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fatpizzaman
27-01-2010, 05:23
How many remember him? He was born Michael Hayes in 1938, had a small hit in 1959 and then moved to South Africa for a few years where he became an instant superstar with all his records hitting No.1 there.

When he returned to the UK he turned his hand to record producing for many hit artists like Lulu, Hermans Hermits, and The Animals then in 1970 formed his own independent label RAK Records which was distributed by EMI until 1988 when they folded it up. During the 70's and 80's he had tons of chart hits with bands like Smokie, MUD, Hot Chocolate, Racey, Suzi Quatro, Kenny, The Arrows, Kommotion, Steve Harley and CCS. He was quoted as saying that usually out of every 100 records that a label puts out only six will be hits. 48 of his first 100 records were major hits, 8 times the average. In 1974 he scored two no.1 hits in a row with Suzi Quatro's "Devil Gate Drive" preceding Mud's "Tiger Feet", something that had never happened for an indie label before.

His son Calvin was in the band Johnny Hates Jazz in the late 80's, and Calvin also used to date Kim Wilde who was on RAK from 1981 - 1984.

Mickie was a well known face on the show "New Faces" as a panelist and seen by some as the precursor to Simon Cowell for his rather conservative and fastidious approach to music (though he did sign the punk band The Vibrators to his label after turning down the Sex Pistols).

Sadly he died of cancer in 2003, leaving behind a rich legacy of rock and pop hits behind him. His daughter Cristalle is a member of my fan site dedicated to his label.

http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/RAK_Records

Bristol RE
21-09-2010, 22:07
Good synopsis.

He was central to that era of music (mid 60s-mid 80s).

Did he produce 'Barabajagal' for Donovan?

If so, it is one of the coolest records he was involved in.

branny
21-09-2010, 23:34
I remember him on New Faces. Knew his stuff but i'd say the vulgar Tony Hatch was closer to Cowell.

Jacqueline
22-09-2010, 07:01
I too, remember him from New Faces. I didn't know that he had died. :(