November 2012

You might recall me mentioning last month that I’d had a prang at the hotel in Southampton.
Whilst reversing into the space a taxi driver pulled in sideways and I tapped him. Now when I say tap that is exactly what it was tantamount to. He was a nasty piece of work and was ranting and raving over it being my fault and ran into the hotel demanding to see the CCTV footage. I kept my cool and together with my son Max we took photos of the incident. Well thank goodness I did because his sets of photographs show a lot more damage than what was there. Because my Poirot brain sprang into action and my little grey cells deduced that his wing mirror, which had miraculously now sustained damage and was missing it glass, couldn’t have been caused by me. Although my pictures didn’t show the wing mirror from the front – well why would they when I only hit his wheel arch!! – they did however show the wing mirror from the back. Firstly there wasn’t a scratch and secondly and more importantly there was no glass on the ground.

Then there is also the problem with Mr Ali having a split personality. It seems the person that spoke to Aviva the first time was a suave well-spoken gentleman with no hint of an accent. Another call notes that the man spoke very quickly in a heavy accent making it difficult to understand what he was saying.

I’m cutting this extremely short, but even though the person in question was caught red-handed in a fraudulent statement Aviva are happy to pay him out because he is also one of their customers – go figure. The came the letter to say he has sustained whiplash (he must have been dancing with Denise Van Outen). Again I proved that the size and weight of my car, a little Kia Picanto, could not have hit his people carrier and caused damage to his neck without there being a lot more damage to my car. I was only doing 2 or 3 miles per hour. Aviva have written to him and told him they are not paying out for the claim so he has taken it to a solicitor. I cannot believe the gall of these people. Richard and his wife Jen had a similar incident happen last year. Unfortunately Jen didn’t think to take photographs as the damage was negligible – guess what – the police came round at the dead of night banging on their door to issue an order that Jen attend a better driver course that she was compelled to attend, at her cost??? Of course the other driver also maintained whiplash – there seems to be a lot of it going around.

Anyway be warned, if you are involved in any incident don’t just take photos of the damage but take pictures of the entire area including one of the other driver to prove his brain wasn’t pierced or the like.

The months seem to fly by and I cannot believe that in seven weeks Santa will be calling again. It seems like yesterday when I put the Christmas decorations away. I won’t have much time to get anything done as I am leaving in three days on Holland America and don’t get back until 5 December. My son will then descend three days later so things will be tight.


I have to admit to not actually fully unpacking from my recent trip on Royal Caribbean’s Independence of the Seas and boy did I enjoy the experience. Driving into Southampton, the sheer size of the ship hits you, it is a monster taking 4000 passengers and 1,800 staff. It’s like a floating city. Luckily I have been on two of their other ships, the Mariner and Freedom of the Seas, and the good thing is that they all have an identical layout so I knew where I was going from the off. My friend Lucia came with me, to help out, and it took her a while to get used to the layout. Having said that it is probably the easiest ship of all the lines to navigate. The neatest thing is that the whole of Deck 5 is hollowed out making way for  a central high street, meaning that if you come down in the lift at one end you can actually walk right along to the other whilst passing shops, bars and eateries.

The cruise was a two-week voyage to the Mediterranean and boy were we lucky with the weather. Everywhere we went they’d either had days of storms or floods or had bad weather after we left. We had sunshine in the high seventies every day and the seas were reasonably calm. Maybe I’m a seasoned sailor now because quite a few of the crew suffered from sea-sickness but it really has to be going blazes to effect a ship that size.

I thought the crew were fabulous, so friendly and helpful and everyone made me feel at home. I had a meeting with the entertainment team a few hours after embarking and got my schedule and made plans for a technical sound check for the next morning, just before my first talk. The Pyramid Lounge seats about 700 hundred and I have to say it was packed out for my first two talks and there right in the front row was a familiar face. Angela Whittaker had booked the cruise some month earlier and made sure she had the same front two seat at every talk. Bless her if she didn’t go around the ship, recruiting people who might otherwise have not come. She was wonderful and insisted on helping at every show by carrying various bits of equipment. I was truly spoilt having not one but two roadies. It was just as well as I couldn’t walk far in my heels and needed both hands to hold onto the rails as I tottered along. I haven’t worn heels since the car crash, which was five or six years ago now as I sustained a broken talus bone among other things and it didn’t heal quite right, leaving the back of my heel quite misshapen. Wearing high shoes again is quite a challenge but I am determined to persevere. After my talks they come straight off but at least they look nice and give me some height, which is important when you are only five foot tall. My friend Lucia was in fits and actually still is as I succumbed to a pair of ankle boots from Zara at one of the ports. They are indeed mini works of art and I’d quite happily just look at them. On seeing them I just knew I had to have them, despite the fact I can’t walk in them at all. I was perched atop the silver stilettos, which are about ten inches tall (slight exaggeration but not much) in the shop clinging onto the sides of the displays for dear life – she thought I was going to seriously injure myself but at the same time had tears of laughter rolling down her face as I wrecked all of the shop displays. I gave up in the end and decided I’d practice at home so if I practice I should be able to wear them unaided in 2015.


