Ryan at the Rank

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Massed Male Voice Choirs of North Wales

Pontarddulais Male Voice Choir

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Best of Welsh Comedy

Black Mountain Records

Ryan at the Rank - Welsh Cabaret Singer Comedian

RYAN….AT THE RANK
WITH THE BENNY LITCHFIELD ORCHESTRA


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I Want to be Happy She
And I Love Her So My Kind of Town
For the Good Times Myfanwy
Sing Comme D'Habitude
You are My Sunshine Ar Hyd Y Nos
If I were a richman *** Comedy Medley ***
Over the Rainbow    
 


The definitive recording of the late Ryan Davies in Cabaret. Celebrating the work of Wales’ most versatile entertainer with his unique brand of humour, his marvellous singing ability and his complete mastery in front of a live audience. This is the most popular comedy recording ever produced in Wales.
Together with the Benny Litchfield Orchestra, it includes such songs as ‘YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE’, ‘IF I WERE A RICH MAN’,
‘OVER THE RAINBOW’  & ‘SHE’.
And the most popular solo version of Wales’ best-loved ‘MYFANWY’

Ryan at the Rank with the Benny Litchfield Orchestra

RYAN….AT THE RANK
WITH THE BENNY LITCHFIELD ORCHESTRA

Ryan ….at the Rank has for over 30 years been recognised as the definitive recording encapsulating many of the talents of Ryan. With its continued demand, it shows the great affinity that Ryan created with his Welsh audience all those years ago. It has even outlasted the various technologies on which it has been brought to you – initially the Long Playing record, then the Cassette and now the CD. Although sadly there will be no DVD version, just by listening to this sound recording, it sounds as fresh and original as the day it was released in November 1975.
Here is the inscription that was included on the sleeve notes for many of those years:
  It was on 22nd April 1977 that Ryan tragically died at the age of 40. Ryan has been described as the most versatile artist Wales has ever known – comedy actor, musician, singer, song-writer. His talent was immense but sadly will never be fully realised.
This performance is in English, but he performed equally in Welsh.
  ‘Laughter Sounds the Same in Both Languages’ he famously remarked.
This sound recording was made at the Top Rank Suite, Swansea before an audience of the South Wales Police – Western Traffic Division and allows us to marvel at his unique talent.

The term ‘Unique’ is often misused in this age of so-called celebrity, but as the years have proved, certainly not in Ryan’s case. Ryan actually helped to define that word in its traditional sense. His range of talents are well-documented on the sleeve notes of ‘The Many Faces of Ryan’ release, but there was something of a magical ingredient that bonded all these attributes together.

Ryan Davies

I am often invited to speaking engagements to talk about Ryan and I am always overwhelmed by the fond memories that so many have of him and the impact that he seemed to make. Although many did not know him personally, they still talk with great fondness, affection and respect. This ability to influence others I marvelled at when I had the honour of working as his Personal Manager and to see it still exist today is a wonderful tribute to the man.

To talk so glowingly is not viewing Ryan through rose-tinted glasses, but I can confirm that he was a real ‘gentle- man’ which is quite exceptional in the entertainment business.
Audiences are certainly very able to judge the qualities of a performer and they were right in Ryan’s case.
The further we move on from the ‘Ryan era’ rather than this passage of time diminishing his contribution to Welsh entertainment, it strengthens it. If we use Ryan as a standard of his time, it would be nice to reflect on others who have gained the same entertainment accolades in the intervening years. Yet despite the countless millions of pounds which have been poured into the Welsh media, we have been unable to produce anyone who can be compared in the same light entertainment terms. As a proud nation, we should be concerned – Ryan would have been.

But let’s not involve Ryan in the politics of the Welsh media! Ryan’s form of artistic comedic expression was pure escapism; escape from some of the grim realities of the ‘70’s, where you could be entertained and transported to ‘Ryan’s world’. His range of characters on this recording alone included his ‘little man’- Gerald to the excesses of the Swansea Drunk!
Today, a new generation has evolved who will not have known of Ryan’s work but they will certainly want entertaining too. With a new range of four of Ryan’s titles available, it is, therefore, an ideal opportunity to re-evaluate his work and his contribution to Welsh entertainment.

Ryan at the Rank

This recording, which reflected part of his cabaret act, is notable for one important observation – for a man who is immersed in Wales, the repertoire is more Las Vegas than Llanberis! One look at the running order and it is littered with American Classics, but then in amongst these are two beautiful Welsh songs. To further complicate the mix, add Ryan’s individual comedy style and you can rightly feel bemused that such a recipe works!

And that contrast made Ryan what he was. On the one hand, he made you feel ‘safe’ in his entertainment style, not in the least threatened. On the other, for the reasons just explained, he was a risk-taker but always ensured that you enjoyed the journey.

So whether you are an old friend or visiting Ryan’s work for the first time, thank you for giving Ryan the opportunity to make you laugh. Still doing that over 30 years on would have pleased Ryan.

Michael D. Evans

[Producer, Black Mountain Records & Ryan’s Personal Manager]

 

RYAN….AT THE RANK
             WITH THE BENNY LITCHFIELD ORCHESTRA

 1.  I WANNA BE HAPPY                                    Deal, Palace Music

2.  AND I LOVE HER SO                        Lennon & McCartney, Northern Songs

3.  FOR THE GOOD TIMES                     Kristofferson, Valentine Music 

4.  SING                                                    Raposa, Standard Music

5.  YOU ARE MY SUNSHINE                  Devis/Mitchell, Southern Music

6.  IF I WERE A RICH MAN                             Bock, Feldman & Co.

7.  OVER THE RAINBOW*                      Harburg/Arlen, Robbins Music

8. SHE                                                    Aznavour, Standard Music

9. AR HYD Y NOS                          Trad. arr. B.Litchfield, Land of Song

10.MY KINDA TOWN                            Van Heusen/Cahn, ATV Music

11.MYFANWY                         Trad. arr. B.Litchfield, Land of Song Music

12.COMME D’HABITUDE          Francois/Revaux, Shapiro/ Bernstein & Co.
     (English Version – My Way)

  • ‘Over the Rainbow’ although performed at this performance, was not included on the original LP release owing to time restrictions. It has been re-instated for this CD release.

 

Recorded at the Top Rank Suite, Swansea.                   

The Benny Litchfield Orchestra
Musical Director: Benny Litchfield

Recording Engineer: Des Bennett                             Black Mountain Records
                                                                            P.O. Box 89,
Photographer: Jeff Baynham                                    Mumbles,
                                                                            Swansea SA3 4XT
Produced by Mike Evans                                          01792 - 301500

Inlay card:

                 RYAN….AT THE RANK
           

 

 

The Many Faces of Ryan

Cymanfaganu

Music of South Wales Choirs

Froncysllte

Long and Winding Road


Seasons Greetings from Wales

Lennon and McCartney

Dunvant Male Voice Choir With a Voice of Singing


Black Mountain Records 2010
mike@blackmountain.me.uk