Tracy Hyde / Melody  FAQ

What follows is a collection of "facts"  gathered from a wide variety of sources.
My hope is that you (yes, I'm talking to YOU) may be able to corroborate, debunk or add to these facts.
There are also several questions here. If you know the answer, or have an opinion, then let me know.
Hopefully we can build an increasingly accurate database of information about Tracy Hyde and Melody.

Table of Contents

  1. Tracy Hyde Bio
  2. The Making of Melody
  3. What kind of reviews did Melody receive ... ?
  4. Who was in the cast & crew of Melody ... ?
  5. Where was Melody filmed ... ?
  6. Where can I buy a copy of Melody & Alice ... ?
  7. Where can I buy the Melody soundtrack ... ?
  8. Where can I find the Lyrics to the soundtrack ... ?
  9. Where are they now ... ?

 


Tracy Hyde Bio

Tracy Hyde was born in Salisbury, England on May 16th 1959.
At some point her family moved to 148 Wickham Avenue in North Cheam, which is in Surrey, a short distance south of London. She lived there with her parents and younger sister. Her father worked as a car salesman.
Click here to see a map of the area
Click here to see her old house in the "Reunion" video clip.

Tracy started ballet lessons at age 4. When she was 8 her dance teacher suggested she try out for a TV commercial. After that her parents signed her up with a London modeling agency. This led to her picture being seen by the producer & director of Melody who offered her the leading role.

After making Melody it seems Tracy was in a couple of made for TV movies. A TV drama called "The Greeks and their Gifts" made by Anglia TV in the early 70's. She also appeared briefly in an episode of the ITV series "The Gentle Touch" as a gangster's moll and got stuck in a large freezer. 

She also did some modeling. There are agency photos of her in 1977 (age 18) and 1980 (age 21)

She graduated from Sutton Common High School in 1975 and then attended a secretarial college. After leaving she was employed as a legal secretary.

In 1977 her family moved about five miles west to the town of  Chessington. According to Nazuna (a frequent contributor to this page) an article in Roadshow Magazine states that they moved because of her father's new job as the manager of a 'Pet Hotel'

Melody was a big hit in Japan and Tracy was featured in several Japanese fan magazines during the 70's.
In Feb. 1977 she visited Japan to attend a cinema grand awards ceremony. She was voted "Top Actress of the year" by a Roadshow magazine reader vote. Here is her thank you letter to her Japanese fans, and here is a recording of Tracy reading the letter.
It was her second trip to Japan, her first trip was on October 15th, 1972.

In 1978, at age 19, Tracy moved to London where she lived with a friend.

In 1986 she appeared in the movie Alice. Jack Wild was also in the movie and both played supporting roles.

Over the years Tracy has appeared in  "Whatever happened to..." type shows, the last one was a Japanese show made in 1999. You can view some clips of this show and also one from 1994 here.

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The Making of Melody

The movie Melody was made in England in 1970, the production went from May through to Aug. and it was released in 1971. Most of the shooting was done in and around Lambeth. The seaside scenes were filmed in Weymouth except for the roller coaster which was filmed at Battersea Funfair in London.

It was originally screened as Melody, even in the UK, which is why all of the initial reviews and advertising campaign material have Melody as the title. Just prior to general release in 1971 it was re-titled S.W.A.L.K. as some people felt that Melody didn't convey the feel of the movie. S.W.A.L.K. means 'Sealed With A Loving Kiss' and it was something school kids in Britain wrote on the envelopes of their love letters.
Because American audiences weren't familiar with the term S.W.A.L.K., an alternate title, To Love Somebody, was considered but ultimately it reverted to Melody for most markets.
It seems it was also released under various other names around the world. e.g.  Melody Fair and Love Melody.

An excellent look at the making of Melody can be found in the book:
Fast Fade : David Puttnam, Columbia Pictures, and the Battle for Hollywood by Andrew Yule

The following is an excerpt:

