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Marty Wilde (born Reginald Leonard Smith, 15 April 1939, Blackheathmarker, South Londonmarker) is an English singer and songwriter. He was among the first generation of Britishmarker pop stars to emulate Americanmarker rock and roll, and is the father of pop singer Kim Wilde.


Born in Blackheath, he grew up in Greenwichmarker, in South East Londonmarker. The son of a professional soldier, he lived in various parts of England throughout his childhood, and reached the middle of his teen years living in London.

He was performing under the name Reg Patterson at Londonmarker's Condor Club in 1957 when he was spotted by impresario Larry Parnes.Parnes gave his protégées stage names like Billy Fury, Duffy Power and Dickie Pride etc., hence the change to Wilde. The 'Marty' came from the commended 1955 film, Marty. Wilde was signed to the British recording arm of Philips Records, with U.S.marker releases appearing on the Epic label via Philips' reciprocal licensing agreement with Columbia Records Stateside. (Philips had yet to acquire the Mercury group as its U.S. division).

From mid 1958 to the end of 1959, Wilde was one of the leading British rock and roll singers, along with Tommy Steele and Cliff Richard. Wilde's backing group were called the Wildcats. At various times they featured Big Jim Sullivan on lead guitar; Bobbie Clarke on drums; plus Brian Locking on bass guitar and Brian Bennett on drums who both later joined The Shadows.

He appeared regularly on the BBC Television show 6.5 Special and was the main regular artiste on the Saturday ITV popular music shows Oh Boy! and Boy Meets Girls. There he met and married Joyce Baker, one of The Vernons Girls who were also show regulars. The courtship was highly public but, after the marriage, Wilde's popularity as a teen idol declined.

He moved partly into all-round entertainment, appearing in musicals such as Conrad Birdie in the original West Endmarker production of Bye Bye Birdie and several films.

He enjoyed success as a songwriter in the late 1960s and early 1970s. With Ronnie Scott, he co-wrote the virtual one-hit wonders The Casuals' "Jesamine" under the pseudonyms of Frere Manston and Jack Gellar. The pair also wrote Lulu's "I'm a Tiger" and the early Status Quo hit, "Ice in the Sun".

In the early 1970s, Wilde changed his music style to glam rock and became 'Zappo'. He released only a few singles which never charted and reverted back to Marty Wilde shortly after.

Later on, as songwriter and/or record producer, he masterminded a string of 1980s hits for his daughter Kim Wilde.

Like many of his contemporaries, Wilde continues to perform in nostalgia tours in the UK and beyond. In 2007 he celebrated 50 years in the business with another UK tour which featured his youngest daughter Roxanne Wilde, and the issue of a compilation album, Born To Rock And Roll - The Greatest Hits. It included a duet with Kim Wilde of Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", which was released as a promotional only single.


He and his wife Joyce have 4 children, Kim (born 1960), Ricki (born 1961), Roxanne (born 1979) and the youngest, Marty Jr., who was a contestant on The Golf Channel's The Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe in 2005. Kim, Ricki and Roxanne have worked in the music industry, like their parents.


His notable UK singles are listed below, with their peak positions in the UK Singles Chart and, for cover versions, the song's original artist given in a further set of brackets.

1957 1958 1959 1960
  • "Johnny Rocco" (30) (March 1960) - written by Les Vandyke.
  • "The Fight" (47) (May 1960)
  • "Little Girl" (16) (October 1960)
  • "Rubber Ball" (9) (January 1961) (Bobby Vee)
  • "Hide and Seek" (47) (July 1961)
  • "Tomorrow's Clown" (33) (September 1961) - written by Wilde
  • "Sea of Heartbreak" (Don Gibson)
  • "Jezebel" (19) (Frankie Laine) (April 1962)
  • "Ever Since You Said Goodbye" (31) (October 1962)
1968 1971
  • "The Busker"

Album discography

  • Wilde about Marty (LP Philips BBL 7342, August 1959)
  • Marty Wilde - Showcase (LP, Philips BBL 7380, 1960)
  • Versatile Mr Wilde (LP, Philips BBL 7385, 1960)
  • Bye Bye Birdie (LP, Philips S/ABL 3383, 1961)
  • Dr. Doolittle (LP, 1968)
  • Diversions (LP, Philips SBL 7877, 1969)
  • Rock 'n' Roll (Philips 6308 010, 1970)
  • Good Rockin' Then and Now (LP, Philips 6382 102, 1974)
  • The Wildcat Rocker (LP, Philips 6381 022, 1981)
  • Wilde About Marty / Showcase BGOCD594 (CD compilation album of the first two LPs, 2003)
  • Born to Rock And Roll - The Greatest Hits (CD, 2007)


The following songs were written, or co-written, by Wilde and recorded by as noted:


Marty Wilde appeared in the following films:-

See also


  2. Wilde Life Encyclopedia biographies
  3. - album discography
  4. - songwriting
  5. IMDb - film credits

External links

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