Michael Holliday Biography

Michael Milne, 26 November 1928, Liverpool, England, d. 29 October 1963, Croydon, Surrey, England. A popular singer in the UK during the 50s, influenced by, and very similar in style and tone to Bing Crosby. After entertaining his shipmates in the Merchant Navy, Holliday made his first public appearance as a singer when his ship docked in New York. He won a talent contest on the stage of Radio City Music Hall, one of the world’s largest theatres. In the absence of offers to star in a big Broadway musical, he returned to the UK, was released from the navy, and obtained work as a singer-guitarist with the Eric Winstone Band, touring UK holiday camps. He was signed to Columbia Records by Norrie Paramor in 1955, and during the next couple of years, covered several US artists’ hits such as ‘The Yellow Rose Of Texas’ (Mitch Miller), ‘Sixteen Tons’ (Tennessee Ernie Ford) and ‘Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)’ (Perry Como), while also reaching the UK Top 30 with ‘Nothin’ To Do’, ‘Ten Thousand Miles’ and ‘The Gal With The Yaller Shoes’, from the 1956 movie Meet Me In Las Vegas. In 1958 he had some success with ‘In Love’, ‘Stairway Of Love’ and the 1929 number ‘I’ll Always Be In Love With You’, and topped the UK chart with ‘The Story Of My Life’, an early composition by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. On the b-side of that record was one of Holliday’s own compositions, ‘Keep Your Heart’.

Early in 1960 he had another number 1 with ‘Starry Eyed’, but after ‘Skylark’ and ‘Little Boy Lost’ later in the year, the singles hits dried up. On his albums such as Mike and Holliday Mixture, he ignored the contemporary music scene, and sang old standards - as he did on television. With his casual, easy-going style, he was a natural for the small screen, and had his own Relax With Mike series, on which he duetted with himself on a tape recorder, in the days when those machines were a domestic novelty in the UK. His only appearance on the larger screen was in the movie Life Is A Circus (1962), with one of Britain’s best-loved comedy teams, the Crazy Gang. Unfortunately, his relaxed image seems to have been a façade, concealing professional and personal problems. When Holliday died in a Croydon hospital the cause of death was reported to have been an overdose of drugs.

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

Filter Results