The Flying Machine Biography

Not to be confused with the US outfit from James Taylor’s pre- Apple Records days, this Flying Machine was the brainchild of British writers and producers Tony Macaulay and Geoff Stephens. Recorded by session musicians, ‘Smile A Little Smile For Me’ failed to chart in the UK, but it soared to number 5 in the US in November 1969. For the purposes of touring, a group was assembled from the remnants of the British hit group, Pinkerton’s Assorted Colours, wherein Anthony Newman (rhythm guitar/vocals), the sole surviving original member, was joined by Steve Jones (lead guitar), Stuart Colman (bass) and Paul Wilkinson (drums). A follow-up single version of ‘Baby Make It Soon’, first recorded by the Marmalade, scraped the American Hot 100 the following year, but the group, somewhat ungratefully, grew frustrated with their pop-orientated style. A final single, ‘The Devil Has Possession Of Your Mind’, suggested a change of direction, but the Flying Machine split up following its release. Stuart Colman later emerged as a noted radio broadcaster and producer of various rock ‘n’ roll-influenced acts.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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