- Tony Christie
Infobox musical artist
Name = Tony Christie
Img_capt = Tony Christie
Img_size = 250px
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Anthony Fitzgerald
Born = birth date|1943|25|4|mf=y
Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, UK
Conisbrough, South Yorkshire, UK
Instrument = Vocals
Years_active = 1970-present
URL = [http://www.tonychristie.com TonyChristie.com]
Tony Christie (born Anthony Fitzgerald,
25 April 1943) is an English male singerfrom Conisbrough, South Yorkshire. His mother was English and his father came from IrelandFact|date=May 2008.
He had two Top Twenty hits in the
UK Singles Chartin 1971 with " I Did What I Did For Maria", which reached #2 and " Is This the Way to Amarillo", which peaked at #18. He also had a minor hit with "Avenues & Alleyways" which reached #37, the theme to the televisionseries " The Protectors". His early songs were dramatic big-voiced numbers, many of which were written by ?and Peter Callendar.
Album wise he recorded regularly throughout the seventies and made infrequent appearances on the charts. His album 'With Loving Feeling' sold well boosted by the hit single
Is This The Way to Amarillo. He recorded an album in America in 1973 with top producer Snuff Garrettwhich did little to stop his commercial slant. A live album followed which sold relatively better. But by the mid 1970s recorded work became rarer and stage work took preference.
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" but came third in the national contest to select an entrant, behind eventual contest winners
Brotherhood of Man.
Although his popularity waned in his native England through most of the 1980s and 1990s, he maintained a successful singing career in continental
Europeduring this period. This was especially so in Germany- with his songs in the Schlagerstyle - for example "Oh Mi Amor" (Oh My Love) and "We're Gonna Stay Together" (a duet with Vicky Leandros).
In 1999 he was the vocalist on the
Jarvis Cockerpenned UK Top Ten hit, "Walk Like a Panther", as recorded by the Sheffieldband, All Seeing I. His influence on a new generation of singers was further demonstrated when indie pop band Rinaldi Singsreleased a cover versionof "Avenues & Alleyways" in March 2004.
In 2002 "Is This the Way to Amarillo" was used in the TV
comedyseries " Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights", leading to a resurgence in his popularity. The song was re-released on 14 March 2005to raise money for the Comic Relief charity, and reached number one in the charts (outselling all the first release's chart run put together). This led to the biggest sales for a #1 single for the whole year, with seven weeks at number 1. It also became the longest running chart-topper since Cher's "Believe", almost 7 years earlier. The single was credited as "featuring Peter Kay", though Kay only appeared in the video; the audio track was the original 1971 issue. His album, "The Definitive Collection" also climbed to the #1 spot the following week in the UK Albums Chart, breaking records when it also came in at number one on the downloads chart.
In 2005 the Dutch singer Albert West covered the same song. This release reached #25 in the Dutch
Following the song's success Christie was awarded the freedom of
Amarillo, Texas, and made a guest appearance on the Yorkshirebased British TV soap opera, " Emmerdale".
A few months later he re-released another single "Avenues & Alleyways", as a follow-up to the success of "Amarillo". Although this only reached #26 on the UK Singles Chart, it once again out-performed the original release, which reached #37 in 1973.
Following on from this success Christie released a new single on
5 December 2005, a big bandcover 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. However, it only reached #49 on the UK Chart.
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?" on
29 May 2006, reaching #8 in the UK. [http://www.noblepr.co.uk/Press_Releases/gut/tony_england.htm] . On 6 November 2006Christie issued a new album, called "Simply in Love".
Christie recently finished recording a new album with production from
Richard Hawley- and contributions from Alex Turnerand Jarvis Cocker, and on 20th May 2008 he performed one of the songs (possibly called 'Danger Is A Woman In Love') onstage at the Royal Albert Hall during Hawley's show.
Other hit singles
I Did What I Did For Maria"
Don`t Go Down To Reno"
Is this the way to Amarillo"
With loving Feeling
From America with Love
Im not in love
Simply in love
* [http://www.tonychristie.com Official website]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/southyorkshire/toby/tony_christie/index.shtml Interview on BBC Radio Sheffield]
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