Thursday, 1 March 2012


Fantasy Bob is welcoming each month of the year with a suitable song.  FB has always had a soft spot for the sounds of the 1930s so he is pleased to welcome the new month with March Winds and April Showers, written in 1935 by Powell, Whitcup and Samuels and a dance band standard through the 1930s.  Here is a version by Abe Lyman & His California Orchestra, with a vocal by Louis Rapp recorded in 1935.  

Cricketers may wish to note that Louis Rapp would become much better known after changing his professional name to Barry Wood. This is the Barry Wood who is best known for being Frank Sinatra's immediate predecessor as the lead male vocalist on the long running NBC radio program Your Hit Parade, and not the Barry Wood who played who played 12 Tests and 13 ODIs for England in the 1970s.

Australia toured South Africa in 1935-36 and this is the kind of sound that would have stirred the players' juices when they went clubbing after a hard day's play.  The Australians might have had quite a lot of time for dancing.  This was their first tour to S Africa and they overpowered the Saffies, winning 3 of the Tests by an innings margin, a fourth by 9 wickets with the fifth drawn.

Headley - real class
In March 1935, England were battered by March winds as the West Indies beat them by an innings and 161 at Kingston to seal West Indies' first ever series win against England. The victory was based around fast bowling and the sublime batting of George Headley. In that fourth test he scored 270*  which stood as the highest test score by a W Indian for 33 years. In his 22 Test career, Headley scored 2190 runs and averaged 60.83. Only Bradman and Graeme Pollock have better averages.  His first class average was 69.86 - again topped only by 2 players - Bradman and Vijay Merchant. A class act.

Headley's West Indian record was overtaken by Gary Sobers 365* against Pakistan in Jamaica in March 1958. Sobers was 21 and this was his first Test Century. Another class act.   Sobers' record stood until it was overtaken by Brian Lara in 1994 who scored 375 against England. But that innings was in April. Lara then topped his own record, also against England and also at Antigua, when he scored 400* in 2004. Yet another class act. That was also in April. April certainly showered runs on Lara.

More class

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