Today is the tenth anniversary of singer Matt Monro 's untimely death. But his music lives on. AllMusic has described Monro as "one of the most underrated pop vocalists of the '60s", who "possessed the easiest, most perfect baritone in the business". He got a job as a lorry driver, then a London bus driver and would sing in the evenings but his wife had little faith in him ever making it big and complained about him coming home late at night. Especially impressed was a young female music promoter, Renate Schuller, whom everyone called Mickie. The singer was only 54 but cancer had so ravaged his body he was barely recognisable. He and his wife Mickie lived from her wages as a song plugger and his royalties from a TV advertising jingle for Camay soap. The song "Volveré Alguna Vez" from the album made it on to the singles charts; the song was subsequently sung by José Feliciano and became a hit. He became one of the decade’s best known performers of hit film theme songs from Born Free to On Days Like These, featured in the Michael Caine comedy, The Italian Job. Sagittarius Named Matt #20. It would improve the article if the inclusion of information that Monro (under birth name Terrence Parsons) served in the British Army from the age of 17 1/2 (c. 6/48) until 1953. In the end Sellers and Martin were so impressed with Monro’s version they included it on the record. Note: Entries scored out are when the United Kingdom did not compete. British singer Matt Monro sold more than a 100 million records before his death in 1985. A demo record he had made reached the ears of popular pianist Winifred Atwell and she persuaded her record label, Decca, to give him an audition. A rerecording in 1995 did however just scrape into the top 100 in the UK charts. A memorial service was also held in Harrow. However, in the past few years, commercially released concert albums have emerged following meticulous remastering of radio and television shows, private recordings he commissioned. Monro was a heavy smoker and battled alcoholism from the 1960s until 1981. Terry’s enchanting voice wowed everyone at Decca. He continued touring and recording until just before his death, releasing a single and promoting it throughout the UK and Australia in 1984. In 1959 he recorded a country pastiche song, "Bound for Texas", for The Chaplin Revue, a feature-length compilation of Charlie Chaplin shorts. In the month of his ninetieth birthday – more than 35 years after his death – daughter Michelle is … Matt Monro was cremated at Golders Green Crematorium. Throughout his 30-year career he filled cabarets, nightclubs, music halls and stadiums across the globe, from Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong to Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. Both "Born Free" and "On Days Like These" (from the film The Italian Job) had lyrics by Don Black. He also had a hit with the Beatles' "Yesterday" in 1965, releasing the first single of the most recorded song of all time, predating even the Beatles' own. Matt could count among his admirers some of the biggest names in showbusiness on both sides of the Atlantic. Over the years, his recordings featured arrangements by Sid Feller, Billy May, John Barry, Buddy Bregman, Kenny Clayton and Colin Keyes, and Martin himself. “With Matt spending so much time on the road it is not surprising that he suffered from homesickness. A 2007 compilation CD entitled From Matt With Love reached the Top 40 of the UK Albums Chart during its first week of release. However, Sellers billed Monro as "Fred Flange," and though it was a demoralising experience at the time, the incident developed into a lifelong friendship with Martin, who subsequently asked Monro to begin recording with him for EMI's Parlophone record label. Nicknamed the "Cockney Sinatra", George Martin named Matt Monro as the best singer he ever worked with, while music critic Fred Dellar described him in Mojo magazine in 2010 as "Britain's finest interpreter of standards". Matt Monro died too young; he was only 54 when he succumbed to cancer in 1985. Matt Monro was cre­mated at Gold­ers Green Cre­ma­to­rium. It shot to the top of the DVD music charts. This LP contained "We're Gonna Change The World", a semi-satirical song about women's liberation, which was not a hit in either the US or the UK but was nevertheless widely played, and became enduringly popular on BBC Radio 2. An important influence on his early career was the pianist Winifred Atwell, who became his mentor, provided him with his stage name, and helped him sign with Decca Records. His pitch was right on the nose; his word enunciations letter perfect; his understanding of a song thorough.”