2005-10-07

Martell's Comeback

In her heyday, Ms.Lena Martell drew television audiences in excess of 12 million and her signature tune, 'One Day At A Time', sold 2.5 million copies. After an absence of 26 years, the Glasgow-born singer is returning to the stage in her home town tomorrow night -- 2005-10-08. It was over 40 years ago when Ms.Martell won a recording contract at the age of 17 with her first single, 'Love Can Be', in 1961. She went on to conquer the United States of America, working alongside the likes of Ms.Barbra Streisand and Ms.Liza Minelli...
'One Day At A Time' was a massive hit and stayed at number one for 36 weeks in the British charts and spent five weeks at number one in four countries.
But in 1979, Ms.Martell lost her voice when standing in for Ms.Streisand in the Broadway musical 'Funny Girl'. Her career was affected after she was diagnosed with nodules on her vocal chords, which proved to be cancerous. Despite her years of success, Ms.Martell admitted to being 'terrified' at the prospect of walking on to the stage at 'The Royal Concert Hall' tomorrow. She said:
'Because I was in people's living-rooms for ten years on a Saturday night, I still feel the people I meet in supermarkets are old friends. 'I'm delighted to be performing again. 'I have written some new material, which is about the shipyards in the area I come from, which could be described as social comment set to music. 'I have a 14-date tour lined up, as well as a new album out this month.'
Despite her health scares, the singer insists that she is now fully fit. That she will sing again is impressive as Ms.Martell's life has been touched by tragedy. Her stunning voice propelled her to stardom, taking her from the tough Possilpark area of Glasgow, where she began singing as an 11-year-old in older brother Allan's Dixie band, and on to the international stage after she won a recording contract at 17 that led to her first smash hit back in 1961. Behind the scenes, however, there was sadness. Allan was killed by a drunk driver at the age of 22, leaving Ms.Martell devastated and uncertain as to whether she should even carry on in music. In her sorrow, she grew closer to band member Mr.Gordon Cameron, whom she describes as her 'first love', but then lost him, too, when he suffered a brain haemorrhage. 'The Lena Martell Show' on BBC1 drew regular audiences of more than 12 million during its ten-year run from 1972 and Ms.Martell regularly topped the bill at 'The London Palladium'. She took America by storm, too, singing on Broadway and sharing stages with the likes of Ms.Bette Midler. She has recorded over 30 albums and was voted 'British Television Personality of the Year' for four consecutive years. And now she has the chance to get back on stage and entertain once more. 'Martell to take one day at a time once more', Edward Black, The Scotsman, 2005-10-07, Fr

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