Terry Dene

  • Real Name: Terence Williams
  • Birth Date: December 20th 1938
  • Birth Place: Elephant & Castle, London
  • Terry Dene was one of the many early UK rock and rollers to benefit from the opportunity to sing at London's 2 'I's Coffee Bar. This was the same venue that helped host the early musical careers of Tommy Steele, Cliff Richard, Adam Faith and many others. During 1956 and 1957 Terry Dene had worked as a record packer, but was convinced that he could sing as well as the American stars on the discs he handled during his day-job. He very much admired Elvis and also tried to emulate Gene Vincent in the tiny room at the 2 "I"s. He was fortunate that rock and roll impresario Jack Good witnessed one of his performances and through this to obtain an opportunity to record with Decca and to find a weekly spot on TV's 'Six-5 Special'.

    Although a good deal 'softer' than the stage material he was used to, his early releases were moderately successful. However Terry Dene fell foul of the press following a drunken incident which led to his arrest. This was at a time when rock and roll was viewed with deep suspicion by the establishment and Dene was painted by the newspapers as a symbol of all that was bad about the music and its followers. Unfortunately, his misfortunes did not end there for in early 1958 the already mentally stressed singer was called up for National Service. Although Terry Dene's emotional state made him unsuitable material for the call-up and he was discharged within a few days, the press decided that his apparent keeness to avoid it was further evidence that the singer was a thoroughly bad lot. It became a stigma that the poor wretched Dene could not cast off and his chart career effectively ceased at that point.

    After finally recovering from the nervous breakdown that followed the demise of his professional music career, Terry was still keen to carry on singing. He turned to religion during the 1970s but used his singing skills to produce gospel music. Despite the adverse publicity of his early career, the artist eventually became accepted by fans as one of Britain's most significant rock and roll pioneers. He has thus managed to carve out a career at nostalgia and revivalist concerts that would last him for many years.

    There is also a biography that tells Terry Dene's early life story. Unfortunately, I think it is currently out of print because it was published in 1974, but you may find a copy on Ebay or maybe your local library can get access to it. It's called :- "I Thought Terry Dene Was Dead" - the ISBN is 0902088556

    1950s & 1960s 45rpm UK Discography

    • Listings include UK 45 singles releases only.
    • Collector's Items are shown In Red

    Decca F10895 1957 A White Sport Coat/ The Man In The Phone Booth #18 
    Decca F10914 1957 Start Movin'/ Green Corn #15 
    Decca F10938 1957 Come And Get It/ Teenage Dream  
    Decca F10964 1957 Lucky Lucky Bobby/ Baby She's Gone  
    Decca F10977 1958 The Golden Age/ C'min And Be Loved  
    Decca F11016 1958 Stairway Of Love/ Lover Lover! #16 
    Decca F11037 1958 Seven Steps To Love/ Can I Walk You Home  
    Decca F11076 1958 Who Baby Who/ Pretty Little Pearly  
    Decca F11100 1959 I've Got A Good Thing Going/ Bimbombey  
    Decca F11136 1959 There's No Fool Like A Young Fool/ I've Come Of Age  
    Decca F11154 1959 Thank You Pretty Baby/ A Boy Without A Girl  
    Oriole CB1562 1960 Geraldine/ Love Me Or Leave Me  
    Oriole CB1594 1961 Like A Baby/ Next Stop Paradise  
    Aral PS107 1963 The Feminine Look/ Fever  

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