Share a cuppa tea with…

Nov 2019 Share a cuppa tea with…

Brian Hyland as he talks about The Grassy Knoll, Flash Gordon, and The Three Stooges.

By Jane Quinn

I was nine years old when I first heard Brian Hyland sing Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini.

He was 16 (an older man), and I loved that record. By the time I was evolving from a Tweenie into a Teenager, he was singing Sealed With A Kiss.

Always a romantic, I loved that singer. When I was in my sixties, Brian Hyland was in my adopted hometown in England singing and entertaining with pizazz as always. I loved that entertainer.

And so I came to be a lifelong fan of Brian Hyland.

BRIAN was born in New York and grew up surrounded by music to become a multi- instrumentalist/songwriter/author. He plays an acoustic Taylor guitar, a custom ’68 Fender Telecaster, a custom “Vintage” ’57 Fender Stratocaster, a custom Cort Bass, a Roland U20 keyboard/Synth, and Harmonica.

Quite separate to his musical talents, Brian has lived an interesting and surprising life. As we settle down to enjoy our tea, read on and Brian will tell you a couple of his tales now.

1) New York or New Orleans?

Both! Queens New York is my hometown. New Orleans for music history, great food, friends and inspiration for the soul.

2) Have you ever had a broken heart?

Yes, many times.

3) Who have you asked for an autograph?

The original Flash Gordon- Buster Crabbe.

4) What is your favorite comic book ever?


5) Who was your childhood celebrity crush?

Natalie Wood.

6) If you could have invited anyone,

living or dead/ famous or not, to our wee tea party; who would it have been?

Bob Dylan and Joao Gilberto (The innovator of Bossa Nova).

7) Where were you the day JFK was shot?

I was about five blocks away in Dallas: I watched the motorcade go by. I was scheduled to perform that night in Dallas with the Dick Clark Caravan of Stars Tour. The show was, of course, cancelled. I still remember the sirens echoing off the buildings downtown, very surreal!!

(NOTE: To commemorate the event, Brian Hyland wrote the song “Mail Order Gun”, which he recorded and eventually released on his 1970 Eponymous album.)

8) Tell us a secret.

My secret: I really miss all my old pals, male and female, living and dead from those tours, we had so much fun! But especially I miss my partner and love of my life, Rosmari.

9) The Three Stooges or The Marx Brothers?

The Three Stooges. I probably saw all their film shorts as a kid in my neighborhood movie theatre. Later on I found out that Larry Fine was married to my cousin Mabel in Philadelphia.

I met Larry briefly at Dot Records in Los Angeles in 1968. He asked about my Mom and family, I was knocked out to finally meet him. Later in the 1990s I met Larry’s sister Layla, in Phoenix, and she told me the family was proud of my success in the record biz. That blew me away!

10) Where do you keep your moral compass?

My moral compass is the golden rule, and my son Bodi.

11) Do you have a tree house?

No tree house, but growing up in my neighbourhood in Queens, NY, there were many maple trees and others. It was called Woodhaven actually! I climbed a lot of those trees growing up there.

12) What’s new?

New ideas, new guitar licks and new songs. I released a new original song in the summer of 2019 on Spotify, Apple Music, and others. It’s titled “I Want It All”.

I hope everyone is having a great year in the UK!

Respectfully, Brian Hyland.

Today, Brian continues to tour internationally with his son Bodi, who assists on drums.

©Jane Quinn

Mighty Quinn Management and Promotions