Back in 1978 Mick Coleman received the prestigious Ivor Novello songwriting award for Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs. Although it eventually went on to be a No.1 hit, remaining at the top of the charts for three weeks and becoming one of the year's best selling singles, the nostalgic L.S Lowry tribute began life as a poem.
Fast forward to 2023, Mick has finally published some of the 'secret stash' of poems and a children's story which he had hidden away for decades and almost forgotten...
Mick originally sang Matchstalk Men with long time friend Brian Burke. They had performed locally as the music and comedy duo Burke and Jerk but changed to Brian and Michael. Another friend Kevin Parrott immediately saw the song's potential, inviting Tintwistle Brass Band and St Winifred's School choir from Heaton Mersey to join them on the record which he produced at Pluto Studios in Stockport in 1977. It was several months later in the spring of 1978 that the single finally took off - the rest is history.....
You can read more about Brian and Michael... and Kevin on our 1978 nostalgia page in the Tameside Reporter:
Mick recently came to our studios at Tameside Radio to talk about the collection of poems and the children's story book he has recently published - read my review in the Tameside Reporter and Glossop Chronicle here:
You can also hear me in conversation with Mick here (first broadcast on Tameside Radio ~ The Show That Time Forgot, Sunday 28-05-2023)
The book of poems 'Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs' is available from Bedford Falls Publications (£12.99):
Little Harry The Hedgehog by Michael Coleman is available online from Amazon (£9.99).