An interview with Mary Hopkin

New Accessions / News - Posted 27-01-2011

On October 29th last year, at the Gate venue Cardiff, I interviewed a great lady, great songwriter and an awesome voice. The lady’s name is Mary Hopkin, yes the lady who brought us such joy as “Those were the days”, “Knock knock who’s there”, “Aderyn Llwyd”, “Earth song” and a wonderful version of “Streets of London”. I have been a fan of hers since I heard her distinctive voice in my teens, in the early 1980’s.

This interview has been the product of careful diplomacy with Mary’s daughter, Jessica Lee Morgan, and I thank her on behalf of the Archive for her help in this. Mary is very cautious of the media and interview requests in general and so to have the chance to meet and talk to Mary was simply brilliant. I was determined to interview Mary for the Archive to have an unedited (in her own words) recorded item of her whole career.

I have to admit, whilst waiting for the right time, I was nervous and unsure, but I shouldn’t have feared. When Jessica introduced me to Mary all the pre-notions went away. Mary was very welcoming, hospitable and talkative.

The interview lasted just under half an hour, spanning her first singing experience at home  right up to the evening’s main focus – showcasing her daughter’s album release and concert. The interview was free flowing, I stayed away from asking too many questions about Opportunity Knocks, the Apple Records years and The Beatles.

Seeing Mary visibly and enthusiastically supporting her children; her son Morgan as well as daughter Jessica was very humbling. Recent re-releases of her studio albums have dominated media coverage of Mary but on this particular night it was all about Jessica’s album “I am not” and Mary and Morgan’s collaboration album “You look familiar” concentrated the mind on the here and now.

A public performance by Mary Hopkin might not be on the cards but I’m very heartened to see that the song writing, lyrics and the talented voice have not abandoned her.

The National Screen and Sound Archive is proud to collect Mary’s, Morgan’s and Jessica’s musical discography and I would like to thank Jessica, Morgan and the band for a wonderful concert and thank Mary herself for agreeing to be interviewed. This interview is now available at the Archive.

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