SALVOSV002 - 7-inch vinyl
SALVOSV002 - 7-inch vinyl red vinyl (Move Online Exclusive)




On 5 SEPTEMBER 2007 at 1.30pm on BBC RADIO 4, Tony Blackburn will recount the fascinating saga of the first record played on Radio 1 (by Tony himself, 40 years ago). Featuring Bev Bevan and Trevor Burton from The Move, Robert Davidson, The Move's personal photographer and assistant to Move manager Tony Secunda, journalist and author Mark Paytress, this is a programme not to be missed.

FLOWERS IN THE RAIN has been newly mixed to stereo from the original master tapes and issued as a limited 7-inch vinyl single (SALVOVS002) and 4-song CD EP (SALVOSCD002) while the original mono version is available on the recently released deluxe edition of classic album MOVE (SALVODCD207) immaculately remastered and expanded with rare and previously unreleased material.


Issued at the height of the "Summer Of Love", the promotional campaign for The Move's 'Flowers In The Rain' single enraged British Prime Minister Harold Wilson, encapsulated the blissed-out mood of the era, and was the perfect song with which to launch the BBC's all-new pop station, Radio 1.

1964 - According to historian Dr. Scott Newton, Conservative MP Quintin Hogg raised the matter of "rumours" concerning Prime Minister Harold Wilson in Parliament during PM's Questions. Barbara Cartland is also said to have referred to "rumours" concerning the Prime Minister in a speech to the Women's Institute Conference.

Just three years later, Quintin Hogg represents Harold Wilson in a libel action against manager Tony Secunda and The Move over "malicious rumours".

6 JULY 1967 - The Move (Bev Bevan, Trevor Burton, Chris "Ace" Kefford, Carl Wayne and Roy Wood) begin recording sessions for 'Flowers In The Rain' at Advision Sound Studios in London. Written by Move songwriter Roy Wood and sung by Carl Wayne, the track is produced by Denny Cordell and engineered by Gerald Chevin. Recording is abandoned by Cordell until assistant producer and arranger Tony Visconti suggests using brass and woodwind in the song: "Denny wanted to throw it away as he thought it was flawed - the middle section not rocking enough. So I said I could rework the middle section. He asked how much it would cost, and I said: 'It's something like nine quid a man times four. I'll write the part for free, but what the hell, I really rate the song. You shouldn't throw it away'."

MID-JULY 1967 - The Move finish recording 'Flowers In The Rain'. According to the band, it is "about a boy who can't sleep at night, so he takes his bed into the garden and lies watching the flowers growing in the rain." The b-side is announced as 'Walk Upon The Water'.

MID-JULY to LATE-JULY 1967 - '(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree', a Roy Wood song recorded by The Move at Advision Sound Studios on 23 March 1967, is covered by The Idle Race (featuring future Move member and ELO leader Jeff Lynne) as their Liberty Records debut single.

LATE JULY 1967 - The music press announce that '(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree' will be The Move's new single, backed by 'Flowers In The Rain'. Despite spending hundreds of pounds on "Lemon Tree" promotion and photographs, The Idle Race decide not to compete and cancel their single. It is later released in America only.

22 JULY 1967 - Carl Wayne chops a full-size effigy of Prime Minister Harold Wilson to pieces with an axe during The Move's performance at the "Free The Pirates" benefit. Sponsored by Radio Caroline and held at Alexander Palace, the benefit is in protest at the Wilson Government's attempts to silence and criminalise the so-called "pirate" radio stations with the Wireless Telegraphy Act, later The Marine Broadcasting (Offences) Act 1967.

1 AUGUST 1967 - On the eve of the single being pressed, Tony Secunda forces EMI to reverse the songs to make 'Flowers In The Rain' the official A-side. He feels it is "the more commercial side."


3 AUGUST 1967 - 'Flowers In The Rain', coupled with '(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree', is pressed as a single by EMI on their newly resurrected Regal Zonophone imprint, now dedicated to Denny Cordell & Tony Visconti productions. Previously two separate labels in the 1930's (Regal and Zonophone), their last hit was in 1964 by the Joystrings. Tony Secunda: "We've signed to Regal Zonophone because we are the new religion. Not church-like. It's a surrealistic religion."

MID-JULY to 4 AUGUST 1967 - The Move's personal photographer, Robert "Bobby" Davidson photographs The Move during various sunny afternoons in Surrey in their new psychedelic finery. Photos of the band on and around Richmond footbridge are issued to promote the single while another photo with The Move amongst the flowers, plants and trees is distributed as their new promotional postcard.

