Here are some of the Tragic Members of the 27 Club

Larry Parnes (left, withTommy Steele) created a stable of pop stars with improbable names designed to appeal to pre-teen girls. YouTube

2. Dickie Pride was a forgettable singer largely forgotten today

During the 1960s British music impresario Larry Parnes ran what the press at the time called a stable of performers, many of whom became stars of differing magnitudes. Perhaps his most famous was the singer Billy Fury, who was a huge act for a time in Swinging London, and who managed to die impoverished despite making Parnes a small fortune. Parnes wanted to create acts which were teen idols a la Fabian in the United States, and he gave his performers names such as Johnny Gentle, Vince Eager, and Georgie Fame. Another sobriquet he laid upon one of his performers was Dickie Pride, whose real name was the much more pedestrian Richard Kneller. Dickie had the looks, and the stage moves, to create mayhem during his performances. Unfortunately he had neither good material nor a voice by which to deliver it.

Unhappy in his profession and his status as a pop star, Dickie’s career started with a fizzle and never really took off as British pop music went the way of the Mersey beat created by The Beatles, or the harder sound from Manchester and London. By 1967 Pride was a well-known aficionado of drugs which included heroin, and his growing health problems led to several stays at mental health facilities. In 1967 he was subjected to a lobotomy. Although he once recorded covers of songs by Little Richard and other rock icons, his biggest hit was Primrose Lane, which cracked the Top 40 in 1959, though it never sent the charts afire. In 1969 Dickie Pride earned entry into the 27 Club via an overdose of sleeping pills, whether deliberate or accidental never determined. Though his fellow members of the Parnes stable admired his talent, he was never hobbled with much success.