NEWS

October 2011

If I thought the earlier parts of the year were manic, then I don’t have a word for the weeks in the lead up to The Launch. It was all guns blazing and it was like everything was coming at once but boy the outcome was worth it. Richard and I spent every waking moment tweaking things and making sure all the equipment that was needed was in place – one snag was the fall out of the projector screen. Not a massive problem but the replacement was double the size and it left a small problem – where was I going to sit in the car?

Richard had set off for Leicester the night before so as to break up the journey somewhat and I was up most of the night with panicked thoughts as to whether I had done this, that or the other. When Richard pulled up at Monro Mansions I couldn’t believe what he had fitted into his car, the weight alone had slowed him down on the motorway but finally we were off making our way up Westway en –route to The Thai Terrace.

No matter how organised you are or how much you have prepared in advance there is always an avalanche of ‘to do’ things and for the next two hours we moved furniture, uploaded the car and I say uploaded because we had to transport everything up three flights of stairs. Mind you when I say we, I was more like the director overseeing everything.

Certain things has to be unloaded from the car to get to the other items on the bottom of the pile and after dispensing with the projector, screen, amps and sound desk, Richard then had to take the rest of the equipment including one full sized electric piano over to EMI so that we could get it set up. It had had to be dismantled in order to fit in the car so unfortunately it took time to reassemble it again. We left instructions at EMI as to how the room should be set and promised to return at 5.15pm.

Our main enemy was time. Fans Reunited wasn’t due to end until 6.00pm but Richard and I had to be over at EMI way before that so that Matt Jnr and Gerard Kenny could have sound checks. That wasn’t too bad but the agreement with the restaurant was that all the equipment had to be taken out before 6.00pm!!!!

"

Fans Reunited

Press 'Play' to start slideshow.

Gallery Controls

Hover your mouse pointer over the control panel in the bottom left hand corner of the above slide show. This will bring up the controls, the title of the photograph and the option to view all thumbnails

It was only natural that certain guests would arrive early and as I snuck out of the restaurant to have a small break who did I espy on the corner but Marian & Peter Down, Lena & Harry Smith, Sandra & John Tindall, Paul Hayes and John Higton. I greeted them to be presented with the most beautiful flowers that they had clubbed together to buy me. They were gorgeous and with bribery like that I decided to let them in early.

It wasn’t long before others arrived and I have another special thanks to Neil who brought me roses and a very special disc and Robert for my two very special prints – what a wonderful surprise. Robert I have to say you have a wonderful gift and I certainly think you should share your talent with our Forum members – why don’t you put a couple of your works up for everyone to see, don’t be shy.
After giving out goodie bags we started the proceedings. Richard had slaved for months getting all the audios and visuals edited and ready for play and I think everyone there was thrilled with the selection.

The only dampener on the day was the absence of Kevin Swoish and Hazel Gibson who had to bow out due to a family bereavement and our dear friends Joan and Ray Jowett and Mike and Sue Parker. I know everyone joins me when I say get well soon Sue – we all missed you.

 

Book/CD Launch - Part 1

Press 'Play' to start slideshow.

Gallery Controls

Hover your mouse pointer over the control panel in the bottom left hand corner of the above slide show. This will bring up the controls, the title of the photograph and the option to view all thumbnails

As we neared the interval I took time to talk about my brother Mitchell and my gorgeous mum and we showed a picture show of Mickie whist listening to dad’s rendition of   ‘I Only Miss Her When I think of Her’, which was the song we played at her funeral.

I think everyone had brought candles with them, a wonderful array of every shape, colour and size and the moment had come to explain my bizarre request all those months before. This is what was said:

IT’S BECAUSE YOU ARE ALL CONSIDERED SOME OF MATT MONRO’S STAUNCHEST FANS THAT A FEW MONTHS AGO I CASUALLY MENTIONED THAT ANYONE ATTENDING TODAY MIGHT LIKE TO BRING A CANDLE. I WASN’T PREPARED TO GIVE A REASON BUT IT WAS MORE A MATTER OF TAKING A LEAP OF FAITH - THANK YOU TO EVERYONE THAT HAS DONE JUST THAT.

IN JANUARY I AM TAKING A LEAVE OF ABSENCE SO TO SPEAK AND TRAVELLING ACROSS TO AUSTRALIA. I’VE NEVER BEEN BEFORE AND HAVE FAMILY THERE THAT I HAVEN’T SEEN IN MORE THAN 40 YEARS. I WILL LEAVE SYDNEY IN THE MIDDLE OF APRIL AND CRUISE ACROSS THE SEAS TO SAN FRANCISCO. FROM THERE I AM DRIVING ACROSS TO LAS VEGAS TO VISIT THE LITTLE CHURCH OF THE WEST, THE PLACE WHERE MY PARENTS RENEWED THEIR VOWS. THE CHAPEL IS STILL THERE AND IT’S A PLACE MY PARENTS WERE TRULY HAPPY.

IN THE EARLY 1980S WE MOVED TO AMERICA ON A PERMANENT BASIS AND DAD STARTED DOING THE CIRCUIT ON THE VEGAS STRIP AFTER AN ABSENCE OF SOME 14 YEARS. THE SHOWS WERE SO SUCCESSFUL THAT THE POWERS THAT BE RANG SHORTLY AFTER TO OFFER HIM A 6 MONTH RESIDENCY TOPPING THE BILL AT THE SANDS HOTEL THE FOLLOWING YEAR. THIS WAS INDEED THE ICING ON THE CAKE FOR A PERFORMER SUCH AS MY FATHER AND HE WAS ECSTATIC THAT HE HAD MANAGED TO CLAW HIS WAY BACK TO THE TOP OF THE LADDER AND CEMENT A FUTURE THAT LOOKED FABULOUS. UNFORTUNATELY HE PASSED AWAY A FEW MONTHS LATER, IT JUST WASN’T MEANT TO BE.

