Bernard William Jewry (27 September 1942 – 23 October 2014), known professionally as Shane Fenton and later as Alvin Stardust, was an English rock singer and stage actor.
Bernard William Jewry was born 27 September 1942 in Muswell Hill, North London.Moving to Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, at a young age where his mother ran a boarding house frequented by musicians and entertainers appearing locally, Jewry attended the Southwell Minster Collegiate Grammar School in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, near Newark-upon-Trent, as a boarder. He made his stage debut in pantomime at the age of four.
In the early 1960s, Shane Fenton and the Fentones were an unknown teenage band who recorded a demo tape and mailed it in to a BBC programme with the hope of being picked to appear on television. While awaiting a reply from the BBC, the band's 17-year-old singer Shane Fenton (whose real name was Johnny Theakstone) died as a result of the rheumatic fever he had suffered in childhood.
The rest of the band (guitarists Jerry Wilcock and Mick Eyre, bassist Graham George Squires and drummer Tony Hinchcliffe) decided to break up, but then unexpectedly received a letter from the BBC inviting them to come to London to audition in person for the programme. Theakstone's mother asked the band to stay together, and to keep its name, in honour of her son's memory. Jewry, who was a roadie with them at the time, was asked to join the band and to use Shane Fenton as a pseudonym. The combo had a handful of hits in the UK Singles Chart: "I'm A Moody Guy", "Walk Away", "It's All Over Now" and their biggest hit, "Cindy's Birthday". These and their subsequent misses were all on Parlophone Records.
Shelley, however, had no interest in performing live or making public appearances, so even as "My Coo Ca Choo" was climbing the charts, he was on the lookout for someone to take over the role of Alvin Stardust. Hal Carter, Jewry's manager, suggested his client as a substitute. Jewry took over as Stardust in time to lip-synch "My Coo Ca Choo" on its first Top Of The Pops appearance.
All further Alvin Stardust records were sung by Jewry. Stardust had further chart successes with the hits "Jealous Mind" (UK No. 1.), "You, You, You", "Red Dress" and "Good Love Can Never Die" and "Sweet Cheatin' Rita."
The hits stopped after that, but Stardust had already made plans for the future. He had already dropped the leather and the scowl, while his last two singles, in particular, had revealed a sensitive side to the once-demonic performer. With an audience which now included as many parents as children, he turned his attention towards the rock & roll revival circuit and remained a successful live draw well into the early '80s.
Stardust then engineered a quite remarkable comeback, signing to the Stiff Records label and returning to the chart with "Pretend." It reached number four during fall 1981 and while Stardust then lapsed back into silence, it was only fleeting. In May 1984, "I Feel Like Buddy Holly" returned him to the U.K. Top Ten, to be followed by "I Won't Run Away" and the festive favorite "So Near to Christmas." He celebrated 25 years of chart success the following year when "Got a Little Heartache" breached the Top 60. It was to prove his final hit; after that time, he remained a fixture on the live circuit, also appearing in occasional television and stage role.He participated in A Song for Europe, the UK qualifying heat of the Eurovision Song Contest, in 1985, with the song "The Clock on the Wall". He finished in third place behind Vikki and Kerri Wells.
Stardust also starred in the UK tour of Godspell and played Uriah Heep in David Copperfield – The Musical and Sir Billy Butlin in The Butlin Story at the London Palladium. In 2005 he starred as the Child Catcher in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, also at the London Palladium. Stardust has numerous television appearances to his credit, and continued to tour as a performer and singer. In 1989, he also hosted his own Sunday morning children's TV series on ITV called It's Stardust.
Stardust died after a brief illness; this was confirmed by his manager on the morning of 23 October 2014. His death came just weeks before he was due to release his first album for 30 years and the day after his last show at the Regal Cinema, Evesham. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer 18 months earlier, which later metastasised. He died at home with his wife and family around him.
(Info edited from Wikipedia & All Music)