‘Every lonely city where I hang my hat Ain't as half as pretty as where my baby's at’
TONY CHRISTIE’S (IS THIS THE WAY TO) AMARILLO
The 2005 version of (Is This The Way To) Amarillo was a re-issue rather than a re-recording of the 1971 original, so Peter Kay is one of the few people to be ‘featured’ on a No. 1 hit without playing any part in the recording. In fact, Tony Christie recorded the song two years before Kay was born. Amarillo was written by two Americans: Neil Sedaka and his long-time lyrics writing collaborator Howard Greenfield. The song was never a hit in their native land however, with Sedaka's own version peaking at number 44 in the Billboard charts. Sedaka has conceded that Tony Christie's version was ‘catchier and more upbeat’. Yorkshire singer Christie reached No. 18 in the UK with Amarillo in 1971, but it was a much bigger hit in Europe, notably Spain and Germany where it hit number one. 34 years after its first release, Amarillo finally topped the charts in the UK and Ireland as the 2005 Comic Relief fundraiser after it had featured in the comedy series Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights. Kay lip-synced the song in the video, accompanied by an array of celebrities that included Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen, Michael Parkinson, Mr Blobby, Shakin' Stevens and Heather Mills.