Anyways back to the cruising. After two days at sea, our first port was Gibraltar but we were only there a half-day but enough time to stroll around the town. Lucia actually has an apartment there so she went off to pack some things up to take back to Cyprus with her. I went in search of Marks and Spencer. It always makes me laugh to see familiar icons of England but sitting in the central plaza sipping a coke in the sunshine was lovely and I didn’t want to do anything more strenuous than that. My f talk was at 2.00pm so I didn’t stay out too long as I had rehearsals at 1,30pm. I don’t quite understand why I was scheduled as everyone was on deck at the sailaway so mu audience numbers fell to about 400. What was nice is that the ship has their own in-house television programme hosted by the cruise director. It’s a bit like Good Morning Britain in so far as they have topical news and guests who in my case are doing shows or staff interviews, which is interesting. It runs from 6.00am until midday every day and gives everyone a run down of the day’s events. In fact the show is always taped the night before so after slipping out of Gibraltar I changed my clothes and went and did my interview. The cruise director professed to being a big fan but then inserted foot into mouth by mentioning ‘Avenues and Alleyways’!!!! When I told him live on air that it was a Tony Christie song he had rather a red face.

After another day at sea we docked at Toulon, which was delightful. As we park right by the town Lucia and I made= the decision to do our own thing and do what we do best – SHOP – enough said. Florence was amazing; we took a boat along the River Arno right to the banks where the Tower of Pisa stood. It was definitely the right way to travel. Why others opted for a stuffy coach trip I’ll never know but quite frankly as we licked our fast melting ice creams in 77 degrees of heat we didn’t care either. Our little vessel stopped about a mile from the actual site so we all boarded the waiting Noddy Train, which took us right into the square. Seeing the Tower in the flesh so to speak in quite awesome. For some reason it made me quite emotional.
It also gave me a chance to take a few hundred pictures with my new camera.


I will digress lightly here. I’m a big fan of QVC, especially after appearing on the program. Their policy iis brilliant in that you can order anything and I do mean anything, use it for 30 days and if not completely happy you can return it, even if you have used it, washed it, finished the shampoo or worn a pair of shoes – no questions asked. That is quite something especially with a substantial purchase. The camera I’d bought in Hong Kong actually had a fault and having had the same model for several years I decided to buy an upgrade. I’d watched a program on QVC not only advertising the camera but also showing how to use it and thought it looked perfect. It was I fact perfect and I’ve decided to keep it but where else do you get the chance to try something out and if you don’t like it, send it back. They also sent me a card with a telephone number for their technical department saying if I had any problems they’d be happy to help out!!!! I actually asked the director when I was there if it applied to things like face creams or perfumes that had been half used or indeed returned empty and she told me that they stick to their policy, it is what they are known for, and that the few real offenders aren’t enough to worry about when they are dealing in thousands of orders a day.
So of you are thinking of investing in anything try QVC first, they won’t disappoint. They do shows on just about every product and now with Christmas approaching they have shows dedicated to cooking, entertaining and gifts so it is well worth you looking in.

Anyways our next stop was Civitavecchia, the gateway to Rome but I stayed within the local town. I’ve been to Rome a few times and to be honest I couldn’t face the two-hour journey each way. The tours are excellent especially for seeing a large amount in such a small tie slot but you are herded like cattle and have very little time for breath so for a lot of the stops we did our own thing. One of the prettiest ports was Ajaccio in Corsica as was Seville. It amazes me that for so much of my life I opted for foreign shores when there were some stunning places right here on my doorstep. Lisbon saw Lucia and I take a Segway trip. I’ve done it several times before and not only is it great fun but for anyone with limited mobility like me there are brilliant at taking you to places you wouldn’t have been able to walk to. It certainly applied to Lisbon as the town is made up of very steep hills. Our guide took us into the winging back streets and one poor guy caught the wheel of his Segway on a parked car and went flying but you are warned not to let your wheels get near to anything. Thankfully he was alright but it made us late getting back, so late in fact that we had to catch the coach straight back to the ship rather than going for the hour’s mooch we’d hoped to have in town.


