Creative and Dreams Music Network and Fred Cannon are proud to honor the achievements of legendary record producer Mickie Most.
Mickie Most was born Michael Hayes on June 20, 1938 in Aldershot, England. Influenced by skiffle and early rock and roll, he formed his first band, Mickie Hayes and the Most, at the age of 17. While working as a singing waiter at a London coffee bar, Mickie befriended his future business partner Peter Grant and founded a singing group with Alex Murray. They called themselves The Most Brothers, and recorded “Takes a Whole Lotta Loving to Keep My Baby Happy” with Decca Records. They toured with Cliff Richard and the Drifters, The Kalin Twins and others before disbanding.
In 1959 Mickie married South African born Christina Fusco, whom he had met in London. The newlyweds settled in Johannesburg, and Mickie formed the group Mickie Most and the Playboys. He recorded a single for Decca entitled “Flip, Flop and Fly/Don’t Be a Fool” before Trutone signed him to their indigenous Rave label. On May 18, 1959, Mickie recorded his first single “Give Me More/Rumours” for Trutone’s Rave label. A six track EP on the Renown label was issued in quick succession. Mickie started 1960 with the single “Shivering with Cold/I’m in Love,” and in April of the same year “I Need the Money/Make Love to Me” was issued. In 1961 Mickie went to the UK to sign Cene Vincent to tour South Africa with him and the Playboys. The media labeled Mickie “South Africa’s Hottest Impresario” when he confirmed that Gene accepted the offer to travel to South Africa for five shows in May of that year. Mickie Most and the Playboys amassed 11 consecutive #1 hits on the South African charts, and Mickie became known as South Africa’s first rock star.
Returning to Britain in 1962, Mickie found himself in the middle of an R&B revolution. Looking for a group to produce, he discovered the Animals in a Newcastle club. He produced their first single, “Baby, Let Me Take You Home,” which reached #21 on the UK charts. The Animals’ follow up single, “House of the Rising Sun,” became a worldwide smash that catapulted the group to stardom and earned Mickie credibility. He also produced “I’m Into Something Good” for Herman’s Hermits, which went to #1 on the charts. The album sold ten million copies in 12 months and challenged the Beatles in popularity in the U.S. In 1964, Most produced Brenda Lee’s “Is It True” and “What’d I Say.” “Is It True” became a hit in the U.S. and received a gold record. “What’d I Say” achieved success throughout Europe. In 1966, Most produced Donovan’s widely acclaimed Sunshine Superman album. He also produced Lulu’s “To Sir, With Love,” “Boom Bang-a-Bang,” and others. Other hits included the Nashville Teens’ “Tobacco Road,” The Seekers’ “Days of My Life” and “Love is Kind, Love is Wine” and Nancy Sinatra’s “The Highway Song.” To date, Mickie’s record productions have topped the 200 million mark.
In 1969, Mickie formed RAK Records, RAK Management and RAK Publishing with his business partner Peter Grant. With RAK Records, MIckie’s successes continued. He produced Julie Felix’s hit “El Condor Pasa” and Mary Hopkin’s 1970 Eurovision Song Contact entry “Knock, Knock Who’s There?” In 1970, he signed Suzi Quatro to a recording contract. Mud, CCS, Angie Miller, Chris Spedding, Hot Chocolate, Arrows, Smokie and Kim Wilde also joined RAK Records. RAK scored several UK #1 hit singles with Mud and Suzi Quatro’s “Can the Can” and “Devil Gate Drive.” Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America” reached #2 in the UK and #25 on the U.S. Billboard chart.
In 1973, 14 out of 18 released were hits. RAK continued to produce a constant stream of hits throughout the 70s and 80s.
In the fall of 1976 RAK Records moved into an imposing Victorian schoolhouse and church hall that had been converted into a state-of-the-art recording studio complex with full residential facilities. The very first record produced at the recording studio was Hot Chocolate’s “Put Your Love in Me.” The studio has seen continued success with a stream of major artists from Paul McCartney to Simply Red. Other artists who have used the studio to record include Robert Plant and Jimmy Page, Robert Palmer, Brand New Heavies, The Pogues, New Order, Jimmy Somerville and Galliano. Mickie’s son Calvin was a member of the band Johnny Hates Jazz who recorded their number one album at RAK Studios.
In addition to work as a record producer and label boss, Mickie also appeared as a judge on Granada Television’s New Faces, a predecessor to today’s X factor and Pop Idol. He also produced the cult TV show Revolver, which showcased many unknown acts that would later become major artists.
In 1986, Mickie sold RAK label to EMI and concentrated on managing the publishing catalogue and the studios. The recording studios have continued be as popular as ever with today’s contemporary artists, and RAK Publishing continues to be successful many years after the copyright’s original releases. RAK Publishing also continues to sign new artists and writers.
On May 30, 2003, Mickie passed away at his London home at the age of 64.
For more information about Mickie Most, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“It all starts with a creative dream.” -Fred Cannon