felixdcatuk wrote:Great to find this on the net, My Uncle Mick Hack was the lead guitarist with Martin Jae and the Hi - 5 & i agree the track should have been a hit, My Uncle passed away some years ago now but my dad confirms that John Skelley was indeed the organist but on the T.V. show - Thank your lucky stars i think it was the keyboard was mimed by Martin Jae as he was a vocalist on an instrumental track ( not very fair though ). After the band split up my uncle played in a group called the casual 4 for a while and they did record an album but never got far with it but he loved his music and bought the Art Nash music shop in Penge where he worked and played for many years as selling instruments and guitar strings etc meant he got to spend his time amoungst fellow musicians.
Thank you for adding some detail to this story. Your Uncle Mick was a very good guitarist and had a great sound.
I very much appreciate you confirming my Dad as the keyboard player, it would have been a hard one to prove!
I was a musician in South London and went to your uncles shop a few times for strings etc but I didn't know he was in Group X, pity i would have liked to chat to him. all the very best John Skelley jnr
I hope you don't mind me adding the e-mail you sent me, which i received today. It is so full of detail and i'm sure it would be of interest to to the forum and shed light on this track.
"Hi there! Mick Hack (more often known as Mike to eveyone) was my brother, and heplayed lead guitar on the record. I remember when Mick came back frommaking the recording and he told me that the impressario Tito Burns who wasinvolved with it all came to the studio on the night they recoreded itafter just watching a TV programme that was popular at the time called "TheNaked City". At the end of every show a voice said "There are 8 millionstories in the Naked City and this has ben one of them". Mick said thatTito then proposed that the title for the record should be "There are 8million Cossack Melodies and this is one of them". So that is how it cameto be named do oddly. When they appeared on Thank Your Lucky Stars on ITV the host Brian Matthewsintroduced it saying that it must be one of the longest titles for a recordbut yet one of the shortest names for a group, i.e. Group X. I seem to remember the "big" name on the show that Saturday was Mark Wynter("Venus in Blue Jeans"). On the show 'Group X' all wore the high neck 'cossack' shirts. Martin Jae(the singer in the band) was put on the organ for the show. He could notplay the organ but it didn't matter as they were miming to the record whichwas the normal practise in those days). Radio Luxembourg plugged it heavily, especially for the week or so leadingup to it's release date. They regularly said that "a great new wall ofsound is approaching, by Group X" to which someone would say "who is it?who is it? and the reply was that it would all be revealed and played forthe first time on Friday night at 9pm, so it got a fair bit of promotion. From what I remember the band only got a 'session fee' for making therecord, and no royalties as I think they were a bit naive at the time andin any case understandably probably had 'stars in their eyes'. The band subsequently released Roti Caliope which was Fleur de Lys(Beethoven) with a beat etc. The record would probably have done a lotbetter but it did not get the 'air time' as I understood from Mick that theBBC refused to play it as it was messing around with a classicalcomposition. The band were well known especially arounfd South London, but they wereknown as Martin Jae and the Hi-Five and later as the Martin Jae Five. Theywon the National Beat Contest under that name which was televised live. Theband in 2nd place were Glenn Athens & the Trojans and I am pretty sure thatthey then became Dave Dee, Dosy, Beaky Mick & Titch (not absolutely surethough?) I went to the Lyceum in London to watch the contest, and I remember JimmySaville was one of the judges. The MJ5 won £1,000 and a recording deal. I have a great publication all about Group X, which is the 'PipeLine'Instrumental Review, which is dated Autumn 1998 (issue no. 41) Inspired by Mick who taught me to play guitar when I was a young lad backin the 50's I also formed a group in the mid-60's and we played around theSouth London area, mainly in the Beckenham/Penge district. We were called'The Kontaks' but never reached the heights achieved by Mick and his band.I still have a faded press cutting from winning the 'Disc-a-Beat' contestat the Silver Blades Ice Rink in Streatham , where we are pictured with oneof the judges (National Ballroom Queen', Nannette Slack) I seem to rememberone of the other judges was Marty Wilde's lead guitarist? (happy days). I hope you found the above of interest and if you would like any moreinformation please let me know. Regards,Alan Hack