b. unknown, d. November 1989. After signing with the independent Chapter One label, this mild-mannered, bespectacled counter tenor made a startling television debut in May 1970 on BBC’s Top Of The Pops, with a version of ‘Sally’, the signature tune of Gracie Fields, an entertainer he greatly admired. This reached number 4 in the UK, and although later singles, until 1972, were less successful, they all made the charts. Most of his a-sides were upper-octave revivals of sentimental ballads such as Johnnie Ray’s ‘Cry’ (1970, Top 40), the Platters’ ‘My Prayer’ (1970, Top 10) and the evergreen ‘It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie’ (1971, Top 20). However, the last two chart entries, ‘Little Drops Of Silver’ (1971, Top 40) and ‘Girl Of My Dreams’ (1972, Top 50), were composed especially for him. Monroes’ cache of hits formed the backbone of his act when he returned to the working men’s club netherworld from which he had emerged. While his voice remained a thing of wonder, failing health obliged him to cut back on engagements by the mid-80s.
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