Congratulations to Govan boy Bill

SONGWRITER Bill Martin is perhaps the most successful Govan boy you've never heard of - although you all know his music.

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Martin, who last week was awarded an MBE for services to music and charity in Scotland, as part of the Queen's Birthday Honours, is one of the nation's unsung success stories.

Bill began his songwriting career while working in the Clyde shipyards, but soon realised he was better at bashing out lyrics than bashing out metal.

Born William Wylie MacPherson, the young Bill soon upped sticks to head for London and the last days of Tin Pan Alley.

In his early days, he wrote songs for the The Bachelors, Twinkle, The Dubliners, Van Morrison and Serge Gainsbourg.

His first big hit came in 1967, when he penned Britain's winning Euorvision entry for Sandy Shaw, Puppet on a String. He followed that up the next year by writing Congratulations, for Cliff Richard.

Bill, who has three Ivor Novello awards on his mantelpiece, even wrote a song for Elvis and enjoyed huge worldwide success in the 1970s writing songs for the Bay City Rollers.

Today, aged 75, serial businessman Bill is as busy as ever, running music publishing and property companies.

Who know, maybe the Queen will play Congratulations when he goes to the Palace to pick up his gong.

Arts and Entertainment

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