Ted Chippington special
Ted Chippington special.
Chippington started performing in 1981 under the name "Eddie Chippington" before changing to Ted "due to maturity and baldness". He first came to national prominence when a gig he had performed in Birmingham in 1984 supporting the Fall was released by local record label Vindaloo on a 7" EP entitled Non Stop Party Hits of the '50s, '60s and '70s. The EP title refers to his penchant for performing his own versions of classic hits, including on this occasion his rendering of Ottawan's "D.I.S.C.O.". The record was played by John Peel on his BBC Radio Oneprogramme - a rare occurrence for a comedian.
In 1986 he released an album, Man in a Suitcase - a collection of live recordings plus some more songs, including his versions of "She Loves You" and Alvin Stardust's "I Feel Like Buddy Holly" - which reached the Top 10 indie album chart. "She Loves You" received wider exposure after Steve Wright repeatedly played it on his Radio 1 show, which in turn led to the track being released as a single by Warner Brothers. It narrowly failed to make the Top 75 but Chippington claims that the deal with Warners' earned him "£1,000 and a nice curry".
Despite its failure to crack the charts, "She Loves You" raised Chippington's profile considerably and led to numerous media appearances, including a turn on the BBC's lunchtime magazine show Pebble Mill at One, the latter fulfilling a lifelong ambition.
Chippington once again came close to mainstream UK singles chart success with a recording of his theme tune "Rockin' with Rita (Head to Toe)" which he performed with his fellow Vindaloo artists the Nightingales and We've Got a Fuzzbox and We're Gonna Use It. A further single followed with his reading of Dion's "The Wanderer", in which the boastfulness of the original lyrics was turned on its head: "I'm not the wanderer, I'm not the wanderer...not too keen on roaming around and around and around".
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