NEWS

May 2020

What a difference a month makes. 30 days ago, I opened with” OMG, what a month it has been filled with so much excitement” and this last month has been filled with so much death, pain and misery.

It makes me ashamed to be British when I look at the complete morons ignoring the Government’s advice to stay in, instead swarming to the beach and parks as if it was a Bank Holiday while good people are risking their lives to nurse our friends and family back to health at great risk to theirs. I don’t understand what is wrong with people. It’s not exactly a terrible existence, we’re not living in a trench for five months or living off food rations. In the war there was a curfew at night and no one and I mean no one was allowed on the streets after dark and everyone complied.

Mind you I do blame the Government for not putting stricter measures in place as those that did like New Zealand, Denmark and Germany who have now started to ease out of their lock down. We had other countries to learn from like China and Italy but we locked down too late, we didn’t order safety equipment and testing kits, it was almost like, let’s wait and see and the standard reply to any reporter’s question was “we’re seeking advice from our medical team”. I don’t know why we didn’t shit our borders and left Heathrow open, one of the main hubs of England, with thousands arriving without the benefit of screening before leaving the airport.

We should have used the army to instigate a proper lockdown. Our death toll is one of the highest in Europe and it is devastating to those poor families who couldn’t bury their loved ones or even visit them in hospital when they were dying.

It is extremely difficult living with a disability like MS, living alone and relying on a food delivery that has taken 7 weeks to organise. The poorest self-employed people don’t qualify for Universal credit or grants but they can get a mortgage and credit card holiday but they still need to be paid back and with no earnings coming in, I don’t see how some people will cope.

The bleakest thing is I don’t see an end to this coming anytime soon. Even if the Government eased lock down tomorrow I for one would be too scared to go out. Only three days ago a friend f mine caught the virus while working at the Co-Op. They tested her and send testing kits to her parents. Costco, Amazon and the like have plenty of testing kits for their staff but the Government seemed to have trouble acquiring enough or simply didn’t want to pay the asking price.

We are supposed to be the 3rd most powerful country in the world after the States and China and yet we haven’t delivered. But then again, I am glad I am not living under the reign of Trump, what a complete idiot. Yes, why don’t people inject bleach to get rid of the virus. Don’t even get me started on that topic.

Anyway, I shall jump off my soapbox. There is very little else to say. The album was stopped dead in its tracks because of lack of stock, my book that I have worked on for the last three years and should have come out this month has had to be shelved for the moment as this is not the right time to bring out a cruising guide for the disabled and I will probably lose all my cruise work for the year.

I do want to thank everyone who bought the album for your staunch support over the years. Having a new album go straight to No 8 in the official album charts was a great achievement and really was a great way to start dad’s 90th anniversary year. Its only because of you that Richard and I have been allowed to release new projects. I’ve received the most wonderful messages and Gareth Bevan sent in a great drawing of dad which he gave us permission to put up.

 

Instead of me waffling on, I am going to let the articles speak for themselves.

Links to press articles below or click next to the link to download a version of the page.

https://www.udiscovermusic.com

https://www.entertainment-focus.com

https://www.udiscovermusic.com - article 2

https://finance.yahoo.com

https://www.prnewswire.com

https://www.udiscovermusic.com - article 3

https://theseconddisc.com

https://www.officialcharts.com

https://rockingmagpie.wordpress.com

Scottish Daily Express

Daily Mail

 

Some of the promotional posters we created for the album

 

For anyone reading this that doesn’t know the story of the new album, dad went into the studio in New York to record an album called Invitation to Broadway. Instead of an orchestra or ready-made arrangements accompanying dad, they chose the songs and did all the arrangements as they went along. The band was made up of just five musicians, piano. Bass, drums and two guitars, electric and acoustic. The majority of the recordings made over the week were from relatively new musicals, many running in Broadway theatres at the time.
 
However, unbeknown to dad, producer Dave Cavanaugh decided that he preferred him with a bigger sound. He took the tapes back to Hollywood and engaged Sid Feller and Billy May to write brass and string scores for 14 of the songs.

