Yakity Yak

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Yakity Yak are Wick, Ace, Kim and Buffy.  Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

The Early Years

Formed in 1964 Yakity Yak hailed from Birmingham and had the members;

  • Colin Field – AKA Wick (bass)
  • Peter Goode – AKA Ace (drums)
  • Kim Field (lead and steel guitars)
  • Chris Boughton – AKA Buffy (guitar).

Kim and her younger brother Colin decided to start a group in 1964. They drafted in friend Peter to play drums and Chris on guitar.  Kim and Chris married in 1969 and by the 1970s they were playing anything from Mozart to their heads, hands and feet, and featuring many Carpenters songs all mixed with their own brand of comedy, they certainly knew how to make a show swing along.

Club Performances

Three years before their New Faces appearance Yakity Yak were performing shows at clubs including The Hunters Moon in Castle Bromwich, Birmingham where they appeared alongside T.V. and radio singer Roy Edwards (Lunchbox) and comedian Ken Goodwin.  Between 1970 and 1972 the group continued to play the club circuit, appearing in Liverpool, Newcastle and Northern Ireland as well as shows in Germany, Italy and Turkey.

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Yakity Yak 1973.  Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

Twelve months before their TV debut on New Faces, the group spent a season at the Savoy Hotel, Guernsey, with their own Yakity Yak Show.  Once their season in Guernsey was over they recorded tapes for the BBC, and also looked to record some of their own original material.

The group had just finished a show in Cardiff when Kim was approached by an ATV producer (presumably Les Cocks) and they were invited onto the new talent show, filmed in Birmingham.

In October 1973 Yakity Yak made their television debut, winning the fourth heat of the first series of New Faces, when the panel of Noele Gordon, Clifford Davis and Mickie Most voted them the top scoring act on the show. For their appearance in the Grand Final they decided they needed to add something new to their act, and their answer was to smash a custard pie into Kim’s face while performing. It got a few laughs, but they couldn’t convince the judges it was enough to make them win. By the time of the Grand Final in December 1973 Kim and Chris had divorced, but they both remained friends and in the group.

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Star Cabaret at Bloomers, Tivoli Cente, Yardley.  Coventry Evening Telegraph, 1 February 1974.   Image: Trinity Mirror. Digitised by Findmypast Newspaper Archive Limited. All rights reserved.

Post New Faces

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Yakity Yak May 1978.   Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

In July 1975 the paths of two series one New Faces acts crossed as, Yakity Yak and Just Oliver both appeared on the same bill at the Cavendish in Blackburn.

Now under the under the expert guidance of Capital Entertainments chief Bryan Bexon, Yakity Yak ventured into the recording studio. The sleeve notes claimed ‘and it came to pass the four young men and a girl toiled for three days and three nights and begat this L.P.‘ when Yakity Yak released their first (and only) LP, Play (ed) Beet (h) oven … and Lost, on the SRT (Sound Recording Technology) label in 1976.  The ten track vinyl album featured covers of artists such as, Leo Sayer (The Show Must Go On), Fleetwood Mac (Albatross), The Beatles (Let It Be), Stevie Wonder (Livin’ For The City) and Elton John (Rocket Man).  An additional member is credited on the LP, with Jacki Coll joining the group and receiving credits his lead vocals and nail biting. Additional thanks were also given to Danny (Phaser) Woods on keyboards.

In December 1977 Yakity Yak’s version of Stevie Wonder’s “Living For the City” was included on record label SRT Productions compilation album of tracks by twenty club and cabaret artists entitled “The Entertainers.” All the featured songs were taken from the solo LPs of the acts who were included on the compilation.

Group Of The Year

In February 1978 the vocal impressions group were represented by Brian Yeates Associates who were based in Walmley Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands.

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Yakity Yak make the list of winners at the Midlands Variety Command Performance 1978.  Image © The Stage Media Company Limited

In May 1978 Yakity Yak were voted the No. 1 Comedy Instrumental Group of the year in the Midlands Variety Command Performance at The New Cresta Club, Solihull, Birmingham. Their outstanding ability and comedy slants toward “camp” humour, mixed with impressions made them a hit with the judges. The Stage was also full of praise for what they called ‘A very talented group.

In 1978 Kim quit the band, remarried and started a family, having three children with her second husband.  By 1996 she was divorced again and working as a florist.  In 2001 Kim married for a third time and one year later, as Kim approached 60 years of age, her brother Colin suggested they get the band back together. With the original drummer also on board, Yakity Yak went back to touring, but just locally, once or twice a week, for the next fifteen years.

Yakity Yak finally called it a day in 2016 and Kim is now a driving instructor in Birmingham, but she has fond memories of her rock ‘n’ roll days and has her Yakity Yak vinyl LP proudly displayed in a frame on her wall.

Yakity Yak’s appearances on New Faces

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