HIS WILL MADE NOTE THAT HE WAS TO BE CREMATED AND HIS ASHES KEPT AT HOME UNTIL SUCH TIME WHEN MY MOTHER COULD JOIN HIM. LAST MARCH, THEIR ASHES WERE INTERMINGLED AND HAVE SAT AT THE HOUSE IN HARROW SINCE MY MOTHER’S FUNERAL.

YOUR CANDLES ARE COMING WITH ME TO LAS VEGAS AND WILL BE LIT JUST BEFORE THE RELEASE OF THOSE ASHES. I FELT THE CHAPEL A FITTING PLACE TO MAKE THEIR FINAL JOURNEY FROM. YOUR GIFT TODAY GIVES YOU A CHANCE TO BE THERE AS MATT MONRO TAKES HIS FINAL BOW WITH THE PERSON HE LOVED THE MOST AT HIS SIDE, WHERE MY MOTHER STOOD THROUGHOUT HIS LIFE. I AM GLAD YOU ARE ABLE TO SHARE IN THAT MOMENT.
 
So the secret has now been shared. It is a light bulb moment that came to me when I was planning my trip next year. It just seemed only right that the fans should have some presence when we scatter the ashes. I would like to thank everyone that took that leap of faith; you will all be there with me in spirit.

A raffle and quiz followed and then Richard took to the floor to explain how he performs miracles on dad’s tracks. I felt awful because he had to cut his discussion somewhat as we were running rather late but with a few tweaks we arranged the highlight of the day, the showing of a 30 minute classic television moment.

Whilst the show was running, Richard and I also ran with equipment, leads and all the items we need to transport to EMI whilst other things had to be out in the car as they were no longer needed. Thankfully my brother, son and his girlfriend chose that moment to appear and it was like a human conveyor belt system. EMI might only have been at the end of the road but it felt like 5 miles.

Leaving the men to do the sound checks I dashed into the toilets and changed ready for the second part of the day. As the television special ended the restaurant served the most splendid buffet and we left everyone there with strict instructions not to arrive at EMI before 6.00pm

I had received a lot of requests from radio stations asking for interviews but realised it would have to be done as a press conference because of time and it had been arranged for 5.45pm. I was virtually running between the restaurant and EMI when my mobile phone rang. It was Bruce Forsyth ringing me from Spain asking that I get out a pen so he could give a message to be read out later in the evening. I was in the middle of Kensington squatting in the street whist leaning on the pavement trying to write this message on a scrap of paper I had.

I’M SO SORRY I CAN’T BE WITH YOU TONIGHT BUT IT WAS THE ONLY WEEK’S BREAK I COULD TAKE BEFORE ‘STRICTLY’ KICKED OFF IN FULL FORCE.

MATT WAS ONE OF THE FINEST SINGERS IN THE WORLD AND EVEN WHEN I AM IN PUERTO RICO I LISTEN TO HIM ON AN AMERICAN RADIO STATION’S PROGRAMME CALLED ‘SINGERS AND SWING’. I OFTEN HEAR MATT WITH THAT SPECIAL TONE AND THAT LOVELY PHRASING THAT WAS SO UNIQUE. HE WAS ONE OF MY BEST FRIENDS AND I’LL ALWAYS MISS HIM.

MY LOVE TO YOU ALL,

Brucie

BRUCIE BABY

So I had finally made it to EMI and leaving the boys to their sound checks I was taken to a separate room for my interviews. As with all these things it ran late and we didn’t get finished until 6.20pm. As I descended in the glass elevation to the atrium below where the party was taking place I was shocked to see the room already full. As I left the lift to join the masses, that was the start of a non-stop chain of events.

As with anything that has been in the diary for a few months we have had a few casualties along the way. Val Doonican, Vince Hill, David Jacobs, David Hamilton, Tony Christie, Paul Gambaccini and Ed Stewart pulled out but regardless of these minor upsets, there was a wealth of name and faces in the business scattered throughout the room. Andy Prior, Buddy Greco, Dave Cash, Esther Rantzen, Dennis Lotis, Gerard Kenny, Graeme Harper, June Marlow, Matt Monro Jnr, Mike Winters, The Hiller Brothers, Pete Conway (Robbie William’s dad), Shane Rimmer, Kenny Lynch, Lynsey de Paul, Anita Harris, Mike Margolis and Virginia McKenna all turned up to help celebrate the legacy of music my father had left behind. Virginia is passionate about the Born Free Foundation and I thought it would be wonderful if they had a presence in the room. The Born Free team were wonderful and the stand that was erected earlier in the day had a wonderful array of enticements to make you part with your money. Virginia, who had arrived in a car bearing the Born Free logo, presented with me a wonderful bouquet of flowers and we duly posed for pictures for all and sundry.

http://www.bornfree.org.uk/get-involved/past-events/michele-monro-book-launch/

As I started to make my way towards the stage, I could hear a small ripple of excitement from this behind me and as I turned to see what had caused this, I saw Sir George & Lady Judy Martin coming towards me. I nearly burst into tears. Obviously George and dad had worked together for years and I knew they were great mates but that he should come to my small soiree knocked me for six. He doesn’t live in London and it was over a three hour round trip so the gesture was a huge one and I shall be eternally grateful.

Most of you now know the story of the first time I had gone to the studios with dad. It was hugely exciting and as George tapped his baton ready to start proceedings, dad beckoned to me, held my hand and sang ‘Michelle’ to me. That was the actual copy that was pressed and issued and is a moment I will never forget. I have the musical score to the song which is full of George’s notes for the session and I had taken it with me so that I could show it to dad’s producer should he appear. George loved the fact that I still had it and told me that daddy had wanted me to have the music. Bless him if he didn’t sign it for me so it is even dearer now than ever.

Steve Woof took to the stage to open the speeches and he thanked everyone for coming and talked about the new projects. Katy Wild from Titan followed and gave a lovely speech about how wonderful I was!!!! and then called me up to present me with a framed award for ‘outstanding sales’ on the book.
A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Anita Harris popped up next and she talked about how she, her husband Mike Margolis and Peter Murray had met up the night before and penned a special tribute to their friend Matt Monro.

