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
|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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