MEL HAGUE Message to friends and fans date – 7/8/04

There are some rumours flying around that I've had a heart attack, a serious life-threatening operation, been run down by a Blackpool Flying Saucer and at least one that I'm dead.

Actually, I've just spent 10 days in Doncaster Royal Infirmary suffering with 2 swollen discs in my lower back that took away my mobility completely. And the medication from my GP made me very ill before I went into the DRI. But as you know I'm a fighter and I promised myself to live to be a 100 because they reckon they'll colonise Mars by 2040 and I really want to see that. Besides, I haven't tormented everybody enough yet.

I am now using a wheel chair to get about out doors and a walking frame indoors and my future prospects of mobility recovery do not look good so I have decided to end my career in country music once and for all. If I get knocked back again like this it just wouldn't be fair to be cancelling bookings all over again and to be quite honest I've been singing for 42 years and I've really had enough.

I know I made this announcement about 3 years ago and then carried on in a greatly reduced capacity but this time I won't be able to change my mind. It's the end of the road and, in some ways, I'm quite relieved.

I want to thank all of you who have supported me over the years and I've been quite overwhelmed by the cards and letters. I've been out of hospital a week now and I'm still getting mail re-directed from the DRI. You really are a wonderful bunch of good, caring people.

I've enjoyed my career in country music as an entertainer, singer/songwriter and broadcaster and I have had some really wonderful moments. I've also made a lot of very dear friends amongst fans and peers alike.

It saddens me greatly that I won't be going on stage to sing anymore as singing has been the joy of my life but while the voice is still as good as ever (so they tell me) the old legs have decided they want to take early retirement. My wife, Ivy, is also saddened that I've had to give it up; she has always been my biggest fan and supporter but she also worried terribly about me over the years. It's a great relief for her that I'm coming off the road.

I have recently had 2 of my novels published by Paul Mould Publishing of Boston, Lincs: TWISTED RIVER, my third western and a horror novel called THE GREY MAN and I'm looking forward to (fingers crossed) a career of some degree as a novelist. Paul Mould is also going to Publish TO HELL WITH THE BADGE, my first western and he's interesting in a Sci Fi novel I'm writing called HARVEST. So the old adage “As one door closes, another opens” is looking like the real thing for me.

I would especially like to thank my very good friend, John Tye who has been everywhere with me these last few years and made it possible for me to carry on as long as I did.

Depending on my mobility, I may see some of you at one or two venues in a visiting capacity but my entertaining days are over.

I wish all of you all the very best and at the risk of sounding corny – Keep It Country and thanks a million for all the wonderful memories.

December 3 2005

It's almost 18 months now since I went down with back trouble and I'm still using the wheelchair (but only occasionally). I'm getting around most of the time on 2 walking sticks so going back to singing is really out of the question although I can still drive. I've sold my equipment and 2 of my guitars and I haven't sung a note in anger in that 18 months. Far all I know the voice is gone now. I'm still writing my novels, I've started a 4 th western called AS GOOD AS DEAD which will follow on from TO HELL WITH THE BADGE and precede DEATH ON A ROPE. I have re-written DEATH ON A ROPE as the publisher said it was too short, he wanted it to be a similar size to TO HELL WITH THE BADGE and TWISTED RIVER. It took me a while to write in a new sub-plot but I eventually managed it and I think it fits in just fine. So the old, shorter version might become a collector's item someday.

I'm also on chapter 8 of a science fiction story called HARVEST which is also going quite well although I will have to do some research before I get to the end. The Horror novel THE GREY MAN is now published along with the 2 westerns and everyone that's read it says they couldn't put it down. One lady wrote to me and said, “Congratulations, you scared the s*#t out of me.” I was touched. I have a small stock of these books at home if anyone wants one; the newly published westerns sell at £10 and the horror novel is £12 – it's quite a thick book.

Ivy and I went to Spain last September and I bought a new, lightweight wheelchair and 2 folding walking sticks for the holiday and we managed just fine. It was good to be in the sunshine for 2 weeks of doing nothing. We went to Almeria because we knew it was quite flat there and we would manage to get around ok and we did. It was a relaxing, sleeping, reading holiday and, boy, did we need it. The early days of my invalidity knocked hell out of both of us and we desperately needed to re-charge our batteries. I had a nasty fall while we were there but I didn't break anything, I hit my head so no harm done there.

We went down to Portsmouth to visit my son and his wife and I had 2 falls there, no serious damage (head again) but it did confirm my belief that life back ‘on the road' was definitely over but I think Ivy and I are happier than we've been for a long time although I don't think we've ever been unhappy, well, maybe a bit once in a while. Next year we will celebrate 40 years married so it must have been right most of the time.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for your support over the years and wish you the very best of everything, including a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year. If you see us around anywhere please come up and say hello.

Ivy and Mel

 Contact Mel 
37 Wroot Road, Finningley Village, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN9 3DR, UK
Tel. 01302 771287
Email :[email protected]
© Mel Hague ( OGB Records)