Mal Pope – Old Enough to Know Better It’s been
a very interesting year. After the success of the Cappuccino Girls tour
2010 stretched before me with a landmark birthday staring at me half way
through the year. It’s strange how people get to hear about special
birthdays and some saw it as maybe a good time to evaluate the story so
Firstly I was approached by the Variety Club of GB and asked if I would
be amenable to them holding a tribute lunch to honour my work in music
and broadcasting and then I was approached by the publishers Y Lolfa asking
if I’d be interested in writing my autobiography. I must admit to
wondering if my doctor had got some news he was keeping from me and everyone
knew something about my health that I didn’t. In fact when some
people saw the posters for my tribute lunch they did think that it was
a posthumous award!!
I spent the summer writing my book sifting through the memories of my
days with John Peel and Elton John. It was around his time I interviewed
Judie Tzuke. Like me she had been signed to Elton John’s Rocket
Record Company. Her latest release featured songs from those Rocket days.
She told me Elton had returned all of her copyrights and I should ask
him too. I did and within a couple of weeks he told me that he would be
delighted to give everything back to me.
On Sunday 26th September Mal Pope
was honoured with a Tribute Lunch in recognition of his achievements as
a musician, Composer and especially for his contribution to musical theatre.
The lunch with was hosted by Mr Chris Needs MBE and featured performances
by Steve Balsamo and Peter Karrie amongst others. Thanks to everyone who
supported this event in for the Variety Club Children's Charity.
With the book deadline approaching
I decided I would record a new album and use a lot of the songs I had
written in 1973 and 1974 to form the basis of the record. I was also given
2 tracks on 24 track tape that were recorded at Abbey Road with Elton
singing backing vocals. I remixed the tracks adding my latest voice. I
then wrote 6 new songs from this side of being 50.
The first album I recorded in 1974 was never released because my voice
broke just at the wrong time. It was supposed to be called ‘Old
Enough to Know Better’ Ironically that title works just as well
now as it did back then!
1 Some of the Things
2 Everything I’ve Got
3 If I Wasn’t There (Featuring Elton John)
4 When you’re away
5 I Don’t Know How to say goodbye
6 Don’t Say you Love Me
7 Would You Dance
8 When I Call Out
9 How It Hurts (Featuring Elton John)
10 Ghost train
11 Holding You
12 You Can Do it
13 A Child’s Prayer
14 Best is yet to Come
'Bits and Pieces'
is a brand new compilation CD featuring 14 tracks from past albums and
2 brand new recordings of Mal Pope songs featured on Songs of Praise.
Packaged simply, this 16 track CD is priced at £6 including p&p.
The long-awaited compilation includes 2 bonus tracks. 'Let Your Spirit
Come' features on Songs of Praise on May 23rd, and 'Take My Life'
- the oft-requested song now available at last. Track List:
1 Cappuccino Girls (You Never Threw a Party for Me)
2 Golden Days (Golden Days)
3 Dream Out Loud (Dream Out Loud)
4 Astounding (Lucky Man)
5 The Ring (The Ring)
6 Cover Me (Copper Kingdom)
7 Copper Kingdom (Live Back on the Road)
8 My God is Mighty (Reunion of the Heart)
9 If I Wasn’t There - Single Ft Elton John)
10 Amy (Love Will Find A Way)
11 The Leaving Kind - Single
12 Crossroads (Mumbles to Memphis)
13 Warm Wind (Why Me)
14 All through the Night ( Land of My Children)
15 Let Your Spirit Come
16 Take My Life
Previews of many of the tracks can be found on
the audio page.
latest musical theatre project grew out of the popularity of the track
'Cappuccino Girls', first featured on the album 'You Never Threw a Party
for Me'. Opening night took place in Altrincham in February 2009 with
a two night run given five stars in great reviews from local press. A
more extensive tour of venues
in South Wales followed in November 09. A remix of the title track featuring
Bonnie Tyler has now been released on an album
of tracks from the show. For more info, news of the musical
as it develops - and to preview tracks, visit www.cappuccinogirls.com.
tours and collaborates with Merrill Osmond Album Project.
Mal will be touring in Ireland with Merrill Osmond in October
2008. More information about this tour, including online booking, video
and audio can be found at www.merrillosmond.eu.
The new Merrill Osmond Album 'The Voice'
is about to be released. The album which features 4 new songs written
by Merrill and Mal together with brand new acoustic version of 9 Osmond
classic hits including One Bad Apple Crazy Horse and Let Me in, will be
released in time for the 50th Anniversary tour of the UK by the world's
most famous singing family.
Details of how to buy the album online and as downloads
will be posted very soon.
Mal's latest musical project has grown out of
the popularity of the track 'Cappuccino Girls', first featured on the
album 'You Never Threw a Party for Me'. For more info, previews of the
musical as it develops - and to view the video, visit www.cappuccinogirls.com.
New Album - Lucky Man Click here for 'Lucky Man' Tour Dates
Mal says: "On Saturday 26th May 2007, I came off stage
from the final performance of the musical ‘Contender’ and set
myself the task of making a brand new Cd from scratch, writing a song a
day for 2 weeks. I did take the occasional day off to work on other projects
but in essence within 3 weeks the songs were written. This was always going
to be a special, personal album for me as I charted a relationship that
has officially lasted 25 years but which in reality has been there most
of my life. With that in mind I also decided that this time around I would
play and sing everything myself.
