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Ricky Valance

Ricky Valance

The first artist from Wales to have a number one single, the 1960 hit 'Tell Laura I Love Her', which sold over a million copies in 1960.

Born David Spencer in 1940 in Ynysddu, he was the eldest of seven children. 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. He signed to EMI and recorded his cover of Ray Peterson's US hit 'Tell Laura I Love Her', which beat Elvis, Cliff and Roy Orbison to the number one spot.

It was a controversial release at the time, dealing with the death of a loved one. In 1960, Decca refused to release "Tell Laura I Love Her" by Ray Peterson and even destroyed thousands of copies of the single. Ricky Valance's cover version was released by EMI on the Columbia label which was #1 on the British charts for three weeks. Today the song has been a hit in 14 countries, and has sold over seven million copies. He released several follow-ups, including Movin' Away, Jimmy's Girl and Six Boys.

Ricky 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.

Today Ricky Valance still performs, singing country songs, rock 'n' roll and ballads.

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