I first met Al Matthews while I was assisting Joe Robinson at the Memorabilia Show in Birmingham in March 2007. Al is a very nice man.
Al Matthews comments:
"I was born in Kings County hospital, Brooklyn New York, on the 21st of November 1942. The first time I ever laid eyes on a stage, I was on it. I remember it was church thing. I was four years old; I was involved in a ‘Mock Wedding’. I was the groom; another little girl was the bride. I don’t remember the whole ceremony, and every thing that took place, but I do remember the sound of applause. I got hooked on the sound of hands clapping, and have been ever since.
Yes, you have my number; I am an ‘applause junkie.’ I enjoy making people smile. I spent six years in the United States Marine Corps; I hold thirteen combat awards and decorations, including two purple hearts. I was the first black marine in the first marine division in Viet Nam, to be meritorious promoted to the rank of sergeant; I served with Kilo battery, fourth battalion, 11th Marines, First Marine Division, of that I am very proud.
In 1971 I arrived in the UK, with only a guitar, I worked as a folk singer, and I was introduced to a guy named Pierre Tubbs. Pierre wrote a song for me called ‘Fool’, which became a top ten hit in more then fifteen countries in Europe. Pierre and I have been writing together ever since. Of that I am proud.
I was the first black voice on England’s national station, ‘Radio 1’, I take pride in that. I worked for London’s ‘Capital’, for ten years, where I hosted many programs, among then my award winning program, ‘WHEN THE SPIRIT MOVES’, that show won ‘best gospel music’ program six years running. I love people!"
Visit Al Matthews official website
Text written and published by Anders Frejdh in April, 2007