Twinkle (singer)

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Twinkle
Twinkle (1964).png
Twinkle in 1964
Background information
Birth name Lynn Annette Ripley
Also known as Twinkle Ripley
Born (1948-07-15)15 July 1948
Surbiton, Surrey, England
Died 21 May 2015(2015-05-21) (aged 66)
Isle of Wight, England
Genres Pop music
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1963–1980s
Labels Decca Records

Lynn Annette Ripley[1] (15 July 1948 – 21 May 2015), better known by the stage name Twinkle, was an English singer-songwriter. She had chart successes in the 1960s with her best known songs, "Terry" and "Golden Lights".

Early life[edit]

Born in Surbiton, Surrey into a well-to-do family, Ripley was known to her family as "Twinkle". She attended Queen's Gate School with Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and was the aunt of actress Fay Ripley.

Career[edit]

Twinkle owed her rapid entry into the recording studio at the age of 16 to her then-boyfriend, Dec Cluskey, of the popular vocal group The Bachelors, who was introduced to her by her sister, a music journalist, and who passed on to his manager a demo that Twinkle's father played to him.[2] Her song "Terry" was a teenage tragedy song about the death of a boyfriend in a motorcycle crash. Big Jim Sullivan, Jimmy Page and Bobby Graham were among the high profile star session musicians who played on the recording,[2] which conjured up a dark mood with its doleful backing vocals, spooky organ, 12-string guitar and slow, emphatic rhythm arranged by Phil Coulter. The theme was of a common type for the era, it bore some similarities to the Shangri-Las' slightly later "Leader of the Pack" (1964), but the record caused a furore, accusations of bad taste leading to a ban from the BBC.[2]

The follow-up, "Golden Lights", was also written by Twinkle, with a B-side again by producer Tommy Scott.[3] By then Cluskey was her ex-boyfriend: Twinkle dated Peter Noone in 1965.[1] The lyrics express disillusionment with the pop business: her EP track "A Lonely Singing Doll", the English-language version of France Gall's 1965 winning Eurovision Song Contest song for Luxembourg, "Poupée de cire, poupée de son", originally written by Serge Gainsbourg, returned to a theme similar to "Golden Lights". "Johnny" continued to explore dangerous territory, this time that of a childhood friend who becomes a criminal, but it seems the pressure to produce "another Terry" led her producers to pass over her own material, for "Tommy", a song written for Reparata and the Delrons and "The End of the World" a tune composed for Skeeter Davis. Twinkle made few live appearances but performed "Terry" at the annual New Musical Express hit concerts.[4] After recording six singles for Decca Records she "retired" at the age of eighteen in 1966.[2]

In 1969 she recorded a self-written single, the Tamla Motown-styled "Micky", backed by "Darby and Joan", both produced by Mike d'Abo for the Immediate label.[1] The single vanished, unpublicised. In the ensuing years, unsigned and working in music for advertising, she recorded a suite of songs inspired by her relationship with "Micky", the actor/model Michael Hannah, who was killed in an air-crash in 1974. These remained unreleased until they were included on CD compilations. Her later recordings appeared under the name Twinkle Ripley: she also recorded a 1975 single, "Smoochie" with her father, Sidney Ripley as "Bill & Coo".[5]

In the 1980s "Golden Lights" was covered by The Smiths and appeared on their compilation albums The World Won't Listen and Louder Than Bombs while in 1983 Cindy & The Saffrons covered "Terry".

Photographic publicity portraits of Twinkle taken in the mid-1960s are exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery.[6]

Personal life[edit]

In 1972, Twinkle married Scunthorpe born Graham Wilson, aka as actor-model Graham Rogers,[7] who starred in the Milk Tray chocolate adverts. They had two children, Michael and Amber.[8]

Death[edit]

On 21 May 2015, Twinkle died on the Isle of Wight after five years of battling cancer.[9] She was 66.

Discography[edit]

Singles[edit]

for Decca
  • "Terry" (Twinkle) / "The Boy of My Dreams" (Scott) (1964) UK No. 4
  • "Golden Lights" (Twinkle) / "Ain't Nobody Home But Me" (Scott) (1965) UK No. 21
  • "Tommy" (Taylor, Bradtke, Daryll) / "So Sad" (Scott) (1965)[10]
  • "Poor Old Johnny" (Twinkle) / "I Need Your Hand in Mine" (Scott) (1965)[11]
  • "The End of the World" (Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee) / "Take Me to the Dance" (Scott) (1965)
  • "What Am I Doing Here With You?" (Sloan, Barri) / "Now I Have You" (Scott) (1966)
for Instant
  • "Micky"/"Darby And Joan" (1969)
as Twinkle Ripley

EP[edit]

  • Lonely Singing Doll (Decca, 1965) "A Lonely Singing Doll", "Unhappy Boy", "Ain't Nobody Home But Me" and "Golden Lights"

Album[edit]

  • Little Star

Compilations[edit]

  • Golden Lights (1993)
  • Golden Lights:Special Edition (2001)
  • Michael Hannah: The Lost Years (2003)[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Twinkle ::". Mikedabo.com. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Richie Unterberger (15 July 1948). "Twinkle | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  3. ^ "Twinkle (3) – Golden Lights (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  4. ^ "TWINKLE TERRY 1964 pop hit". YouTube. 25 January 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  5. ^ "Bill And Coo – Smoochie / Always I Love You – Bradleys – UK – BRAD 7513". 45cat. 11 April 1975. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "National Portrait Gallery – Person – Twinkle". Npg.org.uk. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  7. ^ Cole, Nick (2015-05-19). "Twinkle tribute: Pop star married Scunthorpe man who starred in Milk Tray TV ads". Scunthorpetelegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-05-27. 
  8. ^ Stevens, Christopher. "Lynn 'Twinkle' Ripley is the starlet who said no to Mick Jagger | Daily Mail Online". Dailymail.co.uk. Retrieved 2015-05-27. 
  9. ^ "Lynn 'twinkle' Ripley | Sixties Singer Twinkle Dies | Contactmusic.com". Hub.contactmusic.com. 2015-05-23. Retrieved 2015-05-27. 
  10. ^ "Twinkle (3) – Tommy / So Sad (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Twinkle – Poor Old Johnny / I Need Your Hand in Mine – Decca – UK – F 12219". 45cat. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 
  12. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 570. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  13. ^ "Twinkle | Discography". AllMusic. 15 July 1948. Retrieved 15 July 2014. 

External links[edit]