- Ricky Valance
Ricky Valance (born David Spencer,
10 April 1939, Ynysddu, Monmouthshire, near Wattsville, South Wales) is best known for the number one single, " Tell Laura I Love Her", which sold over a million copies in 1960.
Life and career
He was the eldest of seven children. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/music/sites/rickyvalance/pages/biography.shtml BBC.co.uk/Wales] ] Times were tough, and upon leaving school he tried various jobs before joining the RAF aged 17.
After being discharged, he decided to pursue a career in singing. After singing in local clubs for a couple of years, Valance was discovered by an
A&Rrepresentative from EMI Recordsand placed in the hands of record producer Norrie Paramor. [http://www.music.us/biography/artist/25819/ricky_valance.html Music.us/biography] ] At the first recording session, Valance was given the chance of covering Ray Peterson's U.S. hit, "Tell Laura I Love Her". He was rewarded with a number 1 hit in September 1960,cite book
title= British Hit Singles & Albums
publisher= Guinness World Records Limited
pages= p. 579
id= ISBN 1-904994-10-5] thanks to airplay on Radio Luxembourg. In a move as cynical as the decision to record the song in the first place, his name was changed to Ricky Valance, to remind fans of
Ritchie Valens, who died with Buddy Hollyand The Big Bopperin the Iowasnow a year and a half earlier.
He bucked the trend, in that the 1950s, and early 1960s 'death rock' songs were almost automatically denied airplay by the
BBC. Mark Dinning's "Teen Angel" had already sunk without a trace, whilst other American death rock records were simply not released in the United Kingdom.cite book
title= The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits
publisher= Guinness Superlatives Ltd
location= Enfield, Middlesex
pages= p. 53
id= ISBN 0-85112-250-7]
Tell Laura I Love Her
Ray Peterson's original version of " Tell Laura I Love Her" was considered for release in the United Kingdom; in fact, thousands of copies had been pressed, but someone at Decca Recordsdecided that the song was in "bad taste", and the records were ordered destroyed. EMI subsequently arranged for Valence to cover the banned song, co-written by Jeff Barry. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/music/sites/rickyvalance/pages/biography.shtml BBC Biography: Ricky Valence. Webpage retrieved 2008-08-15] ] Shortly after topping the UK Singles Chartfor three weeks in 1960 with "Tell Laura I Love Her", Valance appeared in the 1961 "" competition, attempting to represent the UK in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. His song, "Why Can't We?", placed third out of the nine entries, behind the winner "Are You Sure?" performed by The Allisons.
He released several follow-ups, including "Movin' Away", "Jimmy's Girl" and "Six Boys", but none of them were hits. Valance carved out a career singing on the
cabaretand nostalgia circuit. Then, following a bout of severe depression and a nervous breakdown he became a born-again Christian.
First Welshman at Number One
Valance now lives in Cabo Roig, on the outskirts of
Torreviejaon the Costa Blancain Spain, where he still performs on a regular basis.
*DB4493 - "Tell Laura I Love Her" / "Once Upon a Time" (1960)
*DB4543 - "Movin' Away" / "Lipstick on Your Lips" (1960)
*DB4586 - "Jimmy's Girl" / "Only the Young" (1961)
*DB4592 - "Why Can't We" / "Fisherboy" (1961)
*DB4680 - "Bobby" / "I Want to Fall in Love" (1961)
*DB4725 - "I Never Had a Chance" / "It's Not True" (1961)
*DB4787 - "Try to Forget Her" / "At Times Like These" (1962)
*DB4864 - "Don't Play No.9" / "Till the Final Curtain Falls" (1962) [http://www.45-rpm.org.uk/dirr/rickyv.htm 45-rpm.org.uk] ]
*CR7004 - "My Summer Love" / "Abigail" (1969) (as Jason Merryweather)
List of artists who reached number one on the UK Singles Chart
List of Identity Parade guests on Never Mind the Buzzcocks
* [http://www.classicbands.com/banned.html Banned Rock And Roll Records website]
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/wales/music/sites/rickyvalance/pages/biography.shtml BBC biography website]
* [http://www.rickyvalance.com Ricky Valance website]
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