RETRO: Doncaster crooner tops the charts

Tony Christie performing at Dronfields Party in the Park
Tony Christie performing at Dronfields Party in the Park
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Way back in the seventies, Conisbrough crooner Tony Christie had a string of hits, not least of which was the catchy is This the Way to Amarillo?

During that decade, Amarillo peaked at number 18 in the pop charts. The song did top German and Spanish charts, but it was much later in 2005 that it enjoyed its second heyday.

Tony Christie visits pupils at De Warenne Academy who are creating a banner for the Conisborough Music Festival.

Tony Christie visits pupils at De Warenne Academy who are creating a banner for the Conisborough Music Festival.

Peter Kay joined Tony Christie for the video of the re-release on March 14, 2005, after the song had featured for a while in his television comedy series Phoenix Nights.

It went on to become the best selling record of 2005 in the UK, staying at number one for seven weeks. It also raised a staggering £1.5 million for Comic Relief.

As a star who had had to wait almost 35 years to get a number one hit, Christie made the record for the longest wait for a chart topping single.

That year, in April, he returned to his home town of Doncaster and was welcomed to The Dome by followers of many years, but also by a new contingent of younger fans, thanks to the new Amarillo. He was joined on the stage by fellow Comic Relief star Bernie Clifton.

Conisbrough crooner Tony Christie looks like he needs to find his way to the barber rather than Amarillo in this early publicity shot.

Conisbrough crooner Tony Christie looks like he needs to find his way to the barber rather than Amarillo in this early publicity shot.