Ricky Valance Dies: Singer For Controversial ‘Tell Laura I Love Her’ Was 84
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Ricky Valance, whose controversial song Tell Laura I Love Her was briefly banned by the BBC, has died after a long fight against dementia. His agent confirmed the death and said he has been in the hospital since March.
David Spencer was the first Welsh man to have had a solo hit in Britain in 1960 with Tell Laura I Love Her. He had been in the Air Force before starting a music career.
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He took the name Ricky Valance and performed in clubs in the north of England. He was signed to a record deal and recorded his signature song, which tells the tragic story of a boy named Tommy, who dies in an accident but manages to make a final statement about his love for a girl named Laura.
The song was controversial when released in those more conservative times and was briefly banned by the BBC because it was feared that it would be an incentive to commit suicide. But his fame soon led the BBC to rely on the broadcast. Tell Laura I love her. She became a single number one, sold more than a million copies, and spent three weeks at # 1.
It was his only hit for Valance, but he made a living from it and performed until his 70s.
In 2015, Valance was the first Welshman to win a British number 1 hit at a St. David's Day concert at the Wales Millennium Center. In 2017, he released one last single to raise money for the Royal Air Force Museum and the RAF Association.
Valance is survived by his wife Evelyn. No commemorative plans were revealed.
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