** New DVD "He's On The Telly " **
archive material from 1978 to 1984.

The Writing Years
I started writing about 7 years ago and since then I've written 3 western novels and a horror novel. I have plans laid out for a 4 th western, a 2 nd horror and a science fiction novel that I've already started. More about the books later.

In July of 2004 I had severe trouble with 2 discs in my back that had swollen and were giving me excruciating pain. I couldn't walk or even stand up; in fact it was even excruciating to turn over in bed. After 9 days, during which my wife and I were worn to a frazzle, I ended up in hospital and after various scans I was told that it would be a long haul to get me back on my feet. Anything from 6 to 18 months.

At the age of 62 there seemed no option but to retire so that put paid to my 40 years career as a Country Music singer and entertainer.

I knew that my back trouble would take much longer to heal on account of my being born with Cerebral Palsy. And the last few years in the music business had been very hard indeed. There was some sadness at leaving entertainment but I had my writing to look forward to and it meant I would have much more time to devote to it. As one door closes another one opens – how true. More about my music career later.

Paul Mould Publishing of Boston in Lincolnshire has published 3 of my books so far and is interested in 2 more, at least.

I created Sheriff Jud Harris and his compadres in TO HELL WITH THE BADGE in 1998. Earlier that year I had been attending classes for Creative Writing at our local Secondary school and the tutor, a published author, told me to stick with it as I definitely could write. He gave us a piece to write, as homework, a couple of paragraphs for the beginning of a western. I wrote a complete chapter and the tutor, David Wiseman, said it would be criminal not to go ahead and write the whole novel; so I did and TO HELL WITH THE BADGE was born. My first complete novel – it felt extremely good. None of the publishers wanted it – westerns are not popular anymore they said. One publisher said I should expand a section of my book into a complete novel but make it shorter than the original.

I did as they suggested and DEATH ON A ROPE came into being. I sent it off to them but they still didn't like my style so I decided to print it up myself on my computer and Epson printer. I bought a binder and produced both books which I sold on my gigs. They went very well and a lot of people wanted a 3 rd western – they liked my style.

I finished TWISTED RIVER just into the new year of 2004 and a couple of months later Paul Mould contacted me and said he would like to read my books so I sent them off to him and he decided to publish TWISTED RIVER first. That was ok because TWISTED RIVER was actually the first book if you take the 3 in chronological order. All 3 books have the same lead characters and Paul Mould and my readers liked that which pleased me because I wanted to write a few more with these same guys.

A short while later he published TO HELL WITH THE BADGE and said he would prefer DEATH ON A ROPE to be longer so I set about re-writing it and adding in a second plot line. I finished it at the back end of April 2005 because I wanted to finish THE GREY MAN first, that's my horror novel. Paul liked that one as well so it was published in 2004. THE GREY MAN is about 2 ½ times longer than the westerns so I'm really quite proud of that one. I have another horror novel planned called the THE PASSAGE but it will depend on how well THE GREY MAN sells.

Speaking of planned novels, I've already started writing my 4 th western called AS GOOD AS DEAD and I have an outline for a 5 th one called BIG BEND, so I'm going to be pretty busy. I've also started writing a science fiction novel called HARVESTand I'm really looking forward to finishing that one as I'm a bit of a science fiction fan.

My books are now available through Amazon

So that's where I am to date with the writing; I will now tell you a bit about my 40 years music career.

The Singing Years
I started singing back in 1962 and for the next couple of years I sang in various bands doing pop music and the occasional country song usually Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves or Hank Williams.

In 1964 I formed The Westernaires doing country music and for the couple of years after that we performed in the working men's clubs from South Yorkshire to the North East and built up a formidable reputation.

In 1966 we turned professional and travelled Europe doing American air bases as far as Italy; on one trip I only just got back in time to get married to Ivy and we're still together; probably the best decision I ever made.

Later on we changed the name to The New Westernaires after a change in line-up and we did the country music circuits all over Britain until I went solo in 1976. That same year I started doing a country show on BBC Radio Sheffield and the next year I won the Marlboro Talent Competition which helped to establish my solo career. I was presented with a Framus acoustic guitar which I still have. I was also nominated for the Top British Country Songwriter Award; I came second and I did the same in 1978.

In 1981 the daily Mirror ran a poll in conjunction with Aria Guitars and I won the top award as Top British Country Music Entertainer and was presented with a hand-made Aria guitar valued at £1,000; I used that guitar on stage until I retired in 2004.

I had over a dozen CDs on sale at gigs and some of them can still be purchased on the music page and some tracks can be listened to if you want to hear my voice which was regarded as one of the best in Britain.

From 1976 to 2004 I switched back and forth between solo and band but I was solo for the last 12 years from 1992 to 2004 and I managed to survive the onslaught of the Line Dancing Years without having to compromise too much.

It was a good career and I had some tough times and some really great times but it was always a hard slog having Cerebral Palsy and it was making it very hard for me to continue and in 2004 I was getting close to retiring from the music business when my back went and that was it. It's April, 2006 as I write this and I'm still struggling to walk without assistance so it was definitely the right decision to call it a day and I'm so happy I've got my writing to carry on with.

I've been very lucky to have so many careers in music with my singing, song writing, broadcasting, article and review writing for several publications and I've certainly been blessed with my wife, Ivy and my two great kids: my daughter works in the

Caring profession and my son is a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy.

Not bad for a disabled guy with virtually no education but for all those who think I've been very brave and talented I would say I was just doing my job and then I would point to my family and friends who have been with me all the way, all the time and who certainly made the difference.

Grateful thanks to you all and a special thank you to my good friend, John Tye who helped me through the last few years, he's a diamond.

Grateful thanks to you all.

Take a look at the other pages in my website which I think is great, no thanks to me; it's all down to my friend Iain Dobie who created it, slots the stuff in and maintains the whole thing. Good on yu, Iain.

 Contact Mel 
37 Wroot Road, Finningley Village, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN9 3DR, UK
Tel. 01302 771287
Email; [email protected]

© Mel Hague ( OGB Records)