June 2024

Last month I prematurely thought Spring had arrived and we had three glorious days in Telford and it has rained ever since. I got very excited when the temperature hit the high 60s but of course I celebrated too soon. Out came the garden furniture, I dusted off the BBQ and synced dad up on the outdoor music system. I’m now waiting for the sun to come out again. I just hope those three days didn’t constitute summer, lol

Dad has now been gone 39 years, it just doesn’t seem possible and over the decades Richard and I have turned up every stone and rock to release new and exciting projects and I think we did pretty well but the sad fact of life is that the radio stations don’t play that era very often and the record companies are understandably concentrating on their hot earners. 

It is only because of the advance in technology that we have been able to exploit the internet by launching dad’s very own YouTube channel which I am very proud of, especially when we hit the 100,000-subscriber mark last year. It proves there are still lots of people out there that still appreciate great music. It has also given me a chance to give back to the fans by offering up free content. We regularly upload rare video footage and special events, as highlighted by the fabulous Eurovision clip, we put on in May to celebrate the biggest music contest in Europe, made possible by Dani at awuga ESC. I am extremely grateful that he gave permission to use this wonderful historic piece of Eurovision nostalgia.

At the end of last month, we celebrated six decades of ‘From Russia With Love’ with a one off chance to view ‘’An Evening with Matt Monro’ and ‘Matt Sings Monro’ as well as a live chat. We have an exciting schedule over the next few months and I hope you get a chance to pop in and take a look. While you are there don’t forget to tune in to ‘The Boy From Shoreditch’ the four-part audio documentary Richard and I made to celebrate dad’s special 90th birthday. The programmes were written and narrated by myself and feature an intimate portrait of the man behind the voice, drawing on previously un-broadcast interviews, extremely rare recordings previously thought lost, interviews with his family and friends and messages from some of his more famous fans.  

There is a wealth of content on the site and new material is added regularly, and being a subscriber, which is totally free, means you are informed when new content is added so you never miss an exciting new arrival.

Talking about a wealth of content, through the years, dad’s recordings have been featured in a huge number of radio and television commercials. In July 2020, the Unilever brand Axe began airing an American TV campaign for its deodorant line that spoofed the restrictions on dating during the COVID-19 pandemic, with “Born Free” as the soundtrack theme. Although I have known about this for some time, I have only recently seen the advert and wanted to share it with you.

Through the media sites, I have been asked hundreds of questions. I can’t answer them all but yes Dad was a milkman for about a week, lol. A lot of people asked me why he sang in Spanish – Beginning in 1969, Dad accrued legions of fans in Spanish-speaking countries, particularly in Latin America. Leonardo Schultz was a South American promoter who came to dad wanting him to record in Spanish. He took up the challenge and his first album release went platinum and several more singles and albums followed. The trouble was that dad recorded everything phonetically, not speaking the language himself, which was fine, until he was forced to do a live tour, he was petrified.

I would have thought that everyone already knew if dad had won the Eurovision Song Contest, but sadly not. His entry of ‘I Love the Little Things’ came second finishing with 17 points for the UK. Sadly, no known footage of the contest is known to exist.

There has been a lot of speculation about who wrote ‘Softly As I Leave You” and the story behind it. In fact, it was Elvis who came up with the story that the lyrics were about a dying man as his wife slept by his bedside. He propagated the rumour to add some schmaltz to his performance as reported on several websites. The popular Italian song, originally titled ‘Piano’ was composed by Tony De Vita with Italian lyrics by Giorgio Calabrese. It got its English lyrics by Hal Shaper. Dad was the first to release it in 1962 and it was later covered by Frank Sinatra in 1964 and Elvis in 1978.

Although dad had plenty of hit songs, the most popular in polls year in and year out is ‘On Days Like These’ from the film The Italian Job. It was composed by legendary Quincy Jones and produced by George Martin and is played both prominently and uninterrupted by background sound, in the opening credits of the film. It is the only song Dad sang Italian lyrics to.

If you haven’t grabbed ‘The Complete EMI Recordings 1971-1984, the new release yet, it is definitely worth having.

Andy Howell of Entertainment South Wales wrote: “Matt’s heartfelt vocal delivery continues to delight and uplift us through this definitive collection”. Mr Howell reviewed the new collection on its release in June last year.. (


Matt Monro’s soft silky vocal tones delighted many music fans throughout the 1960s and 70s. Since Matt’s passing in 1985, his music has endured through his recordings of ballads, Portrait of My Love and Softly, As I Leave You and perhaps more famously his rendition of The Beatles’ Yesterday, the James Bond theme From Russia with Love and the theme song from The Italian Job, On Days Like These.