I don’t think I’ve ever so much fun writing and recording an
album as each song brought back a different set of memories. It’s
sometimes difficult to come up with a title for an album that sums up the
whole collection of songs in a word or a phrase. This time it was easy.
‘As I look back on this life, I know I’ve been a lucky man’
I really hope you enjoy it."
Mal Pope on Father's Day edition of Songs of Praise.
Mal will be performing the song 'Tell Me' from
the album Reunion of the Heart as part of a special Father's
Day edition of Songs of Praise. The show goes out at 6.15pm on BBC One
on Sunday 17th June, and feature stories from Dads in various parts of
the UK. The song's performance was recorded in Sevenoaks. The 13-track
album, Reunion of the Heart, was first released in 1998 and is
available to order from MPH Records. Click
here to order securely online.
Mal has released an album of
songs from 'Contender' which is now available to order
online, featuring solo performances from Mike Doyle Peter
Karrie, Miss Daisy Blue and Chris Needs. For more info and to listen to
clips visit the Contender
mini site, where you can also find details of show times for the musical's
run of Welsh Theatres this Spring.
Mal Pope has produced, written and performed the
Swansea City single which became available on the web in December 2005.
For more information and to listen go to www.boysfromthewest.com.
Album Release - Autumn 2005
Mal's latest solo studio album, 'You Never Threw
a Party for Me' is now available to buy online.
Sound clips and a track list can be found in the audio
section. The album contains a mix of new studio tracks and the title track
is from the musical 'Amazing Grace'. There's also a taste of what's to
come in the musical still under development telling the story of Welsh
boxer, Tommy Farr. More information on this project can be found on the
'Contender - The Musical'
site. From Mal's sleeve notes:
You Never Threw a Party For Me :
It was about the third week into rehearsals for the musical 'Amazing Grace'
that I realised I had to write a song for Peter Karrie's character the
Rev. Peter Price. The musical was about the 1904 Welsh Revival and how
various sections of society reacted to the claims made by Evan Roberts,
a 26 year old ex miner, who claim to speak to God face to face. The Rev
Peter Price was a severe critic of Evan and his followers and became an
obvious 'figurehead' of that religious establishment opposition. What
I didn't want was for him to become a pantomime 'baddie'. I wanted you
to understand the reasons why he might find the revival a threat and a
disappointment. The song is based on the story of the 'Prodigal Son' and
in particular see from the stand point of the elder brother. Listen.(56k). Listen.(broadband)
I wrote this song for the character of Mary Roberts, Evan's sister, who's
role in the revival and Evan's life, was somewhat diminished when the
beautiful singer Annie Davies joined the revival party. I wrote it with
the voice of opera diva Shan Cothi in mind so it has some of her 'gypsy'
passion in it. Main Event On a hot August Night in 1937, British Boxer
Tommy Farr stepped into the ring with Joe Louis, the world heavy weight
champion thought by many to be the best boxer the world had ever seen.
It had been a long road from the boxing booths of the Rhondda Valley to
Yankee Stadium in New York City where a crowd of 40,000 would be joined
by millions listening to the fight broadcast live on radio across the
Main Event is the 'main theme' from the musical
'Contender' based on the life of Tommy Farr. An album of songs from the
show will follow in 2006 and a full stage show will premiere in the spring
of 2007. www.contenderthemusical.com
As for the rest, when asked what a particular song was
about Bob Dylan once said '3 and a half minutes'! I normally give a run
down on the why, when, how and what led to each song. This time I'm leaving
it up to you.
Best of (Very) Old News...
Heaven's Sound makes the final of New York Televsion
'Heaven's Sound', the televsion programme Mal made travelling
around the Deep South of America tracing the roots of Black Gospel has
just been given a Certificate of Merit at the prestigous New York Television
Awards. Mal was unable to travel to New York to pick up the Award as he
is currently filing a series called 'Heaven's Sound' for HTV Wales. In
this 8 part series, which premieres on 3rd March. Mal will again be travelling
but this time all of the journeys will be around his native Wales. Having
said that, Mal's interest in Balck Gospel will again be shown in a new
3 part series he is currently working on for BBC Radio 4 which is due
to be aired in the Autumn of 2002.
Cliff Richard sings Mal Pope
Mal was recently contacted by the International Cliff
Richard Movement with the news that in his recent series of concerts at
the Royal Albert Hall Cliff Richard opens his show with one of Mal's songs,
Reunion of the Heart.
Memphis and Tupelo
Tired and Jet Lagged Mal has just returned home from a
fantastic week in the States. After a couple of days in Memphis recording
some radio programmes, Mal went down to Tupelo. Thursday saw Mal sing
2 of his own songs and a duet with Miss Kay Bain on the 'Mornin' TV Show.
That inspired Mal to write a song about Miss Kay called 'The Queen of
Tupelo'. The next few days saw Mal performing at the Gumtree Festival
in Downtown Tupelo as well as a number of concerts in the area.
'Band of the Century'
On Tuesday 22nd September the phones went mad at MPH Records.
Simon Mayo declared Mal Pope and the Jacks to be the 'band of the century'.
and repeated the annoucement on his Radio One show at intervals of about
twenty minutes. This made front page new in both the Western Mail and
the South Wales Evening Post. All this followed Mals invitation to play
at Simon Mayo's 40th birthday party. He was joined on stage by Tom Robinson
and the whole night was brought to a triumphant climax when Simon joined
Mal on stage for a rather unusual version of 'Perfect Day'.