Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson

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Pearl Carr and Teddy Johnson (1962)

Pearl Lavinia Carr (2 November 1921 – 16 February 2020)[1] and Edward Victor Johnson (4 September 1919[2] – 6 June 2018) were an English husband-and-wife team of entertainers who gained their highest profile during the 1950s and early 1960s.[3]

Early days[edit]

Carr was born in Exmouth, Devon, and Johnson was born in Surbiton, Surrey. They were both successful solo singers before their marriage in 1955. Carr had been lead singer with the Keynotes,[3] who had two British hits in 1956 with Dave King: "Memories Are Made of This" (No. 5) and "You Can't Be True To Two" (No. 11).[4] She was also a radio singer and comedian who was a regular participant in Bernard Braden's Bedtime With Braden radio show.[5]

Johnson had led his own teenage band, was a professional drummer and a recording artist for Columbia in the early 1950s. He was also a DJ on Radio Luxembourg[3] and later on BBC Radio 2, and had appeared in television shows such as the BBC's children's Crackerjack.

Joint success[edit]

Carr and Johnson were frequently on British television light entertainment programmes, such as The Winifred Atwell Show as well as Big Night Out and Blackpool Night Out. They represented the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1959 and finished second with the song "Sing, Little Birdie".[3] This song peaked at No. 12 on the UK Singles Chart.[6]

In 2011 Johnson revealed they initially thought the contest to become the British entry was the extent of their booking. "We had never heard of the Eurovision Song Contest before and were going to be booked as solo singers, but that consummated Pearl and Teddy as a double act. As far as we were concerned it was just another gig, but it was the easiest money we had ever had. There were two heats – one on the Monday and another on the Wednesday, with the final on Saturday night. When we won, the BBC Head of Television Light Entertainment Eric Maschwitz said he was thrilled that Pearl and I would now represent our country in the Eurovision Song Contest in Cannes. I said: ‘What? What do you mean?’ I didn't know we had to represent the country. We had no idea whatsoever. He gave me the dates for Cannes and I just hoped we had them available. As it happened, we did. Pearl flew out with three guys from the BBC but I was doing a small show for ATV and got a later flight."

They also tried to represent the United Kingdom again in 1960 entering two songs into the pre-selection, "Pickin' Petals" and "When The Tide Turns", the latter making the final. It was up against Johnson's own brother, Bryan. In the end, Bryan won and went on to represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 1960. He came second, with the song "Looking High, High, High".[3] Carr and Johnson released another single the following year, titled "How Wonderful to Know", which charted at No. 23 in the UK.[3]

In 1986, the couple were the subject of an edition of This Is Your Life.[7] After this success they appeared in the West End revival of the Stephen Sondheim musical Follies.[3] playing the roles of Wally and Emily Whitman and performing the song "Rain on the Roof". It was at the conclusion of its 18-month run in 1990 that Carr and Johnson decided to retire.

Later life[edit]

Carr and Johnson both lived at Brinsworth House, a home for retired entertainers.

Johnson appeared in a short piece to camera in a Morecambe and Wise tribute in 2018. He died on 6 June 2018, aged 98.[8] Carr died on 16 February 2020, also aged 98.[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Ryan, Tom (16 February 2020). "Pearl Carr passes away at the age of 98". ESCXTRA. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  2. ^ Laing, Dave (10 June 2018). "Teddy Johnson obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson – Music Biography, Credits and Discography. AllMusic. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 302. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  5. ^ "Pearl Carr". IMDb. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  6. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 95. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. ^ "This Is Your Life – Pearl Carr & Teddy Johnson". IMDb. Retrieved 14 February 2013.
  8. ^ "Teddy Johnson (United Kingdom 1959) passed away at age 96 – Eurovision Song Contest Lisbon 2018". Eurovision Song Contest. Retrieved 7 June 2018.

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Patricia Bredin
with "All"
United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest
Succeeded by
Bryan Johnson
with "Looking High, High, High"