POP IDOL: I'M A LUCKY GUY!

With his boyish charm, smartly turned out appearance, and well-scrubbed ‘boy next door' good looks Mark was one of the most popular brylcreem boys of the pre-Beatles era and enjoyed a phenomenally high profile on TV & radio, in adverts and commercials, in films, pop mags and girls' comics, on package tours, summer seasons and pantomimes.

His path to pop stardom began in a Peckham dance hall in July 1959. Sixteen year old Terry Lewis was fronting a semi-pro beat group, (deputising for a friend who had lost his voice) and was noticed by a talent scout, one Ray Mackender, who became his manager and was responsible for guiding him from part time amateur to full time professional. Ray and Mark below.


The first change was his name! Terry was a very fashionable name at the time of his birth - remember Adam Faith and Matt Monro - they were both Terry's! – but to lessen the confusion with Jerry Lee Lewis Terry Lewis decided to change his name to ‘Mark' and ‘Wynter' came out of the phone book. And so the newly named Mark Wynter made his first major public appearance at a charity bash in Cheshunt , thrown by local hero Cliff Richard, with his newly formed backing group called “The Snowdrifts.”






Mark's “Snowdrifts” failed to settle and were a seasonal affair lasting only three months, but Mark enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame during his first year in showbiz. The rave reviews from Mark's first London cabaret dates at the Blue Angel in June 1960 led to impresario Harold Fielding offering him his first Summer Season in Bournemouth and radio and television appearances followed along with his first recording contract with Decca Records. The picture on the left is from Mark's first ever photo session shot by Brian Tufano [who went on to be a very successful cinematographer on BLADE RUNNER, TRAINSPOTTING, EAST IS EAST and BILLY ELLIOTT.]



Mark's debut single, a cover of The Safaris' US hit IMAGE OF A GIRL just missed the top ten peaking at No 11 but registered strongly with subsequent releases KICKING UP THE LEAVES, DREAM GIRL, EXCLUSIVELY YOURS and HEAVEN'S PLAN, whilst his LP THE WARMTH OF WYNTER was a steady seller.



The May 1960 issue of REVEILLE carried a ringing endorsement from the King himself - Elvis Presley – “I know one of your best new ballad boys is a kid called Mark Wynter.”



1961 was a big year for 18 year old Mark as he appeared on UK package tours alongside visiting US heavyweights like Jimmy Jones and Gene Vincent and was voted ‘Most Promising Newcomer' in the New Musical Express.



1961 was also the year Mark first toured the United States playing prominent dates that included DICK CLARK'S TV show. Mark is pictured on the left with the other legendary American chat show host, Merv Griffin.



Also during 1961 Mark toured Australia , twice, where he made a simply enormous impact that included his own hour long TV spectacular, EXCLUSIVELY YOURS. The colour pictures below show Mark arriving in Australia and greeting fans.



On the Australian tour bill with Mark were Bobby Vee [pictured above] and The Everly Brothers and he returned to the UK for Summer Seasons at Bournemouth and Southsea plus prestige Sunday Summer concerts at Blackpool with Shirley Bassey.



Mark ended 1961 playing his first pantomime – Cole Porter's ALADDIN. Cliff Richard was one of the friends who came to watch the show. Rolf Harris below.





















By 1962 Mark was very much on a roll. He won rave reviews for his appearances both as singer and compere on a Spring package tour alongside Johnny Burnette, Gene McDaniels and US Bonds and topped the bill at another highly successful Summer Season at Bournemouth juxtaposed alongside Sunday night concerts at the Opera House in Blackpool and landed a juicy starring role in the film JUST FOR FUN.

The only fly in the ointment was that his latest single ANGEL TALK hadn't shown up in the charts despite Mark having plugged it on TV shows like THANK YOUR LUCKY STARS and STAR TIME and this led to Mark changing labels and entering into the most commercially successful phase of his recording career.

Pye records ambitious young A&R man Tony Hatch had heard a great new American song VENUS IN BLUE JEANS written by the Brill Building team of Howard Greenfield and Jack Keller and was looking for the right teenage voice to record it. He knew who he wanted, Mark Wynter and so Mark moved to Pye records, recorded VENUS IN BLUE JEANS and by October 1962 it was

in the Top 10, peaking at No 4, giving him his biggest hit and winning his first Silver Disc.

