Marty Wilde was born Leonard Reginald Smith in Greenwich, London, on April 15, 1939.
He was another Larry Parnes discovery - he was spotted, aged 19, performing at the Condor Club, London.
His first record, Honeycomb, was un-noticed, but his next, Endless Sleep, was an instant success. Bad Boy, which he wrote, was another big hit in 1959, although like Billy Fury, Marty never had a number 1.
Most Billy Fury fans associate Marty with the package tour that played at the Birkenhead Essoldo on 1st October, 1958, when in an event that became show business legend, young Ron Wycherley called to play some of his songs for Marty and Larry Parnes...and found himself thrust on stage.
Marty is one of the rock and roll era's great survivors. He has worked all over the world, and in the new millennium, he and his toupée are still going strong.
Below is a link to one of my favourite recordings, Marty's self-penned Bring Back Rock And Roll, and to a corny hit, Why Must I Be A Teenager In Love, which he still performs.
Do visit Marty's excellent web site.
Bring Back Rock And Roll (Real Audio)
Why Must I Be A Teenager In Love? (Real Audio)
Tribute to Billy Fury
Marty Wilde's backing group, the Wildcats,
announced the release of their own CD on July 10 2002. It features their 2001
set, Because They're Young,
Wildcat, Shakin' All Over, Walk Right Back, Nut Rocker, Boys Cry,Don't Ever Change, Johnny Remember Me, The Savage, Sealed With A Kiss, Something Else, Hello Mary Lou, Stranger On The Shore and Great Balls Of Fire.
Copies are £10 each, including post, from Neville Marten, Guitarist, Future Publishing, 30 Monmouth Street, Bath, BA1 2BW. Cheques should be payable to Neville.