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Biography

Barry Ryan (born Barry Sapherson in Leeds on 24 October 1948; died 28 September 2021) was an English pop singer who, as well as solo hits in the late 1960s, enjoyed success in the duo Paul & Barry Ryan with his twin brother.

The son of pop singer Marion Ryan and Fred Sapherson, Barry and his twin brother Paul began to perform at the age of 15. In 1965 they signed a contract with Decca and brought out singles such as "Don't Bring Me Your Heartaches" (1965), "Have Pity on the Boy" (1966), and "Missy Missy" (1966).

When it turned out that Barry's brother, allegedly on the verge of a nervous breakdown, was unable to cope any longer with all the stress connected with the show business, the two brothers decided on a new division of labour: Paul would write songs which Barry would then interpret as a solo artist. Their greatest success as a composer-singer duo, now for MGM Records, was "Eloise" (1968), melodramatic and heavily orchestrated. Later singles included "Love Is Love" (1968), "The Hunt" (1969), "Magical Spiel" (1970), and "Kitsch" (1970).

Ryan was also very popular in Germany. Promoted by BRAVO, the German youth magazine, Ryan also recorded a number of songs in German, for example "Die Zeit macht nur vor dem Teufel halt" (Time only stops at the devil).

Barry Ryan's career as a singer was over in the early 1970s. There were rumours that Ryan had had an accident in the recording studio, had suffered serious burn wounds in the face and would no longer be able to appear in public. However, he made a comeback in the late 1990s when a two CD set with his and his brother's old songs was published.

He was part of the Solid Silver 60s Tour of the UK in 2003, singing Eloise backed by The Dakotas.

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