Scottish band Deacon Blue were named after the track Deacon Blues from Steely Dan‘s 1977 album, Aja.
Frontman Ricky Ross (a youth worker by profession) had been submitting demo tapes to record companies since 1983. When the group were finally signed to CBS their first few singles failed to chart, despite critical acclaim for the album Raintown (1987).
Success only came when they re-mixed and re-released their debut single Dignity a year later. Subsequent singles included Chocolate Girl, Real Gone Kid (their first Top 10 hit) and Wages Day.
1990 was their biggest year, with sell-out shows at Wembley Arena and the Aberdeen Exhibition Centre and their cover of the Bacharach/David song I’ll Never Fall In Love Again becoming their biggest hit at #2.
Deacon Blue re-emerged in the 1990s with a new dance edge to their sound, thanks to production by Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne, although their album Whatever You Say, Say Nothing was more conventional.
The group split in 1994 and Ricky Ross embarked on a solo career. Five years later, the band held a reunion gig in 1999, and this led on to a new album, Walking Back Home, with the band now working on a part-time basis.
Deacon Blue continue to tour sporadically and have released further albums Homesick (2001) and The Hipsters (2012).
Graeme Kelling died from pancreatic cancer in 2004.