Artists – R

Ricky Nelson

Ricky Nelson first found fame in the 1950s during his stint on The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet, the popular American sitcom that starred him and his brother, David, alongside their real-life parents. His baby-faced good looks and easy way with a rockabilly song earned him entry into living rooms closed to edgier early rockers. In(…)

Ricky Valance

Welshman Ricky Valance had a UK Number 1 chart-topper in September 1960 with Tell Laura I Love Her despite the fact that the record was banned by the BBC (who tended to ignore any song which mentioned death). The record found great favour with Radio Luxembourg, who afforded it maximum airplay. This pushed the single to the(…)


Back in the early 1990s, there was a joke in the UK music papers that referred to an imaginary indie band called Slowdriveride – an amalgam of some of the groups who made up the ‘shoegazing’ scene of that time. True, many were making swirly, ethereal guitar rock while shuffling about onstage, but the music(…)

Righteous Brothers, The

Like The Walker Brothers, The Righteous Brothers were not brothers at all. Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield were a club act popular in southern California, but they attracted national attention in 1965 when Phil Spector provided them with the soulful classic You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – his and their finest hour, according to many. Spector met Hatfield and Medley at San(…)

Ringo Starr

Ringo Starr

Richard Starkey was born in the Dingle area of Liverpool on 7 July 1940. While John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Pete Best sweated through their musical apprenticeship in Hamburg and Liverpool, Ringo learned his trade around the coast of Britain working in summer holiday camps. He didn’t play on The Beatles‘ first single, Love Me Do, or on any(…)

Riot Squad

This punk/skinhead band from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, was led by vocalist Dunk. Formed in September 1981, the band had their own label, called Rot, which they established to seek out new regional punk talent. Riot Squad released four singles on Rot – Fuck The Tories (1982), Don’t Be Denied (1983), I’m OK, Fuck You (1983) and There Ain’t No Solution (1984) – as well(…)

Riot Squad, The

London group The Riot Squad were initially managed and produced by Larry Page, and later (for their reunion) by Joe Meek. Members included Graham Bonney (vocals), Ron Ryan (guitar), Mark Stevens (keyboards), Brian Davies (bass), Mitch Mitchell (drums), Roger Crisp (bass), Terry Clifford (guitar), Butch Davis (piano), Derek ‘Del’ Roll (drums) and future husband and bandmate(…)

Rip Chords, The

Phil Stewart Vocals (studio/touring) Arnie Marcus Vocals (touring) Rich Rotkin Vocals (touring) Terry Melcher Vocals (studio) Ernie Bringas Vocals (studio) Bruce Johnston Vocals (studio)

Rip Rig + Panic

Even during the eclectic 80s, it’s hard to imagine a major label having pursued a band that never rehearsed, boasted no discernible frontman and named themselves after a 1965 LP by jazz saxophonist Roland Kirk. Yet, in 1981, such a chase ensued, ending with Virgin signing Bristol-birthed, London-based avant-pop collective Rip Rig + Panic, featuring(…)

Riptides, The

I first came across The Riptides at the legendary Trade Union Club in Surry Hills, Sydney (Australia) in the early 80’s and was instantly besotted. When I think back to the early 80’s and venues like Manning Bar at Sydney University and the Governor’s Pleasure in the Rocks, it’s this band that springs to mind.(…)

Rita Coolidge

Rita Coolidge was born in Lafayette, Tennesee, a small town outside Nashville, and began her musical career playing the organ in church. Throughout her childhood, she was heavily influenced by R&B pioneers like Sam Cooke and Ray Charles. Talented in many artistic disciplines, Coolidge enrolled at Florida State University as an art major but leaning more(…)

Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens (real name Richard Valenzuela) was born in California on 13 May 1941. As a youngster he sang and played guitar at school and in 1958 he signed to Del Fi records in Hollywood and had his first US hit with the single Come On Let’s Go, which was a UK hit for Tommy Steele. He achieved(…)

Rivieras, The

Roaring Jack

The band split up in 1992. Returning to the UK, Hulett worked with former Fairport Convention fiddle player, Dave Swarbrick (who described Hulett as “the best songwriter since Ewan MacColl”). Alistair Hulett (born 1951) passed away on 28 January 2010. Alistair Hulett Vocals, guitar Steven (Steph) Miller Accordion, mandolin, vocals Bob (Rab) Mannell Guitar, bouzouki Dave Williams(…)

Robbie Williams

1 December 1997 saw the release of Angels, a new single by Robbie Williams. Few cared. Williams (born in 1974) was viewed as a self-regarding buffoon, overweight and without future following his rancorous exit from Take That in 1995. Yet Angels was an utterly beautiful ballad. The up-tempo follow-up, Let Me Entertain You, was a superb “I am” anthem. Both were(…)

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