Tubular Bells (1973) stayed in the British charts for 279 weeks. Its ascent to the top was slow, but in reaching the zenith it displaced Mike Oldfield's second album Hergest Ridge. Tubular Bells found perhaps its widest audience as the opening theme music for The Exorcist (1973). The album sold more than 2,630,000 copies in the UK and continues to resurface as the haunting melody of choice in many a television show.
Vivian Stanshall (1943-1995) was a member of the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, an experimental group of the 1960s whose style encompassed trad jazz, music hall, psychedelic rock, and avant-garde art.
Robb Wilton (1881-1957) performed Music Hall style routines, often playing bumbling authority figures. He had a significant influence on Ken Dodd and Les Dawson, as well as on the TV sitcom Dad's Army. His most popular sketch began "The day War broke out, my missus said to me, 'It's up to you...You've got to stop it'. I said, 'Stop what?' She said, 'The War'".
Vivian Stanshall (1943-1995) was a painter, singer-songwriter, musician, author and poet. Listen to the first recorded section of Sir Henry at Rawlinson End:
A random sample of Stanshall quotes:
"I've never met a man I didn't mutilate." (Sir Henry)
"It was a great party until someone found the hammer." (Bonzo days)
"A pale sun poked impudent marmalade fingers through the grizzled lattice glass, and sent the shadows scurrying, like convent girls menaced by a tramp." (Sir Henry at Rawlinson End)
"Fear is the root of all courage" (Rev. Slodden, Rawlinson End)
Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse (1881-1974) was a prolific English writer whose comic terrain was pre-war English upper-class society. Of his own style he remarked:
I go in for what is known in the trade as 'light writing' and those who do that – humorists they are sometimes called – are looked down upon by the intelligentsia and sneered at.
Nevertheless he remains admired by many a contemporary intellectual, including Salman Rushdie and Zadie Smith. Christopher Hitchens commented, "... there is not, and never will be anything to touch him."
Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was a Scottish writer and physician. Creator of Sherlock Holmes, his writing spanned a range of genres including science fiction, history, novels, plays and poetry.