Romantical-type music from Dickie Valentine
February 13, 2018 9:11 PM   Subscribe

Almost 70 years ago, UK teen heart throb Dickie Valentine was made, from the chap born with the name Richard Maxwell. Dickie was named the Top UK Male Vocalist in 1952 while singing with the Ted Heath Orchestra, the greatest post-war British big band, and again after going solo in 1954, the same year that his first wedding drew throngs of fans. Valentine had two hits on the charts in 1955: The Finger of Suspicion in January, then Christmas Alphabet in December, when it unseated (and was then replaced by) an early rock'n'roll single, Rock Around the Clock, which gives you a hint at why Valentine faded from popularity.

Before he was Dickie Valentine, he was a child actor, starting with a bit part when he was just 3 years old. From acting he started singing, including impersonations of famous singers, like Nat King Cole, Billy Eckstine and Johnnie Ray.

After his time with Ted Heath (hour long BBC 2 radio documentary, minus first 5 minutes), Dickie's first singles came out when he was 23. From there, he released singles steadily from that point until his untimely death in 1971, though his peak period was the mid-to-late 1950s. 1955 was his peak, with two number ones, as well as three other top 10 singles, Mr. Sandman, A Blossom Fell and I Wonder, all covers of successful American songs. More songs from Dickie Valentine: Bonus album: Live in Concert

In the 60s he was still popular in the cabaret and live circuit, where he kept to the big band style, after a failed foray into rock 'n roll (paired with an odd medley of styles). In addition to his waning musical career, he had a few stints on television. In 1961, he had a television series Calling Dickie Valentine. In 1966 Valentine partnered with Peter Sellers on the ATV sketch show The Dickie Valentine Show.
posted by filthy light thief (2 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Guilty of really loving this style of music and singer. Can you do one on Val Doonican next?
posted by JanetLand at 6:55 AM on February 14, 2018

I'll see what I can do ;)

Val Doonican is new to me. Really, beyond the Rat Pack and a few other notables, I'm clueless about the old crooners. I found Dickie Valentine because "Finger of Suspicion" was included on a compilation of "malt shop songs" I finally listened to recently, and I had to know more about him and the song.

Regarding "Finger of Suspicion," Dolores Gray has a gender-flipped rendition that's also pretty good.
posted by filthy light thief at 7:11 AM on February 14, 2018

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