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Chas & Dave's Ultimate Playlist

Chas & Dave's Ultimate Playlist

Chas & Dave's Ultimate Playlist
29 October 2013

Chas & Dave are one of the UK's hidden treasures: a truly original duo, who have forged their own, distinctive musical path and are loved the country over.

They are back with their first studio album in 27 years to mark their 50th anniversary, the fantastic That's What Happens, which seems them look back on the genres of blues, skiffle and folk, showcasing their formidable musicianship (Chas played with Jerry Lee Lewis and both of them were respected session players before teaming up). They've already appeared on Later... and seen a raft of positive press come their way, getting the recognition they deserve in the process.

We caught up with Chas to find out his Ultimate Playlist: the songs which have left a mark on him throughout his long career, including Fats Waller, Little Richard and the Arctic Monkeys...

That's What Happens is out now. Buy from Amazon or iTunes


Favourite Song From Your Childhood

"First one that comes to mind is Cruisin' Down The River. (Sings: 'Cruisin down the river on a sunday afternoon'). I'm not sure who it was, could have been Billy Cotton. When I was very young, my very earliest memories was of Kent, the Kent countryside - we lived in a farmhouse. We'd moved from London, I was 3 years old and it was just like heaven. There was, like, chickens there and animals and dogs and all sorts. Unfortunately my Dad died the day before my 4th birthday and I came home to London, but my earliest memories were down there and I can remember hearing that song on the radio, on Housewives' Choice. Just the whole feeling was...a magical feeling of being on a farm in Kent and the sun shining and cruising down the river I could picture that as well, so it's got great memories."

Favourite Song To Hear At A Wedding

"Straight away comes to mind that puts you in the mood...that makes you want to dance is Little Richard's Ready Teddy. Any little Richard one really, but I remember that was in The Girl Can't Help It - a great rock & roll film that me and my mates used to go and see as often as we could and he performed that one in that film, in full colour. Because it was in full colour I've got that image as well, as well as the rock & roll song. As I say it's just a great song - everybody smiles and wants to dance when they hear that."

Favourite Modern Song

"The last one was the Arctic Monkeys - I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor. I loved their honesty, I loved their energy and I loved the way he sung in his Sheffield accent."

Favourite Lyric From A Song

"Fats Waller's My Very Good Friend The Milkman. It's all great, it's just a great idea that he wants to marry this girl and doesn't actually say 'I want to marry her', he's saying 'all the people I know say that I should marry her'. Like my very good friend the milkman says you've been spending too much time, you should get married and the postman - all those people around him are saying. So that's how he's proposing to the girl, by saying 'all the people around me are saying we should get married so they must be right!' I just think it's just a great simple idea for a song."

Favourite Novelty Song

"Well it goes back - there's a few of them actually. I think it's called The Thing. By Phil Harris, came out in the 50s. (Sings: 'Before I call the cops') You never know what it is - it's something he finds in a box, called The Thing."

Favourite Sad Song

"The first one that comes to mind - when I was a kid I remember my Mum, she sang it. She usually sang happy songs - she was a great piano player, she brought us kids up playing the piano after me Dad died, but this was a real sad song. It was 'the man came home from work one night'…I looked it up and I think it's called A Maiden's Prayer. It's about a man coming home from work and before he goes to bed he has a feeling and he goes to say goodnight to his daughter and she's hung herself, She's having from a beam, for the love of a sailor who left her and she had a miscarriage of his baby and the whole thing and she killed herself. That's the saddest song I can think of."

Favourite Song From A Movie Soundtrack

"Calamity Jane was the film and The Deadwood Stage is the song. I saw that when I was a real young kid and fell in love with Doris Day as Calamity Jane. The film opens with that, when she's on a stagecoach. It's a great film - still a great film now - and a great opening."

Favourite Song That No-one Else Knows

"My mum dearly wanted me to play piano, although I mainly played guitar before piano - but she did teach me a little tune called A Starry Night For Rambling on the piano. That was the very first thing I learnt on the piano. I've never heard it anywhere else apart from me Mum."


Favourite Song From Your Own Music

"I'd have to plump for There Ain't No Pleasin' You. Before me and Dave got together even, I was in America and I thought 'all the cockney songs' - for the want of a better word to describe it, sung in my sort of accent - 'they're all funny, comical songs'. I've got nothing against funny comical songs, 'cos we've done some of those ourselves, like Rabbit and Gertcha. But I thought, 'I've got to write a song that will taken seriously, and sing it in my own accent'. And There Ain't No Pleasin' You was the one. So it was a real big personal achievement for me. And it was also me and Dave's biggest hit. It was No.1 in the Melody Maker chart and reached No. 2 in the BBC chart - I go by the Melody Maker chart!"