Tony Christie

English musician, actor and Singer Tony Christie was born 25 April 1943. He is best known for his track, “Is This the Way to Amarillo”. He has sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. He had two Top Twenty hits in the UK Singles Chart in 1971 with “I Did What I Did for Maria”, and “Is This the Way to Amarillo”, He also had a minor hit with “Avenues and Alleyways” the theme to the television series The Protectors. “Is This the Way to Amarillo” sold more than one million copies by September 1972, and was awarded a gold disc. His early songs were dramatic big-voiced numbers, many of which were written by Mitch Murray and Peter Callander.

He recorded albums regularly throughout the 1970s including With Loving Feeling which contained the song “Is This The Way to Amarillo”. He also recorded an album in the United States in 1973, followed by A live album. In June 1972, he was invited on the music festival, The Golden Orpheus, then in communist Bulgaria. He played the role of Magaldi on the original 1976 album recording of the musical Evita, and sought to represent the UK in the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest, with the song “The Queen of the Mardi Gras”. he maintained a successful singing career in continental Europe during this period recording four albums in Germany, including the collaboration Welcome To My Music, In 1999, he was the vocalist on the Jarvis Cocker-penned UK Top Ten hit, “Walk Like a Panther”, recorded by the Sheffield band, All Seeing I. His influence on a new generation of singers was further demonstrated when indie pop band Rinaldi Sings released a cover version of “Avenues & Alleyways”.

In 2002, “Is This the Way to Amarillo” was used in the TV comedy series Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, leading to a resurgence in his popularity. The song was re-released on 14 March 2005 to raise money for the Comic Relief charity, And became the longest running chart-topper since Cher’s “Believe”, almost seven years earlier. The single was credited as “featuring Peter Kay”, though Kay only appeared in the video; the audio track was the original 1971version. In 2005 Christie re-recorded “Amarillo” together with the Hermes House Band for the German market, Following the song’s success, Christie was awarded the freedom of Amarillo, Texas, and made a guest appearance on the Yorkshire based TV soap opera, Emmerdale. To follow up the success of Amarillo he re-released another single “Avenues & Alleyways”, Following on from this success, Christie released a big band cover of Slade’s “Merry Xmas Everybody”. The B-side contained a big band version of “Is This the Way to Amarillo” and a live recording of “If It Feels Good, Do It” plus videos of the first two tracks. To coincide with the 2006 World Cup, a new version of “Amarillo” was released on the novelty single “(Is This The Way To) The World Cup?” Christie also released the album, Simply in Love. In 2008 Christie recorded the album, Made in Sheffield, with contributions from Alex Turner and Jarvis Cocker. On 20 May 2008, he performed one of the album’s songs, “Danger Is A Woman In Love”, at the Royal Albert Hall with Hawley. 2009 saw the release of the download single, “Every Word She Said”. The same year, Christie also featured in “Heresy”, with his nephew’s band Laruso, which was released on their début album A Classic Case of Cause and Effect.

In July 2010 Christie made his West End début in the musical Dreamboats and Petticoats Playing the roles of ‘Older Bobby’ and ‘Phil’. On 22 December 2010, Christie appeared in a celebrity version of Come Dine with Me. Christie’s nineteenth studio album, Now’s the Time!, was released in the UK in 2011 And included collaborations with Jarvis Cocker and Róisín Murphy. To coincide with 50 years in the music industry, Christie embarked on a 50-date national tour promoting the new album and also sang his back catalogue of hits including Avenues and Alleyways, Las Vegas, Walk Like A Panther, a version of Mr Bojangles made famous by Sammy Davis Jr. and a cover of the Smokey Robinson hit Shop Around. On 23 October 2011, Christie released a charity single, a special arrangement of “Steal The Sun” in aid of the Help for Heroes Charity, supporting all of the British Forces fighting on the frontline in Afghanistan, with all proceeds going to the charity and From December 2011 Christie appeared in pantomime at The Theatre Royal, Windsor as the King.

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