|Dickie Valentine was born Richard Bryce on 4th November 1929 in Marylebone, North London.
Dickie Valentine-Gap Rating 4/10
Valentine first trained as a singer during his work as a child actor, and during that time developed a flexible vocal style and skills as an impersonator of famous singers. He was voted the Top UK Male Vocalist in 1952 while singing with the Ted Heath Orchestra, the most successful of all British big bands, and again after going solo in 1954.
He recorded two number one hits, "Christmas Alphabet" and "Finger of Suspicion". His first chart-topper came only two months after his marriage to Elizabeth Flynn at Caxton Hall, which caused scenes of hysteria and was reliably expected to sound the death knell to his career. In fact, 1955 was by far his best chart year, with two number ones and three other Top Ten hits. Whilst his second number one saw Valentine playing King Canute to Bill Haley's incoming tide of rock and roll. "Christmas Alphabet" marked the first time in the UK that a song created for the Christmas market had hit number one.
In 1956 Valentine partnered Peter Sellers on the ATV sketch show The Dickie Valentine Show.
Although his fame receded during the 1960s, he remained a popular live performer until his death. Travelling from gig to gig, he was killed outright in a car crash in Wales in May 1971, at the age of 41.
His many hits are listed below:
- "Broken Wings" - (1953) - UK Singles Chart No. 12
- "All The Time and Everywhere" - (1953) - No. 9
- "In a Golden Coach (There's a Heart of Gold)" - (1953) - No. 7
- "Endless" - (1954) - No. 19
- "Mister Sandman" - (1954) - No. 5
- "Finger of Suspicion" - (1954) - No. 1 $
- "A Blossom Fell" - (1955) - No. 9
- "I Wonder" - (1955) - No. 4
- "Christmas Alphabet" - (1955) - No. 1
- "The Old Pi-anna Rag" - (1955) - No. 15
- "Christmas Island" - (1956) - No. 8
- "Snowbound for Christmas" - (1957) - No. 28
- "Venus" - (1959) - No. 20
- "One More Sunrise (Morgen)" - (1959) - No. 14