Mary Hopkin is a folk singer songwriter, born in Pontardawe in South Wales in 1950. She began singing at the age of three, and during her teens was a member of a local folk group the Selby Set & Mary. In 1968, when she was just 18, she was signed to Apple Records by Paul McCartney, after winning on the ITV talent contest Opportunity Knocks. Her debut single, ‘Those Were The Days’, was based on a 1920s Russian folk tune with new lyrics written by American songwriter Gene Raskin, and it went on to become a multi-million seller. Paul McCartney produced the single, as well as her debut album, Post Card, issued in 1969.
Mary’s second Apple album Earth Song / Ocean Song, was released in 1971 and was produced by Tony Visconti, whom Mary married that year. Earth Song / Ocean Song remains Mary’s most personal and evocative work, and includes songs by contemporary folk artists such as Gallagher & Lyle, Ralph McTell, Tom Paxton, Cat Stevens, Harvey Andrews, and Liz Thorsen, the American writer who wrote the album’s dual title tracks. Mary Hopkin continues to record, and currently works with her daughter Jessica and her son Morgan.