Glenda Collins

However it's mainly Joe Meek fans who remember her. Although the gay Joe Meek was notorious for concentrating on male acts he recognised her talent and took Glenda under his wing after her Decca contract expired. Quite a few recordings were made with Joe producing. She toured and was presented on top TV shows of the time and things looked promising. She scraped into the lower regions of the top 40 with I Lost My Heart at the Fairground which was backed by the Tornadoes.

been invited to a party

Meek teamed Glenda with the Outlaws for the beatier If You Gotta Pick a Baby, released in November 1963. She was all set to storm up the charts following an appearance on Ready Steady Go and having been voted a hit on Juke Box Jury, when a lack of available copies – thanks to the Christmas shutdown – put paid to her hopes.

She issued Baby It Hurts and Lollipop in 1964 and in 1965 Johnny Loves Me. When her subsequent release, Thou shalt not steal, also failed to chart and she was dropped by HMV Pop. But she stuck with Meek and he secured her a contract with Pye in early 1966.


Glenda recorded some excellent tracks in 1966 at Joe's recording studio in London's Holloway Road. For Glenda’s first release on the new label, Meek re-recorded the highly commercial Something I’ve Got To Tell You, which had been a track on the The Honeycombs’s album. This should have seen the singer score a huge hit as it was definately chart material.

Next up was the single It's Hard To Believe It which was one of the earliest anti-bomb protest songs and was written by Meek. Complete with appropriate sound effects of bombs and rockets the single was issued in the summer of 1966.

Meek also teamed her with Mod favourites the Riot Squad, recording vocals on the songs You’re Gonna Get Your Way and Yeah, Yeah, Yeah.

Anyone hearing any of these tracks today wouldn't understand why they didn't get to number one on pure merit.
But back in those days payola (pay per play) decided a lot of the airplay on radio. Joe Meek had had his biggest successes with Telstar, Johnny Remember Me and Have I The Right, which took up a lot of his funds on payola. It was claimed that he was madly in love with Heinz and spent what promotional budget he had on him to get a hit with Just Like Eddie.

Meek had spiralling debts, lawsuits and personal issues over his homosexuality (which was still illegal in Britain at the time). Eventually Meek was so out of favour with radio stations that they weren’t interested in his records, no matter how good.

When he shot himself – and his landlady – in February 1967, Glenda’s career effectively died too. Meek's financial and personal affairs were left in a mess (in fact it took nearly 20 years to sort them out).
Glenda's father tried to get a new deal with two new recordings produced by him but with the psychedelic period rolling in he stood very little chance. Glenda eventually called it a day and retired from the pop business, getting a job in an office.

It's Hard To Beleive It - The Amazing World Of Joe Meek

When Russell was choosing artists to perform on his next compilation album Cult Themes From The 70's Vol. 2 he had the idea of tempting some of Joe Meek's former artists out of retirement. He chose The Honeycombs and Glenda, whom many fans considered was Joe's best artist. Although it was unlikely there would be a hit single from this it would at least give her one last bit of exposure and recognition.

protectors 2

Apparently a few people had tried to tempt Glenda out of retirement before and failed. Russell succeeded because Glenda had heard one of his previous cult themes albums and had been impressed. She also felt that Russell had the same artistic vibe as Joe when they met up. She recorded the theme tune for The Protectors (Avenues and Alleyways) for Cult Themes From The 70's Vol. 2 . After this she became ill and has since become a bit of a recluse, so this track may well be her last legacy to the world of pop.

Sample some of Glenda's succulent vocals above before checking out the Cult Themes From The 70's Vol 2 album on our Cult TV and Film Themes Page.


To buy the album, please select The 70's Vol 2 CD from the drop down list below: