Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Tony Christie (born Anthony Fitzgerald, 25 April 1943) was best known for his track, "Is This the Way to Amarillo", a double UK chart success. He lived for many years in Sheffield, where his wife, Sue, was born. He used to be a frequent artist on the stage at many working men’s clubs like his contemporary, Joe Cocker.
Discovered and managed by Harvey Lisberg, he had three hits in 1971, beginning with "Las Vegas" which reached number 21 in the UK, and went on to have two Top Twenty hits in the UK Singles Chart with "I Did What I Did for Maria", which reached number 2 and "Is This the Way to Amarillo", which peaked at number 18, all in 1971. Subsequently he had a minor hit with "Avenues and Alleyways" which reached number 37, and was the theme to the television series The Protectors. "Is This the Way to Amarillo" had sold more than one million copies by September 1972, and was awarded a gold disc. His early songs were dramatic big-voiced numbers, many of which were written by Mitch Murray and Peter Callander.
He recorded albums regularly throughout the 1970s and made infrequent appearances on the charts. His album With Loving Feeling sold well boosted by the hit single "Is This The Way to Amarillo". He recorded an album in the United States in 1973 with the record producer Snuff Garrett, which did little to stop his commercial slide. A live album followed which sold relatively better. But by the mid-1970s recorded work became rarer and stage work took preference.
And here features one of those examples from 1974, “Happy Birthday Baby” (MCA MCA-1416). While it did poorly in the UK, it stayed for a whopping thirty-eight weeks in the Australian Top 100 charts, reaching number 14. mp3
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