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Music and song has always been an important part of the Bygraves repertoire. His first act was made up of impressions of singers like Hutch and the Ink Spots who were the super stars of the day. His first record was made early in his career, featuring a medley of Al Jolson numbers with the Carol Gibbons Band, but the song most closely associated with Max is one he wrote himself, ‘You Need Hands’ which won him the Ivor Novello Award as ‘Songwriter of the Year’ in 1958.

Max’s company, Lakeview Music, bought the score of ‘Oliver’ for £350 from his friend, Lionel Bart. Not a bad deal and a fortune was made by all. Lakeview Music then invested heavily in Lionel’s next musical, ‘Twang’ , which, sadly, bombed.

Many of the top recordings that dominated the pop scene in that innocent decade before the onset of rock and roll and the present day hit parade were the work of Max Bygraves. ‘You ‘Gotta have Rain’, ‘Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen by the Sea’, ‘Meet me on the Corner’, ‘Out of Town’, ‘Tulips from Amsterdam’, ‘Fings Ain’t What They Used T’be’, ‘Consider Yourself’, ‘You’re my Everything’, ‘Deck of Cards’, and of course ‘Toothbrush’.

Max recorded his first SingalongaMax LP with his mother Lil’s opinion of modern day pop music (bomp bomp!) in mind. This assemblage of yesterday’s hits, performed in his relaxed style, first found resonance in Australia from where came the first Gold Disc in 1972. That same LP then took just four weeks to turn to gold in his home country. Max was on a roll and LPs featuring hits from the twenties, for Christmas, for parties, from the movies, followed in quick succession incorporating hundreds of tunes that had been largely forgotten or seldom performed, building up to a collection of over 27 Gold and Platinum discs.

These albums outsold Presley, Sinatra and Crosby. At one stage he had three albums in the Top Twenty, and another four in the Top Thirty.

Max continues recording in the present day with a CD, ‘The Best of British’, recorded with the Central British Legion Band.



content Max Bygraves - The Singer

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