LOOKING back on times past we always remember a year or a decade by its music.

It is just like Paul Simon sang in his song the Boy in the Bubble: “It’s every generation throws a hero up the pop charts”.

And those heroes or heroines, define the type of music we liked then, what we were ‘turned onto’ and to a greater degree what we will like when we get older.

One of those heroes for many young British teenagers growing up in post war Britain in the late 1950s was Marty Wilde.

Marty was at the fore front of an explosion of music which started to rumble in 1955 with Billy Hayley and his Comets and especially when Hayley’s song Rock around the Clock was used in the film Blackboard Jungle.

From that moment the rock ‘n’ roll genie was out of the bottle.

Elvis Presley reached number 2 in the UK chart with “Heartbreak Hotel” in 1956 (number one in USA 1955) and had nine more singles in the Top 30 that year. His first number 1 was “All Shook Up” in 1957.

In Britain rock ‘n’ roll was ignited by Lonnie Donegan and skiffle before Cliff Richard reached number 2 with “Move It”

which is seen as the first British rock ‘n’ roll record.

Into this mix arrived Marty Wilde who released his first record “Honeycomb” in 1957 and followed this up “Endless Sleep” which reached number 4 in the UK.

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He had other hits with “Donna”, “A Teenager in Love”, “Sea of Love”, “All American Boy”, “Blue Moon of Kentucky” and “Bad Boy”.

Reflecting on these embryonic days of rock ‘n’ roll in the UK, Marty said: “It was our time.

“Teenagers for the first time had a voice. It was like being carried away by a tidal wave.

“This was a time when music and clothes mattered, this was ‘our time’, it was ‘our music’.

“Rock ‘n’ Roll was exciting and we had our own music to listen to which set us apart.

“It was so different to what preceded it as it was so different.

“I got into rock ‘n’ roll as I had been in a group called The Hound Dogs which was a skiffle group.

But when I saw Blackboard Jungle and heard Rock Around The Clock, it all changed.

“I liked the prominent rhythm and then came other acts like Gene Vincent with Be bop a Lula.

“What we did in Britain was do our own take on American rock ‘n’ roll.”

One of the shows which did the greatest amount to bring the new rock ‘n’ roll music was Oh Boy on ITV.

This was responsible for making Cliff Richard, Marty Wilde, Johnny Gentle, Vince Eager, Adam Faith all household names.

Speaking about Oh Boy, Marty said: “This was completely different to anything. It had an American twist in how it was made but it was better than they did. It was so much better than say The Dick Clarke Show in the USA which I did.

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“What they did on Oh Boy was to plan out the songs, use lighting to create shadows and it all helped make the format so much better.

"Jack Good (the producer of Oh Boy) used to pick the songs we would sing and he would chose songs which had only just entered the American top 40 so in many respects he was ahead of the game. 

“And it was live which meant you could not make a mistake, you had to be right on it.

“Oh Boy came in the second year of my career so the timing was just right for me.

“It was such an exciting time for me. It was like being a child in a sweet shop and you could have any sweet you wanted.

“I loved it, it was a fantastic time, there was excitement in the air. Rock ‘n’ roll was energetic, it was different and every youngster wanted to be a pop star.”

Marty Wilde has been a pop star since 1957 - 60 years now and he feels by continuing his shows it has kept him young.

He said: “It does keep me young and for many reasons.

"I think although I am going over old ground it is rewarding as it helps to keep your voice intact and sounds great.

Some songs like Danny which was recorded by Elvis for King Creole but not used in his movie and I released I cannot hit the notes as I used to.

"But to to be on stage singing it helps to take me back and the audience back to a different time.

“It is like being in a time warp.

“You put the audience in a trance, they see you as you were back then not as you look now.

"It is funny as sometimes on stage I can see the effect it has on them.

“They don’t see me warts and all they see me as I was in the past and it takes them back to their youth.

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“And once again they can feel the excitement of the time.

“For me I visible get 30-40 years younger of stage my whole psychology and physical appearance changes.

“It was the same years ago when I had a bad back and went on stage having to wear a corset. When I was on stage I forgot all about the pain and moved around as normal which I had not been able to off stage.

“It is the power of Dr Footlights.

So when I speak to them after the shows I cannot believe they have followed by career for so long but it is something I find so rewarding.”

It was the first wave of British Rock ‘n’ Roll starts which influenced and gave the stars of the 1960s an idea of what being a pop star/rock star was all about.

Marty said: “Some might have been influenced by us but I think they would have learnt lots of what to do and what not to do.

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“Those 1960s stars like The Beatles had their own talent but even Paul McCartney told me he had seen me at the Liverpool Empire and remember the lines I had used when talking to the audience.

“Even now I love being on stage and I get a fantastic feeling doing what I do.”

You can catch the Marty Wilde magic as he is taking to the road in the Autumn for a very special Marty Wilde 60th Anniversary Solid Gold Rock ‘n’ Roll Show tour when he will be joined by original icons Mike Berry, Eden Kane and Mark Wynter.

The show will be on November 15 at The Playhouse Theatre, Weston Super Mare and on November 17 at the Octagon Theatre in Yeovil.