Welcome to kencrossland.co.uk, the home on the web of writer, record collector and music historian, Ken Crossland
I have been involved in compiling many CD sets over the past 25 years, starting with the much-loved “See For Miles” label in the early 1990s. At the time, they ran a series of “EP Collection” discs, featuring tracks that had appeared on 45 rpm Extended Plays in the Fifties and Sixties. I did compilations on Bing Crosby and Michael Holliday for them. Around the same time, EMI asked me to put together a CD to mark the 30th anniversary of Michael Holliday’s death in 1993, which I wanted to call just that - “the 30th anniversary collection” - but by the time the marketing gurus had got hold of it, it became a rather bland “The Best Of Michael Holliday”. There was nothing bland about the content though, as I included several unreleased tracks that I had discovered whilst doing some research in the EMI tape library at Abbey Road studios.
My most significant Michael Holliday set however came out in 2004, to tie in with my biography of Mike. Called “The Michael Holliday Anthology”, it was a three-CD set that featured Mike’s singles output for EMI, three of the five long-playing albums that he recorded (including the rare “Happy Holliday” LP from 1961) plus a variety of rare and unreleased items. The following year, I did a two-on-one release of Mike’s remaining two albums, “Mike” and “Holliday Mixture”, using the original session master tapes, also unearthed in the Abbey Road library.
The success of that project led me into writing several other sleeves notes for EMI releases, including a Ronnie Hilton anthology, similar to the one on Mike, plus a very timely reissue of Les Paul material. The request for the notes for that arrived the week after I had seen Les performing at the Iridium club in New York, at the age of 91. Funny how things happen!