THIS year there has been a resurgence of yesteryear’s musical talent being given their due recognition and respect.
Des O’Conner, now 80, had a TV Special: 75-year-old Engelbert Humperdinck is the United Kingdom’s chosen artist for next month’s Eurovision: 71-year old Tom Jones is the star judge on The Voice: and the latest person to return to the limelight is Costa Blanca’s very own, Ricky Valence, who celebrated turning 73 and 52 years in show business, a couple of weeks ago.
Quintessence Films approached Ricky in February 2011 about producing a documentary of his life.
BBC Wales then gave them a commission for a program as part of a three part series; “They Sold A Million”.
Their production team arrived on the Costa Blanca in October and began shooting their documentary, which included a performance in The Lounge Bar, interviews with friends and associates and a look at photos and mementos, from the year dot!
The production continued in 2012 when they visited the house where Ricky was born David Spencer in Ynysddu, Monmouthshire, near Wattsville, South Wales, finishing with a sold-out performance at the Newbridge Memorial Hall. Ricky has also recorded in Nashville and appeared on the Nashville Now TV Show, with an estimated audience of 70-million.
He has had chart success in the US Country and Christian Charts and in 2010 EMI released a double CD to celebrate his 50 years in show business.
It’s hard to cram his life story into a 40-minute documentary but Quintessence Films have certainly given it their best shot.
The film will be transmitted this Tuesday, April 24, on BBC1 Wales, at 10:35pm (and also on Sky 972 and Virgin 864, which are BBC Wales’ out of region ‘windows’) and then will be available for a week afterwards on BBC i-player.
The series name is “They Sold a Million” and it is the first film in the series called “Ricky Valance: My Voice is My Life”.
Ricky returns to the UK this week for Summer Season and performances around the UK but before then you can hear two interviews with Ricky this week on local radio.
First up is with Mark Nolan on Exite Radio, Thursday at 11.00 am, and on TKO Gold’s Sunday Gold Show, on Sunday afternoon at 1.00pm.
More information about Ricky can be found at www.RickyValance.com or ‘like’ him on his Facebook page.
Having been third in the 1961 play-off competition for a Song for Europe, Ricky wishes Engelbert all the very best for Eurovision 2012 and maybe now the time is right for Ricky to have further success in the UK charts.
You never know! Stranger things have happened!
By Keith Nicol