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Glam black Expense Martin: Songwriter who scored big with Eurovision and various pop hits


Glam black Expense Martin: Songwriter who scored big with Eurovision and various pop hits

Bill Martin, who has died of heart failure aged 81, forged a songwriting partnership with Phil Coulter that created the United Kingdom’s first Eurovision Song Contest winner, “Puppet on a String”. Performed by a barefoot Sandie Shaw at the Hofburg Palace, Vienna, in 1967, it was also the duo’s first British No 1 single and…

Glam black Expense Martin: Songwriter who scored big with Eurovision and various pop hits

Glam black

Bill Martin, who has actually passed away of heart failure aged 81, created a songwriting collaboration with Phil Coulter that developed the United Kingdom’s very first Eurovision Song Contest winner, “Puppet on a String”.

Carried out by a barefoot Sandie Shaw at the Hofburg Palace, Vienna, in 1967, it was likewise the duo’s very first British No 1 single and a worldwide hit.

Extremely, the vocalist then invested the majority of her profession slamming the tune. “I disliked it from the very first oompah to the final bang on the huge bass drum,” she when stated. “I was instinctively fended off by its sexist drivel and cuckoo-clock tune.”

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Nonetheless, she ultimately acknowledged the significance of her third and final No 1 hit by tape-recording a revamped variation of it in 2007 to mark her 60 th birthday.

A year after this Eurovision win, Martin and Coulter followed it up by coming 2nd in the competition with “Congratulations”, performed by Cliff Richard— although there were claims that vote-rigging deprived it of the leading spot.

The title progressed from their technique of songwriting, Coulter developing a melody and his partner penning the lyrics. One day, Martin was presented with a tune starting with the suggested words: “I believe I enjoy you, I believe I love you, I believe the world is fine if you will say you’re mine.” Telling his partner these were rubbish, Martin developed: “Congratulations and events, when I inform everyone that you’re in love with me.” The single went to No 1.

Chart topper: Martin, envisioned here in 2017, won 5 Ivor Novello award (Rex Features).

In the 1970 s they followed patterns by penning– and producing– pinches hit teenybop and glam-rock bands, the majority of successfully the Bay City Rollers Martin and Coulter composed half the tracks for the Edinburgh band’s advancement initially album, Rollin’, which reached No 1 in 1974 and stayed in the charts for 62 weeks.

The songs included 3 top 10 songs of that year, “Remember (Sha-La-La-La)”, “Shang-a-Lang” and “Summerlove Feeling”, while another Martin-Coulter number, “All of Me Likes All of You”, was a standalone hit.

Then came a No 1 in the United States with an additional tune from the LP, Saturday Night, in1975 But the band had actually dropped Martin and Coulter by then to focus on writing more of their own product.

The pair promptly proceeded to steering glam-rockers Kenny to inform success, penning all 4 of their Top 20 songs, “The Bump” (1974), “Fancy Trousers”, “Baby I Love You, OK!” and “Julie Ann” (all 1975), after finding them rehearsing under the name Chuff in a banana storage facility.

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Martin and Coulter likewise set on the roadway to stardom another glam-rock attire– from Scotland, fronted by Midget Ure– who had simply altered their name to Slik. “Permanently and Ever”, initially on Kenny’s album, ended up being a chart-topper for them, followed by another hit, “Requiem” (both 1976).

The songwriting duo’s other British No 1 single was “Back House”, a football anthem written for England’s 1970 World Cup squad. Martin, a Scot, was dissatisfied to see a similar tune for his own country’s team in the 1974 competitors, “Easy Easy”, only scrape into the Top 20.

He was born William Wylie Macpherson in Govan, Glasgow, in 1938 to Letitia (nee Wylie) and Ian Macpherson, an accounts clerk, educated at Govan High School and began his working life as an apprentice marine engineer in a Clydeside shipyard.

A skilled footballer who had a trial with Partick Thistle, he relocated to South Africa at the age of 21 to play professionally for Rangers FC, in Johannesburg.

He returned to Britain two years later on after having a song of his accepted by a London music publisher– and accepted alter his name to Expense Martin for worry of his own sounding “too Scottish”.

His very first single to be tape-recorded, “Kiss Me Now” (1963), sung by Brian Epstein discovery Tommy Quickly and the Remo 4, stopped working to chart.

The following year, Martin coordinated with Tommy Scott to compose tunes for Irish acts Van Morrison, the Bachelors and the Dubliners, along with Serge Gainsbourg.

His profession was transformed on meeting Coulter in1965 Their songs were tape-recorded by artists as varied as Ken Dodd, Geno Washington, the Troggs and the Foundations. Cilla Black reached No 3 with “Surround Yourself with Grief” in 1969 and Elvis Presley had a transatlantic struck with “My Kid” 5 years later. The duo had one more Eurovision last entry, “Toi”, sung by Coulter’s fiancée, Geraldine Brannigan, for Luxembourg in1975 They also composed songs for the 1978 film The Water Babies

After establishing their own music publishing company, Martin-Coulter Music, in 1970, they signed up other authors. This move offered them another Eurovision Tune Contest winner, Ireland’s “All Kinds of Everything”, sung by Dana that year. Martin purchased out Coulter’s share of the service in 1983, ultimately offering it to EMI.

He won 5 Ivor Novello awards, was made an MBE in 2014 and had his autobiography, Congratulations: Songwriter to destiny, released 3 years later.

Martin’s first marriage, to Margaret Howe in 1960, ended in divorce. He is endured by his 2nd other half, Janet (nee Olley), whom he married in 1972, their child and daughter, and 2 daughters from his first marriage.

Expense Martin, songwriter, born 9 November 1938, died 26 March 2020

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