Mary Hopkin

  • Real Name: Mary Hopkin
  • Birth Date: 5th May 1950
  • Birth Place: Pontardawe, Glamorgan
  • Although Mary Hopkin started her singing career in a folk group she had already turned solo by the time she received an unexpected telephone call from Paul McCartney to sign for the Beatles' new Apple record label. Paul had been tipped off about Mary by the model Twiggy who had seen the 17 year old singer perform on TV's 'Opportunity Knocks'. Mary Hopkin went on to win the show week after week, but was part of the Apple empire by her second appearance.

    Paul was keen for the Welsh girl to record his arrangement of 'Those Were The Days' which was an old Lithuanian melody that had been revised by an American, Gene Raskin. The song was so successful that Mary went on to record it in five languages and it became a huge international hit as well as #1 in Britain. She was already familiar with singing in Welsh as well as English and produced some traditional folk songs on the Cambrian label at about this time. She had only one more UK release on the Apple label before the decade was out, but issued another three during 1970. These included the song she sang as Britain's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 'Knock Knock Who's There?', a song that she claims to hate.

    Mary found herself trapped by the innocence of her image, and during the early 1970s Mickie Most, an arranger she didn't feel comfortable with, took over her production. Although a couple of good singles came out of this, she was no longer happy with the direction of her career and left the business to raise a family. She returned to recording again during the 1980s, though so far, there are no signs of a rekindled chart career.

    1950s & 1960s 45rpm UK Discography

    • Listings include UK 45 singles releases only
    • Collector's Items are shown In Red

    Apple APPLE2 1968 Those Were the Days/ Turn Turn Turn #1
    Apple APPLE10 1969 Goodbye/ Sparrow #2
    Cambrian CSP703 1969 Adern Llwyd/ Y Blodyn Gwyn  

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