Twinkle made little impression on the world, having only one real hit with Terry reaching No.4 in the UK in 1964. But, she was a rather interesting character, not only did she write the song but it was also banned by the BBC as a”Death Song” – plus Jimmy Page played on it, not a bad start for a sixteen year old. It had that maudlin sixties teen obsession of being in love with heroic bikers dying in bike accidents – same theme as Leader Of The Pack by The Shangri-Las, also banned by the BBC. It took decades for the BBC to figure out that banning a record made it a hit. The song was condemened by politicians and the media – Twinkle shot into the top ten selling a quarter of a million records.
She came out of nowhere and returned there rather quickly. The story is that she was posh, dating Brian Jones, and Peter Noone from Herman’s Hermits and Dec from The Bachelors (her ticket into the studio to record Terry). But when the follow up, Golden Lights only made No. 21 her next single Tommy wasn’t written by her but for Reparta And The Delrons (a hit for them in the USA) – it failed to chart. So with the ever present Tommy Scott producing and writing all her B-sides, it was back to Twinkle to write the hits after all and Poor Old Johnny was released but it also failed to chart. It was over, an EP that fetaured A Lonely Singing Doll, the English version of France Gall’s, Serge Gainsbourg song, Poupée de cire, poupée de son, that won the Eurovison song contest for Luxembourg that year, also made no impression. A cover of the Skeeter Davies Song, End Of The World also failed to chart.
In 1969 she released the Mike d’Abo produced Pop/Soul, Micky on Andrew Loog Oldham’s Immediate Records. After this also failed to chart it would be five years before she made another record. In 1974 she went back into the studio with Mike D’abo (Manfred Mann singer after Paul Jones) and made the totally forgotten classic, Michael Hannah album releasing the tragically ignored single, Days, but the album it came from was never released. Most tragic of all was that Michael Hannah, her boyfriend was killed in a plane crash in Paris whilst she was making the record. An album full of interesting songs by a talented songwriter, guests included singer, Duncan Browne (a post is way overdue about him). A year later she recorded a novelty single, Smoochie with her father. In 1982 she released an eighties sounding version of Neil Diamond’s I’m A Believer. In 1986 The Smiths recorded Golden Lights, appearing on the B-side of Ask as well as on UK compilation, The World Won’t Listen and US compilation Louder Than Bombs.
Through her rather interesting life of ups and downs, Twinkle ended up marrying the Milk Tray Man, Graham Rogers, the handsome James Bond modelled star of the popular advert for the famous chocolates. “And all because the lady loves milk tray” (you had to be there!). Two children, Amber and Michael, their son went on trial for murder but was eventually acquitted. An animal rights activist throughout her life, as she reached her sixties she was diagnosed with cancer and died after a five year battle at the age of 66. Lynn Annette Ripley 15 July 1948–21 May 2015. Condolences to her friends and family, she lives on through her music. RIP, Twinkle.