Matt’s 1960s output has been well served in recent years through a variety of compilation albums and its not surprising, his voice remains timeless. Compared frequently in his lifetime to Frank Sinatra, even Ol’ Blue Eyes was a fan of Matt.

In 1971, when Matt Monro returned from America, after his time with Capitol records following the passing of Nat King Cole, he re-joined the EMI label. Matt Monro: The Complete EMI Recordings 1971-1984 pulls together every recording made for EMI throughout the remainder of his career, including previously released and unreleased out-takes and alternate versions from four studio albums, live recordings and even radio jingles.

The delightful attraction of Matt Monro, unlike many of his contemporaries, is that his music doesn’t date. The musical arrangements from the likes of George Martin, Roy Budd and Johnnie Spence remain as fresh as Matt’s vocals. Ballads such as Bridge Over Troubled Water, When You Wish Upon a Star, and Over the Rainbow or bigger numbers such as I Close My Eyes and Count to Ten, Let Me Sing and I’m Happy and I’m Glad I’m Not Young Anymore still sound like they were recorded only yesterday.

This release has plenty for Monro fans old and new to discover including new mixes of tracks from his album The Other Side of The Stars, vocal versions of Chattanooga Choo Choo and the theme to Van der Valk (And You Smiled) plus his own interpretations of George Harrison’s Isn’t It a Pity, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Memory, and The Bee Gee’s First of May.

The Complete EMI Recordings 1971-1984 brings together many jewels from Matt Monro’s musical legacy, some familiar, some not so. Four decades on from his passing, Matt’s heartfelt vocal delivery continues to delight and uplift us through this definitive collection.

Previously only available through Cherry Red, it is now available through all good sites. Historically these recordings hadn’t been treated very well but Richard, as always, has done a stellar job on the new project. Two albums – For the Present and The Other Side of the Stars had been issued on CD before (as an old EMI 2on1), but large chunks of these, for reasons unknown, were dubbed from vinyl and not very good quality vinyl either. What makes it worse is that these travesties are what is available on download and streaming services these days so avoid at all costs!

The other two albums, The Long and Winding Road and If I Never Sing Another Song had never been issued on CD in their entirety and again some of the tracks from the latter LP had also been taken from vinyl when issued on compilations.

If you like to listen to the raw tapes and then compare them to what Richard restored and remixed then go to his website page

Complete EMI

The release presents as a digipack which unfolds to reveal some great portraits of dad – some not previously seen – and each disc sits on the cover of the LP featured on each CD. The final flap contains a booklet with extensive notes and more photos. Designed by the ever-brilliant John Sellards and with an incredible previously unpublished front cover photo by Neil Dalrymple, it looks as good as it sounds.

You can find the set here at Amazon

Or directly from Cherry Red

Finally last December the last four Capitol albums were uploaded. It’s been a long time coming but it was a fitting present to dad on his birthday.

I am very proud that since dad left us Richard and I have managed to bring some unique recordings to the fans rather than just the normal “Greatest Hits” or “The Best Of’ recordings. Dad never got the chance to record and release a “live” concert album, preferring the technical purity of the recording studio and wanting his public performances to retain an element of uniqueness. However, we have managed to rectify this including “Operation Santa Claus: Live in Hong Kong 1962”, a 1967 cabaret performance from his first tour of Australia; a 1967 a BBC concert with Nelson Riddle; a 1966 arena concert before 24,000 people in Manila; and “Live in Australia” one of his final concerts, recorded on the last night of his fifteenth and final tour there in 1984.

In fact, since 1985 there have been more than 60+ releases so make sure you haven’t missed out on one of rarities.

I’ve been booked to do my unique talks on dad on Ambassador’s Ambition on 15 July which I’m really looking forward to. Because cruise ships present a wealth of entertainment, I get people attend who might ordinarily not know about dad’s vast catalogue so it usually gains him a new fan base. If you happen to be booked on that cruise please come and say hello.

At the moment there is nothing new in the pipeline record wise but I look forward to catching up with you next month. In the meantime, stay safe and keep spreading the MM legacy.


Much love

Michele xx