MID-AUGUST 1967 - The Move plus "dolly birds", film a promotional video for 'Flowers In The Rain' at Kenwood, Hampstead Heath. Later shown on UK TV, it is made available to buy from The Move Fan Club as an 8mm film in either black and white or colour.

25 AUGUST 1967 (morning) - 'Flowers In The Rain' released on Regal Zonophone RZ 3001.

25 AUGUST 1967 (afternoon) - Tony Secunda receives delivery of a new postcard based on his idea for a "good political cartoon" to promote 'Flowers In The Rain'. A departure from the usual band photo, the card features a caricature by artist Neil Smith of Prime Minister Harold Wilson with references to "various false and malicious rumours" regarding "his personal character and integrity". Over the next few days, 2,000 are posted and distributed to "press, media, fans and friends" of The Move but the band themselves are unaware of the new card as they are playing concerts across the UK.

31 AUGUST 1967 - A postcard, addressed to Mrs. Anne Velentine, falls into the hands of the Paymaster General, Colonel Wigg, who is the Government's security watchdog. He immediately informs the Prime Minister.

1 SEPTEMBER 1967 (afternoon) - The PM complains of an alleged libel on the promotional postcard. Mr. Quintin Hogg, Q.C., Conservative M.P. for St. Marylebone and Tory Shadow Minister for Home Affairs, is given the brief to represent Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson by solicitors Goodman, Derrick and Co., headed by Lord Goodman, the chairman of the Arts Council, a Labour Life Peer and personal friend of Mr. Wilson.

Mr. Justice O'Connor in the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, grants an interim injunction against "Anthony Secunda and others" until 6 September. A statement is issued by solicitors Goodman, Derrick and Co:

"In the Vacation Court this afternoon, Mr. Quintin Hogg, Q.C., applied ex parte on behalf of the Prime Minister for an injunction to restrain Anthony Secunda, Bev Bevan, Trevor Burton, Christopher Kefford, Carl Wayne, and Roy Wood from printing, publishing, circulating or distributing a card alleged to be libellous of the Prime Minister. The injunction was granted until Sept. 6, when a further hearing will take place."

Three members of the group are under 21 and classed as infants: Trevor Burton, Christopher "Ace" Kefford and Roy Wood. They are treated exactly the same as the adult members of The Move…

1 SEPTEMBER 1967 (evening) - At the Locarno Ballroom in Basildon, The Move are confronted with hordes of photographers and reporters. Trevor Burton: "It was quite a shock because we had no idea why they were there."

Ace Kefford: "We hadn't a clue about what had been done. We hadn't even seen the postcard until we arrived at the gig and Tony Secunda hustled us into a dressing room and explained what had happened. He told us to let him do the talking when we faced the press."

Facing the press, Tony Secunda explained: "I got the idea some time ago. I asked a cartoonist to draw the card and sent copies to people in the pop world. I suppose it's a bit risqué but it captures the atmosphere of the moment. The total cost of the whole operation, including printing, was about £10."

2 SEPTEMBER 1967 (early morning) - Returning to Secunda's apartment in London, The Move anxiously await the first edition morning newspapers.

2 SEPTEMBER 1967 (dawn) - Ace Kefford is sent to buy newspapers and returns with a huge pile which he throws on the bed where Carl Wayne is sleeping. The Move and Harold Wilson are on every front page. News of the Prime Minister's injunction soon spreads worldwide.

2 SEPTEMBER 1967 (mid-morning) - DJ and TV personality Jonathan King, in his ongoing criticism of The Move, rubbishes both sides of the single in his regular Disc music paper column: "Hum - could be worse, but WORST is very, very bad indeed, and this seems a pretty brave attempt to reach it…" The review sparks a petition and a visit to the Disc offices by members of The Move Fan Club who are photographed "strangling" King. After performing 'Flowers In The Rain' on Top Of The Pops, Carl Wayne is alleged to have confronted and "chinned" the DJ who was also on the programme.

EARLY SEPTEMBER 1967 - Tony Secunda is summoned to Downing Street to be given "a right roasting" by Quintin Hogg.

6 SEPTEMBER 1967 (mid-morning) - 'Flowers In The Rain' enters the UK singles chart at no.19, eventually climbing to no.2 and staying on the charts for over three months. Celebrations are tempered by thoughts of what is to come later in the day…

Bev Bevan: "There was a real danger that they'd try to make an example of us. The powers-that-be had had their fingers burned by the Rolling Stones drug case and the ensuing public reaction. They'd closed down the pirates and suffered the backlash. Now they had their chance to finally win one for a change."

