Google+ Followers

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Marty Wilde born 15 April 1939

Marty Wilde (born Reginald Leonard Smith, 15 April 1939, Blackheath, South London is an English singer and songwriter. He was among the first generation of British pop stars to emulate American rock 'n' roll and is the father of pop singer Kim Wilde.

After playing briefly in a skiffle group, this UK rock 'n' roll singer secured a residency at London's Condor Club under the name Reg Patterson. During 1957 he was spotted by songwriter Lionel Bart, who subsequently informed entrepreneur Larry Parnes. The starmaker was keen to sign the singer and rapidly took over his career. Reg Smith henceforth became Marty Wilde. His Christian name was coined from the sentimental film Marty, while the surname was meant to emphasize the wilder side of Smith's nature.
Parnes next arranged a recording contract with Philips Records, but Wilde's initial singles, including a reading of Jimmie Rodgers' "Honeycomb", failed to chart. Nevertheless, Wilde was promoted vigorously and appeared frequently on BBC Television's pop music programme 6.5 Special. Extensive media coverage culminated with a hit recording of Jody Reynolds' alluringly morbid "Endless Sleep" in 1957.

Soon afterwards, Parnes persuaded the influential producer Jack Good to make Wilde the resident star of his new television programme Oh Boy!. The arrangement worked well for Wilde until Good objected to his single "Misery's Child" and vetoed the song. Worse followed when Good effectively replaced Wilde with a new singing star, Cliff Richard. Before long, Richard had taken Wilde's mantle as the UK's premier teen-idol and was enjoying consistent hits. Wilde, meanwhile, was gradually changing his image.

From mid 1958 to the end of 1959, Wilde was one of the leading British rock and roll singers, along with Tommy Steele and Cliff Richard. Wilde's backing group were called the Wildcats. At various times they featured Big Jim Sullivan on lead guitar; Bobbie Clarke on drums; plus Brian Locking on bass guitar and Brian Bennett on drums who both later joined The Shadows.

After considerable success with such songs as "Donna", "Teenager In Love", "Sea Of Love" and his own composition "Bad Boy", he veered away from rock 'n' roll. His marriage to Joyce Baker of the Vernons Girls was considered a bad career move at the time, and partly contributed to Wilde's announcement that he would henceforth be specializing in classy, Frank Sinatra-style ballads. For several months he hosted a new pop show, Boy Meets Girls, and later starred in the West End production of Bye Bye Birdie. Although Parnes was intent on promoting Wilde as an actor, the star was resistant to such a move. His last major success was with a version of Bobby Vee's "Rubber Ball" in 1961.

Later in the decade he recorded for several labels, including a stint as the Wilde Three with his wife Joyce, and future Moody Blues vocalist Justin Hayward. Wilde enjoyed considerable radio play and was unfortunate not to enjoy a belated hit with the catchy "Abergavenny" in 1969. He also found some success as the writer of hits such as Status Quo's "Ice In The Sun". By the 70s, Wilde was managing his son Ricky, who was briefly promoted as Britain's answer to Little Jimmy Osmond. Ricky later achieved success as a songwriter for his sister, Kim Wilde. In 1994, Marty Wilde appeared at London's Royal Albert Hall with Brenda Lee, Joe Brown, Eden Kane and John Leyton in the nostalgic Solid Gold Rock 'N' Roll Show. In the following year he presented Coffee Bar Kids, a BBC Radio 2 documentary programme that examined the origins of rock 'n' roll in the UK. In the new millennium he was still regularly performing at nostalgia concerts.

In 2007 he celebrated 50 years in the business with another UK tour which featured his youngest daughter Roxanne Wilde, and the issue of a compilation album, Born To Rock And Roll - The Greatest Hits. It included a duet with Kim Wilde of Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", which was released as a promotional only single. 

Marty Wilde and the Wildcats are touring throughout 2014. For further details visit

(info mainly New Musical Express)

The Wildcats featured Big Jim Sullivan on lead guitar R.I.P October 2nd 2012..;Tony Belcher on rhythm guitar; Brian Locking on bass guitar and Brian Bennett on drums May 1959.

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Marty Wilde – The Greatest Hits Born to Rock’n'roll go here:

01. Endless Sleep (2:19)
02. Donna (2:12)
03. Teenager In Love (2:19)
04. Bad Boy (2:22)
05. Sea Of Love (2:24)
06. Jezebel (2:55)
07. Johnny Rocco (2:28)
08. Little Girl (1:37)
09. Tomorrows Clown (2:16)
10. Rubber Ball (2:13)
11. Ever Since You Said Goodbye (1:43)
12. Abergavenny (2:46)
13. Danny (2:59)
14. Dream Lover (2:22)
15. All American Boy (2:44)
16. By The Time I Get To Phoenix (2:48)
17. Its Been Nice (Goodbye) (1:58)
18. Im Leaving It All Up To You (2:50)
19. Its Late (1:48)
20. Little Sister (4:29)
21. Jesamine (3:12)
22. Apron Strings (2:36)
23. Youll Never Be So Wrong (4:53)
24. Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest (3:43)
25. Born To Rock N Roll (3:35)