Top Picture: Mark Wynter EP cover
Second Picture: Rebuilding Commercial Road in the 1950’s
Mark Wynter is one of the few 1960,s pop artists who have maintained a career in show business. He was born Terence Sidney Lewis on 29th January 1943) and is now known as an actor and former singer, who had four Top 20 singles in the 1960s, including "Venus in Blue Jeans" and "Go Away Little Girl". He enjoyed a lengthy sucessful career in the pop world from 1960 to 1968 but later veered off into a acting in films, musicals and plays.
Upon leaving school, young Terry Lewis started work as a shop assistant. However, he was also an enthusiastic singer and his strikingly good looks helped him make the transition in this sphere from part-time amateur to full professional. His rendition of the teenage ballads of the era proved popular- particularly with female record buyers- and he managed to reach the UK top twenty with his first release; 'Image Of A Girl' on Decca. He followed this with the Lionel Bart penned 'Kickin' Up The Leaves' and a stream of further minor hits and misses- punctuated by a change to the Pye label during mid-1962. His first release for the new company was a cover version of the US Jimmy Clanton release 'Venus In Blue Jeans' and, in common with his other releases on Pye, benefited from its arrangement by Tony Hatch. This song is now easily his most memorable hit and was sufficiently popular to earn him a UK no 4 chart spot, whereas the Clanton original went almost unnoticed in Britain.
With his early musical career established he decided to change his name to lessen the confusion with the American comedian, Jerry Lewis. His manager suggested Wynter sounded more commercial, and the complete name change was later made official by deed poll.
He was entered as one of the contenders for the UK's place in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1961, with "Dream Girl", but only finished fourth behind The Allisons.
His cover version of the American hit by Jimmy Clanton - "Venus in Blue Jeans" (1962) - was his biggest success. Although he recorded a number of singles for the Decca and Pye labels in the UK, he made very few albums. Some recorded material came to light in 2004 when he discovered old tapes, they have subsequently been remastered and are now available as four CDs.
One event in his life is not well known for in 1968 he escorted a dazed young girl away from a burning BOAC aircraft, flight 712, upon which he had been a passenger.
By the early 1970s he had moved in pop stardom to a stage career in the West End of London.
He played the leading role in Conduct Unbecoming for more than a year at the Queen's Theatre in London, and for six months in Australia. He appeared with Julia McKenzie in On the Twentieth Century, and in Charley's Aunt. He also starred in Side By Side By Sondheim in Toronto, Chichester, and on the UK tour. In the 1982 Chichester Festival season he acted in several plays including On The Rocks and Henry V, and also sang in Valmouth. His other work in musicals during the 1980s included the role of the King in a revival of The King and I, the title roles in Hans Andersen and Barnum, the 1986 revival of Charlie Girl with Cyd Charisse and Paul Nicholas in London, and the part of Robert Browning in Robert and Elizabeth. During the 1990s he spent two years in Cats, and was also seen as the Phantom and M. Andre in The Phantom of the Opera, and starred as Vittorio opposite Bonnie Langford in the 1998 West End revival of Sweet Charity. He has appeared frequently in the provinces and portrayed Emile de Becque in a UK national tour of South Pacific. In 1994 he created the role of Van Helsing in the studio recording of the opera/musical "Nosferatu" by Bernard J. Taylor.
He was still working actively and successfully in theatre throughout the world well into the 1990s. In 2000 Castle Communications released Go Away Little Girl: The Pye Anthology, a double album compiling his complete output. In 2007 he toured the UK in a number of plays and musicals.
He now lives in Sussex, and tours the country with an Agatha Christie theatre company. He is married to Emma, and has three children; Barnaby, Josh and Darcey.
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Forgetter Be Forgotten?
My forgetter's getting better,
But my rememberer is broke
To you that may seem funny
But, to me, that is no joke
For when I'm 'here' I'm wondering
If I really should be 'there'
And, when I try to think it through,
I haven't got a prayer!
Oft times I walk into a room,
Say 'what am I here for?'
I wrack my brain, but all in vain!
A zero, is my score.
At times I put something away
Where it is safe, but, Gee!
The person it is safest from
Is, generally, me!
When shopping I may see someone,
Say 'Hi' and have a chat,
Then, when the person walks away
I ask myself, 'who the hell was that?
Yes, my forgetter's getting better
While my rememberer is broke,
And it's driving me plumb crazy
And that isn't any joke.
News and Views:
Singer/songwriter Dory Previn-- one-time wife of composer/conductor Andre Previn-- who gave us the lyrics for Dionne Warwick's hit, "Theme From The Valley Of The Dolls" and the Oscar-nominated "Come Saturday Morning" from the movie "The Sterile Cuckoo" (a hit for the Sandpipers), died on Tuesday (February 14) at her home in Southfield, Massachusetts at the age of 86. Dory was nominated for two other Academy Awards-- for "Farway Part Of Town" from "Pepe" in 1960 and for "Second Chance" from "Two For The Seesaw" two years later.
On this day 2nd March 1960-1965
02/03/1960the number one single was Why - Anthony Newley and the number one album was South Pacific Soundtrack. The top rated TV show was not listed and the box office smash was Some Like It Hot. A pound of today's money was worth £13.68 and Burnley were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
02/03/1961the number one single was Walk Right Back/Ebony Eyes - Everly Brothers and the number one album was Tottenham Hotspur. The top rated TV show was The Army Game (Granada) and the box office smash was One Hundred and One Dalmations. A pound of today's money was worth £13.25 were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.The big news story of the day was Bootsie & Snudge (Granada).
02/03/1962the number one single was Rock-a-Hula Baby/Can't Help Falling In Love - Elvis Presley and the number one album was Blue Hawaii - Elvis Presley. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Lawrence of Arabia. A pound of today's money was worth £12.89 and Ipswich Town were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
02/03/1963the number one single was The Wayward Wind - Frank Ifield and the number one album was Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard & the Shadows. The top rated TV show was Labour Party Political Broadcast (all channels) and the box office smash was The Great Escape. A pound of today's money was worth £12.64 and Everton were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
/03/1964the number one single was Anyone Who Had a Heart -Cilla Black and the number one album was With the Beatles - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was Dr Strangelove. A pound of today's money was worth £12.24 and Liverpool were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.
02/03/1965the number one single was I'll Never Find Another You - Seekers and the number one album was Beatles For Sale - The Beatles. The top rated TV show was Coronation Street (Granada) and the box office smash was The Sound of Music. A pound of today's money was worth £11.69 and Manchester United were on the way to becoming the Season's Division 1 champions.