Privately educated Lynn Annette Ripley was given the nickname ‘Twinkle’ by her father before she was even out of nappies.
Lynn was the only female singer of her generation – including Cilla, Lulu, Dusty – to write her own material. She wrote her first song at the age of six and eight years later, would get up and sing with local London band The Trekkers.
Writing ran in the family – her sister, Dawn James, was a pop music journalist for Mirabelle magazine.
Dawn was also “involved” at one stage with Dec Cluskey of The Bachelors, which is how a copy of Lynn’s composition, Terry, found its way to Bachelors’ manager Phil Solomon, who saw the potential and duly arranged for the recording of Twinkle’s debut single at a cost of £150.
The song – with its echoey doom-laden arrangement – was banned by the premier UK pop show Ready, Steady, Go! – The record was judged to be ‘sick’.
Follow-up singles and EP tracks such as Golden Lights, A Lonely Singing Doll and Unhappy Boy were among the first pop songs ever to question the value of success.
On 21 May 2015, Twinkle died at the age of 66 on the Isle of Wight, after a five-year battle with cancer.