MOULDY OLD DOUGH
The art and artistry; the music and mystery of one of the 1970s best-selling, best-loved and (arguably) best-remembered hit singles.
Moudly Old Dough was conceived by Coventrians Rob Woodward and Nigel Fletcher, both already part of the experimental band Stavely Makepeace, and performed by their spin-off band Lieutenant Pigeon.
With Mouldy Old Dough already a “novelty” song, the band added to the delightfully different nature of the piece by featuring Rob’s Mum, Hilda on piano. Aside from the unusual feature of a No.1 hit employing two upright pianos (an amazing sight in itself when it was performed on Top Of The Pops), so far as we are aware, the song also remains the only British top-ten hit to feature the mother of one of the players as a key member of the band. Born around the outbreak of World War 1, Hilda Woodward was to become every musician’s dream Mum. As if letting the boys use her front room, including her piano, as an early home studio were not enough, she went further: applying her considerable skills as a performer and teacher of honky-tonk piano not only to educate the band, but performing with them. Hilda reached the distinguished age of 85 before she passed away in February 1999.
It was our great delight when, some twenty years later, we were recently approached by Rob Woodward, already a very appreciated supporter of Coventry Music Museum, offering us Hilda (his Mum)’s piano as a permanent exhibit. This splendid instrument now graces our entrance hall.
The piano itself is now some 90 years old, and is a formidable presense as you enter the Museum.
Featured here are the remaining two members of the original band, Rob Woodward and Nigel Fletcher, helping us welcome Hilda’s piano into what I think we can now call Coventry Music’s (entrance) Hall Of Fame.