Lucia and I had so much fun that we hired them again the next day in Vigo but this time we did it privately, just us and our guide. As we’d both been to Vigo before we opted to see some of the old town but sadly being our last port of call we had to be back on board for 3.00pm. Once again I can’t tell you how lucky we were with the weather, it was still on the low seventies so it was just perfect. Our last sea day saw me giving my final talk, dash around doing last minute paperwork and pack. Well this was a slight problem. I’d already bought an extra case at the market in Lisbon but it wasn’t quite big enough so we resorted to a lot of plastic bags. We were so laden it’s a surprise no one stopped us at customs. Now here’s the thing, I mentioned earlier how small my car was – well I’m not quite sure how we got everything in but Lucia had to have things on her lap and I couldn’t see an inch of daylight through the back window so we inched back to Monro Mansions very slowly.

Now I just have to wait and see if I’m invited back. I have since heard from Fred Olsen and I have two on there scheduled for next year so I’m thrilled. I’m actually thinking of having a Fans Reunited cruise in 2013 on one of the British ships. I should have all my cruise dates in by the end of the month so will put them up in December’s news page. I have to say it would be great if we cam pull it off and whilst I realise it isn’t cheap there are some amazing deals out there. One major thing to point out is that while a cruise might look hefty on paper one has to realise that everything is included, whether the food, entertainment and all the facilities. The countries come to you and there is nothing nicer than walking off the ship in a new port and exploring the area on your own. Anyways give it some thought and I’ll keep my fingers crossed that I might see some of you on board next year.


I came back to rotten weather but what can one expect in October. Thank goodness for central heating. One thing that saddened me greatly this month was the sale of Capitol to Universal. It will now mean that the album Richard and I had hoped to do next year, The New York Sessions’ probably won’t be possible as the tracks would have to licensed. I didn’t realise until the eleventh hour that Universal were leaving EMI UK behind so we now sit waiting to see who might pick it up. Of course we have also lost Abbey Road and I for one think it is very sad to split up what was England’s premier record company. The truth of the matter is that there may never be another Matt Monro album and if so it might well be without Richard and my input as there is nothing to say that the new buyer will want our help. It is the end of an era as was the death of Andy Williams. It was just another loss of one of the big artists from the great stable of artists that came out of the 60’s. I know we have a few left but they are a far and few commodity.

One things that also might be affected when EMI UK is sold is our Forum, which is hosted by the record company. We are hoping we get fair warning if they decide to switch it off so we can transfer the site to another host but time will tell. I have to say it is really nice to see some of the more familiar faces back on-line now. As you all know I was very upset to come back from one of my trips to find there had been dissent on the website. I hope we have finally sorted everything out to everyone’s satisfaction but please remember Richard and I are always here if you need to offload. I pride myself on the fact that we are such a sociable site and was thrilled to find that real friendships have been borne off the Forum. If you are a member that has stayed away recently, do come back, we miss you.

The new album ‘Matt Uncovered: The Rarer Monro’ has received some great reviews not just from the press but from you the fans. I am so pleased that you feel it worthy of being an addition in your collections.

Dear Michele - just received 'The Rarer Monro' and have played both CD's twice thus far this evening. You and Mr Richard Moore are to be commended - one never expects THIS from a rarities album. Have tried sending my review to CD Universe however their system has not responded to my efforts. Will try again tomorrow.

Michele, how come so much great material was 'left in the can.' There are so many treasures....

You must understand, here in Montreal searching for you Dad's rare tracks (available on 45rpm's) was like pulling teeth and cost a small fortune when you were successful. Now with these to great 2CD compilations...a pure treasure trove. Every time I think I really know Matt Monro...this happens.

I truly enjoy the music, however with always comes a certain wife always teases when I become misty-eyed.

Hopefully sometime in the future more material including albums such as 'Close to you' (not necessarily one of my favorites- too much American influence) will become available.

And yes I have re-read your book and enjoyed it thoroughly the second time round. Only the beginning I found a little difficult, though extremely well written. Have also purchased the audio version along with the Hoagy CD.

Dear Michele God bless both you and Richard,

Thank you for the sunshine....