6 SEPTEMBER 1967 (afternoon) - The Move arrive in London at the High Court of Justice, travelling from Birmingham with their manager Tony Secunda in a (hired) red Rolls Royce. They are immediately interviewed by BBC TV and the press…

Carl Wayne: "We've no faith in any political sides at all. We'd vote for people like Frank Zappa, Jimi Hendrix..."

A High Court usher calls their clothes: "The gayest attire ever seen here." The 38-minute hearing before Mr. Justice O'Connor is held in private, with the Prime Minister represented by Mr. Quintin Hogg, QC and The Move by their solicitor Mr. David Jacobs. As the group and their manager sit in a red and gold painted ante-room near the Judge's chambers, a second interim injunction against "Anthony Secunda and others" is granted. The solicitors agree on a statement to be issued but no further comment is issued by either party. The Move and Secunda retire to a Fleet Street pub for lunch…

MID-SEPTEMBER 1967 - Two unnamed persons dressed in black suits and black overcoats arrive unannounced at Tony Secunda's London apartment. During their visit, he is left in no doubt of the seriousness of his and the group's position.

Ace Kefford: "Guys in black limousines started following us home - MI5, we discovered later."

Carl Wayne: "We were very scared and we just did what we were told. We were told to concede, this was the Prime Minister we were dealing with and we were naughty boys…"

28 SEPTEMBER 1967 - The press announce that an out of court settlement is almost certain to bring to an end the libel action brought by Premier Harold Wilson against The Move and their manager if the group agree to donate all royalties from 'Flowers In The Rain' to charity.

30 SEPTEMBER 1967 - Tony Blackburn launches BBC Radio 1 at 7am with The Move's 'Flowers In The Rain'. The band, returning from a late-night concert, hear it on the van radio.

11 OCTOBER 1967 - Before the Honourable Mr Justice Melford Stevenson in the High Court of Justice, Queen's Bench Division, a settlement is announced between the plaintiff James Harold Wilson and defendants Anthony Secunda, The Move, artist Neil Smith, printers C.C.S. Advertising Associates Limited and Richard Moore & Leslie Limited.

Observers at the time noted that it seemed to take no time at all to decide such a serious matter, even with The Move and their manager surprisingly absent from court: "The matter occupied the time of the Court for 10 minutes that is to say from 10.30.a.m. to 10.40.a.m."

Through their counsel Mr. Richard Hartley, The Move, Tony Secunda and artist Neil Smith apologise to the Prime Minister in the High Court for their "violent and malicious personal attack" and agree to donate their share of the sales royalties (3d per single record) and publishing royalties (50%) for 'Flowers In The Rain', '(Here We Go Round) The Lemon Tree' (the b-side) and sheet music in perpetuity to the Harold Wilson Charitable Trust. All monies are to be shared by the Trust to charities of the Prime Minister's choosing and two charities are nominated as the first to benefit by receiving equal donations: The Spastics Society and the amenity funds of Stoke Mandeville Hospital to aid paraplegic patients. The defendants also agree to pay agreed damages and all the costs (including tax) of Harold Wilson's action against them.

A statement is read out by Quintin Hogg in Open Court and extracts are published in every UK newspaper the next day:

"The Prime Minister has, in fact, for some years been aware that various false and malicious rumours have been spread concerning his personal character and integrity. Unfortunately, however, in order to found their attack on the plaintiff - a deliberate and gratuitous attack, which had nothing to do with the subject matter of the recording - use was made of those rumours, which the plaintiff has always considered it right to treat with the contempt they deserved. But in the present instance the scurrility of the card coupled with the extent of the circulation and threatened circulation left him with no alternative but to assert his legal rights and thereby make plain his determination to establish the complete falsity of these rumours. Accordingly these proceedings were commenced by writ issued on September 1 and on the same day the plaintiff obtained an ex-parte injunction against the first six defendants in the Vacation Court, and thereafter interlocutory injunctions against them on the same terms. The defendants have now realised the unacceptable nature of their conduct, and it is fair to say have never at any time suggested that there was a word of truth in any of the suggestions contained in the libel. Mr. Wilson has never had any desire to adopt a harsh or vindictive attitude and on this occasion has agreed to accept what may be thought extremely generous terms of settlement on his part. In view, however, of the wide dissemination of the postcard, he wishes me to make it clear that he would not necessarily take the same lenient view on any subsequent occasion. Indeed, in the opinion of his advisers, the character of the libel was such as to warrant criminal proceedings."

