9 December 2018

Tiger Tim - Merry Christmas, Mr. Christmas/ Moving On

Radio Clyde veteran takes a stab at the Christmas charts and fails nobly

Label: President
Year of Release: 1975

Given that singles released by radio DJs are normally either super-whacky novelty items or embarrassing attempts by fading names to gain a future on the cabaret circuit, I expected the worst here. Shockingly though, "Merry Christmas Mr. Christmas" is a bit of a festive corker released in a decade that wasn't short of them. 

Pleasingly arranged with an unobtrusive and not at all sickly orchestra, an incredibly sticky chorus and subtle melodic changes, it sounds full of warmth and goodwill, and very much like a hit. If the Bay City Rollers had put it out, you can guarantee it would have been enormous, but in the hands of a local radio star who had little presence outside Scotland, it disappeared from view. 

"Tiger" Tim Stevens began working as a radio DJ in the West of Scotland in 1973, spending most of his career on Radio Clyde where he remained until 2010. 1975 saw him going off-air to attempt a career in music, of which this single and "Stargirl" on the GTO label were the only results. Despite the fact that "Stargirl" used a slightly more voguish glam sound, it also failed to generate sales.

The tiger was very quickly back on-air following these disappointments, and became loved as a Glasgow legend. By 1987 he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and became a prominent campaigner for the condition, but his career has ploughed on through the years and he remains a powerful name and popular media figure in the area. 

1 comment:

DJ PIGG said...

Thanks for letting me hear these.

Tim was, as you say, a local hero in the 1970s and 80s so I was very pleased to find out that he frequented the cinema I started working at in the mid-90s. Once he phoned up to ask me something and, while we were saying goodbye, I told him I was about to go on a break.

"Ah, stick your fags and coffee up your arse!", was Tim's response!

What a gent!

It's good to know that he's still broadcasting.