When dad heard the results, he was not impressed and felt that the tracks had been butchered. He made his feelings clear to producer Cavanaugh and the whole project was shelved. This new album sees the first release of all the songs from the sessions in their original un-dubbed form, just dad and some great musicians having a blast in the studio.
 
This album is a journey, from the opening bars of the unmistakable “Stranger in Paradise” to the haunting melody of Jerry Brock’s “Sunrise, Sunset”. The journey is delicious in its voyage of discovery.  Dad has that genius of making each song his own.
 
There are so many highlights in evidence here, brimming with distinguished arrangements and superb production values that conjure up exquisite memories of a polished performer, one with feathery velvet tones and unsurpassed excellence.  Here is superb talent with no use of vocal gimmicks or corny catchphrases.  Dad relies only on his solid music ability and brings to life every song in this repertoire with the ease of a born professional.  Of course, I am biased.


 

Stranger in Paradise: The Lost New York Sessions:

Impossible Dream
Stranger In Paradise
Put On A Happy Face
Hello Dolly
The Apple Tree
If She Walked Into My Life
The Sweetest Sounds
Sunrise Sunset
Walking Happy
I Only Miss Her When I Think Of Her
Come Back To Me
Look For Small Pleasures
The Lady Smiles
Lover's Caravan
Beautiful Beautiful World
What Makes It Happen
The Apple Tree (Alternate Vocal)
The Lady Smiles (Take 5)
Lover's Caravan (Take 2)
What Makes It Happen (Take 5)

The Greatest Hits:

Portrait Of My Love
My Kind Of Girl
Gonna Build A Mountain
Softly As I Leave You
From Russia With Love
Walk Away
Yesterday
Born Free
This Is The Life
On A Clear Day (You Can See Forever)
Don’t Answer Me
Honey On The Vine
Wednesdays Child
I Will Wait For You
Georgy Girl
Spanish Eyes
When I Look In Your Eyes
Pretty Polly
Maria
The Music Played
All Of A Sudden
On Days Like These
Two People
Everybody’s Talkin’
We’re Gonna Change The World
And You Smiled
If I Never Sing Another Song

None of this would have seen the light of day without my partner in crime and sound engineer extraordinaire Richard Moore working his magic. Not only is he incredibly gifted but he happens to be a really nice guy as well. Always passionate about his craft he has written some technical notes in much more detail than in the included album booklet and it makes for a fascinating read.

http://mint-audio-restoration.co.uk/stranger/

So, onto other news………………

Dad is finally going to have a Blue Plaque. London’s famous blue plaques link the people of the past with the buildings of the present. Now run by English Heritage, the London blue plaques scheme was started in 1866 and is thought to be the oldest of its kind in the world.

The site will be in Ewell at 14 Ruxley Lane where dad lived from 1961 until 1965 and the present owner of the house Mr. Sheriff is very happy for the plaque to be put up on the front of the property. We are hoping to have a small unveiling ceremony if any members of this website or Fan Club would like to attend. The timing will depend on everyone’s commitments in the next few months but as soon as I have a date, I will let you know.

Being a special year, I designed something exclusively, the abridged audio of my book: “The Singer’s Singer: The Life and Music of Matt Monro” on a USB stick.

I like to think that I design my merchandise with style and this time round is no different. Bound in leather and offered in a gorgeous presentation box with a magnetic clasp I am thrilled with the outcome. “Words & Music’ includes the equivalent of 3 CD discs that make up the audio book, 9 music tracks (Babycham jingle, Camay jingle, California Here I Come, Dreamdust, Lazy River, Pennies From Heaven, Star Eyes, The Nearness of You, You’re Driving Me Crazy) and 2 video clips (Born Free, My Kind of Girl)..

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Because of its popularity and demand I plan to make this available for the whole of 2020 so if you would like one then please drop me an email. They retail at £15.00 including postage. (UK only).

Would you believe the 27th January marked 10 years since the book launch of “The Singer’s Singer: The Life and Music of Matt Monro”? That is incredible and I have to admit to being really proud that so many of you were interested in learning about the man behind the voice.

