May 2024

Last month I made the statement “Thank goodness Spring is here”, and it hasn’t stopped raining since. My son keeps telling me about Global Warming but the point is England sems to be getting colder and rainier and I don’t like it. My body doesn’t like it and the older we get the more aches and pains we have which doesn’t fare well in the damp. Roll on summer although I am thinking it might be short-lived.

What doesn’t seem to have a shelf life is dad’s music and you fabulous fans are making sure the legacy he left behind burns brightly. I thank every last one of you. I am so proud of dad’s sustainability and his YouTube website has given me a chance to give back to the fans. This was highlighted by offering free of charge ‘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.  

Social Media has taken the world by storm, even if it is leaving oldies like me trailing behind in an effort to keep up, but that is why it has been so important to keep the Official Matt Monro YouTube Site fresh and create new items for you to enjoy.

One of England’s biggest highlights each year is the televised Eurovision Song Contest and to celebrate the competition this month we we’ve uploaded a unique video reconstruction of dad’s entry which is awesome and all thanks to Dani at awuga ESC. I am extremely grateful that he has given us permission to use this wonderful historic piece of Eurovision nostalgia which I know you will all enjoy as much as me. It is especially nostalgic as dad’s year is one of only two missing from the television station’s archives (but of course) and the only colour footage that does exist was taken by dad himself on his cine camera. Dani has spent weeks colourising all the photographs and the results are exceptional. I do hope you enjoy it as much as me.

This month will also see a special YouTube Fan Event, a celebration of 60 years of “From Russia With Love’. Two special concerts will be uploaded to the site and stay online for 48 hours only so mark your diaries for the 31st May.

We have scheduled some unique footage over the coming months and one to watch will be a brand-new single release.

Aviator are changing things around a bit internally and setting up a dedicated team responsible for creating Shorts and other social media assets. That will see new focus on the Community Page and include a special quiz over the coming months.

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.

If you haven’t grabbed the new release yet, it is definitely worth having. 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

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 for a physical album release but dad’s birthday month will have some surprises including a digital album release.  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