Noddy Holder

Noddy Holder
Noddy Holder

Holder in 1973.
Background information
Birth name Neville John Holder
Born 15 June 1946 (1946-06-15) (age 65)
Walsall, Staffordshire, England
Genres Glam rock, hard rock
Occupations Singer-songwriter, actor, musician, writer, television & radio broadcaster, voice over artist
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1966–present
Associated acts Slade, Dave Hill
Notable instruments
Fender Telecaster,
Gibson SG Junior,
Ovation Deacon
John Birch Cherry Red Gibson SG

Neville John "Noddy" Holder MBE (born 15 June 1946, Walsall, Staffordshire, England)[1] is an English musician and actor, best known as the lead vocalist, rhythm guitarist, and occasional bass guitarist with the rock band Slade.

Holder co-wrote most of Slade's material with bassist, occasional keyboard player and violinist Jim Lea. Holder has been praised for his distinctive vocal style. Despite having a passion for tartan he is known for his hatred of the bagpipes.[citation needed]


Early life and career

The son of a window cleaner, Holder passed the Eleven plus exam and attended a grammar school for a year until it closed.[1] He then attended the new T. P. Riley Comprehensive School and passed 6 GCE O-level exams.[2] He had formed a group called The Rockin' Phantoms with school friends at the age of 13 and with money earned from a part time job, he bought a guitar and an amplifier.[2] Holder turned professional with a band called Steve Brett & the Mavericks in the early 60s. They made four singles for Columbia Records.

He was born in the Caldmore area, near Walsall town centre, but moved to the Beechdale council estate in the north of the town as a child during the early 1950s.


In 1966 Don Powell (drummer) persuaded Holder to join The 'NBetweens. The group already included guitarist / bass guitarist Dave Hill and bass guitarist / keyboard player / violinist / songwriter Jim Lea and the four of them went on to eventually become Slade, one of Britain's top selling rock bands worldwide. The sheer power of Holder's rock vocals has rarely been equalled, but Slade also recorded some sensational ballads,"Everyday" & "How Does It Feel?" in particular being widely acclaimed.

Lea and Holder turned out to be the group's most successful song-writing partnership, composing almost all of the band's songs.The band clocked up 40 hit singles and released well over twenty albums in their 25 year career as the original line - up.

Slade are best remembered for the single "Merry Xmas Everybody"[3] written by Holder and Lea. Holder recorded the single with Slade in 1973, and the song became the band's sixth number one and the third Slade single to go straight in at number one in the UK chart.[4] "Merry Xmas Everybody" has remained seasonally popular ever since and is a festive classic. It is regularly voted the most popular Xmas song of all time. To date, in the UK alone, sales of this song have exceeded several million copies.[4]

In late 1983, Holder and Lea produced Girlschool's cover of the T-Rex song "20th Century Boy" and the album "Play Dirty" which featured two Slade tracks "Burning in the Heat of Love" and "High and Dry".[5] The "High and Dry" track was originally written for Girlschool but still appeared on Slade's album that same year.[6] Lea also produced the Holder/Lea penned "Simple Love" for the actress and model Sue Scadding. Initially the song was intended for Slade but no version by the band is known to exist. [7] The b-side was another Holder and Lea composition, "Poland", which Lea released as a single himself the year before under the name Greenfields of Tong. In 1985, Holder co-wrote, and sang backing vocals on, the single "Citizen Kane" which Lea released under his own name.[8]

In 1988, Holder recorded "Tear Into the Weekend" for a Pepsi commercial in Canada. Also in that year, the hard rock band Chrome Molly released "Shooting Me Down", a song written by Holder and Lea. The single was unsuccessful.[9] The band held their third official fan club convention at Drummonds Convention, King's Cross, London.[10]

In 1989 Holder joined Dave Hill's newly formed group Blessings in Disguise which also featured, Ex-Wizzard keyboard player, Bill Hunt, Craig Fenney and Bob Lamb.[11] The debut single, released in 1989 for the Christmas market was a cover of The Everly Brothers "Crying in the Rain" , backed by a Hill/Hunt composition, "Wild Nights".[12] The record was a commercial failure. The band also recorded a cover of the Elvis Presley song "A Fool Such As I" which wasn't released.[13][14] The final single, "Chance to Be" was composed by Daniel Somers and Colin Baines and unlike the first single, did not feature Holder on vocals but little known female vocalist. The b-side was a track written by Hill entitled "You're the Reason that I'm Strong". Released in 1990, the single was a charity record intended to raise money for Queen Alexandra College for the Blind in Birmingham.

Post Slade career

Since his departure from Slade in 1991, Noddy has appeared on hundreds of TV shows, most notably the ITV comedy/drama series The Grimleys (1996–2001) as classical music teacher Neville Holder, which ran until 2001.[15] For the series, Holder recorded acoustic versions of the Slade songs "Coz I Luv You", "Cum On Feel the Noize" and "Mama Weer All Crazee Now".[16]

He had his own radio shows on Piccadilly 1152 and Key 103 in Manchester,which were syndicated around the country in the 1990s, then on Century and Capital Radio syndication from 2000 to 2004.