"...David went back to Alan Parker. Between the two of them, they came up with the idea for a film called Melody, a love story of two kids who meet at school.
"We had also acquired the rights to seven Bee Gees songs, and I had to incorporate them into this story," Alan recalls.
After a few false starts, they managed to get the necessary backing from U.S. Seagram's boss, Edgar Bronfman, who put up $400,000 of the budget. The British firm Hemdale...added another $200,000; it was their first movie venture...
David [Puttnam] produced Melody, with Ron Kass as executive producer, and Waris Hussein was chosen to direct (following his film, A Touch of Love, which David had seen and enjoyed). He also signed A Touch of Love's photographer, Peter Suschitsky.
Alan took the second unit camera for Melody and filmed some of the activities going on in the center of the field for a school sports day scene. Although the filming lasted for only a day, Alan admits, "I did get carried away at the long jump and got the directing bug for the first time!" At that point in his career, Alan had never directed anything, not even commercials. It occurred to David that perhaps Alan's talents lay there as well as in writing.
Melody opened in the States in 1971, just one week before its British debut, to good reviews but nonexistent business. In Britain, the film was dreadfully renamed S.W.A.L.K. (Sealed With A Loving Kiss) by the Boultings' British Lion distributors. This time it was largely attacked by the critics, and again it did no business. They resigned themselves to a financial flop with their first venture. But then unexpected good news came to Goodtimes: the film had gone through the roof in Japan following its sale at Cannes to Nippon Herald Films. David visited Tokyo for the second time and was greeted by yet another windfall. The negotiator of the Japanese contract had awarded Goodtimes a percentage of the Japanese gross revenues, rather than the net they had expected. The resulting checks from Japan kept Sandy and Davis solvent for some time to come.
Nippon Herald had an enormous success with Melody, selling an astonishing three million tickets.The soundtrack album nestled at number one on the Japanese charts for months. The film was re-issued soon after and has been in almost continuous circulation ever since...
David basked in the Japanese success of Melody. It was a modest start, yet he had gotten his feet wet and the fledgling Goodtimes had taken its first faltering steps.
"Melody was what it was," Alan Parker summarizes - "a beginning for all of us."

 

Melody was Alan Parker's first script and it was also the first movie David Puttnam produced.

As well as "Fast Fade" there was another book, also written by Andrew Yule, titled "Enigma, David Puttnam : the story so far "
Both books are out of print although the former has been located in a library by a contributor to this FAQ -Kirsty MacDonald.

Q- Does anybody have access to the Enigma book?

David Putnam & Waris Hussein (the producer & director of Melody) had been scouring the country trying to find the perfect girl to play Melody Perkins. After looking at several hundred photos from modeling agencies and drama schools they came across Tracy's photo. She was called in and asked to read a scene. Without any acting instruction at all,10 year old Tracy impressed them enough to win the part.

Her family was shocked when they found out she was wanted not for a commercial, but to star in a movie.

The movie also starred Jack Wild & Mark Lester who were both well known actors after their roles in the award winning movie Oliver. Mark played Oliver and Jack played the Artful Dodger.

The school where the movie was shot, Archbishop Temple School, was closed down in 1974 and was amalgamated with Archbishop Michael Ramsey Technical College in Camberwell.  The building is still standing and is now used by the British Maritime.

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What kind of reviews did Melody receive ... ?

Here are some reviews;

New York Times - March 1971

Variety - March 1971

NewsWeek - April 12 1971

Time - May 10 1971

New York - Apr 5 1971

Cue - Apr 3 1971

Newsday - Mar 29 1971

TV Guide

Film Facts

International Film Review 1971-71

Film Review 1972-73

The Screen Image of Youth: Movies About Children and Adolescents - 1980

America - April 1971

Films in Review - May 1971

Films & Filming - June 1971

Media & Methods - Oct 1973

Leonard Maltin's summary & rating

Q - Does anyone have any other reviews?

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Cast & Crew of Melody

Directed by Waris Hussein
Writing credits Andrew Birkin & Alan Parker

Cast (in credits order)

Mark Lester Daniel Latimer
Tracy Hyde Melody Perkins
Jack Wild Ornshaw
Roy Kinnear Mr. Perkins
Ken Jones Mr. Dicks
Billy Franks Burgess
Sheila Steafel Mrs. Latimer
Kate Williams Mrs. Perkins

Rest of cast listed alphabetically

Colin Barrie Chambers
Hilda Barry Grandma Perkins
James Cossins Headmaster
June C. Ellis Miss Dimkins
Camille Davis Muriel
Billy Franks Burgess
John Gorman Boys' Brigade Captain
Dawn Hope Maureen
Robin Hunter George
June Jago Miss Fairfax
Ashley Knight Stacey
Neil Hallett Man in Hospital, TV Film
Craig Marriot Dadds
Tracy Reed Woman in Hospital, TV Film
Kay Skinner Peggy
William Vanderpuye O'Leary
Peter Walton Fensham
Tim Wylton Mr. Fellows
Petal Young Betty

