Friday, 28 November 2014

The History Of Ronnie Hilton

Ronnie Hilton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ronnie Hilton
Ronnie Hilton singer.jpg
Background information
Birth nameAdrian Hill
Born26 January 1926
Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, England
Died21 February 2001 (aged 75)
Hailsham, East Sussex, England
GenresCrooner
Occupation(s)Musician
radio presenter
InstrumentsVocals
Years active1954–1989
LabelsHis Master's VoiceColumbia
Ronnie Hilton (26 January 1926[1] – 21 February 2001[2][3]) was an English singer and radio presenter. According to his obituary inThe Guardian newspaper, "For a time Hilton was a star – strictly for home consumption – with nine Top 20 hits between 1954 and 1957, that transitional era between 78 and 45rpm records. A quarter of a century later he became the voice of BBC Radio 2'sSounds of the Fifties series".[2]

Contents

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Biography[edit]

Born Adrian Hill in Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire, Hilton left school at 14 and worked in an aircraft factory at the beginning of theSecond World War, then was part of the Highland Light Infantry.[2] Following demobilisation in 1947, he became a fitter in a Leedssewing plant.[2]

Career[edit]

He started singing professionally under his adopted name in 1954 after leaving his safe job in a Leeds engineering factory.[4] A true Yorkshireman, Hilton always remained loyal to his roots – especially to Leeds United.[4] He composed, sang and recorded several anthems as tribute to the club.[4]
He came to fame by supplying smoothly delivered cover versions of popular American songs during the 1950s.[1] His most enduringrecordings were "No Other Love"; and his last chart entry in 1965 with "Windmill in Old Amsterdam".[4] Hilton was a favourite 1950s balladeer in the UK. Despite the prominence of rock and roll in his recording career, he amassed a formidable array of best-sellers in the UK Singles Chart, albeit mainly with cover versions of US hit records. This was common practice at the time, and many British recording artists followed this trend. His chart single recording career alone spanned from 1954 to 1965, which flew in the face of the rapidly changing trends of pop music.
From a comparatively unknown Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, "Me and Juliet" written in 1953, Ronnie Hilton took the hit tune "No Other Love", and scored his one and only UK Number One hit in 1956.[5] In securing the Number One, Hilton fought off competition from the UK-based Canadian Edmund Hockridge, and from the Johnston Brothers. Oddly, no American versions of "No Other Love" reached the UK Singles Chart at the time. Perry Como had been very successful with the song in America, but his version was released much earlier in 1953, when "Me and Juliet" first opened on Broadway.[5]Nevertheless, Hilton's light operatic style, similar to fellow HullensianDavid Whitfield, was already by the mid-1950s being overtaken by events.[5] By the time "No Other Love" dropped off the UK Singles Chart, Elvis Presley had clocked up his first three UK hit singles.[5] Hilton also performed in three Royal Variety Performances.[2] He also took part in the inaugural A Song For Europe contest in 1957, failing in his attempt to be the UK's first representative in the Eurovision Song Contest. Hilton's last chart hit for almost five years, in 1959, was "The Wonder of You"; the same song that Elvis Presley topped the UK chart with in 1970.[5]
Hilton kept on performing well into the 1960s, in summer seasons and Christmas shows, and was also a regular fixture in pantomimes in Hull, at the New Theatre, but knew that his chart days were behind him. In 1967 he released a single with covers of "If I Were a Rich Man" and "The Laughing Gnome" on the A-side and B-side respectively.[4] It did not chart. He appeared as a guest on the BBC's Morecambe & Wise Show in June 1971. Hilton suffered a stroke in 1976, which hindered his progress for a time. He also encountered financial problems.[2] Following his recovery, he presented Sounds of the Fifties, a nostalgic radio series for BBC Radio 2.[2] The British Academy of Song Composers and Authors honoured him with its gold medal for services to popular music in 1989.[2] He died in Hailsham, East Sussex from another stroke, aged 75.
He was twice married.[2] He had three children (Geraldine, Jane and Derry) with his first wife, Joan. Joan died in 1985. He was married to Chrissy from 1989 to 2001; together they had a son, Simon.

Discography[edit]

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