In memory of Matt, a wonderful guy
whose voice could raise us to the sky
His songs and singing live forever
Perfect, inspiring, and musically clever.


Every time I introduced Matt -
the Radio waves would purr like a Cat
Matt the Master was the perfect singer
Much admired by the great 'ring-a-ding-dinger',


Yes, it was Frank Sinatra who famously said
''Matt Monroe is the perfect Singer''
His pitch is sublime and he's also a swinger.''

Can you imagine the duets in Heaven?
Matt and Frank singing 'Oceans Eleven'
Yes, Matt will be with us for all time,
And we can always tune in to the voice sublime.

Anita Harris, Mike Margolis, Pete Murray

It was my turn next and I thought those that couldn’t be with us would like to know what I said so here it is in all its glory:

I would like to thank everyone for coming and sharing in this very exciting night with me. There was one main reason for writing this book. I had this awful thought that if I died my son Max would never know more than his grandfather was a great singer, he would know nothing of the stature of the artist or what Matt Monro brought to his profession. He would be ignorant of his true roots and unaware of the great esteem that everyone held for his grandfather. I wanted Max to know the man behind the song.

Getting the book published wasn’t easy, not because the publishing houses weren’t interested but because there seems to be an unwritten rule that a book has to be no more than 75,000 words. As I told one publisher – that’s the size of my index!!!

I was looking for a company that could think outside the box, one that would allow the whole story to be told and not just stick to a pre-determined format. Then of course I wanted dozens of photographs scattered throughout the pages, not just a few pictures grouped together in the middle of the book.

I am greatly indebted to Titan Publishing who helped me realise my dream, a company that put quality above cost – I’m not saying it was an easy ride but I think the end result is something we can all be proud of. I’d like to thank the whole team, not just Katy Wild and Tim Whale for steering the project but Lizzie, Chris, Hannah and Sophie the creative team who made the pages come to life.

The book was four years in the making and in January of last year I remember standing in a spot very much like tonight thanking everyone for coming. Since then the book has exceeded all my expectations and even won a literary award in the States. We have also released an abridged version on the CD “Words and Music’ and tonight sees the Launch of not just the paperback but the EBook as well, it’s just wonderful that there is still so much interest in the music of Matt Monro.

Tonight there is also another cause for celebration in that EMI have re-released the 4 CD Set of the same name. It originally came out ten years ago but was limited to 3000 copies. Despite the hefty price it flew off the shelf so it was thought a nice idea to bring it to the table again but this time totally remastered and at a more affordable price.

I have to say I get congratulated all the time and receive the most wonderful emails and letters thanking me for keeping the musical legacy alive and for bringing interesting and unusual projects to the table. I’m glad that what has been done, especially over the last 10 years, seems to have ticked all the right boxes but unfortunately I can’t take all the credit.

Steve Woof and I first came together for the original release of The Singer’s Singer and from there we have gone from strength to strength adding a few more gold discs to the collection along the way but without Steve’s enthusiasm and support for the projects and allowing me to stick my nose into his area of expertise they wouldn’t have come to fruition. We have conspired, collaborated and released many wonderful collections over the last decade and I have to say Matt Monro’s catalogue is richer for the relationship.

It was in fact Steve who finally persuaded me that this book should be written and that it should come from me, as he felt it would ensure the book’s historical accuracy. There aren’t many record companies who would have allowed full and unrestricted access to their archives and I am indebted to Steve for granting me permission to use any of the material that I felt would enrich the project. Without his generosity of spirit, most of the rare and unreleased photographic material would not have been seen in the book.

My heartfelt thanks have to go to Richard Moore, who has been my right arm, my co-conspirator, my rock and my confidante. We have spurred each other on, leaving no stone unturned when it came to looking for that vital piece of information or a lost television appearance and without his expertise the quality of recordings in the marketplace just wouldn’t be in the class they are. There are of course plenty of sound engineers around but Richard loves what he does and that shines through. Nothing is too much trouble and he will work on one audio snippet for hours until he thinks it’s the best it can be. He is a unique individual and everyone should be lucky enough to have such a friend in their lives.

Lastly I have to thank the most important person – my mum Mickie, she is the reason that Matt Monro is the power that he is today. I would like to thank her for all the years she made my dad so very happy in allowing him to follow his dream and for all the years she allowed me to follow mine. I love her deeply and was devastated that she couldn’t be with us last year at the hardback launch to share in the glory of bringing the project to fruition after four long years. Sadly mum passed away last February but she did see the book before she went and was immensely proud of it.

She loved the fact knew it would sit in the British Library for all time, and whereas dad’s CD’s preserve the legacy of his music, the book immortalises the man. It also sits in the archives in institutions like the BBC, Reuters and EMI– that is a great feeling. It means the legacy that Matt Monro left behind will continue to burn brightly well after I’m gone.

I would like to mention that my son Max and his girlfriend Justine are running the 10-kilometre Moor Park Run on 25 September in memory of Mickie with all the proceeds going to Macmillan Cancer Support. Full details are available on the front desk if you would like to make a small donation. I know my mum joins in with my son, brother and myself in thanking all of you for your continued support and for helping make the Singer’s Singer the best that it could be.

My brother has also been instrumental in preserving dad’s legacy over the years. When he was only 11, dad pulled him up on stage in Jersey and they sang a duet together. The spell was cast and he knew he wanted to repeat the experience. Sadly it wasn’t meant to be but he was slightly mollified when through modern technology he had the opportunity to record ‘Matt Sings Monro’ a duet album with dad. His passion for music continued and he now tours the world bringing his own style of music to the table. He has broken into his current overseas schedule to be with us all tonight, which was wise as I’m impossible to live with if I don’t get my own way, as Titan & EMI can both attest to, so could I ask you all to put your hands together and give a warm welcome to Mr Matt Monro Jnr.

