Mark Wirtz was the man behind “A Touch Of Velvet – A Sting Of Brass”. He was a very adventurous musician and attempted several streams of musical styles. On this record he used backing singers: The Lady Birds who did those wonderful Bow Wow’s. They sang on the Benny Hill Show and did backing vocals for many artists including Sandie Shaw. 2005 they worked on Mark Wirtz’s Ear Theatre album “Love is Eggshaped“: The Soundtrack. The track entitled “Withdrawal” had vocals by The Ladybirds.
“A Touch Of Velvet – A Sting Of Brass” was used by Manchester born DJ; Dave Lee Travis to introduce his radio shows, but long before that it was a MOD anthem and the signature tune to Manchester’s Twisted Wheel Club and first played there by the DJ Roger Eagle.I guess that’s where Travis heard it first. It became strongly associated with Mods in the UK. And it was an eternal favourite on the original 1960 Soul scene in the UK, particularly in Manchester. Later it was wholeheartedly adopted by the subsequent Northern Soul movement.
A Teenage Opera in which the children all sing the news that the local Grocer, Jack has died. It did well in the pop charts but the Opera itself flopped.
Excerpt from – A Teenage Opera –(AKA “Grocer Jack”) 1967 single by Keith West, was produced by Mark Wirtz.
“A Touch Of Velvet – A Sting Of Brass” was used as the theme song in 1966 for German TV’s Beat Club and as a result it became a huge hit there, and its probably due to this, that a series of releases in Europe came out from The Mood Mosaic, but had by this time little to do with Mark Wirtz. Germany as a nation is big on SOUL probably due to Beat Club Germany’s answer to Ready Steady Go; and one of the national radio stations LAUT FM plays 24 hours Soul on two internet radio channels.
The name MOOD MOSAIC then has a curious history, issue lots of albums over the years that may have been bought mostly for their covers! These LPs/CD’s are compilations mostly Jazz from a range of artists:
Wikipedia: Mark Wirtz
Wikipedia: The Mood Mosaic