The phoenix has arisen from the ashes
This project has come from The KIKI DEE Information Bureau and has come about for two reasons, it is Kiki's fiftieth anniversary this year, 1963 – 2013, and I have finally, after ten years, managed to get hold of kikidee.com.
Since the demise of the KDIB, I have been attempting to write a book based on what I had uncovered for the site, but came to the conclusion that I am no writer, just a good researcher.
I have therefore set this site up as an archive but with the structure of a book.
The sections are :
I've Got The Music In Me – a main discography and other main recordings;
Two Sides To Every Story – a subsidary discography, detailing her guest and backing work;
Pretty Tune – a discogaphy of covers by other people;
Another Side Of Me – videography;
Six Days On The Road – concert and gigs diary;
While They Watch – film, TV and Radio appearances;
Just Killing Time – other things about Kiki;
Lost In Wonderland – Carmelo solo discography.
Now a bit about the main person.
Kiki was born on March 6th, 1947, at 146 Marsh Street, Little Horton, Bradford. She was the youngest of three children of Fred and Mary Elizabeth Matthews. Her given name is Pauline Matthews. She started sing at an early age and was soon winning talent contests. Aged 15 she was singing semi-pro for dance bands around the local area, when she was spotted by a A&R man from Philips. She was invited down to London for an audition and was given a contract by Fontana Records.
She released her first record, Early Night, on May 17th 1963. For the next 5 years she would release 11 singles, 2 eps and an album in the UK, and also 4 singles and 2 eps extra in Europe. Kiki was also much in demand as a backing vocalist during this time first appearing on Dusty Springfield's track, Some of Your Lovin, 1965.
In 1969 she was asked by Tamla Motown to go to the USA and record with them, earning the privilege of being the first white female and the second white act to sign to Tamla, and even though she released 2 singles and 1 album, she still did not break through to mainstream pop.
She spent the next three years in the wilderness, mostly doing cabaret.
In 1972 she contacted John Reid,who had been at Tamla UK, and asked his advice. She was told that a new label was being set up by Elton John, Rocket Records. She met Elton and they got on like a house on fire. She signed up and spent the next 7 years honing her talent. She would release 10 singles, 1 ep and four albums, a fifth was never released.
During this time she started to have hit records, and helped Elton John to his first number one in the UK with Don't Go Breaking My Heart, a record which would also top the US charts simultaneously, and in many other countries. It is said that this track is played on a record station somewhere in the world every minute of every day. In the latter half of her time with Rocket, she moved with her then boyfriend, Davey Johnstone, to the USA. She played and recorded her last album whilst she was out there, but did do session work for other artists.
In 1980 she got a contract with Ariola Records and released her first single in Japan, Give It Up, which she had performed at the 11th World Popular Song Festival. On returning home to the UK she went into the studio to record her first album for Ariola. She would also release 4 singles for the label. A second album was recorded but shelved.
Whilst she released a single in 1983, The Loser Gets To Win, for EMI, it would another 4 years before anything else would be released from Kiki. Between 1982 and 1987 she would fall back on her session experiences to record with a lot of other artists. She did a guest appearance in a TV show, Roll Over Beethoven, as herself, and also appeared in the stage show Straight From The Heart/Pump Boys and Dinettes, along with Paul Jones, which ran for 8 months.
In 1986 she was signed to Columbia Records and recorded and released 4 singles and 1 album, amongst the people involved with the recording was Dave Stewart.
In 1987 she was asked to take the part of Mrs Johnson in a touring version of Blood Brothers. Over the next 4 years she would make 1000 appearances as Mrs Johnson and earn a nomination for an Olivier Award for her performance.
In 1991 Kiki was diagnosed with cancer, and was successfully treated for it.
In 1993 she teams up with Elton to release the duet True Love, which is just kept off the number one position in the UK. She also will release a compilation album, The Very Best Of, which teams her up with a producer/guitarist Carmelo Luggeri, who is brought in to co-produce two new tracks for the album.
Kiki's management makes the suggestion of the two of them to work together. They try it out and the partnership has lasted ever since. They have put out 5 albums and two singles.