Matt treated everyone to a quartet of songs including a very touching tribute to his dad with ‘Dance With My Father’ and walked around the room shaking everyone’s hand whist singing ‘For Once in My Life’. The crowd were very appreciative and after closing with ‘Softly’ he introduced my special guest Gerard Kenny. I have known Gerard and his gorgeous wife Jenny for more than 30 years and I was thrilled when he agreed to head the entertainment, not only that but he had spent four weeks choosing just the right material to string a number of my dad’s hits together, it was magical. Of course we couldn’t let him go without letting him sing one of his biggest hits ‘New York New York’. The crowd loved it and were singing along in the chorus and with that the entertainment ended and I was whisked off to a corner of the room to sign books, CDs and Bookazines.

Now at this point I thought I’d be there 30 minutes and then have a chance to mingle – not the case. As the line thinned more people would join it and people were coming up with four or five things each all of which had to be signed. Don’t get me wrong I was extremely grateful for the sales but the upshot of that was that there were certain people I never even saw – Mike Winters, Shane Rimmer or my cousin Reg Parsons. I hate to think that they put themselves out and travelled, in some cases, quite a distance, and I never even said hello.

Amazingly 10.00pm came and went and people were still there but EMI’s security came into play and basically chucked us out. It took Richard and I over an hour to dismantle everything and pack the car back up but eventually we left the safely of the car park, me sitting in the front seat with a projector on my shoulder, and made our way back to the house.

 

Book/CD Launch - Part 2

Press 'Play' to start slideshow.

Gallery Controls

Hover your mouse pointer over the control panel in the bottom left hand corner of the above slide show. This will bring up the controls, the title of the photograph and the option to view all thumbnails

I have to say it was a wonderful night and I thought the whole day was just amazing and the turn out was fantastic. I don’t think the room was over-full at EMI although it was a shame there wasn’t a little bit more seating. I thought the staff were brilliant and nothing was too much. A special thank you to Steve Woof and Caroline Hilton – it couldn’t have been done without them. People haven’t stopped talking about it, I have been inundated with phone calls and emails and Facebook and the Forum are awash with comments.

It was such a privilege having it at EMI and I know a lot of people were thrilled to be in the building – most mere mortals never get the chance. I couldn’t fault anything; in fact the only thing I was slightly sad about was not being able to spend any time with anyone but I was pulled in so many directions it was manic.
For those that came, thank you for helping to make the evening the success it was, I hope you had as brilliant an evening as I did and I’d love it if you could leave a review in the Forum and send in all your pictures so we can add them to our special slideshow.

One thing we did do when we got home was watch my appearance on the BBC’s The One Show. I had filmed it the same week but originally it was due to be aired on the Friday before the event and at the last minute they changed it to the same night – Sod’s Law! When I think that it took 5 hours on the first day and then 7 1/2 on the second to get a 4:30 minute piece it is mad but if it brings a few more fans to us then alls the better.

 

EMI and Richard have done an amazing job on the new album, the re-release of ‘The Singer’s Singer’ and I was delighted to see a review before the party even started.

Singer's Singer

 

THE SECOND DISC REVIEW
From Monro With Love: “The Singer’s Singer” Box Set -EMI

Matt Monro never met a genre of music he didn’t like.  Whether covering standards, tackling contemporary pop hits or singing in Spanish, that reassuring, velvet croon, unerring interpretive skills and all-around good taste made Matt Monro “the singer’s singer.”  A 2001 EMI box set of that title was a limited edition of 3,000 copies, and quickly disappeared from store shelves, but EMI will re-offer that 103-track box set in a budget-priced reissue due in the U.K. on September 12. 


And it gets better.  Not only will the 2011 edition of The Singer’s Singer be priced affordably (as of this writing on August 30, it’s currently selling on Amazon U.K. for under 7 pounds!) but the set has been completely remastered, too!  38 tracks have been derived from the 2010 and 2011 remasters created for EMI’s acclaimed The Complete Singles Collection and Words and Music reissues, while of the remaining 65 tracks, 60 have been transferred by engineer Richard Moore from the first generation mixdown tapes!  In addition, two tracks erroneously included on the 2001 version, duets between Monro and his son Matt Monro, Jr., have been corrected with the original solo versions.
Richard Moore has catalogued his amazing journey assembling and mastering this new edition of The Singer’s Singer at his website, and we urge you to read it!  Then return here, as we’ve got much more on Monro coming up, including the complete track listing. 


The box set covers all phases of Monro’s career, which was tragically curtailed when the singer died in 1985 at the age of 54.  Though considered by many to be the British answer to Frank Sinatra, Monro recorded far fewer American standards than Ol’ Blue Eyes. He found frequent success tackling songs of European origin, and gave voice to the landmark James Bond theme song, “From Russia with Love.” The song, penned by Lionel Bart of Broadway’s Oliver! fame, was heard in the film as source music and then over the end titles, buoyed by John Barry’s lush orchestration. Monro was something of a soundtrack specialist, perhaps best remembered for his stirring rendition of Barry and Don Black’s “Born Free,” which Andy Williams covered to great effect on American shores. (Monro scored two American Top 40 hits: “My Kind of Girl” in 1961 and “Walk Away” in 1964.) Monro’s friendship with Barry endured, as did his relationship with producer/arranger George Martin.


Martin had “discovered” Monro, casting him as “Fred Flange” on Peter Sellers’ Songs for Swingin’ Sellers LP.   Thanks to the EMI and Martin connections, Monro was one of the first performers to record Paul McCartney’s “Yesterday,” and his relaxed and warm version remains a highlight of his catalogue. Sinatra paid tribute to Monro by recording number of songs first associated with the British singer, like Leslie Bricusse’s “My Kind of Girl” and the Italian import “Softly As I Leave You.”  Sinatra may have said it best when he commented of Monro, “His pitch was right on the nose, his word enunciations letter perfect, his understanding of a song thorough.”   But his career diverged from Sinatra’s in significant ways; Monro’s only LP dedicated to a classic Tin Pan Alley composer was 1962’s Matt Monro Sings Hoagy Carmichael, reissued earlier this year as part of EMI’s terrific ongoing Monro reissue campaign.  (Monro did cover one of the few songs actually written by Frank Sinatra, and his recording of “I’m a Fool to Want You” can be heard on the new box set.)


