Down The Dumper – The 90s Part 7.

If you are a regular to this blog, you will know that I am a fan of Cathy Dennis. I have already taken a look back at her interesting pop career in the 90s (which has had a lot of views, so thanks for that), but as she also qualifies for this series, I thought that I would take a closer look at the story behind what turned out to be her final single.

Just to go over her career again quickly, Cathy had her first hit single in 1989, but the peak of her career was in the early-90s, when she had hits around the world, the biggest being “Touch Me (All Night Long)”, and she continued to do well until 1994. After a break in 1995, Cathy returned in 1996 with the first single from her third album “Am I The Kinda Girl”.

Cathy’s sound had changed somewhat since her early singles, moving away from dance-pop, and in 1997 she had a hit with her cover of “Waterloo Sunset”, which was a rather bold move, as this is a much-loved song from the 60s. It was then decided to release another single, this time an original one. So in June 1997 “When Dreams Turn To Dust” was released, hopefully becoming yet another Top 40 hit.

I remember that Cathy appeared on a lot of TV shows to promote this one, more than the usual amount that a pop star would do, including children’s TV, Surprise Surprise, she even appeared on Channel 5 and everything. As the album hadn’t done that well, maybe this was her final chance to give her career a boost. But this unfortunately didn’t make much difference though.

“When Dreams Turn To Dust” missed the Top 40 and reached no. 43, and the album missed the Top 75 altogether, which was a very disappointing end to her pop career, it was a shame that she ended on a low commercially after releasing a lot of great songs. Looking back now, the only really interesting thing about this song is that the video featured a pre-fame Vernon Kay.

But as one door closed, another one opened. Cathy went on to become a very successful songwriter for many other acts, contributing to chart-topping singles and winning several awards for her work, putting her years of experience to good use. And not so long ago Cathy performed her first gig for a very long time, which seemed to go down well. Could this mean that there could be a chance of another album one day?


9 thoughts on “Down The Dumper – The 90s Part 7.

  1. Although I am an East Midlander by birth, in terms of football I am an adoptive East Anglian, from my later teenage years in the late Seventies, becoming a fan of Norwich City FC back then. Sometime around a couple of decades ago I stumbled upon a site on famous fans of football clubs and Cathy Dennis was mentioned as a famous Canary, along with fellow singers, Sophie Ellis-Bextor, Myleene Klass and Hannah Spearritt, which almost inevitably led to my dreaming up a possible pop-up ‘supergroup’ of that quartet named Eastlife in honour of Westlife.

    I became aware then of Cathy being described as possibly Norwich’s greatest export to the world of entertainment in view of the A-List names for whom she has composed, so thanks for highlighting that, Adam. I also re-discovered her early hits around that time and picked up a couple at various second-hand outlets and was reminded of how good both ‘Touch Me (All Night Long)’ and ‘Everybody Move’ were.

    Thanks, also, for the reminder of Cathy’s Kinks ‘konnektions’, especially considering that it was Valérie Čižmárová’s cover of The Kinks’ ‘Sunny Afternoon’, ‘Slunný podnebí’/’Tám, za vodou’ (‘Sunny Weather’/’There, In The Water’), singing about dreaming of being on a hot beach breakfasting on a kilo of bananas while she was warming herself up on a winter’s day with cups of tea, that made ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ such an irresistible title for her Fan Blog. It was the song that launched her singing career as a sixteen-year-old hopeful in a talent contest in 1968, after all!

    The other connection in play here is the occasionally striking resemblance, to me, between the aforementioned Myleene and Petra Černocká, Petra having been due to perform the song for which she had composed both music and lyrics, ‘Koukej, se mnou si píseň broukej’ (‘Look, Hum The Song With Me’) at the Bratislavská Lýra music festival of 1973, with Valérie performing the song on her behalf when Petra fell ill, just narrowly missing out on a ‘podium finish’ by just one place (there’s a Gold, Silver and Bronze Lyre awarded).