. Martin gave Monro a Parlophone contract and hits quickly followed, including My Kind Of Girl and the soundtrack for the James Bond film, From Russia With Love. Monro never recorded a "live" concert album, preferring the technical purity of the recording studio and wanting his public performances to retain an element of uniqueness. Throughout his 30-year career, he filled cabarets,nightclubs, music halls, and stadiums in Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong to Africa, the Middle East, … See today's front and back pages, download the newspaper, Prior to producing the Peter Sellers album Songs for Swingin' Sellers in 1960, George Martin asked Monro to record "You Keep Me Swingin'", a satirical ditty to help the comedian imitate the song with a Frank Sinatra-type styling. Moved from one school to the next, he hardly ever turned up to lessons at any of them and his childhood became even more disrupted when the war forced his evacuation to the country. The arranger was Kenny Woodman, and it was engineered by Tom Greto. Fun facts: before fame, family life, popularity rankings, and more. [5] He was first noticed while serving in the British armed forces in Hong Kong. He died from liver can­cer on 7 Feb­ru­ary 1985 at the Cromwell Hos­pi­tal, Kens­ing­ton, London, aged 54, leav­ing a widow, Mickie, and three chil­dren: Mitchell, Michele, and Matthew. Monro was a heavy smoker and battled alcoholism from the 1960s until 1981. The ashes were re­moved by the family.A memo­r­ial ser­vice was also held in Har­row. His GP noticed his liver had become dangerously swollen and wrote that, at a conservative estimate, he was drinking at least half a bottle of scotch a day. O'Connor, John Kennedy. Most Popular #91358. [2] In 1977, he recorded the Don Black penned, "If I Never Sing Another Song", which became a latter-day standard among his contemporaries, its lyrics referring to the "heyday" of fan mail, awards, and other trappings of celebrity that had faded for them. Although his death in 1985 at 54 from a terminal illness was a tragic loss to the music world, 35 years on Matt Monro's music resounds as strongly as ever. But his life really changed for the better when he was asked to sing for a Peter Sellers album called Songs For Swinging Sellers. Express. Matt Monro, an East London bus driver who perfected his lyrical baritone techniques while serenading his passengers, died Thursday of liver cancer in London. 2007. Between March 1960 and January 1966, Parlophone issued nineteen Matt Monro singles, as well as eight EPs and four LPs. [8] His follow-up hits included that song, plus "Softly as I Leave You" (1962) and the title song from the James Bond film From Russia with Love (1963). Monro went on to record two further songs from Barry film scores: "Wednesday's Child" (from the film The Quiller Memorandum) and "This Way Mary" (from Mary, Queen of Scots). His mother returned to look after him but he continued to be difficult. “Matt kept asking me out, I kept saying no,” Mickie recalls. His daughter Michele has written a biography, The Singer's Singer: The Life and Music of Matt Monro and has been instrumental, along with sound engineer Richard Moore, in releasing rare and unreleased material by Matt Monro in recent years. Monro was born Terry Parsons in north London in 1930, to Alice and Frederick. He volunteered for early conscription at 17 and two years later was posted to Hong Kong as a mechanic with the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers. 1 concert DVD (UK), and a BBC TV documentary[15] all appearing in 2005. The 20th anniversary of Monro's death spotlighted the continuing interest in his music, with a Top 10 tribute compilation CD (UK), a No. S uddenly Terry Parsons had a new life, a new career, a new wife and a new name. Matt Monro, the Singer's Singer, visited Australia 16 times before his untimely death in 1985 at the age of 54. Matt Monro Jr's show The Matt Monro Story begins a tour in February Matt Sr died eight years later and in 1986 his son appeared on the talent show … Then in 2005, Michele discovered a recording of her father performing that had been in a family garage for nearly 40 years. Monro was chosen to sing Britain’s entry in the 1964 Eurovision Song Contest and though he only came second it heightened his profile. Throughout his 30-year career he filled cabarets, nightclubs, music halls and stadiums across the globe, from Australia, Japan, the Philippines, and Hong Kong to Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Americas. Sellers had to sing the first song of his new album You Keep Me Swingin’ in the style of Frank Sinatra and as Martin had heard that Monro’s voice was similar to Sinatra’s, he asked him to sing it so that Sellers would have someone to copy. The film was put on DVD and released as An Evening With Matt Monro. In 1957 Monro released Blue and Sentimental, a collection of standards. In July 2020, the Unilever brand Axe began airing an American TV campaign for its deodorant line that spoofed the restrictions on dating during the COVID-19 pandemic, with Monro's "Born Free" as the soundtrack theme.