A new stereo remix of “From Russia, With Love” utilizing the correct vocal is one of the many new alterations/improvements to The Singer’s Singer, all of which have been indicated in the track listing below in bold.  The box set is a journey though Monro’s career and also a musical history of some of the greatest composers and lyricists of all time.  The Beatles are represented with “Yesterday,” “Michelle” and “The Long and Winding Road,” Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer with “Days of Wine and Roses” and “Charade” and Jimmy Webb with “Didn’t We.”  The Broadway songbook is deeply mined, and yields Charles Strouse and Lee Adams’ “You’ve Got Possibilities” from It’s a Bird!  It’s a Plane!  It’s Superman!, Alan Jay Lerner and Burton Lane’s “Come Back to Me” and “On a Clear Day You Can See Forever” from the musical of the same name, and Cy Coleman and Carolyn Leigh’s Real Live Girl from Little Me.  There are choice pop interpretations of “Strangers in the Night,” “You Make Me So Very Happy,” and “Bridge Over Troubled Water,” among many others.  Standards don’t get the short shrift, either, thanks to renditions of “September Song” (from Kurt Weill and Maxwell Anderson’s Knickerbocker Holiday), “Spring is Here,” “Fools Rush In” and “The Second Time Around.”
The original box set’s Monro biography is no longer included, having been superseded by Michele Monro’s biography of her father (not coincidentally of the same title as the box).  However, the 2011 set does including brief remastering notes and full recording details for each of the included songs.  The new, improved The Singer’s Singer hits stores in the U.K. on September 12 from EMI, and I have a feeling fans and collectors of timeless vocals won’t want to miss this one!  A pre-order link to Amazon U.K. can be found below!


Matt Monro, The Singer’s Singer(EMI 535814, 2001 – reissued EMI Gold, 2011)

Bookazine

I didn’t see a real copy of the Bookazine (The Man Behind the Voice) until the party. There has been a distributor’s delay on the project but Steve Woof was amazing and made sure we had a hundred copies for the event so that our overseas guests could take one home with them. The set includes a 64-page magazine with more than 60 photographs, the majority of which were not included in the book, a 20 track CD, including two tracks that have never been released and four that have only appeared on compact disc once before. There is also a 7” vinyl of Portrait of My Love. The replica is perfect even down to the original catalogue number, a really special keepsake.

The special edition book was reprinted because over the course of the last 18 months there were an additional 16 pages of content so I thought it wise to reprint while there was an opportunity. The price is £15.00 and the condition of sale is that you have to already have purchased Special Reserve.

Titan has finally released the manuscript as an EBook and I know that is something a lot of you have asked for. It has taken a while to get the go-ahead but it is nice to know that we are catching up with modern technology. I thank Marian Doyle (mariana44) who rushed back from the event and uploaded one to her Kindle – you must surely be the very first customer.

The American release will be on 28 February 2012 so we must surely have covered all the bases now – hardback, special edition, audio, paperback, EBook.

 

Book/CD Launch - Part 3

Press 'Play' to start slideshow.

Gallery Controls

Hover your mouse pointer over the control panel in the bottom left hand corner of the above slide show. This will bring up the controls, the title of the photograph and the option to view all thumbnails

As I have said it was the most superb day and here are just some of the comments left on the website’s Forum

Robert Humphries
Hi Everyone, My flight was late leaving Gatwick last night and I returned home to Scotland deaf in one ear. I have met the most wonderful people to date!! It started with Mariana, Jeff, John, Harry and Lena on Tuesday. My time in your company felt as if I was catching up on old times...you’re all very special people in my heart. The events on Wednesday were just amazing!! Yet again everybody that I met were just wonderful, and I didn't want the day to end! Michele, Richard, Matt, Max and the teams at Titan and EMI, Thank you. Can we all do it again next week? My night shift tonight will be spent recalling my newfound friendships with you all!

Mark & Marie Wencel
Thank you one and all - especially to Michele for your HERCULIAN organising skill, perfected to a fine art, with help from your family and Richard.

We are still buzzing from the excitement of meeting up with you all. In EMI we sat with the beautiful June Marlow who told us that on Matt's first day at the recording studios they awaited him with apprehension (ANOTHER singer who would not understand the musicians). However when they heard Matt sing they were overwhelmed and stunned by his amazing voice, professionalism and personality. Matt still stuns everyone.

Everyone was so friendly and the atmosphere was like one huge happy family sharing our laughter and tears together. You all have a place in our hearts - by the way we have very big hearts, we'll have you know. We would like to end with the touching words that Anita Harris expressed, 'This evening feels like COMING HOME’

Lena & Harry Smith
The evening was a magical time with speeches, and compliments to all concerned regarding the book and CD launch, songs by Matt Jnr, doing his stuff and delighting all the ladies in the way that he knows how. Just to be with our forum friends again was wonderful, and the guests who were there were so friendly, obliging and happy to have pictures taken with us. We just about exhausted our cameras by the time the night was over.

The beautiful Virginia McKenna, and the gorgeous Anita Harris lit up the room, and the handsome Buddy Greco one of the last Italian crooners delighting us with his presence, and talking to the delightful June Marlow (who of course sang with Matt,) and her lovely daughter Kate made the evening so complete for us. A truly magnificent occasion. Thanks Michele, Richard, EMI and all concerned.

Marian & Peter Down
I don't really know where to start, my head is still in a spin from such a special day last Wednesday. Wonderful Harry, Lena and John met us at the station with the invaluable Matt Monro Shuttle (Harry's cab) and took us to the restaurant, and all the excitement of the day to follow started from there. 

A wonderful afternoon with old friends and new, great and rare footage, never seen before clips of Matt's performances made it such a memorable occasion. Michele and Richard did a splendid job with all they presented, as always.

We then went across the road to the imposing EMI building, pausing for a picture or two outside the entrance. Up one floor in the lift to what we were told is usually the cafeteria; the room had been transformed with pictures and posters of Matt Monro everywhere, and speakers playing his beautiful songs.  The celebrity guests started arriving and soon there was a long stream of them everywhere you looked! It was fabulous, and to actually be inside the famous EMI building too made the whole occasion even more special.

