Marty Wilde

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Marty Wilde
1960s promotional photo
1960s promotional photo
Background information
Birth nameReginald Leonard Smith
Born (1939-04-15) 15 April 1939 (age 85)
Blackheath, South London, England
  • Singer
  • songwriter
Years active1957–present
LabelsPhilips (UK), Epic (US)

Marty Wilde, MBE (born Reginald Leonard Smith; 15 April 1939)[1] is a British singer and actor. He was among the first generation of British pop stars to emulate American rock and roll, scoring several 1950s and 1960s hit singles including "Endless Sleep", "Sea of Love" and "Bad Boy". During the late 1960s to early 1980s, Wilde continued to record and, with Ronnie Scott, co-wrote hit singles for others including the Casuals' "Jesamine" and Status Quo's "Ice in the Sun". He is the father of pop singer Kim Wilde and co-wrote many of her hit singles including "Kids in America" with his son Ricky. He continues to perform and record.


Wilde was born in Blackheath, London. He was performing under the name Reg Patterson at London's Condor Club in 1957, when he was spotted by impresario Larry Parnes.[2] Parnes gave his protégés stage names such as Billy Fury, Duffy Power and Dickie Pride, hence the change to Wilde.[2] The 'Marty' came from the acclaimed 1955 film of the same name. Wilde was signed to the British recording arm of Philips Records, with US releases appearing on the Epic label via Philips' reciprocal licensing agreement with Columbia Records stateside. (Philips had yet to acquire the Mercury group as its US division.)[citation needed]

From mid-1958 to the end of 1959 Wilde was one of the leading British rock-and-roll singers, along with Tommy Steele and Cliff Richard.[2] Wilde's backing group was called the Wildcats.[2] At various times they featured Big Jim Sullivan on lead guitar, Tony Belcher on rhythm guitar, Bobby Graham or Bobbie Clarke on drums, plus Brian Locking on bass guitar and Brian Bennett on drums, both of whom later joined the Shadows.[2]

He appeared regularly on the BBC Television show 6.5 Special and was the main regular artiste on the Saturday ITV popular music shows Oh Boy! and Boy Meets Girls.[2] There he met Joyce Baker, one of the Vernons Girls who were also show regulars. Their courtship was made public but after their marriage Wilde's popularity as a teen idol declined.[citation needed]

He moved partly into all-round entertainment, appearing in musicals such as Conrad Birdie in the original West End production of Bye Bye Birdie[2] and several films. He enjoyed success as a songwriter in the late 1960s and early 1970s. In collaboration with the songwriter Ronnie Scott, he co-wrote the one-hit wonders the Casuals' "Jesamine" under the pseudonyms of Frere Manston and Jack Gellar. The pair also wrote Lulu's "I'm a Tiger" and the early Status Quo hit, "Ice in the Sun".[2]

He also tried to tap into the growing glam rock boom, releasing the single "Rock'n'Roll Crazy" / "Right On!" billed as Zappo, and recording as The Dazzling All Night Rock Show ("20 Fantastic Bands"), and Ruby Pearl and The Dreamboats ("The Shang-A-Lang Song"). None of the releases were a commercial success, and Wilde ditched the glam rock genre,[3] going on to work with his son, Ricky Wilde.[4]

Like many of his contemporaries, Wilde continued to perform in nostalgia tours in the UK and beyond. In 2007, he celebrated 50 years in the business with another UK tour which featured his youngest daughter Roxanne Wilde, and the issue of a compilation album, Born To Rock And Roll – The Greatest Hits. It included a duet with Kim Wilde of Elton John's "Sorry Seems to Be the Hardest Word", which was released as a promotional only single.

In 2017, Wilde went on a UK tour with The Solid Gold Rock'n'Roll Show, which also featured Eden Kane, Mark Wynter and Mike Berry.[5]

In 2019, he toured the UK again with American artist Charlie Gracie and Mike Berry. A projected 2020 tour was rescheduled to 2021 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.[6]

On 9 October 2020, Wilde entered the UK Albums Chart at number 75 with Running Together. It was released on his own Pushka label, and featured his daughters Kim and Roxanne Wilde, with input from son Ricky.[7] Wilde thus has the distinction of UK chart success, as either a singer or songwriter, across eight consecutive decades.[8]


He and his wife, Joyce, have four children, Kim (born 1960), Ricky (born 1961), Roxanne (born 1979) and the youngest, Marty Jr (born 1983), who was a contestant on the Golf Channel's The Big Break IV: USA vs. Europe in 2005. Kim, Ricky and Roxanne have worked in the music industry, like their parents.[9]



Wilde wrote and co-wrote the following notable songs:[10]


Marty Wilde has appeared in the following films:-

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "". Archived from the original on 14 July 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h Bruce Eder. "Marty Wilde | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  3. ^ Rutland, David. "Going Wilde for Marty", North Wales Live, Cardiff, 15 March 2007. Retrieved on 27 November 2019.
  4. ^ Marcello, Carlin. "The Blue In The Air", published by Zero Books, 2011. Retrieved on 27 November 2019.
  5. ^ "The Solid Gold Rock n Roll Show 2017 Tickets - Tour Dates & Tickets - ATG Tickets". Retrieved 10 November 2017.
  6. ^ "Tour Dates 2020/21 – MARTY WILDE MBE". Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  7. ^ "Marty Wilde | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  8. ^ "Marty Wilde secures rare feat of 8 consecutive decades of Official Chart success". Retrieved 26 October 2020.
  9. ^ "Wilde Life Encyclopedia biographies". Archived from the original on 3 October 2011. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  10. ^ "Marty Wilde | Credits". AllMusic. 15 April 1939. Retrieved 27 January 2014.
  11. ^ "Françoise Hardy - Pas Gentille (Bad Boy)". Retrieved 10 May 2021.

External links[edit]