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Wayne Fontana

Wayne Fontana

British pop singer
Wayne Fontana
The basics

Quick Facts

Intro British pop singer
Is Singer Musician Composer
From United Kingdom
Type Music
Gender male
Birth 28 October 1945, Manchester, Manchester, Greater Manchester, United Kingdom
Age 74 years
Star sign ScorpioScorpio
Beat music
The details


Wayne Fontana (born Glyn Geoffrey Ellis, 28 October 1945 – 6 August 2020) was an English rock and pop singer, best known for the 1965 hit "Game of Love" with the Mindbenders.


Early years

Fontana was born in Levenshulme, Manchester, Lancashire, and took his stage name from Elvis Presley's drummer, D. J. Fontana. In June 1963 he formed his backing group, The Mindbenders, and secured a recording contract with, coincidentally, Fontana Records. With the band, Wayne Fontana released his biggest single "The Game of Love" and after several less successful singles he left the band in October 1965.

Fontana remained under contract to the label after parting with The Mindbenders and soldiered on alone, using musicians working under the name of the Opposition, notably Frank Renshaw (lead guitar) (born 22 June 1943, Wythenshawe, Manchester), Bernie Burns (drums), Stuart Sirret (bass), and Phil Keen (drums), among others. Sometimes the band was billed as The Mindbenders, sometimes just as the Wayne Fontana Band. Struggling to achieve chart success, Fontana recorded a number of songs by outside writers with B-sides being mostly his own compositions. Fontana's biggest solo single, "Pamela, Pamela", written by Graham Gouldman, reached #5 in Australia’s Kent Music Report and #11 on the UK Singles Chart in early 1967. It was his last single to chart in the UK. The later singles included another Gouldman composition, "The Impossible Years". In 1970 he was one of the first performers at the Glastonbury Festival After a streak of flopped releases, Fontana took a break in 1970.

In 1973, trying to re-launch his career, Wayne Fontana recorded yet another Gouldman song, "Together". It was backed with an original song, "One-Man Woman", that was co-produced with Eric Stewart, an ex-bandmate from The Mindbenders. The single failed to chart.

Later years

In 2005, he fought off bankruptcy but was arrested after police were called by bailiffs who went to his home in Glossop, Derbyshire. He poured petrol on the bonnet of a bailiff's car and set it alight with the bailiff still inside. Fontana was remanded in custody on 25 May 2007. He later appeared at Derby Crown Court dressed as Lady Justice, complete with a sword, scales, crown, cape and dark glasses, and claiming "justice is blind". He dismissed his lawyers. On 10 November 2007 he was sentenced to 11 months for setting fire to the car but was released because he had already served the equivalent of the term, having been held under the Mental Health Act 1983.

In March 2011 Fontana was arrested at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, after failing to appear in court in Wakefield, over an unpaid speeding fine.

Fontana continued to perform, notably in the Solid Silver 60s Shows.

Fontana died from cancer on 6 August 2020 at the age of 74.


Studio albums

Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders
  • Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders (label has: Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um – It's Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders) – 1964 (UK Fontana TL5230)
  • The Game of Love – 1965 (US Fontana MGF 27542 (Mono)/SRF 67542 (Stereo))
  • Eric, Rick, Wayne and Bob – It's Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders – 1965 (UK Fontana TL5257)
Wayne Fontana
  • Wayne One – 1966 (UK Fontana TL5351 (Mono)/STL5351 (Stereo))
  • Wayne Fontana – 1967 (US MGM E 4459 (Mono)/SE 4459 (Stereo))

Compilation albums

  • Hit Single Anthology – 1991 (Europe Fontana 848 161-2)
  • The Best of Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders – 1994 (US Fontana 314 522 666-2)


Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders

Year Single Catalogue Chart Positions UK album US album

1963 "Hello Josephine"
UK Fontana TF404 46 Non-album tracks Non-album tracks
"For You, for You"
UK Fontana TF418
1964 "Little Darlin'"
UK Fontana TF436
"Stop Look and Listen"
UK Fontana TF451
US Fontana 1917
"Um, Um, Um, Um, Um, Um"
UK Fontana TF497 5
1965 "Game of Love"
UK Fontana TF535
US Fontana 1503
US Fontana 1509
2 38 3 10 1 A: Non-album track
B1: Non-album track
B2: Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders
A: The Game of Love
B1: Non-album track
B2: The Game of Love
"It's Just a Little Bit Too Late"
UK Fontana TF579
US Fontana 1514
20 55 9 45 Eric, Rick, Wayne and Bob Non-album tracks
"She Needs Love"
UK Fontana TF611
US Fontana 1524
32 A: Non-album track
B: Eric, Rick, Wayne and Bob

Wayne Fontana (solo)

Year Single Catalogue Chart Positions UK album US album

1965 "It Was Easier To Hurt Her"
UK Fontana TF642
US MGM 13456
36 Wayne One Wayne Fontana
1966 "Come on Home"
UK Fontana TF684
US MGM 13516
16 38 A: Non-album track
B: Wayne Fontana
"Goodbye Bluebird"
UK Fontana TF737 49 Non-album tracks Non-album tracks
"Pamela Pamela"
UK Fontana TF770
AU Fontana TF770
US MGM 13661
11 5 20 Wayne Fontana
1967 "24 Sycamore"
UK Fontana TF827
US MGM 13762
33 Non-album tracks
"The Impossible Years"
UK Fontana TF866 72
UK Fontana TF889 1
1968 "Storybook Children"
UK Fontana TF911
"The Words of Bartholomew"
UK Fontana TF933 84
"Never an Everyday Thing"
UK Fontana TF976
1969 "Dayton Ohio 1903"
UK Fontana TF1008
US Metromedia 133
"We're Building a Love"
UK Fontana TF1054
"Charlie Cass"
UK Fontana TF1054
1973 "Together"
UK Warner Bros. K 16269
1976 "The Last Bus Home"
UK Polydor 2058 758
The contents of this page are sourced from Wikipedia article on 07 Aug 2020. The contents are available under the CC BY-SA 4.0 license.
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