The guest artistes were all so gracious and friendly, just chatting and posing for photos. Virginia McKenna spent a long while at the Born Free Foundation table, and her vehicle outside also has the Born Free logo on the side. She looked beautiful.  Anita Harris was stunning and didn't look a day older. Sir George Martin looking very distinguished and tall next to tiny singer songwriter Lynsey de Paul. Matt Jnr entertained for a while followed by Gerard Kenny who sang and played some of Matt's songs, followed by a rousing rendition of his own New York, New York, to round up the entertainment for the evening. 

There was a long queue for the new paperback version of Michele's book, the CD box set of the Singer's Singer, and the special Bookazine, and Michele was kept busy signing them all for everyone. Max and Justine were also there and I hope did well raising funds for MacMillan in memory of Mickie.

It was the most memorable occasion and to have actually been there to experience it all will stay with us for a very long time. Thank you to Michele and Richard for making it all possible. 

Sandra & John Tindall
What a memorable few days we had in London, culminating in the Book & CD Launch on Wednesday. Firstly the Thai Terrace where we were treated to Michele and Richard showing some wonderful unseen clips of Matt performing, and some poignant home movies of the family, including Mitchell and Mickie. The amazingly talented Richard gave an excellent demonstration of how much work remastering takes. You will all now know about the candles, which caused many lumps in throats, including

Then over to EMI H.Q. The celebrities were charming and despite the absence e of Tony Christie and Paul Gambaccini there were plenty more to admire. There was also a large contingent of radio presenters including Eric Hall from Radio Essex, Alex Lewczuk from Siren FM and THE Dave Cash from Radio Kent.  Michele still had to do all that book signing at the end of the evening, but sign she did, showing no sign of being as tired, as she must have been feeling.

Thank you a million times to Michele, Richard, Titan and EMI for a superb time and may the CD, Book and Bookazine be bestsellers to keep Matt's music alive forever.

John Higton
After the buffet we went over to EMI for the Book & CD Launch, this was indeed the highlight of the day. To be in the same room with people like Sir George Martin, Buddy Greco, the lovely Virginia McKenna and June Marlow was amazing. Anita Harris is a lovely lady, always a smile on her face, and she made such a nice speech about Matt. Very nice to see Gerard Kenny who did a fine job singing a medley of some of Matt's songs, Matt Jnr of course sang for us all. Esther Rantzen was there too, Eric Hall, Kenny Lynch, Lynsey De Paul, Mike Winters, Denis Lotis...so many famous names. We all had plenty of opportunities to take photos and everyone was so nice and gracious. Thanks again Michele, Richard and everyone else for making it such a special day.

Jeff Hayes (paul jh)
It was absolutely wonderful to go to a function and hear Matt Monro music played non-stop. When I arrived they were playing ‘You're Sensational’. I just stood at the speaker listening to this beautiful song and sipping my white wine. It was followed by ‘The Shadow of Your Smile’ so I stayed at the speaker. I wish every function or party would play continuous Matt Monro music.

It was fabulous to meet Pete Conway, Buddy Greco, Eric Hall, June Marlow and especially wonderful to spend so much time with my fellow forum members and Michele, Max, and Justine.

It was simply one of the best days of my life!

Darragh McGann
I returned to Cork, still on such a high following the launch and reception last evening. For someone who grew up with the music of Matt Monro, this was truly an honour to be in the presence of living legends last night, and I refer to Michele, Matt Jnr and Maxwell. You guys are his family, the ones he loved more than anyone and you are a credit to both your Dad and your Mum. Every time I perform, I always try to show the same humility that your father showed for his audience, and for me, last night was an emotional journey, learning even more about "The Man with the Golden Voice". Long may his music live, and may all of you as a family be forever proud of your achievements.

Valerie Parry-Hall
Just wanted to say what a great day. It was the first 'Fans Reunited' I had been to but hopefully not the last and the crème-de la-crème, was of course the very good night at E.M.I. You did your Mum and Dad proud along with Matt Jnr, who sang great and good luck to Max, on his run, hope the rain stays away,,,,

 

 

Press 'Play' to start slideshow.

Gallery Controls

Hover your mouse pointer over the control panel in the bottom left hand corner of the above slide show. This will bring up the controls, the title of the photograph and the option to view all thumbnails

As you will already know, on the 25th September, my son Maxwell and his girlfriend Justine ran the 10K Moor Park Run in memory of Mickie. Max said ‘Mickie was one of the most amazing, loving, beautiful people I have ever met! She was such an amazing personality and would do anything for her family, always smiling and always brightening up any room. She passed away on Thursday 25th February 2010 and Macmillan helped look after her and ensured she could stay at home during her last few weeks. We really want to raise awareness and support for Macmillan as they do a fantastic job.

They actually completed the run beating their own personal records, Justine in 54 minutes and Max in 62 minutes raising more than £1350.00. It is an incredible achievement and I have to say I am very proud of them both. Max has suffered from medical problems in his lower legs for the last 8 months and is actually under medical supervision at the moment so I was worried that he might not be able to complete the challenge. He’d had to pull short in training several times but even after a chat from me he refused to walk the course saying it was called the 10k run and not the 10k walk! Thankfully my fears proved groundless. If you would like to give a donation to this very worthwhile charity then it is not too late – just follow the link: http://www.justgiving.com/mickie-monro/

Now onto a few other snippets:

One of the reasons I chose to show such rare clips at the event this year was because I don’t think I will be hosting another ‘Fans Reunited’ again. Although I can mange to hide the symptoms of my illness quite well, the day and the lead up to it takes an awful amount of effort and I have to admit to struggling at times. In order to keep the event affordable we actually make a loss on the day and because of the distance Richard has to take two days off work and drive up from Blackpool. It is a big ask and I am extremely grateful that he has conspired with me to host the events he has. I simply couldn’t do them without him. I thank everyone for their staunch support over the years and hope you have enjoyed what we have brought to the table each time.

