beloved, when the mists of ancient history
  43.  
  44. clouded the fog of memory, I was told I had been awarded an Ivor Novello prize for my recording of Una Paloma
  45.  
  46. Blanca.
  47.  
  48. Now this struck me as odd at the time. The Ivors are given for songwriting or publishing and I’d neither written nor
  49.  
  50. published the song. But it was for something like Best Seller or Most Played and I assumed that the combined sales
  51.  
  52. or plays of both versions would have gained a prize and, since mine was the bigger hit version, making the Top Five
  53.  
  54. whilst George Baker’s original was only Top Ten, it warranted an award.
  55.  
  56. I was in the States anyway, so couldn’t go to the ceremony but the band leader Joe Loss offered to collect it on my
  57.  
  58. behalf.
  59.  
  60. I remember this distinctly as, when I returned and phoned to thank him and asked him if he could send it over to
  61.  
  62. me, he refused. He said he was keeping it. I laughed and said it had my name on the plaque but he insisted he would
  63.  
  64. put it on his mantlepiece with the writing turned against the wall. He wasn’t joking and it took me several minutes to
  65.  
  66. persuade him.
  67.  
  68. It eventually arrived. Without doubt the ugliest statuette in the world, a waltzing lady in a long skirt. I put it on my
  69.  
  70. own mantlepiece and pointed it out to every visitor saying how ghastly it was. After a couple of years there was a
  71.  
  72. burglary at the house and it was taken amongst other things. I was pleased to see the back of it, unlike Joe.
  73.  
  74. Cut to forty or so years later. Joe Loss had become Dead Loss. I was still battling through life. Someone posted on
  75.  
  76. my website that there was controversy going on at the Wikipedia website about whether or not I’d won the Ivor and
  77.  
  78. it had been removed from my credits. Since this was really of no importance to me, I ignored it. Wikipedia is famous
  79.  
  80. for its inaccuracy anyway, being edited by drones with little or no knowledge and a lot of time on their hands, as well
  81.  
  82. as by the usual haters and loathers.
  83.  
  84. But several further questions came my way, so I contacted BASCA (the parent company) and asked them to send
  85.  
  86. me confirmation that I’d had the Award. They replied that I hadn’t; there was no record of it.
  87.  
  88. This annoyed me and I started a crusade amongst my several friends associated with the organisation. Nobody
  89.  
  90. could find any proof or evidence.
  91.  
  92. We found a statuette in the offices and I photographed myself with it but, on polishing off the obscure plaque, found,
  93.  
  94. beneath the filth of the years, it had been awarded to Abba for one of their songs. Like me they clearly didn’t want
  95.  
  96. the damn thing. Further e-mails to writers like Gary Osbourne [sic], Bill Martin and Tony Hiller - all winners around
  97.  
  98. that time -provoked no memories either.
  99.  
  100. So, unless someone has an old Ivor purchased from a fence or, let’s say, scrap metal dealer, it seems history will
  101.  
  102. once more be changed to fit the passing of time and the mists of memory. Since the horrid things are made of
  103.  
  104. bronze, I suspect it’s been melted down and is, I’m sure, now something far prettier. But this is just an example of
  105.  
  106. how facts can dissolve over the years. A trivial, unimportant one, hardly even warranting a line, let alone a chapter,
  107.  
  108. in a tome as worthy as this one.
  109. However, it illustrates the way that even solid, real, actual details can get blurred and faded. Unless, of course, my
  110.  
  111. own memory is faulty, in which case I suggest you not only ignore everything written in this chapter but everything
  112.  
  113. else in this entire volume - and others."
  114.  
  115. The claim that King won an Ivor Novello Award for Una Paloma Blanca no longer appears in his Wikipedia article
  116.  
  117. because it fails Wikipedia's policy on verifiabilty, which says "Readers must be able to check that any of the
  118.  
  119. information within Wikipedia articles is not just made up.
  120. This means all material must be attributable to reliable, published sources. Additionally, quotations and any
  121.  
  122. material challenged or likely to be challenged must be supported by inline citations." Since the George Baker and
  123.  
  124. Jonathan King versions of the song were both released in 1975, 1976 would be the relevant awards ceremony. The
  125.  
  126. website of The Ivors ( http://theivors.com/archive/1970-1979/the-ivors-1976/ ) gives the 1976 awards as follows:
  127.  
  128. "The 21st Ivor Novello Awards were presented by the Songwriters Guild of Great Britain and sponsored by PRS;
  129.  
  130. they were held at the Dorchester Hotel, London
  131.  
  132. Songwriters of the Year
  133.  
  134. Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington
  135.  
  136. Music Publisher of the Year
  137.  
  138. Geoffrey Heath
  139.  
  140. Outstanding Services to British Music
  141.  
  142. Dick James
  143.  
  144. Most Performed British Work
  145.  
  146. I’m Not In Love
  147. Written by Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart Published by St Annes Music
  148.  
  149. Best Selling British Record
  150.  
  151. Bohemian Rhapsody
  152. Written by Freddie Mercury
  153. Released and Published by EMI Records – B. Feldman & Co Ltd
  154.  
  155. Best Middle of the Road Song
  156.  
  157. Harry
  158. Written by Catherine Howe
  159. Published by Carlin Music Corporation
  160.  
  161. Best Pop Song
  162.  
  163. I’m Not In Love
  164. Written by Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart Published by St Annes Music
  165.  
  166. Best Theme from TV or Radio
  167.  
  168. The Edwardians (Upstairs, Downstairs Theme) Written by Alexander Faris Published by Standard Music Ltd
  169.  
  170. Best Film Score
  171.  
  172. Murder on the Orient Express
  173. Written by Richard Rodney Bennett
  174. Published by EMI Film & Theatre Music Ltd
  175.  
  176. Best British Musical
  177.  
  178. Great Expectations
  179. Written by Cyril Ornadel and Hal Shaper
  180. Published in the UK by The Sparta Florida Music Group – Aviva Music Ltd
  181.  
  182. International Hit of the Year
  183.  
  184. I’m Not In Love
  185. Written by: Graham Gouldman – Eric Stewart Published by St Annes Music
  186.  
  187. Best Instrumental Work
  188.  
  189. Introduction and Air to a Stained Glass Window Written by John Gregory Published by Arpeggio Music
  190.  
  191. Best British Work for Children
  192.  
  193. Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo
  194. Written by Michael Flanders and Joseph Horovitz Published by Novello & Co Ltd"
  195.  
  196. No King or Una Paloma Blanca, and not in any of the 1970s awards either.
  197. In your e-mail to me dated 18 January 2014, you wrote "... at The Ivors we do give a statuette to the associated UK
  198.  
  199. music publisher and in the 1950s to 1980s also the UK record company associated with Best Selling A Side. As such
  200.  
  201. there is a chance Mr King may have owned a company that was recognised, but it would be a company rather than
  202.  
  203. an individual's award." However, King says in the book that he did not publish the song, and in 1975 the best selling
  204.  
  205. single in the UK was Bye Bye Baby by the Bay City Rollers. This was written by Bob Crewe and Bob Gaudio, both
  206.  
  207. U.S. citizens, and was originally released by the Four Seasons in 1965.
  208. The Best Selling British Record in 1975 was Bohemian Rhapsody written by Freddie Mercury, as mentioned in the
  209.  
  210. list of awards above.
  211.  
  212. Please could I ask if there is any way in which this discrepancy could have occurred? If you cannot add to what has
  213.  
  214. been said already that is fine. It's just that I hate mysteries and this has proved impossible to clear up.
  215.  
  216. Thanks.
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