Pop Archives

The Strangers - Melanie Makes Me Smile (1970)

(Tony Macaulay - Barry Mason)
Australia Australia
#16 Sydney #9 Melbourne #7 Brisbane #3 Adelaide #30 Perth

Single on Fable label.

The Strangers: Melbourne band, formed in 1961, started out playing instrumentals after the fashion of The Shadows but went through several stylistic and personnel changes until breaking up in the mid-70s. The Strangers backed numerous local and Australian artists, notably Colin Cook with whom they released the LP Colin Cook and the Strangers (1964). In 1966 they became resident backing band on the TV pop show Go!!.

One of The Strangers' better known alumni is John Farrar, who joined British post-Shadows guitar group Marvin, Welch and Farrar and later produced and wrote for Olivia Newton-John. In Grease (1978), Olivia performed You're The One That I Want and Hopelessly Devoted To You, John Farrar's additional songs for the movie version of the musical.

Founding member Peter Robinson, who was earlier with The Thunderbirds, was also an active producer, arranger and session musician, and went on to replace Athol Guy in The Seekers from the late 70s.

See also Cry Of The Wild Goose (1963, an early instrumental), If You Gotta Make A Fool Of Somebody (1965), Western Union (1967), Happy Without You (1968), Looking Through The Eyes Of A Beautiful Girl (1970) and Mr President (1970).

References: Ian McFarlane's Encyclopedia of Australian Rock & Pop. Privately published 2000 biography of The Strangers by Geoff Jermy with Peter Robinson.

Tony Burrows - Melanie Makes Me Smile (1970)

(Tony Macaulay - Barry Mason)
Original version
#87 USA

Tony Burrows was one of the most recorded session singers in Britain during the late 60s and early 70s. In 1970 he had four hits under four different band names including Gimme Dat Ding by The Pipkins, his duo with Roger Greenaway. His credits include Tossing And Turning by The Ivy League (1965), Let’s Go To San Francisco by The Flowerpot Men (1967), Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) by Edison Lighthouse (1970), My Baby Loves Lovin’ by White Plains (1970), United We Stand by Brotherhood of Man (1970) and Beach Baby by First Class (1974). He also sang on early albums by Elton John and did session work with Cliff Richard in the 70s.

Further reading: Alwyn J. Turner’s Tony Burrows page at Glitter Suits & Platform Boots, and there’s an interview with Tony Burrows at Pop Entertainment.com.

Hiroshi Asada’s comprehensive Voice of Tony Burrows webpages include a comprehensive discography.

Tony Macaulay and Barry Mason were both prolific songwriters of the era. Their best-known collaboration is Edison Lighthouse’s 1970 hit (featuring Tony Burrows) Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes).

Tony Macaulay’s songwriting credits include Long John Baldry’s Let The Heartaches Begin (1967, with John MacLeod), The Foundations’ Baby Now That I’ve Found You (1967, with John MacLeod) and Build Me Up Buttercup (1968, with Mike D’Abo), The Paper Dolls’ Something Here In My Heart (1968, with John MacLeod), The Hollies’ Sorry Suzanne (1969, with Geoff Stephens), and Pickettywitch’s That Same Old Feeling (1970, with John Macleod). See Hiroshi Asada’s Tony Macaulay Song List.

Barry Mason often wrote with Les Reed. Their collaborations include The Fortunes’ Here It Comes Again (1965), Engelbert Humperdink’s The Last Waltz (1967) and Les Bicyclettes De Belsize (1968), and Tom Jones’s Delilah (1968).

Terry Williams - Melanie Makes Me Smile (1972)

(Tony Macaulay - Barry Mason)
Later version

Single on Verve. Briefly squeezed into the Cashbox Top 100, December 1972.