Houston Wells & Rob Smith Soundclick Site
Houston Wells was born Andrew Smith in Bellingham a tiny village in the North of England in 1932. Due to his involvement in the music industry, it was thought the name Andrew Smith would do nothing for his image as a recording artist. EMI Records in London suggested that seeing as he was a Country singer he needed a Western style name, so he was bestowed with the nom de plume Houston Wells.
Born of a Scottish father and an Irish mother, Houston was educated in England and as a young man he traveled the world extensively with the Merchant Navy, later he worked a variety of occupations in countries such as the USA and Canada. It was while in America that he developed his love of country music, this also led some people into believing that he was American.
In the early 1960's in the UK, Houston joined the Joe Meek stable of young wannabes, and with a credible amount of chart success, with such songs as This Song Is Just For You -- Only The Heartaches reaching the top twenty in the UK, and later with Above And Beyond finding its way to number four in the Irish charts. Houston found himself sharing the stage with such names as The Beatles, Roy Orbison, Jim Reeves, Hank Locklin and Johnny Cash to mention a few.
Also young session players Ritchie Blackmore of (Deep Purple and Rainbow fame), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), and (Tom Jones) lead guitarist the late Big Jim Sullivan, all played session on individual Houston Wells recordings. Ritchie Blackmore at that time was a member of the Outlaws, which eighteen months or so later would wind up being Houstons backing band.
Country music was a hard sell back in the sixties in the UK, and it became a real struggle to make a living. Therefore, when Houston received an offer of steady money to front a Showband in Ireland, (The Premier Aces) he cleared the way with his ex-wife to take the children with him and he grabbed the offer with both hands. His love of music rubbed off on his children. They all had exceptional voices. However, his eldest son Robert took things a step further and made a full time career out of music.
Robert Smith was born in London on the 28th April 1954. At age 10 Robert's father (UK country singer Houston Wells) gave him a Houston Wells & The Marksmen, Western Style LP. Robert played this album extensively and it would be his first real introduction into the music world. Robert became captivated by not only his fathers singing, but the guitar playing of Pete Willsher the lead guitarist of the Marksmen.
After emigrating to Ireland in 1965, and when Robert reached the age of 13, his father bought him his first guitar, a Spanish styled acoustic with steel strings. After learning a few chords, the first thing Robert wanted to do was write his own songs, and this is where his songwriting days began. By the time he was 16 he already had many original songs to his credit, and he would arrange and sing them with his sister Linda, and brothers Martin and Philip.
Robert accompanied and sang with his father on many occasions, and just before his 17th birthday, he went on a three week tour of Scotland with Houston Wells and the Trident Showband. A truly great experience, this is where the seeds were sown for Robert to lead the life of a fulltime musician.
After the family emigrated to New Zealand in 1974, Robert became a prolific songwriter and professional musician, over the years he has played in many Kiwi bands, ICE, The Bronx, and The Candles to mention a few. Rob is still currently playing live with his Taranaki four piece band Quadraphonic.
In 1997 Rob began recording extensively and over the past years he has set up and improved his own recording studio at home, which he named Polar Studios. His independent record label runs under the name Polar Music New Zealand. Rob's love of writing and recording means he now has a long list of solo albums and collaborative albums which are available through this website.
In the latter years Rob worked with his father on several projects, including the Jasmine released double CD "Then And Now".
Sadly Houston Wells passed away in Taupo in the North Island of New Zealand on the 28th of December 2013 he was 81.
On this website you can listen in part to a collection of Houstons or Robs songs, or you can download the complete mp3 track, or order any of the available albums.
Check out the folllowing websites for more information on all things Houston Wells, Rob Smith & Polar Music New Zealand:
Houston Wells @ Facebook
Rob Smith @ Facebook
Quadraphonic @ Facebook
GONE WILD + Friends (Polar Music New Zealand) (Facebook)
real life and real emotions are what drives any good song.
Rob Smith is also an author....Check out these links to Rob's books below:
The Chronicles Of B - Vol 1 - The Stone Key
The Chronicles of B - Vol 2 - The Hidden Valley (Kindle/Paperback)
The Chronicles of B - Vol 3 - The Lost City of Var (Kindle/Paperback)
Future Vaga (Kindle)
Future Vaga (Paperback)