As soon as "Only One Woman" hit the charts, the duo made their UK TV debut on the 3rd October on Top Of The Pops. They also appeared again on the show on the 17th October. A repeat performance was shown on 31st October of their 3rd October performance. The duo also appeared on various other British and European television shows. Just for the reference, at the recording of "Only One Woman" it became apparent to Barry Gibb that he was dealing with a singer who had an extraordinary set of lungs and he kept on asking Graham to stand further and further away from the microphone!! "By The Light Of The Burning Candle" which was the 'B' side was originally sung by Trevor and Steve Hardy who is mentioned earlier, sings a high harmony on it.
The duo started to get a lot of coverage in the music press throughout the UK and Europe and one article in Melody Maker from the UK was titled 'Marbles Don't Think Much Of Their Hit'. Graham was quoted at the time by saying "Deep down he thought the song was a bit boring." This sparked Barry Gibb in to action by replying that he wanted more respect!! Barry was quoted in the New Musical Express from the UK saying "I got them started in the same way Robert Stigwood opened the doors for us. We were friends at school. But as soon as they get a hit they turn around and criticise me in the papers. It is very sad what you learn about human nature in this business."
In support of their hit single The Marbles planned to do a short tour of Ireland starting on October 31st with Bluesology backing them. But this was cancelled because Graham had a throat infection.
As 1969 began the rift between the duo and Barry Gibb had been sorted out. Trevor was quoted in the UK press during February as saying "We are back with The Bee Gees and very happy about it too."
March also saw the duo's second single released titled "The Walls Fell Down" backed with "Love You". Both songs were again written by The Bee Gees and also produced by them as well as Robert Stigwood. "The Walls Fell Down" saw Graham in fine voice providing a very powerful vocal performance. Trevor sang lead vocals on "Love You", but Graham provided some nice harmonies.
In support of their new release The Marbles found themselves on the front cover of the NME in the UK. This was dated March 1st. Sadly it didn't help to promote the song too much as it just managed to creep in to the UK charts at No. 28. Even an appearance on TOTP on the 3rd April couldn't help it get any higher. In Australia the song reached No. 23. A spokesman for RSO said at the time that he thought sales had suffered because the record was rush released. The song did have a worldwide release, but was no way near as successful as it's predecessor throughout Europe or America.
April 13th saw the duo make their long awaited UK debut at a charity show at London's Wembley Pool. Other gigs in Scotland and Germany also took place, but since these were small venues the gigs were not very successful. Plus during a gig in Munich all the equipment blew up!!
June saw the announcement of The Marbles Fan Club and their debut album had now been recorded. It was just waiting for final adjustments in the studio. Come Autumn, a third single was released in Japan, America and throughout Continental Europe, but for some reason it was not released in the UK. This was "I Can't See Nobody"/"Little Boy". Both sides were once again written by The Bee Gees. This time Barry Gibb had taken control of production duties by himself. The 'A' side again featured a powerful performance by Graham but just like the previous single, it was Trevor who featured on lead vocals on the 'B' side. At the time Ian Farrell, PRO for the Robert Stigwood Organisation claimed the single wasn't released in the UK because they were still looking for a suitable song to release.
Graham had started dating actress Adrienne Posta and September saw them both on the front cover of Fabulous 208 magazine in glorious colour. Inside, their two page article talked about how they met at the Speakeasy Club and various other things as well as featuring a couple of black & white photographs.
Things were just about ticking over with the duo and even though TV work was still being done throughout Europe, they were far from happy. As the year was coming to an end, talk of splitting up and parting company with the RSO was becoming the more obvious choice of direction. What had started so well was now going downhill quite fast.
Polydor issued the duo's final single during July 1970. This was a version of Neil Sedaka's "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do". The UK release had "I Can't See Nobody" on the 'B' side and according to the record label, production duties were handled by Gibson Kemp. He worked for the RSO. Different continents that released the record seemed to have a different 'B' side. Continental Europe featured a Trevor Gordon penned song "Daytime" and in America, Graham's only Marbles composition "Little Laughing Girl" made an appearance. "Breaking Up Is Hard To Do" did not chart in the UK and I doubt if it did anywhere else.
An album simply titled "The Marbles" saw a worldwide release around this time even though the duo had now split up and parted company with the Robert Stigwood Organisation. Some of the songs on the album had not even been completely finished and were still in demo form. So basically half the album consisted of songs that had been released and the others were made to sound as good as possible. I guess the record company released the album because they wanted to see a return on the amount of money they had invested in to duo.
It is interesting to note that all of The Marbles single releases in Continental Europe and Japan had good quality picture sleeves. In the UK or America no picture sleeves were issued.
"Only One Woman" has made various appearances throughout the world on many compilation albums over the years and during 1990 "Only One Woman", "The Walls Fell Down" and "To Love Somebody" made an appearance on a CD titled "Graham Bonnet - The Rock Singer's Anthology". This was originally an Australian release, but eventually was released throughout Europe and the UK. Four years later a CD of The Marbles album was issued titled "Marble-ized" by Polydor in Australia. This CD also featured the non-album 'B' side "Love You". The track was mastered from a 7" single as the original master tape for it could not be found. Why the record company didn't include their other non-album track "Little Boy" is anyone's guess !!
Nearly one decade later in November 2003 UK label Repertoire issued the album on CD. The company did an excellent job and included mono recordings of "Only One Woman", "By The Light Of The Burning Candle", "The Walls Fell Down" and "I Can't See Nobody". This was well as including "Love You" and "Little Boy" which were also in mono. The packaging and booklet that accompanied the CD were excellent. It was nice to see some shots of the boys from a TV appearance included as well. It just goes to show you can do a good job of something if you want to!!
Steve Wright (c) 2004
From "Under The Bonnet" Fanzines