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Tony Christie

Anthony Fitzgerald born in the UK in 1943 was a big star in the 1970s, and then he perhaps was even bigger in the 2000’s after releasing a charity single with Peter Kay called Is This The Way To Amarillo.

In his career Tony has sold over ten million units and started in 1971 with a UK called Las Vegas which is largely forgotten these days. But the next single was probably one of his most popular singles ever. The song I Did What I Did for Maria which pushed through to No.2 in the UK and was written by Mitch Murray and Peter Callandar. Basically what it says in the lyric. It’s written from the viewpoint of a man who has been sentenced to death for killing the man who killed his wife Maria. “When he did what he did to Maria” would tend to suggest she was raped as well.

The follow up single was the classic I Did What I Did For Maria which was written by songwriter and performer Neil Sedaka, and co-written by Howard Greenfield who died in 1986. The song is all about a man trying to get to Amarillo to see his girlfriend. Why Amarillo? Well the simple answer is that it rhymed with the words Pillow and Willow in the lyrics.

1973 saw a new TV show called The Protectors going out on ITV staring and Robert Vaughan. The theme came from Tony and was called Avenues And Alleyways. Although it is a great song, it only reached No. 37. Only one more top forty hit came in 1976 with Drive Safely Darling.

So the 70s may have finished but Tony still had top ten hits in 1999, 2005 and 2006.

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