Monday, January 22, 2018

Marion Ryan (1931 - 1999) and Paul (1948 - 1992) and Barry Ryan

Marion Ryan was born in Middlesbrough, Cleveland, UK in 1931. As a professional singer she worked with the Ray Ellington orchestra which spring boarded her recording career. She had a good singing voice and was capable of a wide range of styles. Her glamorous good looks earned her the title “the Marilyn Monroe of popular song," but despite her popularity her recording career was mediocre. She did have one UK Top Five hit with 'Love me forever' (1958).

Marion moved into television where she appeared as the resident singer in Granada's 'Spot that tune’ (1957-1963). Her outgoing personality won the viewers heart and she even had modest success on US TV.

In 1963 she appeared with Tommy Steele in the film It's All Happening (The Dream Maker). The single Maximum Plus was never released because at 4'15" it was considered too long. Marion re-married American show business millionaire, Harold Davidson and when public tastes changed she quietly retired from show business. Marion Ryan passed away aged 68 in 1999.

She had identical twin sons, Paul and Barry (born 1948) from her previous marriage. The boys took their mother's name (previously Sapherson) and started singing professionally, aged 15. Signed to Decca they were carefully groomed to look like Mods, dressed by top designers with their staged photographs seen in all the pop papers. Under the watchful eye of Les Reed the duo scored a hat trick of hits between 1965-66. Paul and Barry Ryan represented the beginning of Bubblegum Pop in the UK and were deliberately groomed for stardom.

At the peak of their fame Paul found he could not cope with the stress of being a pop star. The young man decided to stop performing and concentrate on song writing, Brother Barry pursued his solo career, changed record company to MGM Records and had a massive hit with Eloise (written by Paul) in 1968.

The follow up single "Love Is Love" was another Paul Ryan composition but failed to sell well in the UK. Sales in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands were healthy and gave Paul and Barry their second million seller.

Barry released several other singles in the UK but he was never able to match the success of Eloise. Ironically him records sold well in Germany despite him never appearing live outside the UK. As music trends changed and sales dropped Barry retired from performing in the early 70s. He did make a brief comeback in the late 1990s and has more recently appeared on the retro circuit.

Until his death in 1992, Paul Ryan continued to write songs for other artists including Frank Sinatra (I Will Drink The Wine and Sunrise in the Morning). In 1986 The Damned reprised Eloise which became a Top Three hit in the UK.

Worth a listen
Marion Ryan
Ding Dong Rock A Billy Wedding (1957)
Love Me Forever (1958)
Always And Forever (1958)
Stairway Of Love/ I Need You (1958)
Couple Of Crazy Kids (1958)
The World Goes Around And Around (1958)
Wait For Me (1959)
Jo-Jo The Dog-Faced Boy (1959)
Too Much (1959)
Sixteen Reasons (1960)
It's You That I Love (1960)
Better Use Your Head (1968)

Paul and Barry Ryan
Don't Bring Me Your Heartaches (1965),
Have Pity on the Boy (1966)
Missy Missy (1966)

Barry Ryan
Eloise (1968)
The Hunt (1969)
Magical Spiel (1970)
Kitsch (1970)

Other songs wrtten by Paul Ryan
Who Put The Lights Out? (1971)

Frank Sinatra
I Will Drink the Wine
Sunrise in the Morning
Englebert Humperdinck
Love's Only Love

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