Roy Mercado,
Lorraine, Que. Canada

Well, I started with disc 2, the main reason is that 2 songs that were played at the 2nd Fans Reunited in 2007 are on this disc, "Time To Go" and "Oh My Child" and couldn't wait until I heard these again, well, I had to wait 5 years I suppose but so worth the wait. Outstanding! Also I love "One Last Try" and "The World I Used To Know", and it is so great to hear the full English version of "If You Go Away", plus another 2 tracks from the Alguien Canto LP also recorded in English. Another brilliant track is "How Can I Live Without Your Love". Also an alternative version of "Didn't We", which I actually prefer to the LP version, I think this is the version used on Matt Jnr's duet album. Very nice to have "Ten Out Of Ten", "Choose" and "Beautiful Beautiful" in prestige form from the "Song For Europe" EP as well. Super Spanish versions of "Maria" and "For Once In My Life", and really enjoyed the songs from the 1961 radio shows. The alternative version of "Once In Every Long and Lonely While" is lovely too, always loved this song. Alternative versions of the lovely "Two People" and "Pretty Polly" are also included, forgot to mention "Let's Find An Island", which is beautiful too. Finishing off with some great jingles and the sketch from The Kenny Everett radio show will makes you laugh out loud.

Excellent sleeve notes from Michele as always, and very detailed list of the songs, great cover too. Michele and Richard, you have surpassed yourselves as always, many thanks for all your hard work, it has been well worth the wait.

John Higton

The word SUBLIME means 'of such excellence, grandeur, or beauty as to inspire great admiration or awe' this surely is the definitive word to describe this work of art put together with such loving care by Michele and Richard. SO many known and unknown tracks of such quality that I think we need Keith’s descriptive powers here.

At the moment I need another listen to see if I can select some favourites.
I do know that the 'stereo tests' are a treasure. Whoever thought that we would be listening to the rare 'It Can't Be Wrong' (From Now Voyager I think) plus my all time favourite NEVER heard sung by Matt': I've Got You Under My Skin'


Well, after thinking that the "Rare Monro" was the absolute ultimate, and was resolved to the fact that this would be the last album for our Matt Monro collection, through painstakingly searching archives, and patiently remastering newly discovered treasures, thanks to Michele and Richard The Rarer Monro arrived and we can only begin to describe how thrilled we are with the contents.

On the first disc, what sheer pleasure to be able to hear Matt singing some of those unforgettable songs from that irreplaceable Golden era, that included special favourites and sentimental ballads such as "Everything I Have Is Yours", "Amor Amor Amor", " I'll Be Around" ..  and thankfully saved and recorded the Three fabulous renditions of "In Time" "What Makes The Sunset " and The Clouds Will Soon Roll By, but on this Disk One.. "It Can’t Be Wrong" stands out as being very special to us.

The songs associated with Sinatra "You Make Me Feel So Young" "I've Got The World On A String" "I've Got You Under My Skin" are sung in Matt's perfect inimitable style, but his rendition of " Your Sensational " is in a class of his own !!! We enjoyed the more upbeat numbers.. I've got My Eyes On You" "Your Getting To Be A Habit With Me" "Easier Said Than Done," but the beautiful "A Few Tender Words "... which was tagged on to the end of a Terry Scott session completes a really splendid disc.

Disc Two is every bit as lovely to listen to as the first disc, Matt's unmatchable rich smooth velvety tones and pure diction simply makes him Master Of His Craft. More unearthed, superb numbers, " Let's Find An Island," and tender ballads "The World I Used to Know" and Time To Go are all such a joy to listen to and we are so happy to have more of the popular classics.

We have, in the past, discussed Matt's marvellous recording of Maria in depth on the forum, and now on this album we have his version in Spanish. This must surely be one of the best tracks on the album, just listen to that final unmistakable note that is breathtaking. Although when tracks are laid down and recorded they are assumed as perfect but we have always appreciated shows when the artists sing medleys, and this one that includes Matt's introductions are a perfect inclusion and they have a great backing band, with "You Came Along From Out Of Nowhere" " I Apologise" ...with Matt's unusual reverse lines.. If I Made You Cry, If I Told A Lie "The Folks Who Live On The Hill" "You'll Never Know" another song that holds special memories for us. "What Is this Thing Called Love" "Day By Day" "Younger Than Springtime " The commercials,  and Matt made many, bring back memories and we can imagine the fun Matt Had with Kenny Everett D
This double album is a treasure for our collection, so thank you again Michele and Richard for all your time and effort spent on releasing this gem.

Lena & Harry

I may say nothing more than this:
I have just heard Johnnie and Matt performing George's "No One Will Ever Know".
It is the most beautiful recording of music I have ever heard In my Life. I cried.
Then I listened to it again.
And I cried.

I have never had an experience like that.