What is so unbelievable is that the book is still selling by the box full. I kind of feel everyone in England must have bought a copy by now, lol. Each year I think about whether to take the books on the ships with me, assuming that demand would have diminished but I have been proven wrong several times over. Let’s hope the same runs true with my new publication.

Yes, finally after three years of blood, sweat and tears the first in the series of cruise port guides for independent travellers and disabled people is just 5 days away from the finish line. I can’t believe it myself. Every time I have thought I was there something would rear its ugly head that meant a re-write, Brexit being the latest. I know a book is technically always out-of-date by the time it gets published but the changes needed were too many to ignore.

Having cruised for the last 42 years I have continually been disappointed at what was available on the market. My biggest bugbear is that the cruise line doesn’t inform you where you are docking until the night before, which of course is a sneaky move to stop you being able to organize any independent tours. They constantly use scare tactics saying that if you don’t make it back to the ship before it sails it will go without you. Whilst it might be prudent to take a ship’s tour in Civitavecchia, the gateway to Rome because of a 90-minute train transfer, the same cannot be true of Madeira, where the town sits on your doorstep.

Another niggle I have heard constantly over the years is insurance. People over 70 and those with pre-existing medical conditions couldn’t find cover or at least affordable cover. It was also difficult to find a policy that would cover you for over 30 days let alone a world cruise.

According to the World Health Organization, there are approximately 1 billion persons with disabilities in the world. This equates to approximately 15% of the world population having a physical, mental or sensory disability but why should that present barriers when it comes to travel.

The world should be accessible with every person having the same opportunity of experiencing what other travellers, taste, feel, smell, hear and witness. Everyone should have the right to enrich their lives and the able-bodied should do everything in their power to make this a reality.

Now here is the shocker; new research commissioned by the European Commission, has found that the European tourism sector is missing out on up to 142 billion Euros every year due to poor infrastructure, services, and attitudes towards travellers with special access needs.

Cruising is a wonderful way to see the world and being disabled is not a stumbling block but you need to have the correct information at your fingertips. Yet another thing missing in the marketplace.

You could argue that you don’t need a book when the Internet has everything you need. The trouble is the Net is not policed. Some articles have been up years and the reader is unaware that the information is out-of-date. One example is a lady who wanted to surprise her husband, a wheelchair user, with a trip to Venice. She spent weeks doing research checking what times the bridge lifts were operational and the routes needed to see everything on her husband’s bucket list. Off they went and it was a disaster. Why? Because the bridge lifts had been deactivated two years previously.

Why print reams of paper to take on a trip when you can have everything at your fingertips within a book? That is just a few of the reasons why I decided to pen these books. “Travel Yourself: The Cruising Guide for Independent Travellers and Disabled Cruisers” is just weeks away from being a reality, followed closely by “Travel Yourself Norway; A Port Guide for Independent Travellers and Disabled Cruisers”.

It’s now been put to bed and is being edited and printed as we speak before going to the publisher in a couple of weeks. I don’t have the exact timetable as to how long each stage will take but suffice to say it is coming soon.

STOP PRESS… STOP PRESS… STOP PRESS
I have changed the name of the book and will release all the details in next month’s updates.

STOP PRESS>>>>> Richard and I are working on something very very special for this anniversary year, something I think you will enjoy but I can’t say too much for the moment as it has to be kept hush hush. There are too many idea thieves about.

Cruise/ Work Dates 2020

16 May -30 May – Celebrity Silhouette - Canceled
30 May – 13 June – Celebrity Silhouette - Canceled
13 June – 27 June – Celebrity Silhouette
4 July – 18 July – Celebrity Silhouette
18 July – 1 August – Celebrity Silhouette
1 August – 15 August – Celebrity Silhouette
15 August – 28 August – Celebrity Silhouette

Cruise/Work Dates 2021

4 May – 22 May – Fred Olsen Black Watch

Don’t forget to check out our Spotlight feature this month; I know so many of you enjoy them. This month we look in on the ever-popular Pete Seeger

Have a fabulous month and I hope you enjoy the excitement leading up to the album’s release and more importantly put your pre-order request in now. See you in April.

Michele xxxx

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