Born Reginald Leonard Smith 15 April 1936
Marty made his name headlining those great 1950's / 60's TV rock and roll shows "6 – 5 Special", "Oh Boy" and "Boy Meets Girl". He married Joyce Baker who was a singer with the Vernons Girls and she now manages him. His eldest daughter Kim Wilde has achieved success in her own right in the music business, Marty still tours extensively and during the late 1990's toured under the "Solid Gold Rock and Roll" banner with Joe Brown, Eden Kane, the Vernons Girls, and John Leyton. He then did some tours with Joe Brown.
I last saw him at Tunbridge Wells on Saturday 21 April 2007. He is backed by the Wildecats who have been with him for many years in their current line up, they are great rock and roll musicians in their own right. The tour celebrated Marty's 50 years in the music business, and his younger daughter Roxanne was on the tour with him. She is a slim, pretty girl who sang Brenda Lee songs and the Nancy Whiskey song - Freight Train . She also joined with the Wilde Cats to sing the haunting John Leyton song - Johnny Remember Me, she was well received. Half way through the first half Marty announced that he had a special guest and introduced him by saying "Many artists are called legends after only one or two hits – this man truly is a legend - here is Jet Harris". There was a gasp from the audience and Jet walked on to stage and launched in to Apache / Wonderful Land / Foot Tapper and Shindig. He had a dry sense of humour and, after the 3rd number stepped up to the microphone and said "I bet that most of you thought that I was dead!". He finished with Diamonds his top twenty hit with Tony Meehan. Such was his impact that he got a standing ovation as he left the stage. (I wonder what other special guests Marty had as he toured the country).
Marty is blessed with a large number of hits e.g.: Endless Sleep / Donna / Teenager in Love and Bad Boy and on this special tour he sang them all. He also performed a medley of Billy Fury songs saying "We were great mates and he is missed by me and all of my family". Marty also performs a very poignant "Are You Lonesome Tonight" during which he reads out the names of all of our great Rock and Roll stars who have passed on to the big show in the sky – not a dry eye in the house. He is a great act to see as he clearly loves the music and puts a great deal of energy into it. He is a tall lad and moves well on stage. It is great to see an original Rock and Roll star still performing – long may it continue.
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