Ricky Valance

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Ricky Valance
Birth nameDavid Spencer
Born (1939-04-10) 10 April 1939 (age 79)
Ynysddu, Monmouthshire, Wales
Years activeLate 1950s–present
LabelsColumbia, Decca, Crystal, One Media iP

Ricky Valance (born 10 April 1939) is a Welsh singer. He is best known for the number one single "Tell Laura I Love Her", which sold over a million copies in 1960.[1]

Life and career[edit]

Born David Spencer in Ynysddu, Monmouthshire, Wales, he is the eldest of seven children.[1] He joined the RAF at the age of 17.[1]

He started his musical career after leaving the military.[1] He performed in local clubs for a couple of years before he was discovered by an A&R representative from EMI, placed with the record producer Norrie Paramor and signed to EMI's Columbia label.[2] At the first recording session, Valance was given the chance to cover Ray Peterson's American hit, "Tell Laura I Love Her".[2] He was rewarded with a number 1 hit in September 1960, thanks to airplay on Radio Luxembourg.[2][3]

The BBC refused to play teenage tragedy songs like "Tell Laura I Love Her". Many American death rock records were simply never released in the United Kingdom.[4]

First Welshman at number one[edit]

Ray Peterson's original version of "Tell Laura I Love Her", which was co-written by Jeff Barry, was not released in the United Kingdom, because Decca Records considered it in bad taste.[4] EMI subsequently arranged for Valance to cover the song.[5] Valance thus became the first Welshman to reach the top spot - Shirley Bassey being the first Welsh female.

After topping the UK Singles Chart, Valance appeared in the 1961 A Song For Europe competition, hoping to represent the UK in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. His song, "Why Can't We?", placed third out of the nine entries; the winner was "Are You Sure?" performed by the Allisons.

Further singles included "Movin' Away", "Jimmy's Girl" and "Six Boys". Over 100,000 copies sold of "Jimmy´s Girl", and "Moving Away" made it to number one in Australia and Scandinavia, with 150,000 copies sold.

Valance now lives in Cabo Roig on the outskirts of Torrevieja on the Costa Blanca in Spain, where he still performs on a regular basis. He also has a home in Blaenau Gwent in Wales.

UK singles[edit]


  • DB4493 - "Tell Laura I Love Her" / "Once Upon a Time" (1960)
  • DB4543 - "Movin' Away" / "Lipstick on Your Lips" (1960)
  • DB4586 - "Jimmy's Girl" / "Only the Young" (1961)
  • DB4592 - "Why Can't We" / "Fisherboy" (1961)
  • DB4680 - "Bobby" / "I Want to Fall in Love" (1961)
  • DB4725 - "I Never Had a Chance" / "It's Not True" (1961)
  • DB4787 - "Try to Forget Her" / "At Times Like These" (1962)
  • DB4864 - "Don't Play No.9" / "Till the Final Curtain Falls" (1962)


  • F12129 - "Six Boys" / "A Face in the Crowd" (1965)


  • CR7004 - "Abigail" / "My Summer Love" (1969) (as Jason Merryweather)


  • BSS313 - "Hello Mary Lou" / "Walking in the Sunshine" (1978)


  • UMO111 - "Daddy's Little Girl" / "Ticket to Dream" (1988)

One Media iP[edit]

  • "Welcome Home" / "Tell Laura I Love Her" (55th Anniversary Edition) (2016) [6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "BBC Wales - Music - Ricky Valance". Bbc.co.uk. 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  2. ^ a b c "Ricky Valance Biography - Music Artist Band Biographies - Artists Bands Bio - FREE MP3 Downloads". Music.us. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 579. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  4. ^ a b Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 53. ISBN 0-85112-250-7.
  5. ^ "BBC Wales - Music - Ricky Valance". Bbc.co.uk. 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2014-01-28.
  6. ^ "Welcome Home - Single by Ricky Valance on Apple Music". Itunes.apple.com. 2017-03-01. Retrieved 2017-03-17.

External links[edit]