Pupils claim Christmas song royalties
Every December we heard voices of a school dinner lady, two postal workers, a dance musician and a bathroom designer in countless shopping centres and radio stations, as the child singers on one of the most famous Christmas pop records of all time.
The Daily Telegraph tracked them down after reporting this month that the 12 members of Stockland Green School junior choir, Birmingham, who sang on the 1973 Wizzard hit ‘I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday’ were in line for royalty payments.
The five, now in their early 40s, who sang the chorus line “When the snowman brings the snow” 32 years ago, could each receive several hundred pounds following a copyright act that came into force in 1996.
Lorraine Adey, Christine Heath (nee Smith), Roy Lynch, Denise Pitkin (nee Bree) and Nick Romillie are reminded of their brush with fame when the song is played every December.
The children sang on the record because their maths teacher was the brother-in-law of Wizzard’s keyboard player, Bill Hunt. They went to London at half term to record the song, which was beaten to the Christmas number one by Slade’s Merry Xmas Everybody.
“They asked all the first and second years to audition. I sang When A Night Won His Spurs and made a real pig’s ear of it so I was astonished when picked. It was exciting going down to London and into the recording studio with Roy Wood.” Mrs Adey, a former singer-songwriter and now a bathroom designer, said.
Mr Romillie also went into the music business, playing in dance bands and as a producer, singer and songwriter. His latest alter-ego, Colonel Red, a dance, jazz and soul act, released an album this year and is touring Holland, Slovakia, Switzerland and Portugal next month.
“People would probably find it amusing if they found out I was in that choir. Sometimes when I hear it and I am with someone I trust I tell them I was in it.” Mr Romillie said.
Mrs Pitkin, now a postal worker, remembers tugging on Wood’s beard to see if it was real. “I was one of the tallest so I was stood on the edge, and I was a cheeky so and so. I asked Roy Wood if his beard was real and I pulled on it.”
Mrs Smith, now a school dinner lady, said: “Every time the song’s played my mum still says she can hear me. I was the one with the big mouth, I think I was too close to the microphone.”
Mr Lynch, a postman in London, said: “I was disappointed that they didn’t use us on Top of the Pops. They got kids from another school miming to our parts.”