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     Matthews, Al (21st November 1942-Present)

    He is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, conga player, actor and DJ born in Brooklyn, New York, who got his first taste of the stage as a performer when he was just 4 years old. 


    After leaving school he became a member of the United States Marine Corps and over his six years in service he won 2 purple hearts and 11 other decorations and combat awards.  These years also brought him the recognition of being the first black sergeant in the 1st Marine Division in the Vietnam War. 


    After his return to civilian life he travelled to the UK in 1971 and became involved in the folk music scene for a time.  He performed with Rare Bird and Richie Havens and in 1973 he began to work with the band Hawkwind as their opener and would join with them on stage as a conga player. He continued to do occasional performances with them up until the end of 1975. 


    He met up with the songwriter Pierre Tubbs and the two of them began a collaboration that still continues today. 


    Spreading his wings as a solo artist he achieved success in the UK and other European countries in 1975 with the song “Fool” written by Pierre Tubbs.  The flip side, “Don’t Run From My Love” was one of his own compositions.   This would prove to be his only chart appearance but he continued to work in Britain in the stage and broadcasting industry.  


    He made appearances in the theatre, on television in series such as Grange Hill, and acted in a production on Radio 4.  He also became the first black presenter on BBC Radio 1 and worked at London’s Capital Radio for a decade where he saw his programme When the Spirit Moves being awarded the title “best gospel music programme” every year for six years. 


    Getting his name more widely known in the 1980s he went back to America and started acting in the movies.  He has had roles in The Apocalypse Watch, Defence of the Realm, The Fifth Element, Omen III The Final Conflict, Superman III and Tomorrow Never Dies and he is perhaps best known for his role in 1986’s Aliens where he played Sergeant Apone.


    Al Matthews Recordings

    Fool (Pierre Tubbs)

    CBS 3429 (UK 45)

    Don’t Run From My Love (Al Matthews)

    CBS 3429 (CBS 3429)



    1. http://www.almatthews.co.uk/news/newsstory.asp?NewsID=3
    2. http://www.almatthews.co.uk/news/newsstory.asp?NewsID=1
    3. http://www.almatthews.co.uk/news/newsstory.asp?NewsID=4
    4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al_Matthews
    5. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0559922/bio
    6. http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0559922/?c=1
    7. http://www.hawkwindmuseum.co.uk/1973.htm
    8. http://www.starfarer.net/cw8doc.html
    9. http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/hawkwind/hawkwind_musicians1.html
    10. http://www.starfarer.net/winorwan.html
    11. http://sakalli.blog.hr/2009/08/1626634611/rare-bird-somebodys-watching-1973-256.html
    12. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:kcfwxqygldje~T4












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