Ricky Valence

Ricky Valence
Ricky Valence

Wikipedia entry:

Born David Spencer in Ynysddu, Monmouthshire, near Wattsville, South Wales, he is the eldest of seven children.[1] He joined the RAF at the age of 17.[1]

He started his musical career after leaving the military.[1] He performed in local clubs for a couple of years before he was discovered by an A&R representative from EMI, placed with the record producer Norrie Paramor and signed to EMI’s Columbia label.[2] At the first recording session, Valance was given the chance to cover Ray Peterson‘s Americanhit, “Tell Laura I Love Her”.[2] He was rewarded with a number 1 hit in September 1960, thanks to airplay on Radio Luxembourg.[2][3]   The BBC refused to play teenage tragedy songs like “Tell Laura I Love Her”. Many American death rock records were simply never released in the United Kingdom.

Ray Peterson‘s original version of “Tell Laura I Love Her”, which was co-written by Jeff Barry, was not released in the United Kingdom, because Decca Records considered it in bad taste.[4] EMI subsequently arranged for Valance to cover the song.[5] Valance thus became the first Welshman to reach the top spot – Shirley Bassey being the first Welsh female.   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.

Further singles included “Movin’ Away”, “Jimmy’s Girl” and “Six Boys”.[1] Over 100,000 copies sold of “Jimmy´s Girl”, and “Moving Away” made it to number one in Australia and Scandinavia, with 150,000 copies sold. In being unable to replicate his initial UK 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. He also has a home in Blaenau Gwent in Wales.

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