Karl Denver

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Karl Denver
Birth name Angus Murdo McKenzie
Born (1931-12-16)16 December 1931
Springburn, Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland, UK
Died 21 December 1998(1998-12-21) (aged 67)
Manchester, England, UK[1]
Genres Pop
Years active 1956–1998

Karl Denver (16 December 1931 – 21 December 1998)[2] was a Scottish singer, who, with his trio had a series of UK hit singles in the early 1960s. Most famous of these was a 1961 version of "Wimoweh", which showed off Denver's falsetto yodelling register. He reached the Top 20 with his first five yodel-based singles.[3]


Denver was born Angus Murdo McKenzie in Springburn, Glasgow and was well travelled by the time he took up singing, having had a previous career in the Norwegian Merchant Navy. He also had a country music influence, having lived in Nashville, Tennessee for a short time before being deported from there as an illegal immigrant in 1959. In the US, he adopted the new name that he retained for the remainder of his singing career.[4]

In the early 1960s he formed a trio which included Kevin Neill (born 25 July 1931, Manchester, Lancashire; died 13 March 2010, Blackley, Manchester) and Gerry Cottrell (born Gerard Cottrell, 18 December 1933, Manchester, Lancashire; died 24 November 2006,[5] at Trafford General Hospital, Urmston, Manchester). They enjoyed several hits between 1961-1964 including 'Mexicalli Rose' 'Matcheta' ' A little love, a little kiss' 'Can you forgive me' 'Still' 'Blue Weekend' 'My World of Blue' and'Love me with all your Heart'.

Denver's song, "Never Goodbye", was an entry in A Song for Europe in 1962 and was another chart hit. In 1963, he appeared in the film Just for Fun, along with Bobby Vee, the Vernons Girls, and various other American and British pop music acts. He also appeared on BBC Radio a few times alongside The Beatles on a show named after song he performed with them called, "Side by Side". He also performed a few songs on BBC Radio that weren't released on any of his albums.

After the mid-1960s, Denver worked mainly on the cabaret circuit. However, in 1989 he enjoyed a brief raise in profile after guesting on Madchester band, the Happy Mondays' single, "Lazyitis (One-Armed Boxer)", on Factory Records (FAC 222). Denver also appeared in The Happy Mondays' video for the song, although he contracted pneumonia whilst filming the video.[1] Following this collaboration Factory released two further Denver recordings, "Wimoweh '89" (FAC 228) and "Indambinigi" (FAC 278; credited to Karl Denver and Steve Lima).

In 1993 he released his final album, Just Loving You, aimed at the country music market. In mid-1998, Denver began recording a new album, but died before full recording of the album was completed. The finished tracks were included on a re-release of Just Loving You entitled Movin' On in 1999. The final song he recorded was "I Can't Go On This Way".


Karl Denver's wooden grave marker, Stockport Cemetery

Denver died from a brain tumour[6] in December 1998, at the age of 67. His ashes are buried in Stockport Borough cemetery.

Family life[edit]

Three times married, Denver left four sons, Justin and Richard from his third marriage to Andrea and had 2 other sons, Karl from his first marriage, who predeceased him and Dolian Murdo from his second marriage to Alma.[1] Karl Denver also had four daughters, Jean to his first wife, Fiona & Victoria to Alma and Melanie.[citation needed] Karl Denver also had a son called Jason from a previous relationship in the early 70s .



  • "Marcheta" - 1961 - UK #8
  • "Mexicali Rose" - 1961 - UK #8
  • "Wimoweh" - 1962 - UK #4
  • "Never Goodbye" - 1962 - UK #9
  • "A Little Love a Little Kiss" - 1962 - UK #19
  • "Blue Week-end" - 1962 - UK #33
  • "Pastures of Plenty" - 1962 - UK
  • "Can You Forgive Me" - 1963 - UK #32
  • "Indian Love Call" - 1963 - UK #32
  • "Still" - 1963 - UK #13
  • "My World of Blue" - 1964 - UK #29
  • "Love Me with All Your Heart" - 1964 - UK #37
  • "Lazyitis - One Armed Boxer" - 1990 - UK #46 $

$ Happy Mondays and Karl Denver[3]


  • Wimoweh - 1961 - UK #7
  • Karl Denver at The Yew Tree - 1964[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Obituary by Spencer Leigh". London: Independent.co.uk. 20 January 1999. Retrieved 2 July 2009. 
  2. ^ IMDb biography
  3. ^ a b c Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 151. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ 45-rpm.org.uk
  5. ^ Hankypark.co.uk
  6. ^ IMDb biography page

External links[edit]