Marty Wilde marks 60 years in showbusiness with Crawley concert

Marty Wilde
Marty Wilde

The Solid Gold Rock ’n’ Roll Show comes to The Hawth, Crawley, as Marty Wilde celebrates 60 years in the business with special guests.

He will be joined by Eden Kane, Mike Berry, The Wildcats and Mark Wynter on November 29 (7.30pm).

The show includes their greatest hits including ‘A Teenager In Love’, ‘Well I Ask You’, ‘Don’t You Think It’s Time’ and ‘The Sunshine of Your Smile’.

Having been spotted performing at London’s Condor Club in 1957, Marty Wilde enjoyed a string of hits, popularising rock ’n’ roll in this country.

Being down to earth was always Marty’s approach. Think of all the artists who have fallen by the wayside down the decades, from Hendrix to Moon, from Joplin to Kossoff. That was never going to be Marty’s way.

“I was just scared of that heavy drugs scene,” he says. “What a waste to spend an afternoon or an evening doing that stuff when you can just get on with living.”

“I have never been overawed by showbusiness,” he continues. “It’s just a job. It’s something that I just accept. You just get on with it, and sometimes it is very exciting. There is a big adrenaline rush when you are doing a show and people are loving it and the crowds are roaring, but by and large once you leave the theatre you are just thinking about your next job. I am always thinking ahead.

“The silliest thing a lot of artists can do in their mental state is to think that they have got some god-given thing, that a great big finger has come down from heaven and a voice has told them that they are fantastic. I have never thought that.”

That’s despite the fact that Marty really can be counted as one of British rock ’n’ rolls great pioneers in the late 50s.

“I formed a group when I was 16 and then we switched to rock ’n’ roll. I was doing a show in Soho in London when Lionel Bart saw me and tipped off Larry Parnes who was Tommy Steele’s manager. He came down to see me.

“He asked my parents and they had to sign once I had OK’d it. Larry Parnes was responsible for Tommy Steele, myself, Billy Fury, Georgie Fame. He was a very good manager.

“I was just coming up to almost my 18th birthday. It took about six months. I was making records but they weren’t getting anywhere. And then I had a record called ‘Endless Sleep’. That changed everything.”

But it didn’t change Marty…

l Eden Kane is the older brother of musicians Peter Starstedt and Clive Sarstedt. Eden had success in the early 1960s with ‘I Don’t Know Why’, ‘Well I Ask You’ and ‘Boys Cry’ before moving to the USA to start an acting career.

Mike Berry is known just as well for his music as he is for his TV work. He enjoyed a string of hits in the ’60s including ‘Don’t You Think It’s Time’ and ‘The Sunshine Of Your Smile’. He also had hits with The Outlaws including A Tribute To Buddy Holly.

Mark Wynter enjoyed a lengthy career between 1960 and 1968 with hits including ‘Venus In Blue Jeans’, ‘It’s Almost Tomorrow’ and ‘Shy Girl’.

Tickets cost £30. Call the box office on 01293 553636.

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