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Craig Douglas


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England during the late ’50s had its equivalents to Frankie Avalon and Fabian, teenage boy singers whose sounds were specifically tailored to appeal to the most romantic sides of the young female psyche and not offend their parents. Craig Douglas was one of the better of these and has proved one of the most enduring, still performing more than 40 years after cutting his first record. Born Terry Perkins on the Isle of Wight, he was one of a pair of twins (and those twins were one of three sets among nine children). His mother sang well, one of Douglas’ sisters performed on the Isle of Wight, and he’d reportedly begun trying to sing while still in the crib. An indifferent student, he preferred athletics and being outdoors, which led to his volunteering during a school holiday to help the milkman make his deliveries.

It was the latter brief diversion that got the boy labeled the Singing Milkman at the outset of his career. At 16, his mother entered him in a local talent contest and he won by singing “Love Letters in the Sand.” He got to a final round, where he specifically avoided doing the standard Elvis Presley imitations that his competitors presented. This led to an appearance at a variety show on the island, where he was seen by London agent Bunny Lewis, whose wife was performing on the same bill.


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