Interview with .......
Jake Anthony Smith
I first become aware of the late Matt Monro during my childhood while watching the Connery series of James Bond films on ITV. I loved his style and his music was very relaxing.
My favourite song still has to be his very first hit ‘Portrait of my Love’. I love all the music and there isn’t really any one track that I’d leave off my play list.
Looking at some of the past albums there is nothing I would have done differently, I like things the way they are. I also like the recent release ‘Matt at the Movies’ as I love some of the movie themes especially 'On days like these' and 'From Russia with love,' they both make an impact on the films.
I do think it is wrong that the singers don’t receive an Oscar themselves, why should it just be the songwriters – after all Matt was an international singing star and made ‘Born Free’ the massive hit it became.
Sadly I never saw him perform live, only on DVD's and YouTube. But I went to see his son, Matt Jnr and he was a great performer. I would watch him again and again. I think one of the hardest aspect of his job is being compared to his father all the time, that and the fact that judging by his Facebook status updates – keeping on top of his paperwork!
I recently bought his solo album ‘If He Could See Me Now’ and found it rather entertaining. I even have a favourite song he sings, ‘For Once in My Life’, it’s a great arrangement and I also saw him perform it on the Alan Titchmarsh Show when he was on. One of the most exciting experiences regarding the Monro family is meeting Matt Jnr after the show; the other is receiving several items that once belonged to the great man himself together with a personal letter from Michele.
I actually bought Michele’s book ‘The Singer’s Singer’ and to be honest I enjoyed every page. I started reading it in the railway station before going home. I’d love to attend one of the book signings she has been doing around the country, as I’d like to meet her face to face.
The book coincided with Matt’s 25th anniversary and EMI bought out two albums to celebrate that, ‘The Greatest’ and ‘The Complete Singles Collection’, which were very welcome additions to my growing collection. ‘The Rare Monro’ was the very first disc I bought and I have seven now and three DVD's and it is growing every month.
Considering a few years ago there was thought to be no existing material, it is brilliant that there are more and more all the time. DVD releases are great and I am an avid collector. The more Matt Monro DVDs, the merrier I say.
It is a shame there wasn’t more seasonal material recorded, as it would have been good to have a MM Christmas album. I am surprised the record company didn’t push for one as a lot of the stars at the time were doing it.
If I had free reign and money was no object I’d like to bring out either a Musical based on Matt Monro's music, or a biographic film about him. I am actually surprised no one has made a movie yet.
If it wasn’t for the website I wouldn’t know of half of the projects in the pipeline. It is a great way of bringing fans from all over together and keeping them informed of all the news. I quite like the discussions in the forum section and I think it is an important aspect of the site.
I read on the site recently that they hold a gatheringa for fans which are called ‘Fans Reunited’ a gathering for the fans. I’d love to go to one because I’m sure I would make new friends although it is hard to find a fellow fan of my age.
I like to think of myself as one of Matt Monro’s staunchest fans. It all started because of a desire not to be a clone to certain types of music (liking what every youth my age likes) and also Matt's music stands out from the crowd. He is a legend throughout the British Music Industry and he made the USA aware of British talent.
If I could only take one CD to a desert island I’d choose ‘The 'Love Songs Collection' because it has the most songs on it (in my collection).
The last thing I was asked was to describe Matt Monro in three words, that’s easy - Britain's Greatest Entertainer.