It all started in Japan when I performed at "THE YAMAHA WORLD SONG FESTIVAL" in 1976 as a soloist singing a Tinsley/Hawkins song called "WRAP ME IN LOVE" which didn't win but gained a first release in Japan for me as a singer/artiste on the TEICHICO label. I met Ellis Elias, "Red Bus International" who was a publisher based in Salisbury Street .London. NW8 . He had one of his Irish artistes Red Hurly ....also taking part in the competition line up.Before then I'd spent two years peddling songs to many publishing houses with all the highs and lows which many a tune peddler suffers!
He gave me my first big break as a writer by asking me to collaborate with Peter Yellowstone. I used to travel down from Bedfordshire to Finchley and the West End .....once a week We drank early morning Italian coffee......and straight away came up with "RUN TO ME" for Kelly and "I NEED YOU " for Joe Dolan.We aimed at writing three songs a week. Ellis would call in on his way home to North London.......and I would sing the songs with Pete. The ones Ellis liked he jumped at.......the rest laid on file for possible future consideration. I used to clown about and use my "many voices" to offer ideas for artiste covers. It was great to meet an artiste like Kelly and I was very impressed by her powerful voice......she has a great personality.........along with a great smile!! ....and I thought she was very attractive. Many other songs soon followed when Steve Voice joined us in the writing line up. Between the three of us it was a wonderful "jam factory". I had the great pleasure of meeting Tony Swain in the Red Bus Studios...one of the most talented writer /producers I have ever met, along with Steve Jolley.. The whole show took off for everyone and their respective art forms. Coming up with a good song is an inherent talent......and it was all in "Pandoras box. " Now the dust has settled......its amazing when I look back,at what was achieved. Kelly Marie made it reality.........Keep on recording Kelly........you've a long way to go.
What is your favourite song you wrote for Kelly?
"CANT GET ENOUGH" was my favourite song with Kelly........she has good expression in slow mood songs........a talent which has yet to be exploited.....well away from disco.
You also wrote many song's for Irish Singer Joe Dolan who Kelly did a duet with on "Sister Mary" what's your favourite song of yours that he recorded?
I wrote a song with Ken Gibson who was working on arrangements with Red Bus. We spent some time together......he's a great pianist. We came up with a song called " WOULD YOU LEAVE ME IN THE DARK". It bore fact to what I was going through in my life at the time by reflection. It was snapped up by Joe Dolan. Tony Swain did a beautiful production job in the studio ....as he was the man for the job.
Having heard all about the pro's and cons of the music business is there anything you would have changed?
I wish I could have started my career as a soloist.........but at the time I was no tenor like I am now. I was a lead vocalist. Thats why I've recorded "MY SURVIVAL"......I want a chance for people to hear me. Tony Swain gave me great help on a lovely gentle backing track from his studio in Herts.
Do you still write songs and what are you up to now?
I never stop writing and am learning to improve my own music and computer skills.....plus I'm singing locally where I've found a new home in the Welsh hills with my wife........its where a man can walk and take in the fresh air.........It is certainly showing in my voice!
In the usa "Helen Reddy" recorded "Make Love To Me" and Elaine Overhalt recorded "Run To Me" Have you ever heard these alternative versions and what do you think?
I think on a second hearing of Helens version that Kellys performance is stronger......with a lot more clout! mmm!
Take A Visit To Mike's Myspace webpage which he will be updating soon with more gossip and info
Mike Tinsley Shares His Memories
How did it begin?