Let’s go back to the 80s to discover another unusual moment. Jona Lewie (whose real name is John Lewis, but this was already taken by a department store) is an English musician and songwriter, who has been on the scene since the 60s. He had his first wave of fame in July 1972 when he was a member of Terry Dactyl And The Dinosaurs, who had a big hit single with “Seaside Shuffle”.
And I believe I’m right in saying that the sleeve for this single was designed by none other than J Edward Oliver, my favourite comic strip artist, how terrific. They didn’t make the Top 40 again though, and Jona went out on his own not long after. He had released various singles and albums since the mid-70s, but it was in May 1980 that he had more chart success.
This was when “You Will Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties” (which must be one of the longest hit song titles of the 80s) was released on Stiff Records, and reached no. 16. This was a rather unusual synthpop song, and Jona didn’t as much rap, but he didn’t really sing either. He also performed this on various shows including Cheggers Plays Pop and Runaround.
What a delight it must’ve been to be on the scene at the time and be able to have those choices. Next in November 1980 was “Stop The Cavalry”, which reached no. 3 (and stayed there for five consecutive weeks). This isn’t really a Christmas song, but as there is a reference to Christmas in the lyrics, this was released late in the year, and has a Christmas-style feel, this has been accepted into that genre.
This would turn out to be his second and final hit single. He did release more singles for a few years though, but none of them, including “I Think I’ll Get My Hair Cut”, made the chart. His two biggest solo singles have lingered for many years after though. Since December 2007, “Stop The Cavalry” has often returned to the lower end of the chart at Christmas.
This is when a huge wave of classic songs reappear, and I always like to hear this one on the radio all these years on. And “You Will Always Find Me In The Kitchen At Parties” was used on an advert for Ikea (which featured the man himself), meaning in November 2010 this returned to the chart for one week. Jona is still out there performing, and he does look like Fred Harris, doesn’t he.