Girls Group

Deborah Childs Heather Gibson
Susan Hassell Sara Maddern
Stephanie Muldenhall Jacqueline Pullen
Leslie Roach Caroline Stratford
Gill Wain Karen Williams

Boys Group

Leonard Brockwell Billy Ferguson
Robin Hopwood Nigel Kingsley
Peter Lewis Stephen Mallet
Kenny Robson Tommy Skipp
Wayne Thistleton Roy Wain
Ricky Wales
Produced by David Puttnam
(associate) Adrian Gaye
(assistant) Ronald S. Kass
Original music by Bee Gees
Cinematography by Peter Suschitzky
Film Editing by John Victor-Smith
Sound Clive Smith, Tony Jackson, Gerry Humphreys
Production Supervisor Gavrik Losey

Other crew

Continuity Zelda Barron
Make-up artist Betty Blattner
Gaffer Roy Larner
Best boy Tommy Lee
Art director Roy Stannard
Asst, Art Director Bruce Grimes
Production Companies Goodtimes Enterprises
Levitt
Pickman
Hemdale Productions
Sagittarius Productions [us]
Lighting Lee Lighting Ltd.
Grip package Lee Lighting Ltd.

 

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Where was Melody Filmed ... ?

Filming Locations for
Melody (1971)


Berwick Street, London, England, UK

Greek Street, London, England, UK

Hammersmith, London, England, UK

Archbishop Temple school, Lambeth, London, England, UK

Hercules Road, Lambeth, London, England, UK
        Bus stop scene

Lambeth Road, Lambeth, London, England, UK
        Goldfish in horse trough scene

Kennington Road, Lambeth, London, England, UK
        Pub scene with Mr. Perkins

Piccadilly, London, England, UK
        Ornshaw & Daniel in London

Soho Square, London, England, UK
        Ornshaw trying to sneak into strip club

Trafalgar Square, London, England, UK
        Ornshaw & Daniel in London

Weymouth, Dorset, England

Battersea Funfair, London

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Where can I buy a copy of Melody & Alice?

Melody is no longer in production, so the only source seems to be from 2nd hand vendors. I got mine from the stock of a video rental store that went out of business.

If you have no luck at all finding a copy, contact me.

Note that there were different versions released. Some, (US version?) have a few scenes edited out.
1- Where Daniel sets fire to his dad's newspaper
2- Where Ornshaw flashes the nude picture in class
3 - Where Daniel's mother tries to take the nude magazine away from him.
Check the running time, I think the full version runs 107 minutes and the edited version is 103 minutes.


Melody was also available in laser disk in Japan and I've occasionally seen discs for sale on various newsgroups. Be prepared to pay over $100US for a laser disk..

Alice
is available from Amazon. Just do a search for Alice under Videos.  There have been several movies made named Alice, the one you want stars Sophie Barjae.

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Where can I buy the Melody soundtrack ... ?

The soundtrack features songs by the Bee Gees, Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Richard Hewson. It's hard to find but is available on CD from Amazon.
As of April 11th 99 it was back in stock. If you want it, don't delay or it may be unavailable again.

Track List

01  In the Morning (The Bee Gees)
02 In the Morning (Reprise) (Richard Hewson Orch.)
03 Melody Fair (The Bee Gees)
04 Melody Fair (Reprise) (Richard Hewson Orch.)
05 Spicks and Specks (Richard Hewson Orch. with children from Corona School)
06 Romance Theme in F (Richard Hewson Orch.)
07 Give Your Best (The Bee Gees)
08 To Love Somebody (The Bee Gees)
09 Working on It Night and Day (Richard Hewson Orch. with Barry Hewson)
10 First of May (The Bee Gees)
11 First of May (Reprise) (Richard Hewson Orch.)
12 Seaside Banjo (Richard Hewson Orch.)
13 Teachers Chase (Richard Hewson Orch.)
14 Teach Your Children (Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young)
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Where can I find the Lyrics to the soundtrack ... ?

Follow this link to the Lyrics Page.

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Where are they now ... ?

This is the question I get the most.

Tracy Hyde
Since around 1994 Tracy has lived in France on a farm in the country. She is married and has three young sons. As you can see from the videos shot in 1994 and 1999, she's still beautiful :-)
Click here to see a map of the area

Mark Lester
Mark is married and living in Cheltenham where he and his wife are both osteopaths (Chiropractors). They have three daughters. Mark has a website for his medical office

Jack Wild
Jack is still working as an actor, his most recent performance is in the UK stage show 'Virus'

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SWALK
Revised: January 11, 2003.