Thank you, Richard and Michele. It is even more exquisite than the version that was previously released. Thank you so much for making it possible for me to hear Matt and Johnnie perform this. I feel sorry for everyone who won't hear this.


If we were to describe how much we have enjoyed listening to The Rarer Monro we would run out of adjectives.

We agree with all the great reviews the members have written and would like to extend our warmest personal thanks to Michele & Richard for bringing this superb collection to the fans old and new of Matt Monro.

We have said before on this forum how wonderful modern technology is because it enables us to listen with such clarity to tracks which were recorded more than over half a century ago thanks to the expertise of Richard.

Maureen & Harry

To me, this wonderful CD collection is comparable to an overflowing jewellery casket, filled to the brim with diamonds, rubies and other precious stones. Every time I go into it, I find another Gem that I had not realised was there.

So many songs on there that I never thought I’d hear sung by Matt are given the “Monro” touch. My personal top 3 are “The Folks Who Live On The Hill” “Younger than Springtime” “I’ll Be Around”—but a difficult choice with “My Funny Valentine” “You’ll Never Know” “ It’s Only a Paper Moon” “Old Devil Moon” also in contention. Not to mention some of the less well-known songs which all deserve their place on this double CD.

I am confidant that there are more hidden treasures out there somewhere, and equally confident that Michele and Richard, with their usual dedicated hard work will bring them to us one day.



My CD arrived on the 24th, four days earlier than so I will be ordering from Amazon in the future. I have played both CD's and enjoyed every minute. There are so many lovely tracks it's so hard to pick my favourites,

Disc 1: I really loved ‘My Funny Valentine’. I’ve never heard Matt sing that before and it was just so beautiful. ‘No One Will Ever Know’, I’ve always loved that one ,just so gorgeous, ‘I’ve Got You Under My Skin’, better than Frank's and’ You Make Me Feel So Young’ better again. ‘There Are No Words For Love’, just a beautiful song sung, as always, with so much feeling - it's always been a favourite of mine. Matt puts so much into everything he sings. There are other songs I like- well all of them really and Matt delivers them so well,  just perfect.
Disc 2: I loved’ Once In Every Long and Lonely While’. I have always loved that one but now love both versions. It’s also great hearing the three songs for Europe unedited, ‘Maria’ just beautiful and short but lovely. ‘ Two People’, ‘Time to Go’, ‘Oh  My Child’ so beautiful.  I’ve waited a long time to hear that one. I thought it was lovely the first I heard it back in 2007.

‘Didn't We’, I like both versions. ‘One Last Try’ that was a nice one, and all from
Matt’s radio shows, they were great and all the jingles and lastly the Kenny Everett
Sketch - great to hear that. Two great CD's who would have thought that we would be getting to hear all these recordings that we haven't heard before along with the one's we already have. It’s all down to Michele and Richard's hard work -  thank you so very much, you beautiful people.

‘The Rare Monro’ and ‘Matt Uncovered: The Rarer Monro’ -  two FABULOUS CD's.

Christine Hampshire


I’m still popping in every Wednesday evening to Siren 107.8FM’s ‘Midweek Drive’. The weekly slot allows me to select some of the lesser-known tracks of dad and that is wonderful as it gives me a chance to play a broader range. Even when I’m away I do pre-records, better to do that then to leave people disappointed.

Don’t forget to check out our Spotlight guest this month, I know so many of you enjoy them.

Most importantly please let me know if you have anything related to dad, whether a story, a photo or an old radio show. Or maybe you have some old VHS formats laying in the attic that might have a television show on it. We can always have it transferred for you at our costs. As Richard and I unearth these rarities we are constantly told “but we thought you must have it”. Please don’t be shy; you might have something we are looking for. I repeat this message every month just in case it jogs someone’s memory.

Check out the ‘Rough Guide to’, which is available towards the bottom of the Homepage. A few of you have mentioned that you don’t know how to access certain areas of the site or in fact are unaware of new areas, this guide will explain how easy this website is to get around, once you know how.

There is also another information box “How to Use the Forum’. I know a lot of people have been tempted to join in on some of our conversations but are slightly nervous of doing so. For that reason I have printed step-by-step instructions of how to access it. It really does only take a few minutes.

Until December here’s wishing you a wonderful 2012 and may your year be filled with music.

Michele Monro


Past News - October 2012

Past News - September 2012

Past News - August 2012

Past News - July 2012

Past News - June 2012

Past News - May 2012

Past News - April 2012

Past News - March 2012

Past News - February 2012

Past News - December 2011

Past News - November 2011

Past News - October 2011

Past News - September 2011

Past News - August 2011

Past News - July 2011


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