Blowers' inheritance tracks - from G&S to Streisand
It was lovely to hear our good friend Henry Blofeld revealing his inheritance tracks on BBC Radio 4’s Saturday Live this weekend.
Blowers, who seems to be busier than ever since hanging up his Test Match Special commentary microphone last year, did not disappoint.
The track he inherited was Tit Willow from the Mikado which is about as perfect a Blowers song as you can imagine - gentle, humourous and quintessentially English. He recounted fond childhood memories of being taken to the Savoy Opera by his parents. His father, Thomas Robert Calthorpe Blofeld was a big Gilbert and Sullivan fan. He was also an old Eton school chum of Ian Fleming who would go on to borrow his surname for the super villain in his James Bond books. The track he would choose to pass on was, a little surprisingly perhaps, Babra Streisand’s performance of Stephen Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns.
Originally written for the actress Glynis Johns who created the role of Desirée in Sondheim’s 1973 Broadway musical it would go on to be recorded by everyone from Frank Sinatra to Judy Collins.
For many though, including that dear old thing Blowers, Streisand’s 1980s version of the song is untouchable. It’s also slightly different from the original as Sondheim actually added an extra verse specially for her.
Meanwhile despite umpteen Tv and radio appearances plus many other projects, Henry Blofeld continues to appear occasionally with Clive Conway Productions. Keep an eye on this website to see if he’s playing a venue near you.