|Birth name||Terence Perkins|
12 August 1941 |
Newport, Isle of Wight, England, UK
|Genres||Rock and roll, pop|
|Years active||1959 – present|
|Labels||Top Rank, Columbia (EMI), Decca|
Craig Douglas (born Terence Perkins, 12 August 1941) is an English pop singer, who was popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s. His sole UK chart-topper, "Only Sixteen" (1959), sold more copies in the UK than Sam Cooke's original version.
Born a twin, in Newport, Isle of Wight, the former Terence Perkins was employed as a milkman before becoming a professional singer, and was known to many as the 'Singing Milkman'. His breakthrough came on the Six-Five Special, at that time the only real showcase for rock and roll on British television. Douglas was booked on the show the same week that Cliff Richard and Joe Brown appeared, but he made an impression even in their company: a few days later he was presented with two huge sacks of fan mail from the performance. The Six-Five Special led Douglas to a recording contract and a string of successes. His manager was Bunny Lewis, who gave him the name Craig Douglas. Lewis saw the name outside a house in Scotland. Douglas said there were a number of Terrys around at the time, and that was one of the reasons his name was changed.
Voted 'Best New Singer' in 1959 in the British music magazine, NME, Douglas went on to record eight cover versions of former American hit songs, in his total of nine Top 40 UK singles. Amongst that tally, Douglas had a Number One single in 1959 with "Only Sixteen", which easily outsold Sam Cooke's original version in the UK. It was recorded at EMI's Abbey Road studios, with whistling by Mike Sammes, and released through Top Rank records. Douglas also clocked up an almost impossible-to-equal four consecutive Number 9 placings on the UK Singles Chart, which included "Our Favourite Melodies". This run included matching Jimmy Justice by reaching #9 with "When My Little Girl is Smiling".
In 1961 Douglas entered the A Song For Europe contest with his song "The Girl Next Door". It fared badly, finishing joint last to the Allisons effort, "Are You Sure?", which went on to represent the UK at the Eurovision Song Contest. His clean cut, teen idol image was also copied largely from the U.S. scene, from such as Pat Boone and Ricky Nelson. Douglas also starred in the 1962 film It's Trad, Dad! with Helen Shapiro, but it did not boost his acting career.
He topped the bill on the Beatles' first major stage show, although their emergence ultimately spelt the end of Douglas's chart career. His final chart entry came in February 1963, when "Town Crier" flopped at Number 36.
Nevertheless, the well-remembered early UK rock and roll pioneer continued doing cabaret, cruise ships and other bookings. Indeed, well into the 1990s, Douglas had an annual month-long booking in Hong Kong. Until 2010, Douglas toured venues across the UK, including the Medina Theatre on the Isle of Wight. He appeared at the Amersham Rock 'n' Roll Club on 11 December 2010, an event in his benefit. John Leyton, Mike Berry and the Flames all took part, while Jet Harris and other celebrities attended. Douglas sang three songs from his wheelchair at the close of the concert. He suffers from a rare condition that affects his legs. Sky News filmed the event.
On 18 April 2011, a rare Douglas recording, saw a limited 7" vinyl reissue of "Don't Mind If I Cry", on the UK-based Spoke Records label.
UK singles chart discography
- "A Teenager in Love" - 1959 - Number 13
- "Only Sixteen" - 1959 - Number 1
- "Pretty Blue Eyes" - 1960 - Number 4
- "The Heart of a Teenage Girl" - 1960 - Number 10
- "Oh! What a Day" - 1960 - Number 43
- "A Hundred Pounds of Clay" - 1961 - Number 9 (a cover of the Gene McDaniels US hit, which he recorded in two versions, JAR 555 and 556, the latter bowdlerised for religious sensibilities)
- "Time" - 1961 - Number 9
- "When My Little Girl is Smiling" - 1962 - Number 9
- "Our Favourite Melodies" - 1962 - Number 9
- "Oh Lonesome Me" - 1962 - Number 15
- "Town Crier" - 1963 - Number 36
Releases on the Top Rank label
- BUY049: Craig Douglas - album - UK Albums Chart - Number 17 
- 35/103: Bandwagon Ball - album
- JAR110: "Come Softly to Me" / "Golden Girl" - single
- JAR133: "A Teenager in Love" / "The 39 Steps" - single
- JAR159: "Only Sixteen" / "My First Love Affair" - single
- JAR204: "Wish It Were Me" / "The Riddle of Love" - single
- JAR268: "Pretty Blue Eyes" / "Sandy" - single
- JAR340: "The Heart of a Teenage Girl" / "New Boy" - single
- JAR406: "Oh What a Day" / "Why Why Why" - single
- JAR515: "Where's the Girl (I Never Met)" / "My Hour of Love" - single
- JAR543: "The Girl Next Door" / "Hey Mister Conscience" - single
- JAR555: "A Hundred Pounds of Clay" / "Hello Spring" - single (A-side uncensored)
- JAR556: "A Hundred Pounds of Clay" / "Hello Spring" - single
- JAR569: "Time" / "After All" - single
- JAR589: "No Greater Love" / "We'll Have a Lot to Tell the Children" - single
- JAR603: "A Change of Heart" / "Another You" - single
- JAR610: "When My Little Girl is Smiling" / "Ring-A-Ding" - single
- JKR8033: "Craig Sings For Roxy" - EP
- List of NME covers
- List of artists who reached number one on the UK Singles Chart
- List of number-one singles from the 1950s (UK)
- United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1961
- UK No.1 Hits of 1959
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 71. CN 5585.
- Allmusic.com biography by Bruce Eder
- Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 73. CN 5585.
- Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 44. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
- "Spoke Releases: Home Page". Spokerecords.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-08.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 167. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Collectable second hand vinyl records & Cds from Vinylnet on-line music store". Vinylnet.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-11-08.