King (LK): 40 years ago, Jeff Christie's famous
track Yellow River topped
the English charts for three weeks, knocking the English
World Cup song off top slot. Jeff Christie is here
with us this morning!
is one of those songs you get into your head and you
just can't stop singing it, it's like an earworm.
Jeff Christie (JC):
It beats me, I wrote it 41 years ago in 1969. At the
time I was writing in a country pop genre style of
song. The song was slightly outside of those parameters,
with a strange combination of minor chords, and for
some reason it flicked a switch in people's minds.
It's like something that comes through
you, like a current. You don't question it, it is
very natural for me to sit down and write songs. It's
like a poet or painter creating someting out of thin
air, it's an exciting creative thing.
But it doesn't stop there, you have
to get the world to hear it, the business side of
it, you know, it sometimes just takes the gloss out
LK: Yes, you can't
just hand it to a team to handle the promotion ..
JC: Well, it's just
like this (promotion of the World Cup song),
it's amazing how busy I've been and probably will
be for the next two or three weeks to come; but you're
happy to do it, it's like playing gigs with a band.
LK: So you've redone
Yellow River, you've
adapted it into an unofficial World Cup song.
JC: It was producer
Dave Robertson who convinced me Yellow
River would make a good World Cup song. I was
less convinced at first, because I didn't want to
mess with it; if it ain't broke, don't mess with it.
But gradually he brought me round
to his point of view, with a clever idea fusing ska
with rap. The whole thing suddenly evolved into something
quite cridebile. I am my own fiercest critic, but
I found myseld digging it. It amused me, and got better
and better. The response we've had across the board
has been very good.
LK: It's got a kick
to it, excuse the pun!
JC: It's just a fun
track and it works I think. We'll see what happens
with it. It makes me grin every time I hear it!