Sixth Star has now taken me into their fold and in fact have offered me three cruises over a two-day period, sadly I couldn’t accept any of them because my dates were busy but hopefully at the end of next year I might be seeing some of you while we cruise the seaways. P&O have also been on since the last update and I will now be doing a series of presentations on my cruise out to Australia – very exciting stuff. Anyways I didn’t want Richard to get bored!

[Richard’s Note: - “When are you going away? I could do with the rest!”]

I have also been fortunate in obtaining our dear friend Jack Jackson’s Matt Monro collection. It needed a transit van and has now taken over the whole of my lounge – and I do mean the whole room. It will probably take me the best part of a year to catalogue everything but the good news is that I will be selling off anything that I end up with doubles of so watch this space. I am particularly thrilled as I now probably have the biggest collection of Matt Monro music in the world and after years of searching also have the original acetate of the Pepsi commercials dad made in America. I did have a copy of the commercials and they were going to be included in The Rarer Monro anyway but now Richard has the master to work with I’m sure the sound will be greatly improved.

This month’s Spotlight focuses on Buddy Greco. It seemed only fitting that as he was at the party we should highlight his career so be sure to check that out.

I am still making an appearance every Wednesday on 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. Siren have actually asked me to pre-record shows for the dates I am not here next year although we are hoping to do a few live phone-ins from Australia and America so that should be both fun and challenging.

There are all manner of radio shows that I shall be popping up on over the coming month so be sure to check out ‘Radio Promotions’ in the Forum. I have also made another dedicated radio show so that should also be played on various radio channels around the country.

My good friend Mike Ellis has also launched a brand new radio station called Family Radio 1 and I am thrilled to say he is including a permanent spot just for Matt Monro. Go and check out the area and there is also an interview I did with Vince Tracy not so long ago - http://www.familyradio1.com/matt_monro.htm
I did mention last month that if you liked what he has done, then you should email him and let him know. I think some of you must have taken up the offer because I have just received confirmation that he has extended the amount of airtime dad has to two hours so keep sending those emails.

My thanks to Keith Good who has sent in another rousing tribute to the great man himself.

SHOOTING STAR
(an abridged biography of Matt Monro)

In polar opposition to the astral phenomenon,
destiny decreed the career trajectory of this London-based
human one be unwaveringly skyward despite denying him
the impulsion of the introductory fanfared bang:
assigning him instead to modest shift-end casual appearances
at a Hornsey Rise hostelry (aptly named The Favourite)
where, to locals’ gawping delight, he gratuitously sang.
Soon this embryonic star was soaring effortlessly around
the exclusive cynosure of the British pop charts,
thence flying over the watery Atlantic wastes
to strike a rhythmic chord in American music-loving hearts
as ‘king-of-the hill, top-of-the heap’ in the buddy-brash Big Apple,
and where his luminosity remained undiminished
amid the Big Dipper of refulgent stars that illuminates
the enticing oasis bejewelling Nevada’s desert sands.
High-flying convivial conquests of Australia were finished
by a stellar, filmed cabaret performance that would prove pivotal
to the uplifting fulfilment of earthbound legacy plans.
Immune to the temptations of head-turning adulation,
while unpretentiously conquering the music cosmos,
this star reached his popularity apogee in the Philippines
where Hadj-like devotees declared, in delirious acclamation,
their appreciation of this pure-voiced, engaging Englishman.

The singing luminary now scintillates on the celestial stage,
booked for eternity where the universal shooting match began …

 

 ‘Friends of Matt Monro’ is our official Fan Club and is run by Geraldine Vine. If you would like to join then contact Geraldine or access our website and go through to the ‘News’ page. By scrolling down the page you will find the heading ‘Friends of Matt Monro’ and print off an application form.

Membership includes a Welcome Pack and four issues of our exclusive newsletter. Where possible we give you advanced access to concert tickets and pre-sales as well as the opportunity of purchasing tickets for concerts, personal appearances and special gatherings. The Newsletter also features discounts on exclusive merchandise and Geraldine runs several competitions with the chance to win tickets and merchandise. Membership is £15.00 single/£18.00 joint membership for fans in England or £18.00 single/£21.00 joint membership for overseas fans.

In an effort to stay abreast with technology last year saw the appearance of my very own Facebook page - http://www.facebook.com/michelemonro and now EMI have followed suit with a dedicated Matt Monro Facebook page. It would be wonderful if you could pop in and become a fan, the more the merrier - http://www.facebook.com/mattmonro. It will hopefully mean that we can reach even more people, some who might not know about the website.

Please don’t forget to 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.

I am also thrilled to announce that I am taking several months off next year. On 9th January 2012 I am hitching a ride aboard P&O Arcadia and making my way to Australia. I have family there that I haven’t seen in 40 years and I thought it time to drop in for tea. Mum and dad visited the country fifteen times and always raved about it so I decided that if I don’t get going now I might never get across the pond. I will be spending about five weeks in the country travelling to Sydney, Perth, Brisbane and of course The Great Barrier Reef and I am hoping to meet up with some of you along the way. My route back is slightly different and the 15 April will see me board the Sea Princess in Sydney and go across to San Francisco and Las Vegas where I’m meeting up with Marion Spence (Johnnie Spence’s wife). She wants to be there when I scatter my mum and dad’s ashes at the Little Chapel of the West, where they remarried so it will be a very special moment, before heading to her home in Los Angeles. There are dozens of port stops along route so again I am hoping for the chance to meet up with lots of you from that side of the world, as I won’t fly back to London until June.

I am delighted to have had an invitation for a drink with Henry Puccinelli who lives in San Francisco so that should be a lot of fun. With Max firmly ensconced in University, this trip will take my mind off what will be a very hard parting of the ways. I have had either my mum or Max at my side for the last 25 years so it will be a difficult transition, so I thought an adventure was called for.

Business will carry on as usual because in this day and age everything can be done by either telephone or email. I am delighted to announce that next year’s release will be The Rarer Monro but I have scheduled it for September so that will give me plenty of time to work on it and do the relevant publicity for the project once I get back.

