Friday, May 29, 2015

Lights Go Out For…TWINKLE "The End of the World"

The girl with the annoying name Twinkle (July 15, 1948 – May 21, 2015), was actually Lynn Ripley, believe it or not. Back when Eng-a-lind swang, there was a girl named Twiggy, and another named Lulu, so being known by a one-and-only cutie-pie name was real gear.

Speaking of things gear, Twinkle had an instant hit with a song about a boyfriend who couldn't quite shift his gears. "Terry" was the name of the "teen tragedy" song, which fit in nicely with various hits before and after, including "Teen Angel," "Tell Laura I Love Her," and of course "Leader of the Pack."

Looking sweet 16, Twinkle was such a part of the silly pop scene that she dated Peter Noone (the adorable leader of Herman's Hermits) for a while. When she became typed for sad ballads, she was handed "The End of the World," which ironically Mr. Noone also took a swing at.

"The End of the World" via Twinkle is what you'd expect. Coming from the Priscilla Paris school of pouting (from which Claudine Longet would soon graduate), The Twink specialized in baby-like emoting. Her version lacks the full body and woeful angst of the older Skeeter Davis version, and isn't exactly competition to various tearful chicks up to and including Nina Gordon. Still, it effectively captures the pink blues of girls who drew hearts on the covers of their notebooks, and dotted their i's with a little circle. Teens who identified with her were seriously believed the world ended if some guy let some other girl pop his pimples. Their level of maturity didn't improve much with or without virginity, maybe only to the level of "do I switch now from junior to super absorbent?"

After "The End of the World" there wasn't much left. With barely enough collected singles to fill one album, Twinkle was history by the age of 18. It didn't mean she stopped trying. She recorded a single here and there, including "Micky," about her boyfriend Micky "Micky" Hannah. Five years later, Micky died in an airplane crash. No, the disc jockeys in England didn't rush to play "Micky." Besides, our sweet Twinkie was married to someone else (to an actor/model whose biggest deal was having the lead in a British candy commercial).

In 1975, "Bill and Coo" (Twinkle and her father) released a single, "Smoochie," and that kissed her career goodbye. She was still beloved and remembered for her iconic singles, most especially the morbid ones. "Terry" has been anthologized on several "Teen Horror" compilations but here below, as we all get closer to it, is…


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