Holder also presented 31 episodes of Noddy's Electric Ladyland, a surreal television quiz show. He was a team captain in BBC1's music series A Question of Pop[1] and was immortalised as a puppet character Banger on the TV show Bob the Builder.

In 1999 Holder's autobiography, Who's Crazee Now?, was published by Ebury. Updated in paperback in 2001 it is still available online.

Noddy was awarded the MBE in 2000 honours list for his services to showbusiness. In his 50th year the singer was the subject of the This Is Your Life TV show.[1]

On 8 December 2000, Holder made a cameo appearance on the live episode of Granada Television's Coronation Street, as a character called Stan, saving the cobbles from being replaced on the street. This helped mark the 40th anniversary of the soap.[17]

Holder's voice is famously used in the lift announcements at the Walsall New Art Gallery.

In November 2004, Noddy made a guest appearance in Peter Kay's Max and Paddy's Road to Nowhere - where he played a garage mechanic called Mick Bustin.

Also for the past 20 years Holder has voiced, sang and appeared in many adverts for TV, film and radio worldwide. From 2005 Holder has appeared in an advertisement campaign for Nobby's Nuts and Crisps.[18]

In 2006, Holder made a guest appearance in a music video for the Misty's Big Adventure single, "Fashion Parade".[19][20] Holder also occasionally appeared on the BBC show Grumpy Old Men.[21] Holder is a regular TV critic and reviewer for The Radcliffe and Maconie Show on BBC Radio 2, and the three often talk about rock star gossip from all eras. Radcliffe often refers to Holder as 'Sir Nodward of Holdershire'.

Holder was the third celebrity to be inducted onto the Birmingham Walk of Stars. 27,000 people turned out to his induction ceremony, which took place on 9 December 2007 at Birmingham's 2007 Canal Boat Light Parade.[22][23]

For Christmas 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011 Noddy has recorded a TV show countdown of hit Christmas tunes.

Holder also made an appearance on a Xmas edition of BBC's humorous news quiz show, Have I Got News for You as a member of Paul Merton's team.

In January 2010 Holder and his wife appeared on All Star Mr. and Mrs. on ITV where they won the £30,000 jackpot for charity.

Personal life

Noddy married TV producer Suzan Price in 2004, with whom he has a son, Django (named after Django Reinhardt). From his previous marriage, to Leandra, Holder has two daughters, Jessica and Charisse.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Noddy Holder (1999). Noddy Holder - Who's Crazee Now?. Ebury Press. ISBN 0-09-187503-X. 
  2. ^ a b Slade: Feel the Noize! an Illustrated Biography by John Charlesworth, (1984), Omnibus Press, ISBN 0-7119-0538-X
  3. ^ All-Time Biggest Hits about Christmas and The Festive Season, a list of hits about the festive season,
  4. ^ a b Merry Xmas Everybody - Slade, Sold on Song, BBC Radio 2.
  5. ^ "discografia_ingles". Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  6. ^ "Girlschool - Play Dirty at Discogs". Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  7. ^ "Sue Scadding". SLADE40YEARS. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  8. ^ "Jimmy Lea* - Citizen Kane (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  9. ^ "Artists :: CHROME MOLLY". MusicMight. 2009-08-10. Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  10. ^ "Dave Kemp and Slade website - Conventions". Retrieved 2011-08-10. 
  11. ^ 7" vinyl single of Crying in the Rain sleeve notes
  12. ^ "Blessings In Disguise Featuring Noddy Holder And Dave Hill - Crying In The Rain / Wild Nights - Mooncrest - DISGUISE 1". 45cat. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  13. ^
  14. ^ Slade International Fan Club newsletter July - August - September 1989
  15. ^ The Grimleys (TV Series 1999–2001) - IMDb
  16. ^ "Slade - Weer All Crazee Noddy Holder". Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  17. ^ "Noddy to make Street cameo, BBC". BBC News. 2000-12-05. Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  18. ^ "Noddy Holder". UK TV Adverts. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  19. ^ "Misty's Big Adventure (Featuring Noddy Holder) - Fashion Parade / Crumpled Up Guy - Sunday Best - SBESTS 40". 45cat. 2011-01-16. Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  20. ^ "Sunday Best-Releases:Misty'S Big Adventure - Fashion Parade - Feat. Noddy Holder". Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  21. ^ "Noddy Holder Agent | Book Noddy Holder Speaker | Hire Noddy Holder as a Presenter for your event through Prime Performers UK". Retrieved 2011-07-15. 
  22. ^ Elkes, Neil (2007-10-31). "Noddy to get a Broad Street star - Birmingham Mail". Retrieved 2011-11-04. 
  23. ^ "BBC Black Country - Noddy gets his star". Retrieved 2011-11-04. 

External links

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