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Thursday, 10 April 2014

Ricky Valance born 10 April 1939

 
 
Ricky Valance (born 10 April 1939) is a Welsh singer. He is best known for the number one single, "Tell Laura I Love Her", which sold over a million copies in 1960.
 
Born David Spencer in Ynysddu, Monmouthshire, near Wattsville, South Wales, he was the eldest of seven children. Times were tough, and upon leaving school he tried various jobs before joining the RAF at the age of 17.
 
When he was discharged, he decided to pursue a career in singing. After performing in local clubs for a couple of years, Valance was discovered by an A&R representative from EMI Records and placed in the hands of record producer Norrie Paramor. At the first recording session, Valance was given the chance to cover Ray Peterson's American hit, "Tell Laura I Love Her". He was rewarded with a number 1 hit in September 1960, thanks to airplay on Radio Luxembourg.
 
The Guinness Book of Hit Singles states that his name was changed to Ricky Valance to remind fans of Ritchie Valens who died with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper in the Iowa snow a year and a half earlier. However, this information is incorrect and the writer who wrote the listing for the GBHS did not do any research into his submission and did not contact Ricky Valance directly about stating the connection between Richie Valens and Ricky Valance, prior to this submission.
 
Ricky Valance chose the name Valance himself after hearing the horse race trainers name of Valance and this there is not a connection to any other artist.  At the launch party of the 20th edition of the Guinness Book of Hit Singles, Ricky Valance directly confronted David Roberts about this matter and it has yet to be changed for future editions.
 
He bucked the trend prevailing at the time by the BBC to almost automatically deny airplay to teen death rock songs like "Tell Laura I Love Her." Mark Dinning's "Teen Angel" had already sunk without a trace, whilst other American death rock records were simply never released in the United Kingdom.
 
Ray Peterson's original version of "Tell Laura I Love Her" was considered for release in the United Kingdom. Thousands of copies were pressed but someone at Decca Records decided that the song was in "bad taste", and the records were ordered destroyed. EMI subsequently arranged for Valence to cover the song, which was co-written by Jeff Barry. Valance thus became the first Welshman to reach the top spot - Shirley Bassey being the first Welsh person.
 
After topping the UK Singles Chart, Valance appeared in the 1961 A Song For Europe competition, hoping to represent the UK in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. His song, "Why Can't We?", placed third out of the nine entries. the winner was "Are You Sure?" performed by The Allisons.

 
 
 
He released several follow-ups songs including "Movin' Away", "Jimmy's Girl" and "Six Boys", but none of them were hits in the UK. However, over 100,000 copies sold of "Jimmy´s Girl", and "Moving Away" made it to number one in Austria and Scandinavia,

with 150,000 copies sold. Valance carved out a career singing on the cabaret and nostalgia circuit. Then, following a bout of severe depression and a nervous breakdown he became a born-again Christian.
 
In being unable to replicate his initial UK Chart chart success, he thus remains a one-hit wonder.
 
 
Valance now lives in Cabo Roig on the outskirts of Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca in Spain, where he still performs on a regular basis. (Info from Wikipedia) 
 

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Ricky Valance - Very Best Of
go here:

https://mega.co.nz/#!x4IA1I5D!ULLpFCw4wjGgVkKCelVHw19AOnY4lpYE-8p5ifBQ5nI

1. Tell Laura I Love Her
2. Once Upon A Time
3. Movin' Away
4. Lipstick On Your Lips
5. Jimmy's Girl
6. Only The Young
7. Say Hello To A New Love
8. Why Can't We
9. Fisher Boy
10. Bobby
11. I Want To Fall In Love
12. I Never Had A Chance
13. It's Not True
14. Try To Forget Her
15. At Times Like These
16. Don't Play Number 9
17. Till The Final Curtain Falls
18. Six Boys
19. Face In The Crowd
20. My Summer Love
21. Abigail