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
Labels Decca 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".

Terry (Twinkle song) 1964 single by Twinkle

"Terry" is a song written and sung by British singer Lynn Ripley, who performed under the name Twinkle. It was her first single, and reached number 4 in the UK Singles Chart in December 1964, spending fifteen weeks in the charts. The track also reached number 5 on the Canadian charts, spending four weeks in the Top 40 in February 1965, and number 2 on the Hong Kong charts in March 1965.


Early life

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]

Surbiton suburban area of south-west London within the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames, England

Surbiton is a suburban neighbourhood of south-west London, within the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames (RBK). It is situated next to the River Thames, 11 miles (18 km) south-west of Charing Cross. It is part of the traditional county of Surrey, but for administrative purposes has been part of Greater London since 1965, following the passing of the London Government Act 1963. Surbiton comprises four of the RBK's wards: Alexandra, Berrylands, St. Mark's, and Surbiton Hill.

Surrey County of England

Surrey is a subdivision of the English region of South East England in the United Kingdom. A historic and ceremonial county, Surrey is also one of the home counties. The county borders Kent to the east, East Sussex and West Sussex to the south, Hampshire to the west, Berkshire to the northwest, and Greater London to the northeast.

Queen's Gate School is an independent day school for girls in Queen's Gate, South Kensington, London, England.


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 Bachelors Irish band that plays pop music

The Bachelors are a popular music group, originating from Dublin, Ireland.

A teenage tragedy song is a style of ballad in popular music that peaked in popularity in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Examples of the style are also known as "tear jerkers," "death discs" or "splatter platters", among other colorful sobriquets coined by DJs that then passed into vernacular as the songs became popular. Often lamenting teenage death scenarios in melodramatic fashion, these songs were usually sung from the viewpoint of the dead person's sweetheart, as in "Last Kiss" (1964), or another witness to the tragedy, or the dead person. Other examples include "Teen Angel" by Mark Dinning (1959), "Tell Laura I Love Her" by Ray Peterson (1960), "Ebony Eyes" by the Everly Brothers (1961), "Dead Man's Curve" by Jan and Dean (1964), and "Leader of the Pack" by the Shangri-Las (1964). The genre's popularity faded around 1965, but inspired a host of similar songs and parodies over the years.

James George Tomkins, known professionally as Big Jim Sullivan, was an English musician whose career started in 1958.

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]

Peter Noone English singer-songwriter and actor

Peter Blair Denis Bernard Noone is an English singer-songwriter, guitarist, pianist and actor, best known as Herman of the successful 1960s pop group Herman's Hermits.

France Gall French singer

Isabelle Geneviève Marie Anne Gall, better known by her stage name France Gall, was a French yé-yé singer. In 1965, aged 17, she won the Eurovision Song Contest. Between 1973 until 1992, she collaborated with singer-songwriter Michel Berger.

Eurovision Song Contest Annual song competition held among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union

The Eurovision Song Contest, often simply called Eurovision, is an international song competition held primarily among the member countries of the European Broadcasting Union. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio, then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the winner. At least 50 countries are eligible to compete as of 2018, and since 2015, Australia has been allowed as a guest entrant.

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 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]

Mike dAbo English singer and songwriter

Michael David d'Abo is an English singer and songwriter, best known as the second and former lead vocalist of Manfred Mann, namely on their No.1 hit "Mighty Quinn", and as the composer of the song "Handbags and Gladrags" performed by Chris Farlowe, among others.

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 ]

Cover version later version of a song already established with a different earlier performer

In popular music, a cover version, cover song, revival, or simply cover, is a new performance or recording by someone other than the original artist or composer of a previously recorded, commercially released song.

The Smiths English rock band

The Smiths were an English rock band formed in Manchester in 1982. The band consisted of vocalist Morrissey, guitarist Johnny Marr, bassist Andy Rourke and drummer Mike Joyce. Critics have called them one of the most important bands to emerge from the British independent music scene of the 1980s. In 2002, NME named the Smiths "the artists to have had the most influence on the NME". In 2003, four of the band's albums appeared on Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Albums of All Time".

A compilation album comprises tracks, which may be previously released or unreleased, usually from several separate recordings by either one or several performers. If by one artist, then generally the tracks were not originally intended for release together as a single work, but may be collected together as a greatest hits album or box set. If from several performers, there may be a theme, topic, time period, or genre which links the tracks, or they may have been intended for release as a single work—such as a tribute album. When the tracks are by the same recording artist, the album may be referred to as a retrospective album or an anthology.

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

Personal life

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 liver cancer. [10]



for Decca Records
for Instant Records
for Bradleys Records, as Twinkle Ripley
for Bradleys Records, as duo Bill & Coo
for EMI Records, as Twinkle




See also

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  2. "Sixties Pop Star Lynn 'Twinkle' Ripley Has Died, Aged 66" Retrieved 11 August 2015
  3. 1 2 3 4 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.