Hearty Rugby Songs

Hearty-Rugby-Songs windmill records nude record sleeve

Prompted by Glyn’s comment on the site this week about Rugby Song albums (and because it’s been a bit of a bloody week at work, so I felt like some light relief!) I had a quick look to see what we’d got scanned, but so far this is the only Rugby Songs album to make the image collection. It was issued on the Windmill Label, a label so cheap, as one person on the web put it, they made MFP look like Blue Note! They operated during the early 1970s. This particular cover is more risque than many, most of the others featured gangs of Rugby players in muddy kit and a damsel in one kind of distress or another. Hallmark certainly did a couple, and even the embryonic Island Records tried to earn a quick buck with one. Quite what sparked the sudden rush of these albums in the mid-sixties I’ve no idea, but Harry Morgan was involved in what are regarded as the originals, and these we assume got sub-licensed all over the place: “I write as the co-producer of the original rugby songs LPs – the first, Why Was He Born So Beautiful, by The Jock Strapp Ensemble, released on the Sportsdisc label in 1964, followed by six others: Rugby Songs Vol Two, Rugby Songs Vol Three, The Welsh Sing Rugby Songs, The Irish Sing Rugby Songs and The Complete Rugby Songs double album. All sold well throughout the rugby-playing world, as did two Penguin paperbacks culled from the records. Although the LPs gave rise to many imitators, and the Sportsdisc series has long been deleted, I understand copycat and pirated versions can still be obtained in the US.”If you look carefully at the sleeve, you’ll see (if you drag your eyes top right) it has been marked down from 58p to a fabulous 49p, a price saving offer on vinyl which would take some beating! I certainly don’t recall our local chemists in Sheffield stocking vinyl of any sort, normally these albums were sold at small supermarkets. A quick peep at the interweb shows the material still knocking about on CD and even to download. Throw a few onto your iPod and scare yourself when it goes on shuffle…

Anyhow for a laugh here’s another batch of the albums, from top corner left to right: Sinful Rugby Songs on Hallmark / Rugby Songs (Adults Only) on Boulevard / Rugby Songs Vol 2 (with what looks like Fergal Sharkey on the right!)/ Hearty Rugby Songs on Deacon (an earlier edition of the album above, and clearly from the same photo shoot) / Rugger Ditties on Summit / Why Was He Born So Beautiful / Rugby Songs Vol 3 on the Sportsdisc label referred to above / Shocking Rugby Songs Vol 3 on Hallmark / Wicked Rugby Songs on Summit, the Australian arm of Hallmark.

rugby songs album covers

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About simon robinson

Having worked as a designer mostly in the music industry, and mainly in the reissue sector, I now concentrate on the design and publication of books about popular culture - and even write some of them.
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One Response to Hearty Rugby Songs

  1. darnall42 says:

    good pics,i love pickig these albums up in the chazza shops (i’ve even uploaded a few tracks to my youtube channel http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwk9QJaGRa0 )

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