'Flowers In The Rain' is also described by Quintin Hogg as "a song and dance number which has nothing to do with public affairs."

The Move and their manager are absent from the proceedings and therefore unable to defend themselves in open court. They arrive immediately after the 10-minute case has ended. Asked by the press if they had overslept, they answer, "No". Photographs of the band members and Tony Secunda going into the High Court are staged for the benefit of the media. The Move's photographer Robert Davidson is forcibly prevented from taking photographs of Quintin Hogg and has his camera and film confiscated.

12 OCTOBER 1967 - UK sales of the 7-inch single are 250,000 while sales of the sheet music total 5,000 copies.

3 NOVEMBER 1967 - Follow up single 'Cherry Blossom Clinic' is cancelled as EMI feel a song about a mental institution could generate more unfavourable publicity. Though the track appears on The Move's debut album in 1968, in reality, it is the proposed b-side 'Vote For Me' that has the lawyers worried. As a result, the song remains unreleased for over 30 years due to Roy Wood's cutting lyrics, written barely a month after the court case:

You voice opinions in this place
Where views are never heard
They take precautions just in case
You say a dirty word
With adverse comments they promote
Pre-election antidote
Just to gain the casting voter

Vote for me - Vote for me
Sign across the line
Vote for me - Vote for me
We can overtake the world

Unknown date - With relations between the group and their manager strained over the court case and subsequent loss of royalties, members of The Move meet with their solicitor David Jacobs to discuss an appeal on the grounds they knew nothing about Secunda's promotional stunt or postcard. Plans for an appeal are later abandoned when Jacobs is reported to have been found dead in his office.

5 APRIL 1971 - Almost three years after the court settlement, the first royalty donation is made to The Spastics Society and the amenity funds of Stoke Mandeville Hospital.

6 APRIL 1989 - Charitable donations to The Spastics Society and the amenity funds of Stoke Mandeville Hospital cease as the Harold Wilson Charitable Trust begins sharing The Move's royalties between even more beneficiaries. These include hospitals, educational trusts, universities and colleges, museums, libraries, Oxfam, restoration appeals, injured servicemen, operatic societies, Jewish National Fund for Israel, theatrical trusts, British Screen Advisory Council, British Film Institute, St. John's Ambulance, Isles Of Scilly Health Centre Trust, and many more, including the Kirklees Metropolitan Council's Wilson Memorial….

26 JUNE 1998 - Carlton TV are prevented from showing a copy of the postcard during a documentary on songwriter Roy Wood.

17 APRIL 2000 - Carl Wayne decides that after more than 30 years of donating The Move's royalties to Lord Wilson's Charitable Trust, enough is enough. He begins researching the case and takes legal advice regarding the terms of the original settlement.

22 JANUARY 2001 - Bev Bevan and Roy Wood help support Carl's efforts but sadly, the singer has to devote his energies to battling oesophageal cancer, to which he finally succumbs in 2004.

20 AUGUST 2007 - Almost 40 years to the day since its original release, 'Flowers In The Rain' is newly mixed to stereo from the recently discovered original session multitrack tapes and released as a 7-inch vinyl single, 4-song CD EP and digital download. Though The Move are still donating their share of the publishing and sales royalties to Lord Wilson's Charitable Trust, the single's original b-side is replaced by a previously unreleased Move song recorded in 1967 to ensure the group receive some royalties.

20 AUGUST 2007 - A new Move promotional postcard is issued. Solicitors Goodman Derrick are not advised…

27 AUGUST 2007 - The Move's official website issue a limited red vinyl edition of 'Flowers In The Rain'. Though the band's royalties have to be given to Lord Wilson's Charitable Trust, all profits received from sales direct to Move fans are donated to Carl Wayne's Cancer Research UK charity. This is the first time in forty years The Move have had any say in where proceeds of sales of 'Flowers In The Rain' go…

25 SEPTEMBER 2007 (1.30pm - BBC RADIO 4) - Tinderbox Productions for BBC Radio 4 are to broadcast a 40th anniversary documentary on The Move and the Prime Minister, the postcard, the song, the libel case. And more. Unless the tape is seized…

PHOTO CREDITS (from top):

All photos by & © Robert Davidson

All material copyright Face The Music & not for reproduction elsewhere without permission. Website designed by Ken Greenwell.