DONNIE SUTHERLAND
Fairyland
(Ben Findon)
Australia 1969
#42 Sydney

Single on Du Monde. He started out as an apprentice jockey, but the career of Donnie Sutherland (b. 1946) has included singing, songwriting, radio announcing, TV hosting and journalism.

He began in radio as a disc jockey at Sydney station 2UW and has also been on 4BC, 2UE and 2KY. Publications he wrote for included the pop weekly Go-Set and Sydney's Sunday paper The Sun-Herald.

He is perhaps best known as host of the Saturday morning TV pop show Sounds, (originally Sound Unlimited) from the mid-70s till the late 80s, first on Channel 7 in Sydney and later around Australia

Donnie Sutherland OAM was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 2000 for service to the music and entertainment industries, particularly the promotion of Australian performers, and to the community as a compere of fundraising events. In 2001 he was awarded the Centenary Medal for service to the Centenary of Federation celebrations.

Further reading: Donnie Sutherland's official website is packed with details about his varied career(s).

Suggestion from Terry Stacey.


Column in the Sun-Herald, Sydney, 1984.

THE POP WORKSHOP
Fairyland
(Ben Findon)
UK 1968
Original version

Single on Page One, arranged by Wombles composer-producer-arranger Mike Batt: see, for example, The Wombling Song (1973, #4 UK).


Ben Findon's compositions include Billy Ocean's hit Love Really Hurts Without You (1976, #2 UK #22 USA #3 Australia), co-written with Les Charles.
The Pop Workshop were from Harrow, in north-west London. 

The band was formed in 1966 by Alan Box and Dale Evans who had been together in Nite Sect. After three members of that band left, Box and Evans recruited two new members and formed The Locomotion. They performed under that name around London's west for two years before being signed to Larry Page's recently formed label Page One and changing their name to The Pop Workshop.

In the line-up were Alan Box (vocals and guitar), Dave Evans (lead guitar), Andy Love (bass) and Terry Gibbs (drums).

Singles discography:
Fairyland (wr. Ben Findon) / When My Little Girl Is Happy (wr. Terry Gibbs), 1968, Page One #POF 091
Punch And Judy Man (wr. Geoff Westley & Tony Britton) / Love Is A One Way Highway (wr. Andy Love), 1969, Page One #POF 129

There are MySpace pages for Pop Workshop and Alan Box but the content of each has been reduced to some song files, still playable. The band's page has audio of both A-sides - Fairyland and Punch And Judy Man - and Box's page has some of his own recordings from 2005-2009.

References, further reading:
1. This blog post by Sebastián Vientos at Canciones Atómicas gathers some useful information about The Pop Explosion.
2. I gleaned some information by peeking (via Google search summaries) at now-deleted content at the MySpace pages of Pop Explosion and Alan Box. The audio is still up though, at both pages.
3. 45Cat.com has release details and label shots of both Pop Explosion singles. The page for 'Punch And Judy Man' includes a 1969 press release from Page One Records.
4. For the extent of Mike Batts's involvement with The Wombles' oeuvre, see this page at 45Cat.com.
5. Vernon Joynson's (out-of-print) reference classic Tapestry of Delights has a brief entry on The Pop Workshop and their "pleasant pop 45s" (archived online here).
6. At Marmalade Skies Mark Frumento includes 'Fairyland' at #55 on his list of the retrospectively named pop genre "toytown": Trip to Toytown Part 3.
7. For more on Larry Page and his Page One label start here, at Wikipedia. See also BSN"s Page One Album Discography which includes some background.

What would you do if someone said to you “meet me Saturday night in fairyland?” Please don’t answer that question. Anyway, that’s the premise of this song that is neatly set on top of a Motown beat. But the lyrics and arrangement transform its otherwise derivative musical backing into something special. The song was written by harmony pop master Ben Findon and the arrangement is by Mike Batt.
- Mark Frumento,
Trip to Toyland Part 3 at Marmalade Skies.

BRENDA LEE
Fairyland
(Pete De Angelis - Bob Marcucci)
USA 1957
Red herring

Same title but not the same song as 'Fairyland' by Donnie Sutherland.

Single on Decca, B-side of One Step At A Time.

The Second Movement's Australian B-side on Parlophone (1968), sometimes listed as Fairyland, is a different song with the full title Fairyland (Why Oh Why).

Corrections or comments? Contact the writer.