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The Launch Of Mervyn J Futter. I thought long and hard for about 10 minutes as to what name to choose to launch my Country career.  Should I become Hank, Dean or Travis, it didn't take long to work out, No !, what the hell I'm me.  I'd feel stupid calling myself by some strange name so I just added my middle initial J for John and Mervyn J Futter was launched.  Not a pretty name is it, but it's mine.

mervj1

This photo was my first publicity print as a solo act.  It was taken in the grounds of The Queen Elizabeth Hospital where I worked as an electrician by Michael Benstead who worked there as a Fitter.

Dear oh dear wasn't I slim, what's happened to me, how can time be so cruel.

Whilst I worked at the hospital I set about promoting myself as a Country Singer and just getting my name known on the circuit.

I was pleased I'd made the decision, I was playing Country Music the music I loved and making  all  my own decisions, I was also working on my songwriting as well.

I had been listening to nothing but Country for many years by this time and certainly never bought anything else.  Merle Haggard has always been a big influence on me and my songwriting and still is.  My brother Colin used to like Merle and I used to listen to his records from a very early age and loved them then.

Launching yourself onto the Country Music scene isn't easy believe me, nobody will book you if they haven't heard of you and they will never get to hear of you if no one will give you a booking. On top of this all the clubs book a year in advance so there are very few gigs to be had anyway.

I contacted everybody I could, one day I heard Bob Chapple giving an interview on Radio Norfolk with Roy Waller offering acts a chance to showcase at Pontins at Hemsby.  I rang him up and got a chance.  I did two weeks for Pontins and Bob, not being paid of course but he did give me many slots and a chance to show what I could do.

Within two days I was on an evening Concert show playing support to, Stu Page & Remuda, West Virginia and Colorado some of the biggest acts on the scene at that time.  This was a very fast learning curve and yes I was nervous if I'm truthful I was scared stiff.  However I did well and lots of people got to see me and the name started to get around.  You have to remember that in those days there were around 2500 people at the first week at Hemsby.  Now you see why I was scared but it did well for me and I'll always be grateful to Bob Chapple for giving me a chance when I needed it most.

I gave out loads of cards and made lots of contacts over those two weeks, Bob Chapple gave me more work at Pontins and I gradually got my name known across the country as a solo country singer and slowly but surely the bookings came in for Mervyn J Futter.

Soon I was visiting parts of the country I'd never been to before, travelling far and wide even touring in Scotland and Orkney. I remember one Sottish tour when I left home at 3.30am to drive to Inverness (500 miles), I found my B&B then drove to the club, set up and did a show that same night. They were busy exciting days, I was quite young and had the strength and stamina to stand the pace, I certainly wouldn't manage it now.

Well that's it, in a nut shell how Mervyn J Futter was launched, I've made some great friends and met some wonderful people over the years and I'd hate to think how many miles i've travelled but it's been worth it.

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