    It seems that with the ‘Sister Blog’ to ‘Bananas For Breakfast’, ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ I can’t get away from that point on the compass and that my different ‘musical worlds’ keep criss-crossing with each other!


    • Des Elmes says:

      Myleene’s Classic FM colleague Alexander Armstrong is also a Norwich fan, even though he’s from Northumberland. (He can sing a bit, too.) 😉

      SEB’s love of the Canaries – even though she’s a West Londoner by birth, like myself – stems from a Norwich-supporting boyfriend she had before she met Richard Jones. Not sure if I should be saying the following on this blog, but apparently she once had a pair of Norwich-coloured knickers that she really liked… 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for that contribution, Des! Yes, Alexander Armstrong has got a good set of ‘pipes’ on him, from what I know of his singing. I didn’t know that he was a famous Canary, though. Maybe, now you put it like that, I shouldn’t add this in this context, but those Norwich-coloured knickers sound like a dream item in one of Myleene’s collections! Now then, steady on!… 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Subsequent to that, if you don’t mind my asking, Des, but are you the same ‘Des Elmes’ who has had a Flickr presence since 2010 and who, although there are no photos contributed from the user, appears to have ‘Faved’ loads of photos of buses and trains, including some from my home city of Derby and not only that, but some with the former Bus Station, that I tried to save with my fellow Bus Station Action Group members, that was an at-the-time ground-breaking design by Charles Herbert Aslin? I also spy that another ‘Fave’ is a Gash bus in Newark, that I know well from having been a Food Technology student back in the mid-1980s at Nottinghamshire College of Agriculture in nearby Southwell.

        If so then I’m certain you’ll love some photos I have at my ‘The Curves Man’ Flickr you’ll see linked from the social media buttons in the headers at both ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ and ‘Girls Of The Golden East’. They include some dated and timed from when I was doing the research work, for my Final-Year project, comparing the public transport system in and around Derby with three cities in Germany of a similar population (Aachen, Hagen and Krefeld), while being employed as an intern at the ASEAG bus company in Aachen, in my subsequent studies as a mature, part-time undergraduate in Geography with German – as a bit of a change from Food Technology! – at the University of Derby in the early and mid-1990s. I specialised in Transport Geography and there is another album of a Transport Geography field trip to Brussels around Hallowe’en 1996.

        I hope you enjoy ‘The Curves Man’ if you do decide to drop by!


      • Des Elmes says:

        Yes, that’s me.

        I haven’t been as active on Flickr in the last few years as I was beforehand, however. Easy to drift away from some sites when you become interested in others, I suppose.

        But my respective keen interests in buses and trains remain intact. 😉 (Well, buses and trains from the 20th century and the first few years of the 21st – those from around 2005 onwards aren’t *quite* as interesting, not even the Borismasters or the Class 374 Eurostars, though of course that might change as I get older.)

        Blimey, we’re *really* going off-topic here – but that’s the beauty of commenting on blogs (like this one) and forums. 😉

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks for that confirmation, Des!

        For a good few years I drifted off Flickr but then (a) I attempted to sort of copy and paste some images over from my contributions at the Flickr presence of Enjoying Derby, for whom I used to work, to ‘The Curves Man’ to alter some of the captions, in the course of which I also had to get in touch with Flickr to change my registered email address, (b) it started to occur to me that Flickr could be an ideal platform on which to share around some of the imagery associated with both ‘Bananas For Breakfast’ and ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ and (c) there were a whole load of other interesting photos from my past that I hadn’t got around to sharing. So, it’s all kicked off again after I ‘flicked’ the dust off!

        It’s good to note that you’re still interested in buses and trains. I suppose I’m on more or less the same page as you – generally more interested in the vintage side of things, but definitely not being a ‘steam freak’ and also not going a bundle on model railways. It seems that many think of those two as being the be all and end all of railways, but I just don’t get what all the alleged excitement is about!

