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Last Updated: Friday, 2 March 2007, 08:26 GMT
Talking Shop: Marty Wilde
Marty Wilde
Marty Wilde will celebrate his anniversary with a 32-date tour
Singer Marty Wilde is marking 50 years in the music business with the release of a retrospective album and a UK tour.

Wilde has come a long way since he was spotted in a London club where his fee was 1 per night and a bowl of spaghetti.

The rock 'n' roll musician went on to score a string of hits the late 1950s and early '60s, including Endless Sleep, A Teenager in Love and Rubber Ball.

During the '80s and '90s, Wilde - along with son Ricki - wrote and produced a clutch of hit songs for daughter Kim, whose biggest hits were Kids in America, You Keep Me Hangin' On and You Came.

The 67-year-old reveals the secret of his staying power, the highlights of the past five decades - and what he thinks of the digital revolution.


What's the secret to staying in the music business for 50 years?

You've got to love what you do, must keep coming up with ideas and learn to be adaptable. It's not so much about talent but good ideas - the mistress of that is Madonna. If you're not doing well you've got to fight your way out of it and come back. And you've got to have good fortune.

What are your highlights of the past half-century?

Listening to Elvis Presley on his very first album was pivotal and opened up a whole new world for me. My first hit record was a big moment for me, and being involved with Kim and Kids in America, which started off her career.

When are you going to work with Kim again?

Marty Wilde and Julie Andrews
Marty Wilde appeared on Julie Andrews' television show in 1959

I had never recorded with Kim until it came to making the 50th anniversary album. We were asked if we fancied recording a track together and she said yes. She is also going to sing with me at the London Palladium on one of my tour dates.

Are you in tune with all the recent changes that have taken place in the charts?

To a certain extent - and I might use it myself. Later in the year I'm hoping to write a new album and might just put it online. I'd be very thrilled for one of my old songs to become a download success! It's good for music that this has happened because it means a kid could make a hit record in his garage.

Would you be interested in a major revival like Tony Christie experienced with Amarillo?

No, it wouldn't suit me. I wouldn't fancy running around doing thousands of TV appearances. If I had success I wouldn't want to keep chasing it like the tail of a tiger. It's a dangerous thing and could bite back. I'm happy writing songs and playing a game of golf. But I'm pleased for Tony - I hope it made him a lot of money. But I haven't got a lot of time left in my life. I want to enjoy the next 15 or 20 years.

But what about your upcoming tour with its many dates?

That's entirely different. I love doing stage shows. But I'm not a showbiz person and don't mix in showbiz circles. I don't spend a lot of time in that sort of company any more.

Born To Rock 'n' Roll is released on 5 March.

Marty Wilde talked to BBC News entertainment reporter Michael Osborn.


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