|Tony Norman Interview 1969||Mary Hopkin answers 20 questions 1970|
|Wales on Sunday 2000||The Western Mail 1998|
|Honey Magazine Interview 1982||The lost beatle interviews Geoffrey Giuliano|
|Gold Mine magazine 1995||Goldmine Interview 2007|
|Western Mail 2008|
Interview With Tony Norman, 1969
"I like pop music, but I don't sing it. Some people get to the stage
where there is nothing more important in life than their career.
I don't ever want to be like that."
Those very positive words came from Mary hopkin,
the young woman from the Welsh valleys who became
a national favourite on Opportunity Knocks. The shy blonde
who topped the charts with "Those were the days"
and found herself in the middle of the pop jungle.
People thought that she was living a part, and beyond the coy smile
and bewildered eyes lurked a cold calculating mind.
We live in a very cynical society. Surely it would be more surprising
if she had been a complete extrovert who loved meeting the press
and being blinded by the flash of photographers' cameras.
She has seen what success can do to the young as people;
how easily they can lose their identity and learn to live apart.
she said. "What I care about is singing songs I enjoy. I want to improve as
a singer, but I am not worried about the charts. I have never been very
ambitious, but things have happened to me."
As we talked, a photographer took shots of her signing endless piles
of postcards, which are to be used to promote the album.
She managed to do three things at the same time, without getting upset
or temperamental. She does such things without complaint, but she will
draw the line when she feels she is being asked to do something
completely false. Happily, she is with Apple and so is helped by
people like Paul McCartney, who know what it is like to be forced
to live a legend. She will not be forced to do things against her will.
Mary has always loved to sing. Her childhood games often revolved
around songs and beautiful stories. She remembers going to a childrens
Christmas Party at her fathers golf club when she was a four year old toddler.
She asked if she could sing a song on her own, and so she gave her
first public performance.
As a child
Her grandfather loved to hear her sing and always encouraged her.
He used to proudly take her to see his friends and she used to sing for them.
She loved every minute of it, and even when she became a little shy
a few years later, she could still be persuaded to sing to an audience.
Of course she is very nervous now before she goes onto the stage
and she feels a little lost if she is not allowed to sing with her guitar.
But the love of entertaining people is still there. "I like to see my audience,"
she told me. "On some television shows you are surrounded by cameras
and I feel a little lost. It is as if they have built a wall between me and the audience,
and I feel that I am not getting through." I asked if she had one ambition?
"I want to improve as a singer, so that people can really sense that
I mean what I am singing about. I want them to know that I am sincere.
I hope people like the new album because I care about what they think of me
I am satisfied with it because I know I have really tried."
With her long fair hair, clear blue eyes and warm smile,
Mary is a girl who is going to be loved very deeply one day.
How would love and marriage affect her career?
"If I fall in love with somebody, it will be more important than my career.
If I got married I might become an ordinary wife.
I can be perfectly happy just singing to a few people."
And so young Mary Hopkin continues to sing because she loves to sing.
She pursues her career because she is doing what she wants to do.
She cares what you and I think of her because she is real and not fabricated.
If you like Mary you like a person - not an image....
Tony Norman 1969