My itinerary for 2012 is as follows:

Monday 9th January:

Embark Southampton, England

Tuesday 10th January:

At Sea

Wednesday 11th January:

At Sea

Thursday 12th January:

At Sea 

Friday 13th January:

Barcelona, Spain - Full Day

Saturday 14th January:

At Sea

Sunday 15th January:

At Sea

Monday 16th January:

Athens (Piraeus), Greece - Full Day

Tuesday 17th January:

At Sea 

Wednesday 18th January:

Port Said, Egypt - Full Day & Evening

Thursday 19th January:                 

Suez Canal Daytime Transit

Friday 20th January                

Aqaba, Jordan - Full Day

Saturday 21st January:           

Luxor/Karnak, Egypt - Full Day & Evening

Sunday 22nd January:

At Sea

Monday 23rd January:

At Sea

Tuesday 24th January:

At Sea

Wednesday 25th January:

At Sea             

Thursday 26th January:

At Sea

Friday 27th January:

  Dubai, United Arab Emirates - Full Day

Saturday 28th January:

At Sea

Sunday 29th January:

At Sea

Monday 30th January:

Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India - Full Day

Tuesday 31st January:

At Sea

Wednesday 1st February:       

Cochin, India - Full Day

Thursday 2nd February:             

Colombo - Full Day & Evening

Friday 3rd February:

At Sea

Saturday 4th February:

At Sea

Sunday 5th February:                 

Phuket, Thailand - Full Day

Monday 6th February:

At Sea

Tuesday 7th February:

Singapore - Full Day   

Wednesday 8th February:

At Sea

Thursday 9th February:      

Sihanoukville, Cambodia - Full Day

Friday 10th February:

Laem Chabang - Full Day

Saturday 11th February:

At Sea

Sunday 12th February:       

Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam- Full Day

Monday 13th February:

At Sea

Tuesday 14th February:               

Ha Long Bay - Full Day

Wednesday 15th February:

At Sea

Thursday 16th February:

Hong Kong, China - Full Day & Evening

Friday 17th February:             

Hong Kong, China- Early Morning      

Saturday 18th February:

At Sea

Sunday 19th February:            

Shanghai, China - Full Day

Monday 20th February:

At Sea

Tuesday 21st February:     

Beijing, China- Full Day & Evening

Wednesday 22nd February:

At Sea

Thursday 23rd February:               

Nagasaki, Japan - Afternoon & Evening

Friday 24th February:

At Sea

Saturday 25th February:               

Osaka, Japan - Full Day

Sunday 26th February:

At Sea

Monday 27th February:

At Sea

Tuesday 28th February:

At Sea

Wednesday 29th February:

At Sea

Thursday 1st March:

At Sea

Friday 2nd March:

Rabaul  - Full Day

Saturday 3rd March:

At Sea

Sunday 4th March:

At Sea

Monday 5th March:         

Cairns, Yorkey's Knob - Full Day

Tuesday 6th March:

At Sea

Wednesday 7th March  

Brisbane, Australia - Full Day

Thursday 8th March:

At Sea 

Friday 9th March:     

Sydney, Australia - Full Day & Evening

Saturday 10th March:               

Sydney, Australia - Early Morning

Sunday 11th March:               

Melbourne, Australia – Disembark

Sunday 11th March - Wednesday 11th April – Australia

Thursday 12th April

Fly Melbourne to Sydney

Friday 13th April:

Sydney

Saturday 14th April:

Sydney

Sunday 15th April:

Sydney – Embark

Monday 16th April:

At Sea

Tuesday 17th April:

At Sea

Wednesday 18th April:

Fiordland National Park New Zealand

Thursday 19th April:

Dunedin (Port Chalmers), New Zealand

Friday 20th April:

Christchurch, New Zealand

Saturday 21st April:

At Sea

Sunday 22nd April:

Auckland, New Zealand

Monday 23rd April:

At Sea

Tuesday 24th April:

At Sea

Wednesday 25th April:

At Sea

Wednesday 25th April:

Suva, Fiji

Wednesday 25th April:

Cross International Dateline

Thursday 26th April:

Pago Pago, American Samoa

Friday 27th April:

At Sea

Saturday 28th April:

At Sea

Sunday 29th April:

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

Monday 30th April:

Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Tuesday 1st May:

Papeete, Tahiti, French Polynesia

Wednesday 2nd May:

At Sea

Thursday 3rd May:

At Sea

Friday 4th May:

At Sea

Saturday 5th May:

At Sea

Sunday 6th May:

At Sea

Monday 7th May:

Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

Tuesday 8th May:

Maui (Lahaina), USA

Wednesday 9th May:

At Sea

Thursday 10th May:

At Sea

Friday 11th May:

At Sea

Saturday 12th May:

At Sea

Sunday 13th May:

Disembark San Francisco

 

 

Monday 14th May:

San Francisco

Tuesday 15th May:

San Francisco

Wednesday 16th May:

Flight to Las Vegas

Thursday 17th May:

Las Vegas

Friday 18th May:

Las Vegas

Saturday 19th May

Las Vegas (Marion Flies Out)

Sunday 20th May:

Las Vegas

Monday 21st May:

Flight to Los Angeles

Monday 21st May – Tuesday 19th June – Los Angeles

Wednesday 20th June:                      Air New Zealand to London
Thursday 21st June:                           Land London Heathrow

That is the itinerary as it stands today but will be subject to change as I detail certain days in Australia and the USA.

Check out the ‘Rough Guide to mattmonro.com’, 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 November here’s wishing you a wonderful 2011 and may your year be filled with music.

Warmest
Michele Monro

 

Past News - September 2011

Past News - August 2011

Past News - July 2011

 

Amazon
  - Press this link to see the Amazon Listing for The Singers Singer by Michele Monro

Competition
forum
pipeline
Trailers
track
ring
Photos
scrap
friends
poll
mail

friend
front page
lyric
nscfc fans
Bond
Cliff
man
golden