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BIOGRAPHY

Stu was born in Annesley Woodhouse, Kirkby-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, England under the name Wilfrid Pearce on 25th September 1936. He died aged 79 following an illness on 13th June 2016.

He drove tractors on the farm at the age of eight but his ambition to be a farmer was never realised. When he was 13 his father, a miner, died.

Before embarking on his wonderful musical journey Stu went down the mines at the age of 15, and was involved in the agriculture industry at 16.  One day on the farm, rain stopped him working and his brother encouraged him to enter a talent contest. First prize was a trial with EMI in London and yes, he won it! If it hadn't rained that day who knows what would have happened?

After a lot of hard work building up his music career he got his big break in 1969 when he was signed to Columbia Records. His debut single, "Soft Is The Night," was released under the name Stuart Stevens, and being part of a high profile label, a subsidiary of EMI, it opened up many doors for him. This single was recorded at Abbey Road Studios produced by Ronnie Hilton's producer Wally Ridgely and featured the Nori Paramor Orchestra.

He appeared on the Lonnie Donegan TV Show and also at a prestigious event to entertain the country stars in London who were over here to perform at the Wembley Country Festival. He was so good that he was invited to play the main stage the next day - and became the first British singer to appear at the world famous festival.

His career took off worldwide in the mid 1970s with appearances in the States at the Grand Ole Opry, and meetings with Elvis Presley and John Wayne inspired him to greater things. 

He did more TV in 1972 when he appeared on "Opportunity Knocks" but was beaten by a child playing drums! What do they say? Never work with animals or children - particularly on a talent show!!

He was getting plenty of airplay in the States when he was signed to Granite Records and his version of Marty Robbins' "My Woman My Woman My Wife" drew praise from Marty himself, but it was when he released (on his own Eagle label) the single "The Man From Outer Space" that things really started to happen.

The single was picked up by BBC Radio 2's legendary DJ Terry Wogan who played it to death and MCA Records heard it and got in touch with him to bring the single and an album out on their label.  The little song written by Even Stevens (no relation) and the great Shel Silverstein was recorded in a small studio in Huddersfield, England, and suddenly had taken off in a big way.  Theatres were suddenly packed and Stu Stevens was big news.  Country radio accepted him for his style of music and he was voted Britain's Top Male Vocalist at the prestigious BCMA Awards. He stood on the stage at Wembley to accept his accolade.

His most prolific recording period came between 1974 and 1986 when he enjoyed 12 years of high profile recording on a number of big labels worldwide, including MCA, Young Blood, Barclay and Granite Records.

He would perform on stage with his two sons, Stuart and Steven. Stuart played bass and his youngest, Steven, arranged the strings and played keyboards. Sadly Steven died at just 19 years of age from a rare heart disease, and his wife Daphne also passed away a few years later. Stu withdrew from the music scene.

Stu performed with a full orchestra for many concerts in the 1980s including the Apollo Theatre in Oxford where he was recorded live by BBC Radio Oxford.  During that show his version of "The Old Rugged Cross" was to become one of the most requested songs ever on BBC Radio Oxford, and remained unreleased until, many years later, it finally came out on his CD called "The Voice" which has brought together some of his very best recordings.

As well as the "Best of" collection he recorded his first new album for 32 years. "Still Standing" showed that Stu Stevens - The Voice - was as relevant in the 21st Century as he had ever been.

As a bonus Stu's only video from 1985, "The Man And His Music", was released on DVD for the first time. This rare programme featuring live performances and candid footage was thought to have been lost until recently, and can now be enjoyed by fans all over the world.

Stu recorded a further three albums in his final years including a gospel CD as he got the music bug back again, but his life on the sheep farm at his home in central England with his new wife Elizabeth - they spent almost 25 years together - was all he really needed to be happy and content.  Sadly Stu never quite made it to his 80th year and he died on June 13th 2016 aged 79 of pneumonia following an illness.

In 2017 a final album was released featuring the best of the rest of his earlier recordings from the 1970s and 1980s entitled "The Voice - Volume 2" - a 40 track digital-only collection including, for the first time ever, the full concert from his 1980 Apollo Theatre, Oxford show when he sold out the venue. It was the event where he first performed "The Old Rugged Cross" with the "Luke The Drifter" narration included within it as a special tribute to his fellow artist Red Sovine, who died a few days earlier. That recording went on to become one of his most popular songs ever. Also featured on the collection is his final ever single featuring his 2016 vocal over the backing track to one of the stand-out cuts from his "The Man From Outer Space" album for MCA Records, "And The Grass Won't Pay No Mind," released here for the first time along with his one-off disco single, "Cowboy In Paris" for the Crazy Viking label.

In March 2019 Stu Stevens' "Ultimate Collection" came out in a special box set containing four CDs. This included "The Voice" and "Still Standing" along with, for the first time ever on CD, "The Voice Volume 2" including the best of his songs from other albums, plus the legendary 1980 concert at the Apollo Theatre, Oxford. It's a fantastic collection and you can get it all for just 11.99 - a remarkable addition to any Stu Stevens collection. Order it directly from here.

 
 
 
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