Recording Artist, Entertainer & Broadcaster
Recording Artist and Entertainer
With ‘Tell Laura I Love Her’, Ricky achieved Silver, Gold and Platinum discs as he soared to the top of the British Hit Parade, reaching the coveted Number One position on the 29th September, 1960.
‘Tell Laura’ entered the Top 50 on August 25th, and a month later knocked The Shadows and ‘Apache’ off the Top Spot. ‘Tell Laura’ remained in the charts for a total of 16-weeks, holding on to Number One for three of them. Ricky was up against some stiff competition at the time from more established artists such as Cliff Richard, Eddie Cochran, The Every Brothers and even Elvis. A tremendous feat for an artist's first recording.
Unfortunately, that’s all that many people think that Ricky did but, in fact, he continued to make records for Columbia for a further two years, charting not only in the UK but also having Hits further away from his homeland, such as in Holland, Germany, Sweden, Japan and Australia, to name but a few. ‘Tell Laura’ was such a huge hit, selling more than seven million copies Worldwide, that it was hard act to follow, the result being that success on such a scale would forever elude him.
However, before we let anyone label Ricky Valance as a ‘One Hit Wonder’ let’s remind ourselves (and others) of his single discography from the 1960’s:
‘Tell Laura I Love Her” b/w ‘Once Upon A Time’ (UK Number One)
‘Movin’ Away’ b/w ‘Lipstick on your lips’ (No. 1 Scandinavia) (Top 50)
‘Jimmy’s Girl’ b/w ‘Only the young’ (Top 50)
‘Why Can’t We’ b/w ‘Fisherboy’(Top 50)
‘Bobby’ b/w ‘I want to fall in love’
‘Don’t Play Number 9’ b/w ‘At Times Like These’ (Top 50)
‘Try to forget her’ b/w ‘Till the final curtain falls’
‘Never had a chance’ b/w ‘it’s not true’
‘Six Boys’ b/w ‘face in the crowd’
With arrival of the Beatles, Herman’s Hermits, Dave Clarke 5, The Rolling Stones and the Merrybeat sounds of 1963, by mutual agreement, Ricky departed from Columbia Records and took a different path into acting, television, theatre and one of his first loves, country music.
In recent years, Ricky has shown to audiences all over the world that he has nothing to prove. He has lost none of the vitality that he enjoyed back in the 60’s. He is fit, slim and more-or-less unaffected by the passage of time. Oh, if only we could all say the same for ourselves!
And, if his voice has changed at all then it has matured to a rich fullness which Ricky projects with tremendous effect in his act as he gets to grip with a combination of Rock’n’Roll, Country and soft, tender ballads.
To many, Ricky is as popular today as he was at the beginning of his career. Indeed, whether he is bringing the house down at one of Butlin’s Annual ‘Festival of the Sixties’, in summer season by the sea or appearing in Cabaret in the UK, Ireland, his home in Spain or on Cruise Ships, to thousands of people, Ricky is STILL Number ONE!
On Stage Ricky Valance is one of the most professional artists one could ever hope to see., requiring the same degree of perfection from his backing band as he demands from himself. He is an entertainer and a showman. After a show he is always on hand to chat with his public, sign autographs and spend time with his fans.
In March 1989 Ricky moved over to Nashville, Tennessee where he appeared on ‘Nashville Now’ broadcast to over seventy million people around the USA. Also on the show were popular Country Music stars Tom T Hall and the Kendalls.
The reception in the USA was so great that he returned there in 2001 to record his Nashville album, ‘One of the Best’.
But what about the man himself? When the show is over, the audience gone, who is Ricky Valance?
Ricky was born and brought up in a South Wales valley, where families went to Chapel every Sunday and it was the fate of many a young man to follow his father’s footsteps and work in the ‘pit’. In this respect. Ricky was no exception as he too became a miner before deciding to make a career in that other famous Welsh tradition, singing.
His first record, ‘Tell Laura I love Her’ was originally recorded by US artist Ray Peterson but it was Ricky’s version which was to prove to be the most popular and enduring around the world. It was for ‘Tell Laura’ that Ricky chose his stage name and it is an issue on which he is particularly sensitive, especially if anyone suggests that his name has anything to do with the late Richie Valens, which it is not! So just how did his name come about? Ricky explains, “I’d always liked the name Ricky and when looking for a surname to go with it, one day I was at a horse racing meeting when I noticed that the trainer of one of the the horses was a Colonel Valance, which I immediately liked and so, Ricky Valance was born.”
Away from the spotlight Ricky is a quite person. He lives with his wife on the Costa Blanca in Spain. He has two children who have long left home and continue to live in Bedford with their own families. To get away from it all. Ricky enjoys the freedom of the nearest golf course and can often be seen playing in Charity events in the UK and Spain with many of his show business friends.
That may be story so far but it is most certainly a story that has not come to an end. Ricky is still busy today performing on the Costa Blanca and during the summers in the British Isles.
A few years ago he was invited to host his own Talk Show in Spain and is presently the star of ‘Play A Round With Ricky’, a golfing based chat show, based on the Costa Blanca, which has just gone into production.
He’s also keen to explore some new avenues, such as Cruise Ships, tours of Scandinavia, a return to Ireland (where he was the lead vocalist with the Irish Showband the Chessmen back in 1967) so don’t be surprised to see him on a TV screen near you in the very near future and hear the name ‘Ricky Valance’ around the airwaves with a brand new sound to entertain one and all.