        To get things back more on-topic another of those social media buttons takes one to my presence at ‘Fonts In Use’, which has been another fantastic opportunity to promote my Blogs and which I discovered just over three years ago thanks to one of Valérie Čižmárová’s singles sleeves being one of the font use contributions, under the font Motter Alustyle. I made a font use contribution, under Blanchard Solid, related to the group Christie, who had a connection to ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ via their hit, ‘Yellow River’. One of their number was Vic Elmes. Again, if you don’t mind my asking, are you in any way related?


      • Des Elmes says:

        Can’t say I’m related to Vic Elmes, alas.

        My late dad, also Des Elmes, was a Dubliner – and all his family were/are Irish too. (Elmes isn’t an Irish surname, but then it *is* barely a century since the whole of Ireland was under British rule – and indeed there are still a fair few Smiths in the Republic today.) Looking at Vic’s Wikipedia article, I note that he was born in Dagenham but there’s no mention of any Irish ancestry.

        Pleased to discover, however, that he was responsible for the guitar parts of the original Space: 1999 theme tune. Now, by no means do I consider myself the biggest sci-fi fan in the world – but I do have good memories of watching BBC2 on early evenings after school, and a sci-fi show being on most days (including all the Star Trek series up to and including Voyager, and even a few lesser-known shows like Farscape and Space Precinct), as well of course as the Simpsons, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and TOTP2.

        Isn’t it amazing how we’ve gone from famous Norwich fans, via buses and trains, to live-action Gerry Anderson shows? Again, that’s the beauty of commenting on blogs and forums. 😉 😉


  2. Well, it was a bit of a long shot, although perhaps not quite as long a shot as that other, rather common, surname that has famous Norwich fans connections, of course!

    At any rate, thanks for pointing out Vic Elmes’ links to Gerry Anderson live action series, about which I wasn’t aware, as I recently ‘Faved’ a photo of Wanda Ventham out of the predecessor to ‘Space: 1999’, ‘UFO’ at ‘The Curves Man’, Wanda being connected to ‘Yours Truly’ via her son, Benedict Cumberbatch, who is a fellow child of 19th July, just like Isabelle Morizet, who has also been known under her stage names of Carene Cheryl and Karen Cheryl, the multi-talented French star whose discovery in an old ‘Paris Match’ magazine in the attic of my previous address back in 2004 began the long chain of discoveries that ultimately led to ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ and ‘Bananas For Breakfast’.

    I also have a subsidiary Blog over on Tumblr, also called ‘Girls Of The Golden East’ and it has come back to me that, about this time last year, I did a re-blogging of a series of photos of the Spectrum Angels out of one of Gerry Anderson’s ‘Supermarionation’ series, ‘Captain Scarlet and The Mysterons’ that, on the subject of birthdays, happened to coincide with Dianne Simms’ – ie., Rhapsody Angel – ‘minus twenty-first’ birthday and on looking back at that post it was a year ago yesterday, so yesterday was her ‘minus twentieth’ birthday!

    During the time I was at the University of Derby one of my fellow German class members ran an occasional record and book stall that set up in the main concourse and one of my purchases there was Dave McAleer’s ‘The Warner Guide To UK & US Hit Singles’, that has on-the-month Top Twentys. I see that the original ‘Waterloo Sunset’ was at its biggest in the UK in June 1967 (No. 3). Interestingly, over the Atlantic in that month, The Grass Roots entered at No. 15 with ‘Let’s Live For Today’. That was the group that had first refusal on Daniel Walsh and Harvey Price’s ‘Sha-La Love You’, that eventually was picked up by Lancelot Link and The Evolution Revolution and was covered by Valérie Čižmárová as ‘Dávno nejsem hloupá’ (‘I’ve Not Been Crazy For A Long Time’). I might never have discovered the remarkable Saturday Morning TV show, ‘Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp’ had The Grass Roots accepted that song!


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