1969 Mary Hopkin – Goodbye
Mary Hopkin was born in Wales. After years of singing lessons, she joined the folksinging group Selby Set and Mary. She won on an episode of the BBC television show Opportunity Knocks in 1968. The Uber-thin model Twiggy told Paul McCartney about the winning performance, and Paul signed Mary to a contract with the new Apple Records label.
Gene Raskin’s wife was a folk singer, and he wrote new English lyrics with his wife for Dorogoi dlinnoyu, a Russian song from the 1920s. He promoted the song to The Limeliters, a folk trio that included Glenn Yarbrough. They included their recording on an album in 1962, but never released it as a single.
Gene and his wife appeared annually at the Blue Angel club in London and usually closed the show with the song. Paul McCartney heard the song at one of the shows, and tried unsuccessfully to get several artists to record the song.
One of the first recordings Paul produced for Mary was a cover version of Those Were The Days, which topped the UK chart in 1968. The single only reached #2 on the Hot 100 in the US, but it topped the Adult Contemporary chart for over a month.
Paul wrote and produced Mary’s next single (although he credited it to Lennon-McCartney as was normal for the pair at that time). Goodbye peaked at only #13 on the Hot 100 and #6 on the AC chart in 1969, although it reached #2 on the UK chart.
Mary’s third single covered Temma Harbour, a song by Philamore Lincoln. The record was not produced by Paul; it barely reached the top forty on the Hot 100, peaking at #39.
Paul pressured Mary into recording a cover of the Doris Day hit, Que Sera Sera. Mary refused to release the song as a single in the UK, and it stalled at #77 on the Hot 100 when it was released in the US.
Mary sang Knock Knock, Who’s There in the 1970 Eurovision competition, and finished second. The single reached #2 in the UK and #11 on the AC chart, but could not do any better than #92 on the Hot 100.
Mary married Tony Visconti, who also produced her second album in 1971. He also produced several albums for David Bowie, and Mary sang some background vocals for David and Tom Paxton and other artists in the mid-seventies. She and Tony divorced in 1981.
Mary retired from singing for a few years to begin raising a family. She began recording albums again in 1989. She released her most recent album, A Christmas Chorale, in 2020.
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