The Mudlarks were a family group from Luton, Bedfordshire, originally comprising Jeff Mudd, Fred Mudd and Mary Mudd. They all had jobs at the Vauxhall motor plant in Luton and spent their spare time singing together.
In 1958 they attracted the attention of BBC Radio music presenter David Jacobs, who won them an appearance on the Six-Five Special TV show, and a recording contract with EMI’s Columbia label.
Their first single release, Mutual Admiration Society, was unsuccessful, but their second, a cover of the American novelty song Lollipop rose to #2 in the UK Singles Chart.
They followed this with another UK Top 10 hit, a cover of The Monotones’ Book of Love.
At the end of 1958, The Mudlarks were voted top British vocal group by readers of the New Musical Express. Jeff Mudd then left the group as he was called up for his National Service. He was replaced by David Lane (born David Burgess), an entertainer on the Manchester club circuit.
The Mudlarks continued to release records until 1964 but had only one more hit – The Love Game, a minor #30 success in 1959.
Fred Mudd married Leila Williams, who was Miss Great Britain in 1957 and from 1958 until 1962 co-hosted the BBC children’s programme Blue Peter. He died in Marbella, Spain in 2007.
In 1962, Mary Mudd and David Lane married in Newton Abbot. Lane died at his home in Hattersley, in 2010 after battling cancer for eight years.