b. Marion Ryan, 4 February 1931, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire, England, d. 15 January 1999, Boca Raton, Florida, USA. This popular singer, with a vivacious style, was successful in the UK on records, radio and television in the 50s and early 60s. In one sense Marion Ryan’s contribution to the UK charts began in 1948 when she gave birth to twins, Paul And Barry Ryan, who had hits of their own in the late 60s. Barry’s ‘Eloise’ went to number 2, which was three places higher than his mother’s best effort. Marion Ryan first appeared on the UK music scene in 1953 after a spell singing with Edmundo Ros, and became a favourite on UK television with programmes such as Off The Record, Music Shop, Festival Of British Song, Jack Jackson’s Record Roundup, Gerry’s Inn, Sunday Night At Blackpool, 6.5 Special, Oh Boy! and Two’s Company. She also starred in four series of Spot The Tune with Canadian vocalist-comedian Jackie Rae. She sang regularly with the Ray Ellington Quartet, and appeared with them in the 1956 movie Eric Winstone’s Stagecoach. In the late 50s, Ryan covered several big hits, including Perry Como’s ‘Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)’, Peggy Lee’s ‘Mr Wonderful’ and Rosemary Clooney’s ‘Mangos’. In 1958 she had chart success with ‘Love Me Forever’, which beat the Eydie Gorme version and rose to number 5. She also released some EPs, including That Ryan Gal and Hit Parade. In 1963 she featured in the Tommy Steele movie It’s All Happening, with Russ Conway, Danny Williams, John Barry and Shane Fenton. Ryan retired from singing after marrying impresario Harold Davison in the late 60s, and they subsequently moved to Florida where she died following a heart attack.
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