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Mary Hopkin: Story and Beautiful Photos of Welsh Singer who sang ‘Those Were the Days’

Mary Hopkin is a Welsh singer-songwriter, and she was one of the earliest signings to the Beatles’ Apple label. Hopkin took singing lessons in her childhood and began her musical career as a folk singer with a local group.

Singing career

Hopkin released an EP of Welsh-language songs for a local record label called ‘Cambrian’ before joining the Beatles’ Apple Records. She also played solo gigs with her band around the local clubs. She released her single ‘Those Where the Days,’ produced by McCartney, was released in the UK on 30 August 1968. The single reached number 1 hit on the UK Singles Chart and number 2 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It sold over 8 million copies worldwide and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA.

Mary released her debut album, ‘Postcard’ in 1971. It reached number 3 in the UK and number 28 in the US. In 1970, she sang ‘Knock Knock, Who’s There?’ at the Eurovision Song Contest and placed second in the competition. The same year she released her final big hit, ‘Think About Your Children.’

Mary released her second album’ Earth Song, Ocean Song’ on 1 October 1971. Mary regrets not being able to promote this properly since she is tied up in the summer season. Her time with Apple came to an end with the release of the record. Mary took a break from recording to marry producer Tony Visconti and spend most of her time raising her children. In January 1972, she traveled to Australia with Visconti and performed at an outdoor rock festival in South Australia and concerts in several major cities. She also released several singles and albums until 2020.

For the 50th anniversary of the release of “Those Were the Days,” Hopkin released a brand-new acoustic version on 30 August 2018 on an EP featuring the live performance from her 1972 farewell concert at the Royal Festival Hall.

Personal life

Mary Hopkin married American Record Producer Tony Visconti in 1971, and she briefly retired from music. They divorced after ten years in 1981, and they had a daughter Jessica Lee Morgan.

Below are some photos of young Mary Hopkin from her early life and music career.

#1 Mary Hopkin in a hat, 1960s.

Mary Hopkin in a hat, 1960s.

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#2 Welsh folk singer Mary Hopkin, 21st August 1970.

Welsh folk singer Mary Hopkin, 21st August 1970.

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#3 Mary Hopkin posing behind the Needle grasses, 1960s.

Mary Hopkin posing behind the Needle grasses, 1960s.

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#4 Mary Hopkin with a rose, 1960s.

Mary Hopkin with a rose, 1960s.

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#5 Mary Hopkin playing an acoustic guitar, 1960s.

Mary Hopkin playing an acoustic guitar, 1960s.

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#6 Studio portrait of Mary Hopkin, 1960s.

Studio portrait of Mary Hopkin, 1960s.

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#7 Mary Hopkin portrait, 1960s.

Mary Hopkin portrait, 1960s.

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#8 Mary Hopkin with a guitar, 1960s.

Mary Hopkin with a guitar, 1960s.

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#9 Mary Hopkin with Paul McCartney from the Beatles, 1960s.

Mary Hopkin with Paul McCartney from the Beatles, 1960s.

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#10 Mary Hopkin performing on the stage, 1960s.

Mary Hopkin performing on the stage, 1960s.

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#11 Mary Hopkin is filmed for television singing her single ‘Those Were The Days’, 1968.

Mary Hopkin is filmed for television singing her single 'Those Were The Days', 1968.

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#12 Mary Hopkin performing on the stage, 1968.

Mary Hopkin performing on the stage, 1968.

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#13 Mary Hopkin performing in the UK, circa 1968.

Mary Hopkin performing in the UK, circa 1968.

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#14 Mary Hopkin with George Harrison, 1968.

Mary Hopkin with George Harrison, 1968.

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#15 Mary Hopkins rehearsing a song at the BBC studios, 1968.

Mary Hopkins rehearsing a song at the BBC studios, 1968.

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#16 Mary Hopkin pictured standing next to an oil painting in 1968.

Mary Hopkin pictured standing next to an oil painting in 1968.

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#17 Mary Hopkin with Paul McCartney and Richard Newson enlist the aid of the Aida Foster Children’s Choir to record Hopkin’s song ‘Those Were the Days’ for the Apple label, 26th July 1968.

Mary Hopkin with Paul McCartney and Richard Newson enlist the aid of the Aida Foster Children's Choir to record Hopkin's song 'Those Were the Days' for the Apple label, 26th July 1968.

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#18 Mary Hopkin with Disc jockey Pete Brady discusses a forthcoming ‘Magpie’ Thames Television show, 1968.

Mary Hopkin with Disc jockey Pete Brady discusses a forthcoming 'Magpie' Thames Television show, 1968.

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#19 Mary Hopkin goes over a new song with Pete Brady (left) and Paul McCartney of the Beatles,1968.

Mary Hopkin goes over a new song with Pete Brady (left) and Paul McCartney of the Beatles,1968.

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#20 Mary Hopkin rehearsing at St Paul’s Cathedral, London, 1968.

Mary Hopkin rehearsing at St Paul's Cathedral, London, 1968.

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#21 Mary Hopkin with Tommy Steele in Whittington at the London Palladium, London, 1969.

Mary Hopkin with Tommy Steele in Whittington at the London Palladium, London, 1969.

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#22 Mary Hopkin performs live on stage at the Sanremo Music Festival in Sanremo Casino, 1969.

Mary Hopkin performs live on stage at the Sanremo Music Festival in Sanremo Casino, 1969.

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#23 Mary Hopkin performs on “This Is Tom Jones” TV show in, 1970.

Mary Hopkin performs on "This Is Tom Jones" TV show in, 1970.

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#24 Mary Hopkin, February 7, 1969.

Mary Hopkin, February 7, 1969.

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#25 Mary Hopkin with her husband Tony Visconti in London, UK, 17th June 1971.

