The Magic Highway


A loose translation of an article that appeared in the Polish magazine Panorama in August 1970, previewing Christie's historic appearance at the Sopot Festival!



Recently several British popular music bands have played in Poland. These were the bands widely known with the young, though being no great shakes in this type of musical form. Now we have an opportunity to see another band from London which made its way at lightning speed and gained extreme distinction in several European countries. Critics favored them.
   It's quite possible that not only those lucky people who will manage to get to the concert will have an opportunity to see and to listen to the band in Poland, but also all the music lovers who are interested in the International Music Festival in Sopot. This year the band will play at one of the festival concerts which will be transmitted on Telewizja Polska channel.
  The band CHRISTIE was named after its founder, musical director, chief composer and arranger Jeff Christie. The band came out at a public concert in Llanelli Glen (Wales) in early June this year. Before this, band members had been working with each other only for two weeks, and during this time they managed to develop, prepare and record a disc at CBS' music workshop with the song Yellow River.

Polish charts

The Polish Charts
for the month
of August, 1970

   The band was created in quite a strange way. Brian Longley, director of concert agency in London, liked the song Yellow River, written by the young composer. He liked it so much that, despite many difficulties, he decided to make it a hit. For doing this, apart from the composer, who had written the song, he invited to London two more musicians: Mike Blakley and Vic Elmes. He created a new band and recorded his favorite song.
   We have to admit that the result was not long in coming: two weeks later Yellow River took one of the leading positions of the British chart, more than 300,000 copies had been sold till the end of July. It came to a point that famous American singer Mama Cass presented the album on her television show, thus ensuring its success in the United States. There's more to come: the song got to the South American market thanks to the British band The Tremeloes, who recorded Yellow River in Spanish.
   Meanwhile, after their official debut, the band started its international career. On 12th, 13th and 14th of July they played their first hit in Rome, at the Rome Pop Festival. Then they went on tour of the most popular resorts of Great Britain. Directly after this they went to the continent, where they went on television of Holland and West Germany, and also had a mini-tour of Belgium.
   After coming back to England, they prepared the next single and the first long-playing record. Among others, the following new songs were recorded on it: Inside Looking Out, Put Your Money Down Boy and San Bernadino together with Yellow River and eight other songs.
   The music the band represents is called country-rock, and for the moment it's one of the most popular directions, as well as hard-rock and rock-and-roll. All the guys play their songs with great enthusiasm and musical culture unusual for British pop music.
   We hope that next to famous and remarkable music stars, the entire constellation of which is expected at the festival, young representatives of Great Britain will be one of the surprises of this huge event in the world of music, which as usual will end the Sopot Cultural Summer on the 30th of August.

ArrowRead more about the Sopot festival here and here, and listen to a snippet of the show here.