Artists – M

Marillion

In the early 1980s, while Yes and Genesis were having pop hits and Pink Floyd were coming unglued, a new band emerged as standard-bearers for prog rock. With a Tolkien-inspired name (they were originally called Silmarillion) and a theatrical singer – Derek W Dick (known professionally as Fish) – Marillion developed into the best prog(…)

Mark Holden

Adelaide-born singer Mark Holden (born 1954) will always be remembered for his clean-cut image, his white dinner suit and his penchant for handing out carnations to girls on the set of popular Australian pop TV show, Countdown. Holden’s successful solo career encompassed four hit singles between 1976 and 1977, two double-gold albums – Let Me Love You (1976)(…)

Mark Wynter

Exclusively Yours became Mark’s fourth UK Top 40 hit and his final one for Decca before moving to Pye where he scored the biggest hit of his career with Venus In Blue Jeans. This was the closing track on his 1961 album, The Warmth Of Wynter that was released after his round the world tour(…)

Marmalade (The)

The Marmalade began as Dean Ford and the Gaylords, who were very popular on the Scottish club circuit between 1961 and 1966. Junior Campbell and Patrick Fairley formed the nucleus of the group during 1961 and recruited Dean Ford (born Thomas McAleese) who they had seen perform in The Monarchs – and who was a(…)

Marshall Crenshaw

Marshall Crenshaw’s eponymous 1982 debut album heralded him as the Great White Hope of the post-Beatles generation. Perhaps from touring as an ersatz John Lennon in the stage show Beatlemania, Crenshaw had a voice full of delicate head tones, double-tracked on the LP in all the right places. Critics loved the album and it sold well. The(…)

Martha & The Muffins

Martha and The Muffins were a playful Canadian new wave band who had their roots in a mid-70s outfit called Oh Those Pants – a 10-piece group who performed Sixties cover versions. Echo Beach (1980) was the Muffins’ second single and their most successful. It was charming and catchy with reverby keyboards, a jazzy saxophone and an unornamented(…)

Martha & The Vandellas

Martha Reeves, Rosalind Ashford and Annette Sterling started singing together at their Detroit high school as The Del-Phis. In 1962 Martha was working as a secretary for A&R man Mickey Stevenson at Tamla Motown when she was asked to fill in for a sick Mary Wells at a recording session. Martha and her friends began to work regularly(…)

Marty Rhone

  Marty Rhone was born Karel Lawrence van Rhoon in the Dutch East Indies in 1948. His family moved to Australia in the 1950s and he appeared on a talent quest segment of the Tarax Show television series and was offered a singing spot on a children’s show called Kaper Kabaret. After appearing on teen music show,(…)

Marty Wilde

Marty Wilde (real name Reg Smith) was the first of the Larry Parnes stable to make it as Britain searched for its own mini-Presley. After compering the music TV show Oh Boy! he hit big in 1958 with Endless Sleep, following it in 1959 with a cover of Ritchie Valens‘ Donna and a cover of Dion and the Belmonts‘ Teenager In Love. Wilde had hits(…)

Marv Johnson

When Berry Gordy first started his Motor Town touring spectaculars (the precursors of the celebrated Motown revues) Marv Johnson was a headliner on an equal footing with the likes of Mary Wells and The Marvelettes. His early songs for Gordy, many actually released on United Artists since demand outstripped the junior record mogul’s pressing and(…)

Marvelettes, The

Hailing from the low-income Detroit suburb of Inkster, the 17-year-old girls who came together as The Marvelettes (originally The Casinyets – a corruption of The Can’t Sing Yets) were introduced to Motown Records founder Berry Gordy in 1961 after winning a high school talent contest. Their debut single, Please Mr Postman, gave Motown its first #1 hit in(…)

Marvin Gaye

Marvin Pentz Gay Jr. (inspired by Sam Cooke, he added the “e” to his surname when he began his musical career) was born in Washington DC on 2 April 1939, the third of five children of Marvin and Alberta Gay. His father was a Pentecostal minister and a righteous and conservative disciplinarian, and the family lived(…)

Mary Hopkin

When The Beatles formed their own label, Apple, in 1968, they didn’t want it to exist only for their albums. They also wanted to make it possible for other aspiring pop stars to be heard. They scored a notable success that year with Mary Hopkin (born in 1950 in Glamorganshire, Wales), an angelic lass with a gorgeous voice(…)

Mary Wells

Born in Detroit on 13 May 1943, Mary Wells started singing at the age of ten and actually auditioned for the Tamla Motown label in 1961, when, at 18, she came from nowhere and presented the label with her own composition, Bye Bye Baby – which became her first single release and her first American hit. A year later(…)

Massive Attack

British hip-hop has always been a poor cousin to its US counterpart. Only when Brits corrupt the formula by crossing it with other styles do they come into their own. So it was in Bristol – a UK town with one of the largest and oldest black populations – in the 80s, where the Wild Bunch(…)

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