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Sunday, 23 June 2013

Adam Faith born 23 June 1940

Terence "Terry" Nelhams-Wright, known as Adam Faith (23 June 1940 – 8 March 2003), was a British teen idol, singer, actor, and financial journalist. He was one of the most charted acts of the 1960s. He became the first UK artist to lodge his initial seven hits in the Top 5. He was also one of the first UK acts to record original songs regularly.

He was born at 4 Churchfield Road, East Acton, West London, and was unaware that his real surname was Nelhams-Wright until he
applied for a passport and obtained his birth certificate. He was known as Terry Nelhams in early life.

Faith made his first appearances in public at the legendary 21's Coffee Bar in London's Soho. He came to the attention of producer Jack Goode, which, in turn, introduced Faith to bandleader John Barry (the music director of Goode's music showcase series Oh Boy! and the music director of the Drumbeat series), which resulted in the invitation to audition for a role in Drumbeat. Faith first emerged on the music scene on the Top Rank and HMV labels, but he saw little chart success until Drumbeat came along in 1959.

Faith became an immediate star, with his matinee-idol looks
and charismatic screen presence. He was signed to EMI's Parlophone label soon after he began work on Drumbeat. In November of 1959, he cut the single "What Do You Want," which soared to number one on the British charts in the course of a 19-week run. With a pleasing, upbeat arrangement built around pizzicato strings and a sort of peppy variation of Elvis' scowling, mumbling demeanor, Faith's career at this point was closer to teen pop than rock & roll, although his stuff is eminently listenable. His next single, "Poor Me," was a better song and also reached number one, while his third, "Somebody Else's Baby," got to number two. Although hardly cutting-edge rock & roll (especially the singles like "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"), it was all pleasant, rather reminiscent of Buddy Holly songs like "True Love Ways." The best of his singles was the John Barry co-authored "Made You," which owes a bit to songs like "Nervous Breakdown" -- it also showed what Faith could do with a real, straight-ahead rock & roll number.

Faith's brand of sometimes rather twee pop ("Lonely Pup (In a Christmas Shop)") became less popular through the 1960s in the face of competition from groups like The Beatles, and he began an alternative career as an actor. Despite his shortcomings as a rock & roller, Faith left the post-Beatles era with one major gift in the form of his superb backing band, the Roulettes -- featuring future Argent members Russ Ballard and Bob Henrit -- who recorded some of the best music of the early British Invasion era. While still a musician Faith had appeared in films such as Beat Girl (1961), but now he concentrated on acting in the theatre. In the 1970s, he went into music management, notably managing Leo Sayer among others.

He starred as the eponymous "hero" in the 1970s television series
Budgie, about an ex-convict, but after a car accident as a result of which he almost lost a leg, his career suffered something of a decline. It restarted in 1975 when helanded a major role as the manipulative manager of rock star David Essex in the film 'Stardust'. In the early 1990s, Faith had another hit TV series in Love Hurts co-starring with Zoe Wanamaker.

In the 1980s, Adam Faith's interests moved from show business to finance, and he became an astute financial investments advisor. In 1986, he was hired as a financial journalist, by the Daily Mail and its sister paper the Mail on Sunday. He also had an involvement with the television Money Channel. But the channel proved to be an unsuccessful venture and closed down in 2001. Adam Faith was declared bankrupt owing a
reported £32 million.

He had had heart problems since 1986 when he underwent open heart surgery. He became ill after his stage performance in Stoke-on-Trent on the Friday evening, and died in hospital of a heart attack early on Saturday morning, March 8, 2003.

Michael Caine (born Maurice Micklewhite) said that his mother worked with Adam's mother in their early days, but because each, of course, referred to her son by his real name, they never made the connection to each other's already well-known offspring. Friend and former BBC Radio 1 DJ
Tony Blackburn described Faith as a kind and genuine person. Speaking on BBC News 24, he said: "He was a bit of a workaholic. He just put everything he had into what he was doing at the time. But the main thing I remember about him more than anything else is he was just so nice. There was no ego there. He was always very, very kind and he would always come over and he was the most friendly person I think I have ever known." (info from Wikipedia & AMG)  Website link

1 comment:

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