Pointless Nostalgia: Peters And Lee

plopenneck“Welcome Home…”

Such a sweet song and yet, for some bizarre reason, it haunts me in a way that makes me shudder.  It was one of those songs that soundtracked a part of my very young childhood and not necessarily the bits I want to remember.  Lennie Peters and Dianne Lee couldn’t have happened in any other era than the early 1970s.  They were ridiculously naff.  How naff?  They were like K-Tel, Polyvelt shoes, Ronco and Blue Nun wine rolled into one.  With Old Spice and Brut splashed all over it.  They came to prominence on Hughie Green’s conveyor belt of naffness, Opportunity Knocks in 1973.  Having won seven or eight shows on the trot it was inevitable that a record deal would follow and Welcome Home did indeed hit No1 in May 1973.  For a good chunk of my childhood, they were on every TV chat show, game show and variety show – they even had their own short-lived variety show, just as they were about to sink into end-of-pier obscurity.  All we really have left is this warm, gorgonzola-scented glow of Welcome Home on Top Of The Pops to remind us what they once were. It’s not an awful song, and it really ought to remind me of cosy winter adverts for the South of Scotland Electricity Board or Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate – but it just doesn’t.  It only takes me back to endless, cold, bleak, wet winters.  Sometimes, you just get nostalgic for having to wear uncomfortable raincoats and wellies, for getting bored in the space between playgroup ending and dinner time, and for wondering why women were ever suckers for Lennie Peters’s voice – never mind why my dad always described Dianne Lee as “a crumpet”.

What was the rest of Peters And Lee’s musical catalogue like?  Litres of pee, sadly.

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30 Responses to “Pointless Nostalgia: Peters And Lee”

  1. christ…………….

    when i think of winter i think of the late late toy show – but with gay byrne and not that other prehistoric gimp

  2. aw…..that was a bit harsh. Peters and lee were a great act and I have all the 11 LPs and 22 singles they did and were brilliant. Honest.

    BRIAN

  3. Hello Brian, thanks for dropping by and for your comment. I will take your word for the brilliance of P&L, and, however it comes across in my post, my childhood was all the better for having them in it. Memories, good, bad or indifferent need their soundtrack and I feel genuinely nostalgic for them, even if their music wasn’t quite to my taste. And I’m always impressed by much-loved record collections, respect to you, sir.

  4. brian again Says:

    well Ive now also got the peters and lee story on DVD that Diane’s husband got me. And its brilliant! Its very ITV and 70s, but who cares.

  5. Diane’s husband got it for you? Blimey! Do you swap Christmas cards and all? I’m very impressed indeed. Very ITV / 70s probably is crap – but is it AS crap as ITV / 00s? I doubt it.

  6. What a tosser you are! No taste or appreciation of anything…..Shame

  7. Johnnie – Brian didn’t get back to you last summer, but he did join in the discussion on this site a couple of years ago:
    http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2007/08/peters-and-lee-welcome-home/?cp=0
    – confirming that he was a childhood friend of P&L and now runs a website for them (Dianne’s husband being Rick Price, formerly with Wizzard!)

  8. Erithian – this is golden, thank you very much. Great discussion. I love Brian’s passion for the subject, I wish there were more like him.

  9. brian yet again Says:

    I don’t mind people making fun of my music, I get it all the time anyway. If people gave eters and lee a chance they would see in the more unheard tracks there was some clever stff and fun going on than just “welcome home”!

  10. Well, you’re always welcome here, Brian.

  11. brian yet again Says:

    AWWWWW shucks

  12. It was great music and I miss actual tunes like these. What a lot of nasty comments on here. Can’t stand people who make webpages just to slag things off and people who visit to join in. Makes you feel superior I suppose.

  13. John – Whose comments are you talking about? I wrote this precisely because I was nostalgic for a song/era I actually missed despite not really enjoying it. I dare say it would be lovely to live in a sort of Val Doonican-jumpered world where all people do is write nice things on the internet but I was writing about memories. Didn’t think anyone else was being nasty, in fact Brian was touchingly lovely about something he really loves – people discussing things cannot be negative, surely? All I did was give an opinion and it was the start of a discussion, not the last word.

  14. brian yet again Says:

    WELL I LOVED PETERS AND LEE…….and I get slagged off a lot for it and don’t care!

  15. brian yet again Says:

    same 2 u 2

  16. Fiona bruin Says:

    If anyone says that Peters and Lee were boring or naff then they do not know what they are talking about and they clearly do not appreciate good music and wonderful talent. Incidentally I have met them and they knew me as their number one fan……so there!

  17. brian yet again Says:

    REALLY? As Dainne thinks Im their biggest fan as I knew more than she did on what was on what album, it was very funny……when did u meet them Fiona?

  18. rumours were abound that Lenny peters was not blind at all, and the dark glasses and being guided on stage by lee was just a ploy in getting the sympathy of adoring fans. I have no idea if this rumour had any truth about it, but it did kind of dampen their prestige..

    • brian mattocks Says:

      No Lennie was blind! One f the reasons people assumed maybe he could see was because a rope was sometimes tired to his belt so that he could walk around the stage more freely……

    • Vic, I saw their 1st show on Opportunity Knocks. Hughie Green made sure that Lee’s blindness was not known. I had wondered simply because of the dark glasses. It may have been their 2nd or 3rd appearance on the show when Hughie actually told the audience that Peters was blind. If I remember correctly he said the reason it was not broadcast in the 1st show was – no one wanted sympathy votes, including Peters & Lee. I loved their entertainment. Also I would love to find the DV mentioned in some comments. Where is Lee/Diane now?

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  20. Roy Slade Says:

    I had never heard “Welcome Home” or “Don’t Stay Away Too Long” until quite recently .. and wasn’t impressed. They are genuinely naff.

    But my folks had their album “By Your Side” on cassette, and I recall it fondly (but perhaps not accurately – hearing so much ‘modern’ music, it’s easy to forget how the sound quality of many old recordings was so tinny and hollow..)

    “United We Stand”, “The Old Fashioned Way”, “If” were enjoyable, and “She’s About a Mover” was very poppy.

    I recall “Nevertheless” being a highlight, and being much better (IMHO) than the Frank Sinatra version which I heard years later on.
    I can’t remember any other songs…

    I liked their tape much more than their Ray Conniff, Val Doonican etc tapes.. though not as much as The Carpenters. But then again, the purity of Karen Carpenter’s voice was something very very special.

    By all means, have friendly debates about their musical tastes, slag off people (in fun) for their tastes, and make fun of each other. But life is too short. Listen to what you enjoy, and enjoy what you listen to.

    The late great wrestler “Macho Man” Randy Savage put out a rap album, and although I can’t bear rap, and every single review made fun of it and said how much it sucked, I have to say that I really like it. A friend says it remind him of late 90’s Insane Clown Posse! I’m no fan of ICP, but listening to Macho makes me happy. RIP Randy.

    Roy

    • the BY YOUR SIDE LP charted at no 9 and the title track was also a top 40 hit. They were more jolly than the Carpinters.

      • Bless your heart, Brian, always good to see you around these neglected parts. I hope you’re well, sir.

      • I JUST HAVE NO SHAME. Peters & Lee are now almost whitewashed from history, they never get a mention on 70’s programmes and the likes. Any shows that Dianne now does with Rick are never promoted. Its almost as if they never existed. Their 70’s TV series was wiped by ATV so that too can never be shown. long with their Christmas specials.

      • All the more reason why a years-old, lightly fun-poking post about them by a former blogger, whose own whitewashing from history make Peters & Lee look as popular and now as the Kardashians, should be kept alive.

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