Mary Hopkin with her husband Tony Visconti in London, UK, 17th June 1971.

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#26 Mary Hopkin sitting on the chair, 1969.

Mary Hopkin sitting on the chair, 1969.

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#27 Mary Hopkin with Marie MacDonald clutching awards they were presented at the Disc And Music Echo Valentine’s Day Award, 1969.

Mary Hopkin with Marie MacDonald clutching awards they were presented at the Disc And Music Echo Valentine's Day Award, 1969.

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#28 Mary Hopkin with English pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck outside the Westbury Hotel in London, 7th March 1969.

Mary Hopkin with English pop singer Engelbert Humperdinck outside the Westbury Hotel in London, 7th March 1969.

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#29 Mary Hopkin, 1968.

Mary Hopkin, 1968.

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#30 Mary Hopkin on the stage, 1968.

Mary Hopkin on the stage, 1968.

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#31 Mary Hopkin on the stage, 1960s.

Mary Hopkin on the stage, 1960s.

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#32 Mary Hopkin smiling, 1960s.

Mary Hopkin smiling, 1960s.

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#33 Mary Hopkin, 1969.

Mary Hopkin, 1969.

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#34 Mary Hopkin, who took second place in the Melody Maker Poll for the best girl singer, is awarded a bottle of champagne by John Peel, 1969.

Mary Hopkin, who took second place in the Melody Maker Poll for the best girl singer, is awarded a bottle of champagne by John Peel, 1969.

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#35 Mary Hopkin, 1970.

Mary Hopkin, 1970.

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#36 Mary Hopkin poses for press photographers outside the BBC in London, 1969.

Mary Hopkin poses for press photographers outside the BBC in London, 1969.

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#37 Mary Hopkin in London after being chosen to represent Great Britain in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest, 22nd September 1969.

Mary Hopkin in London after being chosen to represent Great Britain in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest, 22nd September 1969.

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#38 Mary Hopkin posed holding an acoustic guitar in London in October 1969

Mary Hopkin posed holding an acoustic guitar in London in October 1969

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#39 Mary Hopkin relaxes in Embankment Gardens, London, 1969.

Mary Hopkin relaxes in Embankment Gardens, London, 1969.

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#40 Mary Hopkin with Tommy Steele uring rehearsals for the pantomime ‘Dik Whittington’ at the London Palladium, 20th December 1969.

Mary Hopkin with Tommy Steele uring rehearsals for the pantomime 'Dik Whittington' at the London Palladium, 20th December 1969.

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#41 Mary Hopkin with Cliff Richardat the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest count when Hopkin’s ‘Knock Knock Who’s There?’ , 1970.

Mary Hopkin with Cliff Richardat the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest count when Hopkin's 'Knock Knock Who's There?' , 1970.

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#42 Mary Hopkin, 1971.

Mary Hopkin, 1971.

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#43 Mary Hopkin in London, 1971.

Mary Hopkin in London, 1971.

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#44 Mary Hopkin with Royal National Eisteddfod, Ammanford, 1970.

Mary Hopkin with Royal National Eisteddfod, Ammanford, 1970.

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#45 Mary Hopkin enjoyed a no 1 hit with her first single “Those Were The Days”, 1970.

Mary Hopkin enjoyed a no 1 hit with her first single "Those Were The Days", 1970.

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#46 Mary Hopkin on the stage, 1971.

Mary Hopkin on the stage, 1971.

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#47 Mary Hopkin performing on the stage, 1971.

Mary Hopkin performing on the stage, 1971.

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#48 Mary Hopkin performs on a TV show, 1970.

Mary Hopkin performs on a TV show, 1970.

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#49 Mary Hopkin, who is representing the United Kingdom in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest, with a sign reading ‘Good Luck Mary’, 1970.

Mary Hopkin, who is representing the United Kingdom in the 1970 Eurovision Song Contest, with a sign reading 'Good Luck Mary', 1970.

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#50 Portrait of Mary Hopkin in the street, 1970.

Portrait of Mary Hopkin in the street, 1970.

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#51 Mary Hopkin sorting postcards at the BBC to decide which song she will sing in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, London, 1970.

Mary Hopkin sorting postcards at the BBC to decide which song she will sing in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest, London, 1970.

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#52 Mary Hopkin holding an oriental parasol after arriving at Heathrow airport from Osaka, Japan where she sang on television, 1970.

Mary Hopkin holding an oriental parasol after arriving at Heathrow airport from Osaka, Japan where she sang on television, 1970.

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#53 Mary Hopkin, October 12th 1970.

Mary Hopkin, October 12th 1970.

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#54 Mary Hopkin, London, UK, 17th June 1971.

Mary Hopkin, London, UK, 17th June 1971.

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#55 Mary Hopkin arrives at the premiere of the film ‘The Tales of Beatrix Potter’, London, 1971.

Mary Hopkin arrives at the premiere of the film 'The Tales of Beatrix Potter', London, 1971.

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#56 Mary Hopkin, 18th June 1971.

Mary Hopkin, 18th June 1971.

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#57 Mary Hopkin at her parents home, 1971.

Mary Hopkin at her parents home, 1971.

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#58 Mary Hopkin with her husband Tony Visconti, 1972.

Mary Hopkin with her husband Tony Visconti, 1972.

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#59 Mary Hopkin with her husband Tony Visconti in Sounds Newspaper offices, London, 18th October 1972.

Mary Hopkin with her husband Tony Visconti in Sounds Newspaper offices, London, 18th October 1972.

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#60 Mary Hopkin with Hughie Green and Lena Zavaroni, 1978.

Mary Hopkin with Hughie Green and  Lena Zavaroni, 1978.

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Written by Alicia Linn

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