Song of the day: Ronnie Burns – "Coalman"

February 13, 2010

Here’s 60’s Australian teen cutie* Ronnie Burns with a song I had trouble getting out of my head the other day:

Ronnie Burns – “Coalman” (1967)


And here’s the original by the Bee Gees:

Bee Gees – “Coalman” (1966)


If you think the backing tracks for both those songs sound similar, you’re right: they’re actually the same. The Bee Gees recorded “Coalman” in 1966 and then, for some reason, decided not to release it. It finally appeared in 1970 on a not-entirely-official** compilation (Inception/Nostalgia) and then in 1998 on another not-entirely-official*** compilation (Brilliant From Birth).

As a bonus, here’s another version of “Coalman.” It’s by Mr. Lee Grant, a New Zealand pop star who was born Bogdan Kominowski. (I love rock trivia.)

Mr. Lee Grant – “Coalman” (1967)


I couldn’t find any videos for “Coalman” by any of the artists, but I did find a video of Mr. Lee Grant in action:

And one last thing that I just have to show you: “The Coalman” appeared on Mr. Lee Grant’s self-titled debut album from 1967. Here’s the album cover:

They don’t make album covers like that anymore. (If you’re really game, you can see a much larger version of that cover here. Good luck.)

(*For all I know, Ronnie may still be a cutie but, being male, I may not be the best judge.)

(**I say ‘not-entirely-official’ because that album isn’t mentioned on Wikipedia’s Bee Gees discography.)