David Alexander (singer)
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David Alexander (1929 – 4 February 1995) was a Welsh singer and entertainer. His journey started from singing in social clubs for years, which then his exceptional voice made him to become an internationally recognized singer. His best-selling album 'Reflections' successfully sold 150,000 copies in 1988 .
Born in Blackwood, Monmouthshire, Alexander left Bedwellty Grammar School at the age of 16 to support his family. He joined his father and eldest brother in the mines at Oakdale Colliery. In the years after this, he qualified as a machine engineer.
Alexander soon began putting together an act for himself. He made his debut at a local social club and left the brake factory where he worked and toured much of the United Kingdom, also working as an entertainer at Pontins.
David Alexander was the name given to Derek (Ricky) Ebdon by his manager Byron Godfrey, legal name Raymond William Godfrey, an old teenage friend, after learning of the successful conclusion of Godfrey and his partner, Raymond John Glastonbury's London High Court action against Tom Jones, who they had discovered and managed. Both Godfrey and Glastonbury were also from Blackwood, together known as Myron & Byron in the music business. Godfrey, along with Tony King (musical arranger) and Johnny Caesar (songwriter/comedian) produced Alexander's first single for EMI (Columbia)"If I could see the Rhondda one more time" in 1971, through the publishing arm of their company, Million Dollar Music Co. Ltd.. It sold thousands of copies and stayed on catalogue for years (being reissued in 1975). To this day in 2015, Godfrey and Caesar still receive publishing and writing royalties for this record which elevated Alexander's career. After a less successful single for Columbia the same year ("Dream On Dreamer"), he was released without recording an album. His next single "Taste the Wine" was released on Larry Page's Penny Farthing label in 1974 which was also released across Europe.
He released his first album So Many Ways on his own label in 1975. Initial pressings were on the North West Gramophone label but later pressings and a string of other albums, singles and EPs throughout the late 70's, 80's and early 90's were released on his ACE Recordings label.
In 1980, Alexander again recorded for EMI with a single "Come Home Rhondda Boy" on Columbia and a self-titled album on their budget One-Up label. An updated version of that album was released on ACE (with eleven of the twelve original tracks and three new tracks) as Now and Then.
During this time, David found time to support many worthy charities that asked for his help. He ran two marathons and a half marathon in one year to raise several thousand pounds required by a Walton school (Liverpool) for their Sunshine Coach appeal. He continued to raise money for charities such as Cystic Fybrosis research, Alder Hey Children's Hospital and during one show, he managed to raise £1,000 to send one of the children to Disney World.
Health problems and death
In November 1991, there were fears that Alexander's singing career was over when he was diagnosed with polyps (growths) in his throat. After surgery and a month of intensive therapy, he recovered and was back singing.
In November 1994, Alexander was rushed into hospital and diagnosed with cardiomegaly (an enlarged heart). He was advised by doctors to limit his workload. On the morning of 4 February 1995, he suffered a heart attack and died, he was 66 years of age. He had made his will a few days earlier on 23 January 1995.
- So Many Ways (NWG 75101/ACE 10987) 1975
- All in Love is Fair (ACE 17675) 1977
- David Alexander (OU 2230) 1980 (aka Now and Then, ACE 40989)
- I Love You (ACE 17681) 1981
- Reflections (ACE 18186) 1986
- Forever and Ever (ACE) 1988
- Sign of the Times (ACE)
- One Day (ACE)
- It's Christmas (ACE 31090) 1990
- If I Never Sing Another Song (ACE) 1991
- More and More
- There You Are
Singles and E.P.s
- "If I Could See the Rhondda One More Time" (Columbia DB8754) 1971
- "Dream On Dreamer" (Columbia DB8825) 1971
- "Taste The Wine" (Penny Farthing PEN829) 1974
- So Many Ways EP (ACE 78101) 1978
- "Bennett's Mighty Men" (ACE 78201) 1978
- "The Answer to Everything" (ACE 79104) 1979
- "Come Home Rhondda Boy" (Columbia DB9078) 1980
- "I Love You" (ACE 79108) 1981
- "She Wears My Ring" (ACE 79113) 1983
- St. Teresa of the Roses EP (ACE 79114) 1984
- "The Power of Love" (ACE 79120) 1986
- "Working Man" (ACE DB19090) 1990
- "My Wales" (ACE DAR790) 1990
- "David Alexander". Successful Singing. 2015-07-29. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
- Wood, Chris (2015-07-26). "Singer beaten to stardom by Sir Tom". BBC News. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
- "The Official David Alexander Website - The David Alexander Story". www.davidalexander.co.uk. Retrieved 2018-08-22.
- Cole, Mark (2011-03-11). "A Life Inside & Outside of Politics - Mark Cole: David Alexander - Wales' Other Tom Jones". A Life Inside & Outside of Politics - Mark Cole. Retrieved 2018-08-22.