Predictions for 1965

I must admit I was curious as to exactly how clairvoyant Maurice Woodruff was going to be able to fill a whole album, as much as by the rather smug cover photograph, when I came across this recently (one of our local charity shops had pinned it to the wall at some silly price but nobody had been tempted, so they’d put it back in the racks). And smug he might well be, as when I looked into it, a whole industry of “Woodruff predicts” vinyl emerged (and that’s before his massive selling books, TV shows and celebrity endorsements!).

maurice woodruff predictions

London born (1916) Woodruff was a fairly typical high-profile astrologer, in that whatever abilities he might have had, they were never going to be enough to feed the demands of the media he relied on for his living. So throughout the whole album, which consists of short questions posed by a couple of feeds in the studio, he waffles and prevaricates, never naming names. The studio questioners then say ‘do you mean so and so?’ and of course he won’t commit. So if it turned out to be right, one up to Maurice, if not, “I never claimed that.”
It’s all great fun in a very kitschy way. Quite what you did with the album once 1965 was up though I’m not sure…
The cover photograph is not credited, though is clearly a studio session. There has been some curious retouching on it too – rather hamfisted pen lines around the eyes, on individual hairs and especially the strange way the creases on the forehead have been over-emphasised, plus crude shading on his tie for some reason.
maurice woodruff predictions
Thanks to his celeb links, Maurice also crossed over to America (and even had a TV show there for a while), so I was not surprised to see a whole series of US albums – including a set of albums, one for every sign of the Zodiac, all with simple graphic covers (three are shown above), and a small picture of Maurice inset somewhere into the artwork. Warners also got in on the act in 1962, and issued an album (in a sleeve which looks more like a business graph – see below) which offered you $100 dollars if the predictions were not at least 79% correct. As with the Pye LP here though, it’s all so fudged about that it would be very hard to have actually claimed your money. Back in Britain, Pye also did a great series of Zodiac EPs, all in blue vinyl (with music on the b-sides), and Tetley Tea even did an on-pack EP.
Woodruff (who died relatively young in 1975 on a lecture tour – I wonder if he predicted that?) today lives on in the bio-pic about Peter Sellers, who was one of Woodruff’s biggest clients, and is played in the film by Stephen Fry.
maurice woodruff
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One Response to Predictions for 1965

  1. Juan Collighan Byrne says:

    The only thing I remember about Maurice Woodruff are his predictions for 1963 at the beginning of the year (News of the World newspaper?) He forecast events by the month and for his November predictios he included the “death of a world famous politician.” As I was going to Spain I wondered if the “politician”, in fact a dictator, Franco, was the one alluded to. However, it turned out to be JFK…

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