Something I thought I'd never hear! A few years ago I was contacted by Marilyn Fielding who used to read Jack & Jill as a young girl and remembered a record with Harold Hare singing a long about "Lovely crunchy carrots."
"It was a flexi-disc which we had to put on top of a real record in order to play it and it must have been given away with something because the quality of the recording was so crackly and poor," she recalled. "But it gave me and my two sisters tremendous pleasure for many years and Dad would sing it to us even 40 or 50 years later as he brought carrots to the table. Good old Harold Hare!"
Well, thanks to Tim ("the Mighty") Quinn I now have a recording of that very song. Tim dropped me a line the other day and mentioned that he had a copy, which "my mum sent off for way back when. I was about 5 and we had just got a gramaphone with '3D Sound'! Still not sure what that is." Thanks to years of hard work as an editor on comics, Tim no longer owns a record player but very kindly sent the record—a flexidisc backed with a sheet of printed card—and I was able to get a recording.
The full record runs for almost six minutes and begins with Jill playing a Christmas carol on her piano while she and Jack wait for their party guests. All the various characters from the comic arrive and some perform songs while they're having their tea: Flipper the penguin sings a song about riddles, Freddie Frog a song about a dragon and Harold Hare wraps things up with his ode to carrots.
The lyrics were by David Roberts and the music by Leonard Henry and the record supposedly featured "television's Rolf Harris", prior to the release of his first hit, "Tie Me Kangaroo Down" (1960). Quite where Rolf is on the record I don't know but, as you can see from the pic. above, Tim managed to get his copy signed.
Since the record came out in around 1958 and is over 50 years old, it's a rather poor recording but I've 'sweetened' it as best I can. It's still far from perfect, but I hope you enjoy this little clip. A piece of British comics' history...
(* Jack & Jill Party Record © Look and Learn Magazine Ltd.)