Vince Eager (born Roy Taylor on 4 June 1940 in Grantham, Lincolnshire) was a self-confessed “turnip wrangler from the Redneck Riviera” until he was inflamed by skiffle (he was a member of a group called The Harmonica Vagabonds for a while) and touched by the transformative wand of the UK’s first pop impresario, Larry Parnes.
On his first night in the mogul’s “Stable of Stars”, he was nearly touched by something else of Parnes’s, and only a night of sleepless vigilance with one hand on a hefty bedside lamp preserved his innocence . . .
Subsequently, Taylor/Eager found success offset by overwork, the unwanted attentions of Burt Lancaster and Parnes’s cheap publicity wheezes – like the Triumph Herald he scored for his 19th birthday and later found docked from his wages.
During 1959, Vince Eager was a regular on BBC TV’s Drumbeat, often accompanied by the John Barry Seven. In 1960 he was one of the contestants on ‘A Song for Europe’. In the semi-final, his song, Teenage Tears, was ranked last out of six entries for nomination to the Eurovision Song Contest.
The death of Eager’s friend Eddie Cochran in a car crash on Easter Sunday 1960 was to prove a turning point in his relationship with Larry Parnes, and his career. Vince was disgusted with the manner in which Parnes sought to gain publicity from the accident and began the process of getting away from the Parnes “Stable”.
In the years that followed the Parnes era, Eager toured on the cabaret circuit and performed in theatre and pantomime. For five years, he starred in the award-winning West End musical Elvis.
In 1986, he relocated to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (USA), where he worked as a Cruise Director on American luxury cruise ships.
He now lives in Nottinghamshire.