 




















Mark spent his 19th birthday in Tahiti , pictured right. The autumn/winter of 1962/63 was a hectic time for Mark what with his 13-week BBC series IT'S MARK TIME, a hugely successful UK package tour, THE MAMMOUTH STAR SHOW OF 62 with Billy Fury, Joe Brown, Marty Wilde and Jimmy Justice and filming JUST FOR FUN.

Mark's next record, GO AWAY LITTLE GIRL was another Brill Building classic, this one written by Gerry Goffin and Carol King, which made it to No 6 in January 63, - Mark's second top ten hit in a row.

ALADDIN'S LAMP didn't do quite as well but SHY GIRL restored Mark to the Top 30. Another steady seller around this time was the JUST FOR FUN EP which included a couple of numbers Mark had sung in the movie, VOTE FOR ME and HAPPY WITH YOU.




Another popular item was his EP IT'S MARK TIME which featured his version of Billy Fury's then-current hit IN THE SUMMER although the EP's standout track was Mark's own composition I'M A LUCKY GUY.














Other singles recorded by Mark during this period were RUNNING TO YOU, the Dream Weavers oldie IT'S ALMOST TOMORROW, THE BOY YOU'RE KISSIN, the Platters' ONLY YOU (AND YOU ALONE), ANSWER ME, LOVE HURTS and the Beatles' AND I LOVE HER.

1964 saw Mark celebrate his twenty-first birthday, pictured left. The year also included his own UK TV series CALL IN ON WYNTER and on July 23 rd an appearance in A NIGHT OF 100 STARS at the London Palladium with The Beatles, Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey and pictured below with Mark – Susan Hampshire, Hayley Mills and Barbara Windsor.



September 1964 encompassed an extraordinary tour which included performances in Norway , Sweden , Denmark , Germany , France and Belgium , finishing in London at the Royal Albert Hall and all in just two weeks! Mark had last appeared there as a solo chorister when he was eleven years old. The choir boy had come a long way.
Mark joined Morecambe and Wise in 1965 for a season at Blackpool 's ABC Theatre.



However Mark was becoming increasingly restless as a pop singer and was anxious for new challenges. A regular theatre-goer, his aspirations lay in becoming a respected actor.

SINGLE RECORDINGS

This is the list of singles released by Mark between 1960 and 1973. The number on the right is the position reached in the charts.

Image Of A Girl/ Glory Of Love 1960 Decca F11263 [11]

Kickin' Up The Leaves/ That's What I Thought 1960 Decca F11279 [24]

Dream Girl/ Two Little Girls 1961 Decca F11323 [27]

Exclusively Yours/ Warm And Willing 1961 Decca F11354 [32]

Girl For Ev'ry Day/ The Best Time For Love 1961 Decca F11380

Heaven's Plan/ In Your Heart 1962 Decca F11434

Angel Talk/ I Love Her Still 1962 Decca F11467

Venus In Blue Jeans/ Please Come Back To Me 1962 Pye 7N15466 [4]

Go Away Little Girl/ That Kinda Talk 1962 Pye 7N15492 [6]

Aladdin's Lamp/It Can Happen Any Day 1963 Pye 7N15511

Shy Girl/ Because Of You ( 1963 Pye 7N15525 [28]

Running To You/ Don't Cry 1963 Pye 7N15554

It's Almost Tomorrow/ Music To Midnight 1963 Pye 7N15577 [12]

The Boy You're Kissin'/ I Learned A Lot From You 1964 Pye 7N15595

Only You/ It's Love You Want 1964 Pye 7N15626 [38]

Answer Me/ I Wish You Everything 1964 Pye 7N15658

Love Hurts/ Can't Help Forgiving You 1964 Pye 7N15686

Forever And A Day/And I Love Her 1964 Pye 7N15716

Can I Get To Know You Better/

Am I Living A Dream 1965 Pye 7N15771

Someday You'll Want Me To Want You/

Here Comes Summer 1965 Pye 7N15861

Babe I'm Gonna Leave You/

The Very Thought Of You 1965 Pye 7N15994

Before Your Time/ Something About You 1966 Pye 7N17051

We'll Sing In The Sunshine/ Pencil And Paper 1966 Pye 7N17122

You Made Me What I Am/ Oh Girl 1966 Pye7N17214

Please Love Me Forever/ The Best Thing In My Life 1968 Pye 7N17438

She's A Woman Now/ Bless Your Little Heart 1968 Pye 7N17651

Where Is She/Good Money 1969 Philips BF 1822

You Turn Me On/He'll have to Go 1973 Pye 7N45336


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