[16]. He sadly died of lung cancer in 1985. British Singer. Mickie Schuller (born 19 July 1933 in Berlin; died 25 February 2010 aged 76, in Middlesex, England of bone cancer), married 1959–1985; one daughter Michele and one son, This page was last edited on 4 December 2020, at 00:25. Two otherwise unobtainable BBC recordings appeared on a various artists compilation, “Parade Of The Pops”, in March 1961. This was most unusual within the industry but EMI became involved because I had brought out an album of … ... DEATH DATE Feb 7, 1985 (age 54) Popularity . His success singing in Hong Kong had given him a taste for the limelight and he wanted more. For mother Alice, the struggle to clothe, feed and house the children became too much. [citation needed]. I n 1976 he was admitted to the Priory in London for rehabilitation. Matt Monro continued his work in both the UK and USA throughout the 1970's. The Spanish version was a top sales hit (Superventas) in Spain in 1969. Home of the Daily and Sunday Express. He was born Terence Edward Parsons in Shoreditch, London[4] and attended Duncombe School in Islington, and Elliott School, Putney. Matt Monro with lyricist Don Black (l) and John Barry (r). “Whenever he was based abroad for a few weeks he had the Daily Express delivered from England.” But he calmed his homesickness with alcohol and, as his drinking became heavier, it damaged his health. It should also remind anyone who cares a fig about the art of popular singing why this prodigiously talented performer remains so adored by discerning music lovers and musicians all over the world. Matt Monro died just before his son Matt Monro Jnr's birthday (Image: Handout) He died of cancer in 1985 but Matt admitted: “I’ve never said goodbye to my dad, because I couldn’t let go of him. A short recording contract with Fontana Records followed. Monro also teamed up with American star arrangers Nelson Riddle and Billy May and leading British bandleader Ted Heath, for concerts broadcast by the BBC. An attempted transplant was abandoned when it was found the cancer had spread too far and on February 7, 1985, he died. To place an order or for customer service, call toll-free 1-800-336-4627 or outside the United States, call 1-610-649-7565 [10] Additionally, Monro recorded an English version of Jürgens' 1966 Eurovision winner "Merci, Chérie", but it failed to chart when released as a UK single. Complete song listing of Matt Monro on OLDIES.com. Unfortunately it did have a detrimental effect on his liver. How many times I have thanked the gods I did.”. Weber, Bruce. Matt Monro (1 December 1930 – 7 February 1985), known as The Man With The Golden Voice, was an English singer who became one of the most popular entertainers on the international music scene during the 1960s and 1970s. Although his death in 1985 at 54 from a terminal illness was a tragic loss to the music world, 35 years on Matt Monro’s music resounds as strongly as ever. The Eurovision Song Contest – The Official History. His recordings include the UK Top 10 hits: "Portrait of My Love", "My Kind of Girl", "Softly As I Leave You", "Walk Away" and "Yesterday" (originally by The Beatles). “Then one day in January, when it was clear that both marriages were at an end, I said yes. He often performed in Canberra. These include an intimate 1967 cabaret performance from his first tour of Australia; a 1967 BBC concert with Nelson Riddle; a 1966 arena concert before 24,000 fans in Manila; and one of his final concerts, recorded on the last night of his fourteenth and final Australian tour in 1984. Learn about Matt Monro: his birthday, what he did before fame, his family life, fun trivia facts, popularity rankings, and more. “He loved the business and saw only the good side of everything and everyone. "Monro Clicks as a Singer, So-So in His Bantering 'Act'", GRO Register of Births: MAR 1931 1b 748 FINSBURY – Terence E. Parsons, mmn = Reed. His daughter Michele, 60, explains why she's re-releasing his hits in a new album. To mark the occasion, Matt's friend and collaborator Don Black presents a portrait of one of the most stylish popular vocalists Britain has ever produced. Unlike some easy listening singers, Monro has remained popular since his death. “That moment defined everything for Mickie,” says Matt Monro’s daughter Michele. Matt Monro Jnr, the son of the famous crooner Matt Monro, initially struggled to make ends meet as a singer to keep his father’s name alive. Their second single and Monro's highest UK chart success, "Portrait of My Love", written by Cyril Ornadel and Norman Newell OBE (using the pseudonym "David West"), reached number three in the UK Singles Chart. The contract was said to be worth a million dollars over three years. “The root of the problem seemed to be that he simply enjoyed drinking,” says Michele. It would be the first of many Monro soundtrack themes. Monro also covered many of the most popular stage and screen songs of the 1950s and 1960s. They included such singers as Sammy Davis Jr, Paul McCartney, Shirley Bassey, Val Doonican and Bing Crosby and comedians Tony Hancock, Sid James and Dave Allen. 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