Sunday, August 07, 2022

The Mark Five: Baby What's Wrong

The blurb for this on YouTube says:

The old Jimmy Reed blues number vamped up by Scotland's Mark Five. At a time when the big London-based record companies ignored talent over the border, the lads protest-marched from Edinburgh to London which resulted in a Fontana signing. This one 45 sold so poorly they called it a day. Singer Manny Charlton eventually joined Scots rockers Nazareth.

That's one version of the story. I prefer the one I got from the Scotsman:

January 1963 ...

The Mark Five, featuring Manny Charlton who later plays in Nazareth, walk from Edinburgh to London, hitching a ride whenever photographers were not present. The walk is a publicity stunt to protest about the lack of record companies coming to Scotland to see Scottish bands, and a ploy to demand a record deal.

They are met in Market Harborough by a record company executive and offered a contract. The Mark Five release a version of the Isley Brothers' Tango but are soon dropped by the label.

It seems that Tango was the A-side and this was on the reverse. Anyway, it appears today as a tribute to Manny Charlton, who died last month. He enjoyed success with Nazareth in the 1970s.


Matt Pennell said...

If only the fully-justified policy of ignoring Scottish acts continued into the 80s and 90s we wouldn't have been subjected to The Proclaimers, Deacon Blue or Runrig.

It's good they signed the contract somewhere really glamorous though!

Jonathan Calder said...

This blog supports The Proclaimers and Runrig - I saw the latter play Portree town hall (more of a village hall really) when I was on holiday on Skye.

When I bought Joni Mitchell's Blue I wondered why the song This Flight Tonight seemed so familiar. It was because Nazareth's cover of it had been a hit in the early Seventies.