Who Can I Turn To?
January 25, 2008 12:10 PM   Subscribe

Who Can I Turn To? - Anthony Newley, 1965

"Rare early footage of singer/actor/songwriter Anthony Newley. "Who Can I Turn To?" from his musical "The Roar of the Greasepaint - the Smell of the Crowd." Performance begins at 0:48 - from the Ed Sullivan show in 1965.

If you're an American under 50, Anthony is probably the most famous actor/songwriter you've never heard of - but you know his work. One of his first roles was "The Artful Dodger" in Oliver Twist" - followed by roles in an additional 68 movies (such as Doctor Doolittle) and TV shows.

Anthony was a prolific writer of songs such as "Goldfinger," "What Kind of Fool Am I?" and the other hit song from "The Roar of the Greasepaint", "Feeling Good" (see versions on YouTube by Micheal Bublé, John Barrowman and Alex Kip.) He co-authored several musicals including "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

Anthony and his second wife, Joan Collins, had two children. "
posted by post punk (29 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Amazing performance -- and check out the Michael Jackson pose about 1 minute in.
posted by post punk at 12:17 PM on January 25, 2008

Can't....hold it in....any....longer....

posted by DU at 12:22 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Tom Servo: (Singing)
When the harlequin is on the bed
And the whisky haze surrouds your head
William Holden's coming over, and he's got a fifth of...

Joel: Tom! If you don't stop doing your Anthony Newley, I'll throw you against the wall.

(From Pod People)

God rest you, Anthony Newley.
posted by Iridic at 12:25 PM on January 25, 2008 [3 favorites]

He was the Mad Hatter in the TV version of Alice and Wonderland that I watched over and over on VHS in 1988 or so. He sang about Alice's confusion and despair. It was smarmalicious.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:25 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

David Bowie's spiritual daddy.
posted by timeistight at 12:26 PM on January 25, 2008

Whoops. I thought this was an obit post for some reason. (I read it as "Who Can I Turn To? - Anthony Newley 1965-2008," when of course it was more like 1931-1999.) Oh well. God rest him anyway.
posted by Iridic at 12:32 PM on January 25, 2008

And timeistight isn't kidding.

Bowie: When I Live My Dream (starts about 50 seconds in)

Bowie: The Laughing Gnome (although this may be more of a crossover of Newley and David Seville)

Nice post -- thanks.
posted by maudlin at 12:34 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

Newley was one of the mid-'60s voices that impressionists loved to "do". Most Americans probably know him more from Rich Little's or Sammy Davis' version than from the genuine article himself.

Couldn't find a YouTube clip for "The Joker" (my favorite Tony Newley), but here's a nice blog page that includes Newley mp3s and background info, including a link to "The Joker".
posted by the sobsister at 12:36 PM on January 25, 2008

He musta really had to go to the bathroom.

My favorite Newley/Bricusse wasn't sung by him, though.
posted by miss lynnster at 12:38 PM on January 25, 2008

The Bowie connection is news to me. Very cool. I have been hanging out here a lot lately, and it was Nick's song Jeff Koons that got me thinking about Mr. Newley. Thanks for those links.
posted by post punk at 12:49 PM on January 25, 2008

Okay, okay, before we start getting misty eyed about Newley, may I remind you that he unleashed Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? upon an unsuspecting and unready world?

He might as well just have wandered around a pediatric ward kicking babies in their bantlings.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:01 PM on January 25, 2008

Newley was one of those actors that, as a little kid, I saw on the television and thought "how strange." The impressionists (Gorshin, et al) had a field day with that song.

The only other celebrity of the period that got that kind of reaction from me was Oscar Levant. That said, as an adult I seem to seek out the strange.

Paar: What do you do for exercise?
Levant: I stumble then I fall into a coma.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:35 PM on January 25, 2008

Great post! One of the very first musicians to do "Who Can I Turn To" was the great jazz pianist Bill Evans, as this March 1965 performance from London indicates. This may be because Bill's music publishers (TRO) also published that Newley/Bricusse show (the title of which the host of the British TV show in this clip --gets inadvertently wrong)
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 1:54 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

I hated that.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 1:59 PM on January 25, 2008

Newley and Bowie are now being blamed for Depp's turn as Sweeney Todd.

Youtube comes up dry, but I know that there is a full-colour studio recording of Newley in "Stop the world" from the late 60s - I saw it once on cable in the UK in the early to mid-1990s.

Do any of you out there happen to have this? I'd love to see it again. Even a third generation copy on VHS tape - I wouldn't give a damn. And moybe then Oi'd know what koind of fool Oi AAAAAAAAM!
posted by gdav at 2:08 PM on January 25, 2008

When I was a kid I drove my family crazy with the movie soundtrack - double disc on vinyl - of Doctor Dolittle with Anthony Newley and Rex Harrison. Could never get enough of that stupid record. I think I heard the soundtrack before I saw the film, and I think Newley and Harrison were like iconic figures in my little three year old head. Completely infallible. That's just one of many things that led to more than my fair share of bully beatings in elementary school.

"You listen to that?" Yeah sure why - *punch*

Worth it though. Newley was great.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:25 PM on January 25, 2008

"He has a profound philosophy.
'If animals can be friends' says he,
'then why can't we?' "

Yeah. Newley was great. =)
posted by ZachsMind at 2:33 PM on January 25, 2008

That Bill Evans clip is fantastic. I have a friend who is a jazz pianist. He told me once that he didn't leave his house for three days when he heard Bill Evans had passed away.
posted by post punk at 3:12 PM on January 25, 2008 [1 favorite]

So bad it's good.
posted by Dizzy at 3:41 PM on January 25, 2008

Funny. I love musicals, the great songbook, singers, all that. But Newley makes me cringe, and I'd have Bricusse drowned like a puppy, were it up to me. Not everyone's cup of tea, Newley.
posted by QuietDesperation at 3:42 PM on January 25, 2008

For me, it's all about Gurney Slade.
posted by tapeguy at 5:45 PM on January 25, 2008

There's a name I haven't thought about in years. Idle on Parade (the audio track) is a little gem, IMO.
posted by Leon at 5:52 PM on January 25, 2008


posted by post punk at 6:58 PM on January 25, 2008

Can't find the original, but here's a nice impression.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:34 AM on January 26, 2008

Actually, if you're interested in musical theatre, the person who posted the original Newley clip has posted a whole pile of great stuff.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:56 AM on January 26, 2008

Check out World of Kane's recent post on Newley.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:41 AM on January 26, 2008

Oops, I see that it's already linked further up the page. Nevermind.
posted by MrBaliHai at 6:47 AM on January 26, 2008

Brilliant link. What Kind of Fool am I? shoudn't be overlooked, either.
posted by adgnyc at 9:11 AM on January 26, 2008

whoah, how did I miss Dame Bassey?

I wonder if there is a recording of Newley singing Goldfinger? That would be cool.
posted by vronsky at 12:16 PM on January 26, 2008

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