Mary Hopkin: Reclusive star's duet with Parton

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Mary Hopkin: Reclusive star's duet with Parton

Postby Mike » Fri Feb 17, 2006 1:55 pm ... fm?ID=2076

Reclusive star's duet with Parton

<img src="/pics/mary_hopkins.jpg" align=right>
Hopkin was spotted on talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1968
Sixties star Mary Hopkin is stepping back into the limelight by collaborating with singer Dolly Parton.
After four decades out of the public eye the 55-year-old has been working with Parton on a reworking of her 1968 Number One hit Those Were The Days.

The new version is the title track of the American country star's latest album, a collection of covers from the Sixties and Seventies.

Originally from Pontardawe near Swansea Hopkin found fame as a teenager.

For decades Hopkin has shunned interviews and she now divides her time between her family home in Wales and a remote French farmhouse.

Dan Griffiths a member of the Mary Hopkin's fan site thinks her return is "excellent" news.

"It's lovely to hear Mary's back in the limelight."

One day out of the blue we received the offer in a phone call from Dolly

Gerry Maxim, Hopkin's agent

Mr Griffiths added that Hopkin had recorded on her nephew's album five years ago but before that she had not recorded anything since 1994.

He believed Hopkin had collaborated with Parton because of her fresh approach to county and western music.

"Dolly's new approach going back to the basics of country music appealed to Mary.

"She became a recluse because of record industry pressures on her, but the way Dolly has reinvented herself - Mary's attracted to it."

Hopkin shot to fame when she appeared on TV talent show Opportunity Knocks in 1968.

She won the competition and the following week received a telegram from The Beatles' label Apple inviting her for an audition.

'Great fan'

She signed to the label and was championed by Paul McCartney.

Her debut single Those Were The Days topped the chart for five weeks, replacing The Beatles' Hey Jude at Number One, and turned the 18-year-old folk singer into a star.

The song also became a hit in the US.

Parton is collaborating with different artists for her 60th birthday album

She toured with Englebert Humperdinck and came second in the Eurovision Song Contest in 1970 with Knock Knock Who's There.

Born in May 1950 into a Welsh speaking family she has released albums in both languages.

In the summer of 1970 she was made a Bard of Gorsedd at Ammanford, where she took the Bardic name of Mari Hopcyn.

She had five top 20 singles in two years but when her first child was born in 1972 she decided to concentrate on family life.

Hopkin's agent Gerry Maxim told The Independent newspaper that the offer to work with Parton was too good an offer to resist.

"One day out of the blue we received the offer in a phone call from Dolly. She is a great fan of Mary's and vice versa," Maxim said.

Parton's album is to be released to mark her 60th birthday and Norah Jones, Keith Urban and Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, also appear on the record. ... 724970.stm
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Postby funkbeatle » Fri Feb 17, 2006 2:09 pm

Ahh... is that 60's cute blonde girl(how did she grow older?) coming back under the spotlights? Cool...I'm not of that time but I like a lot Those Were The Days and Goodbye(both Macca production) Hope she's coming to stay, as for Ms Dolly Parton, I don't like her music style, but that's OK...
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Postby theDingle » Fri Feb 17, 2006 3:18 pm

IMO Dolly's voice is more suited to ye olde mountain music and to especially harmonizing, as in her efforts with Linda Ronstadt and Emmylou Harris.

A big grocery store tycoon in East Tennessee named Cas Walker pretty much gave her the shot at show biz. He was a character (had a real unusual scratchy voice) and had a talent show in the 60s I used to watch as a kid that used to be broadcast on TV.

Even though she's originally from my neck of the woods, as a solo country artist I can take her or leave her (in spite of her, uhm, other visual talents, erm.... :oops:) . She's funny though, she gives a good interview. I wouldn't mind hearing that cut with Mary Hopkins.
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Postby Paperback Writer » Sun Feb 19, 2006 3:51 pm

Dingle, I agree, but she's proven to be a very prolific song-writer and she has a very BIG personality, which made her a natural for commercial TV and movies.

It would have been nice, if Macca had Maty Hopkin' open with 15" of singing on his last tour, just to set the stage .......'those were the......."
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Postby maccastheman » Sun Feb 19, 2006 3:57 pm

Speaking of Dolly's great TV personality, I remember watching her on Leno one night and he brought up a tabloid story saying she wrote a song for Whitney Houston called "I Will Always Hate You" because she was jealous. She then starting singing those words to the same tune as "I Will Always Love You." It just sounded so funny. She went on to say, of course, that she couldn't be happier that Whitney had so much success with the song.

But, I agree, she does write great songs. Regardless of how many times they played that one on the radio, it still is a great song.
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