Twinkle (singer)

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Twinkle (1964).png
Twinkle in 1964
Background information
Birth nameLynn Annette Ripley
Also known asTwinkle Ripley
Born(1948-07-15)15 July 1948
Surbiton, Surrey, England
Died21 May 2015(2015-05-21) (aged 66)
Isle of Wight, England
GenresPop music
Years active1963–1980s
LabelsDecca 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.[2]


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.[3] 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,[3] 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 earlier "Leader of the Pack" (1964), but the record caused a furore, accusations of bad taste leading to a ban from the BBC.[3]

The follow-up, "Golden Lights", was also written by Twinkle, with a B-side again by producer Tommy Scott.[4] 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.[5] After recording six singles for Decca Records she "retired" at the age of eighteen in 1966.[3]

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 recorded a 1975 single, "Smoochie" with her father, Sidney Ripley as "Bill & Coo".[6]

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".[citation needed]

Photographic publicity portraits of Twinkle taken in the mid-1960s are exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery.[7]

Personal life[edit]

In 1972, she married actor-model Graham Rogers,[8] who starred in the Milk Tray chocolate adverts. They had two children, Michael and Amber.[9]


On 21 May 2015, Twinkle died at 66 on the Isle of Wight, after a five-year battle with cancer.[10]



for Decca Records
  • "Terry" (Twinkle) b/w "The Boy of My Dreams" (Tommy Scott) (1964) UK No. 4
  • "Golden Lights" (Twinkle) b/w "Ain't Nobody Home But Me" (Tommy Scott) (1965) UK No. 21
  • "Tommy" (Taylor, Bradtke, Daryll) b/w "So Sad" (Tommy Scott) (1965)[11]
  • "Poor Old Johnny" (Twinkle) b/w "I Need Your Hand in Mine" (Tommy Scott) (1965)[12]
  • "The End of the World" (Arthur Kent and Sylvia Dee) b/w "Take Me to the Dance" (Tommy Scott) (1965)
  • "What Am I Doing Here With You?" (Sloan, Barri) b/w "Now I Have You" (Tommy Scott) (1966)
for Instant Records
  • "Micky" (Twinkle) b/w "Darby And Joan" (Twinkle) (1969)
for Bradleys Records, as Twinkle Ripley
  • "Days" (Twinkle Ripley) b/w "Caroline" (Twinkle Ripley) (1974)
for Bradleys Records, as duo Bill & Coo
  • "Smoochie" (Jim Jim) b/w "I Always Love You" (Jim Jim) (1975)
for EMI Records, as Twinkle
  • "I'm a Believer" (Neil Diamond) b/w "For Sale" (Twinkle Ripley and Simon Darlow) (1982)



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


  • Golden Lights (1993)
  • Golden Lights:Special Edition (2001)
  • Michael Hannah: The Lost Years (2003)[14]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Twinkle profile at". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  2. ^ "Sixties Pop Star Lynn 'Twinkle' Ripley Has Died, Aged 66" Retrieved 11 August 2015
  3. ^ a b c d Richie Unterberger (15 July 1948). "Twinkle | Biography". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  4. ^ "Twinkle (3) – Golden Lights (Vinyl) at". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  5. ^ "TWINKLE TERRY 1964 pop hit". YouTube. 25 January 2007. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Bill And Coo – Smoochie/Always I Love You – Bradleys – UK – BRAD 7513". 45cat. 11 April 1975. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  7. ^ "National Portrait Gallery – Person – Twinkle". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  8. ^ Cole, Nick (19 May 2015). "Twinkle tribute: Pop star married Scunthorpe man who starred in Milk Tray TV ads". Archived from the original on 28 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  9. ^ Stevens, Christopher. "Lynn 'Twinkle' Ripley is the starlet who said no to Mick Jagger". Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  10. ^ Staff (23 May 2015). "Lynn 'Twinkle' Ripley | Sixties Singer Twinkle Dies". Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  11. ^ "Twinkle (3) – Tommy / So Sad (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  12. ^ "Twinkle – Poor Old Johnny / I Need Your Hand in Mine – Decca – UK – F 12219". 45cat. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  13. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 570. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  14. ^ "Twinkle | Discography". AllMusic. 15 July 1948. Retrieved 15 July 2014.

External links[edit]