Twinkle (singer)

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Twinkle in 1964
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 success in the 1960s with her 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, music journalist Dawn James, 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 lyric expresses 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 (also among the relatively few pop musicians of a privileged background in that era) for the Instant 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".[7] "Terry" was also covered by Mandy Smith in 1987, but her highly publicised version was pulled from release after negative feedback.[8] It was later issued on a special edition of her album, Mandy.[9]

Photographic publicity portraits of Twinkle taken in the mid-1960s are exhibited in the National Portrait Gallery.[10]

Personal life[edit]

In 1972, she married actor-model Graham Rogers,[11] who starred in Milk Tray chocolate adverts. They had two children, Michael and Amber.


On 21 May 2015, Twinkle died at 66 on the Isle of Wight, after a five-year battle with liver cancer.[12]



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" (Chip Taylor,Ted Daryll) b/w "So Sad" (Tommy Scott) (1965)[13]
  • "Poor Old Johnny" (Twinkle) b/w "I Need Your Hand in Mine" (Tommy Scott) (1965)[14]
  • "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?" (P. F. Sloan, Steve 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, DFE 8621, May 1965) "A Lonely Singing Doll" (Serge Gainsbourg, Tommy Scott, Bill Martin), "Unhappy Boy" (Twinkle), "Ain't Nobody Home But Me" (Tommy Scott) and "Golden Lights" (Twinkle)


  • Golden Lights (1993)
  • Golden Lights:Special Edition (2001)
  • Michael Hannah: The Lost Years (2003)[16]
  • Girl In A Million: The Complete Recordings (2019)

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". AllMusic. 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. Archived from the original on 13 December 2021. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  6. ^ "Bill And Coo – Smoochie/Always I Love You – Bradleys – UK – BRAD 7513". 11 April 1975. Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  7. ^ "Cindy And The Saffrons - Terry". Retrieved 15 June 2021.
  8. ^ "A Journey Through Stock Aitken Waterman: Ep 19: Looking Good Diving to I Just Can't Wait on Apple Podcasts". Apple Podcasts. Retrieved 27 December 2021.
  9. ^ Smith, Mandy (1987), Terry - 12" Master, retrieved 27 December 2021
  10. ^ "National Portrait Gallery – Person – Twinkle". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ "Lynn 'Twinkle' Ripley | Sixties Singer Twinkle Dies". 23 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015.
  13. ^ "Twinkle (3) – Tommy / So Sad (Vinyl) at Discogs". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  14. ^ "Twinkle – Poor Old Johnny / I Need Your Hand in Mine – Decca – UK – F 12219". Retrieved 15 July 2014.
  15. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 570. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  16. ^ "Twinkle | Discography". AllMusic. 15 July 1948. Retrieved 15 July 2014.

External links[edit]