30 January 2014

Reupload - Mike Conway - I'm Gonna Get Me A Woman

Label: Plexium Records
Year of Release: 1968

I've said before that the reduced boxes and bins of your average second hand record store usually have a fair few sixties solo artists nesting amidst the novelty pop, three hit wonders and rejected promotional singles. The musical history books have been particularly poor at recording the comings and goings of these lone rangers unless they were folk artists - and even then, there are some shocking gaps in everybody's knowledge.

If there's any information out there about Mike Conway at all, I can't find it. On the evidence of this recording, though, he sounds like a middle of the road supper club character who obviously didn't find enormous success. "The Reign of King Sadness" is a celebratory ballad about the end of bleak times which is really quite wearisome despite its good intentions, and it's the B-side in all its "You couldn't get away with that now!" glory that I'm really interested in. "I'm Gonna Get Me A Woman" is a bold declaration of intent where, with a joyful, brassy orchestral backing, Conway assures us "I'm gonna get me a woman, yes sir/ I think that each guy should/ but I ain't gonna marry no gal/ unless she can cook real good". The year might have been 1968, and such thoughts may have already become desperately passe and offensive to some, but the mainstream of pop carried on churning out these feminist baiting lyrical corkers for years to come (as also evidenced in Moments and Whatnauts' hit "Girls" in the seventies). There's a bounce to "I'm Gonna Get Me A Woman" I find enticing, and a distinct tone of wrongness about the lyrics which seems amusing now. The confidence in Conway's voice is a noise to behold - you can imagine him skipping down the street singing the song.

Of equal interest is the production credit for David Balfe, which I can only assume isn't David Balfe out of the Teardrop Explodes unless he was some kind of studio prodigy, and the fact this came out on Plexium Records, a very early independent label which failed to take on the might of the majors, but is now extremely collectible.

(This blog entry was originally uploaded in 2009, and members of Mike Conway's family were kind enough to get in touch with me.  I've reproduced their information below:

Mike lived in North Cheam, London and was the lead singer for a local band in the sixties called The Undergrades. He also went on to sing The Riegn of..and also I'm gonna get...yes sir. He was my Fathers brother and Mikes sister was Moreen Rose a singer who played venues throughout the UK ,I believe in the late 50's. Moreen was married to Dennis Newey who was with the BBC orchestra. Mikes father was Frank Quinn OBE the Quartermaster for MI-6 who died under mysterious circumstance in the early seventies. Mike was a really great uncle and he was the singing local generation in London in the sixties. He passed away in N.Ireland some years ago at age 55.
With better lyrics and coaching he could have been truly great. The undergrades I think produced a record, I am sure of it. "Rock on Mike" Love always, your family.

Further to my brother's comments on Mike his real name was Mike Quinn and had a stint in the Army, owned a shoe shop in Belfast and was also a prison guard for a while. He was a talented man but never managed the break needed to succeed. He was a fun man and good uncle but in truth we did not see enough of him over the years. Mike was a playboy type in his younger days but when his father died I feel that Mike somewhat lost his way with music and his image. Thank you for the chance to remember Mike's music via this site. I remember having the record and playing it every so often but it got lost over the years. Nice to see a picture of it again.)


VanceMan said...

I love knowing the rest of the story. I've always been convinced everyone deserves to have one recording and one novel. It's nice to know he got 50% of his, at least.

23 Daves said...

Interesting stuff about MI6 as well! I'm pretty sure that Mike Conway must be the only person ever featured on this blog to have family links to spy networks. There's a (very bad) film script in this somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Many thank to share this single

All the best, Albert

Felonious Munk said...

There have been several films made involving a character based on Frank Quinn. "In 1956 Major Francis Quinn, the head of MI6's "Q" Ops Department and the real-life version of the long- suffering boffin in the James Bond films, was asked to inject some lethal poison into a popular brand of Egyptian chocolates.

It did not take Quinn long to figure out what was going on - MI6 planned to assassinate President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the troublesome leader of Egypt. Quinn did the job, but told his section head that he was concerned that Nasser might offer a deadly chocolate to some innocent person.

"was assured there would be no danger of this in the planned precise arrangements for donation and subsequent removal of evidence."

The chocolates were handed over, but since Nasser lived until 1970, the arrangements must have gone wrong somewhere down the line - as a lot of spy plots tend to do."http://www.hiddenmysteries.org/themagazine/vol11/articles/knightley.shtml

Anonymous said...

Hi all Mike was my father I have heard these songs as a child they were on an old cassette tape which sadly got lost. I recently visited my cousins in the us who showed me this post. Thank you got uploading all of this so interesting to read. The stuff about my grandfather is amazing I'm so sorry he passed before I was born

23 Daves said...

It's amazing stuff, isn't it? Thanks for dropping by, I'm glad you found it interesting!

Freeda Quinn said...

I think there is an amazing film script in there actually. The story of Mike Conway (Quinn)his Father (a real story) is way deeper than one may imagine. Mike was in the middle of the sixties music scene in London. He was brave enough to have a go and followed his dream. I agree one record one chance but actually there is another 45 record. The band the undergrads played in the London scene from pubs to night clubs and more. Mike was the real music (60's) lad, and his father "Q" was the real deal.
Example Frank Quinn OBE great granddaughter worked in the US for Best Buy the retail store. They had a huge promotion for the Bond movie ,it was based on non other than the character "Q" (played by John Cleese). She never told them that the actual "Q" was here great grandfather. There is so much more.............