His unmistakable singing style had developed after years of hard graft as a dance-band vocalist, He became one of the stand out vocalists of the ‘50s and one of a small band of singers who can be identified immediately his voice is heard. The singularity of performance coupled with his delightfully relaxed approach and carefree treatment was possibly the secret of his success.
Holliday made his first public appearance as a singer when his ship docked in New York and he entered a talent contest and won on the stage of Radio City Music Hall, one of the world’s famous and largest theatres. On his return to Britain and his release from the Navy, Michael obtained work as a singer / guitarist with Eric Winstone’s Band, touring the UK holiday camps. Signing a record contract with Columbia in 1955. During the next couple of years he covered several U.S. hits which began the start of a string of hits throughout the 1950s.
Since his debut on Columbia in 1955, his relaxed voice won him a tremendous following. Shortly after his first record he became the resident singer on T.V.’s ‘More Contrary’ programme, and viewers were able to see that the easy-going voice perfectly suited this charming man. Back in 1955 he was hailed as a thrilling new voice, and his velvety smoothness of tone, ease of diction, and impeccable phrasing was likened to the best work of Bing Crosby and Dean Martin.
“The Story Of My Life” sold more than half a million copies as a single and was included on the “Melody Mike” EP along with three other of his best numbers, bundling together four big tunes. On “Mike (And The Other Fella)” EP the tracks followed a popular routine he did on his BBC T.V. ‘Relax With Michael Holliday’ series, where he would wonder over to a tape recorder and harmonize with his previously recorded voice, so on these track we get two Mikes for the price of one.
On another EP he performed ragtime versions of some classic favourites, the songs seeming tailor made to his easygoing style. And there is “Memories Of Mike” which feature a showcase tribute by his record label who he recorded for from August 1955 until his last recording session exactly one week before his death on 29th October 1963.
These ‘Extended Play’ sides will evoke nostalgic memories, not only from the music of the day but fond memories of the EP’s they came from