Marty Wilde

Genres: Pop / Rock
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Decades: 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s
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Reginald Leonard Smith, 15 April 1936, London, England. After playing briefly in a skiffle group, this UK rock ‘n’ roll singer secured a residency at London’s Condor Club under the name Reg Patterson. He was spotted by songwriter Lionel Bart, who subsequently informed entrepreneur Larry Parnes. The starmaker was keen to sign the singer and rapidly took over his career. Reg Smith henceforth became Marty Wilde. His first name was coined from the sentimental film Marty, while the surname was meant to emphasize the wilder side of Smith’s nature. Parnes next arranged a recording contract with Philips Records, but Wilde’s initial singles, including a reading of Jimmie Rodgers’ ‘Honeycomb’, failed to chart. Nevertheless, Wilde was promoted vigorously and appeared frequently on BBC Television’s pop music programme 6.5 Special. Extensive media coverage culminated with a hit recording of Jody Reynolds’ alluringly morbid...

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