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Sunday, 19 March 2017

Michael Cox born 19 March 1940

Michael James Cox (born 19 March 1940) is a British-born former pop singer and actor. As Michael Cox, he had a top ten hit on the UK singles chart in 1960 with "Angela Jones", produced by Joe
Meek. He later worked as an actor, and in TV in New Zealand, using both his full name and the name Michael James. 

He was born in Liverpool. After his four younger sisters wrote to ABC TV demanding that he be given a chance to audition for the pop show Oh Boy!, he was quickly signed up by producer Jack Good, and made his first appearance on the show in April 1959 singing Ricky Nelson's "Never Be Anyone Else But You".Good won him a recording deal with Decca Records, and his first single, "Teenage Love", was written by Marty Wilde and featured Joe Brown on guitar. However, neither it nor its follow-up "Too Hot To Handle" were hits. 
 Cox continued to appear on TV, in Good's new show Boy Meets Girls, and Good recommended him to record producer Joe Meek, who at the time was setting up his own label, Triumph. His first record for Triumph was "Angela Jones", a song written by John D. Loudermilk which was a hit in the US for Johnny Ferguson. Cox's version of the song, produced by Meek, rose to #7 on the UK singles chart in June 1960, but its sales were reportedly hampered by the inability of Meek's small and newly formed record company to meet demand for it. The Triumph label collapsed, and Cox's follow-up, the similar-sounding "Along Came Caroline", also produced by Meek and co-written by Cox under the pseudonym Michael Steele, was released by the HMV label; it reached #41 on the chart and was Cox's only other hit. 

Cox toured Scandinavia to some degree of success, he was particularly popular in both Denmark & Sweden, and was backed by one of Joe Meek's regular bands. (This was either The Outlaws, who later featured guitarist Richie Blackmore, or The Checkmates - there seems to be some confusion as to who actually got the gig.) But his notoriety abroad could not be matched back in the UK and despite moving to His Master's Voice and reaching No.41 with "Along Came Caroline" just 2 months before his visit to Bridgwater, his days as a pop star were numbered. ("Along Came Caroline" incidentally was a blatant re-write of "Angela Jones" - so much so that the character appears in the song's lyrics.) Cox also recorded for both Pye & Parlophone but with little success, consequently during the mid-60's he eventually abandoned his singing career to concentrate on acting. 

In 1966 he appeared opposite Wilfred Brambell & Sid James in the  James Bond spoof "Where The Bullets Fly" as a character called Lt. Guyfawkewife.  He started making appearances in the US, eventually emigrating there, before moving on to live in New Zealand. There, he continued to work on TV, credited as Michael James.

Today he still plays the cabaret circuit and has also acted in several minor film productions. (Info edited mainly from Wikipedia)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “The Joe meek Story - Best Of – Michael Cox” go here:

01 Angela Jones
02 Along Came Caroline
03 Lonely Road
04 Teenage Love
05 Linda
06 Sweet Little Sixteen
07 Cover Girl
08 Young Only Once
09 Honey 'Cause I Love You
10 Stand Up
11 In April
12 Don't You Break My Heart
13 Hark, Is That A Cannon I Hear
14 I've Been Thinking
15 Gee What A Party
16 Say That Again
17 Rave On
18 Just Say Hello
19 Gypsy
20 It Ain't Right

A big thank you to Jake @ Jukebox City for active link.