Back on Sunday, February 17th 1991, I had the thrill of having the Beverley Sisters live on IW Radio's John Hannam Meets. At the end of their slot, I asked them to choose a record by their favourite current singer. In total harmony, they all said Marti Pellow and predicted a long and successful career for him. At that time he was the lead singer of Wet Wet Wet. How right they were.
Twenty eight years later I finally caught up with him at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, where he's starring this Christmas as Captain Hook, in Peter Pan. I had met him briefly once before at London's famous Pineapple Dance Studio, when I was there to interview Emma Barton. They were rehearsing for a forthcoming show and he arrived just as I was about to leave. We exchanged a few quick words and he even told me he was not keen on doing interviews. How times had changed when I met him last month. It was a welcoming hug and then a non-stop 30 minute interview. He even told me he'd fallen in love with the Isle of Wight. More of that later.
It's no surprise that Marti's career has lasted 37 years - and there's a lot more to come. His early influences in music must have helped his eventual journey into being such an all round entertainer. His parents loved the songs of Bacharach and David and he became aware of great musicians like Nelson Riddle and Bill Evans. Marti's personal heroes included Elvis, Johnny Cash, Sam Cooke and Anthony Newley. Later he met and worked with others like BB King, Rufus Thomas and the legendary Sam Phillips of Sun Records fame, who discovered Presley.
Back in 1982, Marti was a Scottish painter and decorator and he formed his own group, Vortex Motion, who sang anything their audience wanted to hear, including Clash covers. They became Wet Wet Wet and went on to enjoy 26 chart hits and eight Top Ten albums.
Did he have a dream before the band became world famous?
"When I first saw David Bowie, I knew I wanted to be a singer. I had dreamed of being on stage at Madison Square Garden and being on Top of the Pops. All the other guys in the band also shared my vision," Marti said.