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Terry Uttley Net Worth
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Terry Uttley full Biography
Bass player Terry Uttley was a well-known figure in the British music scene. The founding father of the legendary band Smokie remained an exemplary family man until the end of his life, destroying all stereotypes about rockers.
Childhood and youth
The biography of Terence David Uttley began on July 9, 1951 in Bradford, West Yorkshire, in the family of a printer. The musician’s small homeland had the status of the “woolen capital of the world” and became famous for its Victorian architecture.
Terry Uttley’s future was quite certain: his father wanted his son to continue the family business and become a printer. However, Attley Sr.’s plans were not destined to come true: from an early age, the muse attracted a talented boy to the stage.
When Terry Uttley was 11 years old, he picked up the guitar for the first time and signed up for training. Classes, however, did not please him, so he soon abandoned them. The musically gifted Uttley learned the chords on his own when he accidentally stumbled upon a tutorial in a local newspaper.
In 1965, Catholic school friends Alan Silson, Ron Kelly, Terry Uttley and Chris Norman formed the rock band The Yen. Already in February of the same year, Terry Uttley performed for the first time at a concert within the walls of the educational institution.
This was followed by a series of searches for “their” name: the rocker managed to stay both The Sphynx and Essence. Terry Uttley performed at various venues in Bradford and gradually gained popularity.
A year after founding, Terry Uttley left the group to focus on education. During the two years that Terry was absent, he was replaced by Arthur Higgins. In 1968, when Terry Uttley returned to the line-up, the group was already called The Elizabethans.
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The Elizabethans made their television debut in late 1968. After 9 months, the guys were invited to perform on the BBC High Jinx show, where they were noticed by the record label RCA Records.
The group, which changed its name to Kindness, was given the opportunity to release their debut single Light of Love. It was released in April 1970, but, contrary to expectations, became a commercial failure: only a few hundred copies were sold, which led to the termination of the contract with the label.
An important stage in the creative biography of the band came in 1973, when their manager Bill Hurley convinced famous producers Nikki Chinn and Mike Chapman to give the young rockers a chance.
Inspired by the image of glam rockers, they attempted to give the group a “dirty image” by dressing its members in leather jackets. When the idea failed, it was decided to stop at the denim style.
The updated band was named Smokey and started recording their debut album. The album Pass It Around was released on Valentine’s Day 1975 and received good reviews. The rockers decided to strike while the iron is hot, and they did not lose.
Their second album, titled Changing All the Time, was released in September of that year. Two singles from it, If You Think You Know How to Love Me and Don’t Play Your Rock ‘n’ Roll to Me, broke into the UK charts and peaked at number 3 and number 8 respectively.
Smokey did not have time to get the first portion of fame, as they faced its reverse side. Producer and singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson threatened them with legal action, demanding that they change their name. So Smokey became Smokie.
Meanwhile, the popularity of Bradford rockers continued to gain momentum. The band’s third album, Midnight Café, was released in the US in 1976. The single Living Next Door to Alice, which became the hallmark of the group, brought her unprecedented success and lifted her to new heights of the musical Olympus.
The band’s second single, Lay Back in the Arms of Someone, solidified its popularity in the rock scene. Smokie albums were released in millions of copies, concerts gathered huge audiences, becoming events in every city, photos of the band members were published in rock magazines. Undoubted hits were the songs Needles and Pins and It’s Your Life, recorded in the reggae style.
After the release of the album The Other Side of the Road in 1979, there was a decline in Smokie’s popularity. Rockers deliberately took a break in creativity to rethink and gain experience. They returned in 1981 with Solid Ground, but sales were low.
In 1986, Chris Norman left the band to focus on his solo career. He was replaced by former Black Lace vocalist Alan Barton. Personnel changes in the composition did not end there: keyboardist Martin Bullard and drummer Steve Pinnell joined Smokey.
The founding father of the band, Terry Uttley, easily worked with the new line-up, and in 1989 the band’s album, All Fired Up, was presented to the fans. However, Smokie failed to repeat the former success, although critics favored the new version of the Rock Away Your Tear Drops hit. The band’s subsequent albums had disastrously low sales.
In 1995, the team, returning from a tour in Germany, had a serious accident. The bus, in which the rockers were traveling, skidded, and flew off the track. Alan Barton suffered non-life-threatening injuries and died in hospital five days later.
The deceased vocalist was replaced by Mike Kraft. A year after the accident, Silson left the band to start a solo career, guitar tech Mick McConnell was invited to replace him. Three albums were released with this line-up, two of which contained only cover versions.
Smokie’s greatest success in the new millennium came in 2010 with the addition of Take a Minute to their discography, which took 3rd place on the Danish charts.
In April 2021, Mike Kraft left the band and was replaced by Pete Lincoln.
Terry Uttley was happy in his personal life. He met his only wife Shirley in his youth, when he was at the peak of his popularity.
In 1975, the lovers tied the knot. The wife gave the musician two children. Terry Uttley, by the way, did not maintain the image of a glam rock star, remaining a loving husband and devoted father.
Terry Uttley Death
On December 16, 2021, Terry Uttley passed away at the age of 70. The cause of death of the last of the musicians of the original line-up of Smokie was a short illness. A month before the death of the guitarist, on November 17, 2021, after a long battle with cancer, Terry Uttley only wife, Shirley, passed away.
Terry Uttley discography
With the Smokie group:
- 1975 – Pass It Around
- 1975 – Changing All the Time
- 1976 Midnight Cafe
- 1977 Bright Lights & Back Alleys
- 1978 – The Montreux Album
- 1979 – The Other Side of the Road
- 1981 Solid Ground
- 1982 Strangers in Paradise
- 1982 Midnight Delight
- 1988 – All Fired Up
- 1989 Boulevard of Broken Dreams
- 1990 – Whose Are These Boots?
- 1992 Chasing Shadows
- 1993 Burnin’ Ambition
- 1995 – The World and Elsewhere
- 1996 – Light A Candle
- 1998 – Wild Horses – The Nashville Album
- 2000 – Uncovered
- 2001 – Uncovered Too
- 2004 – On the Wire
- 2010 – Take a Minute
Interesting Facts about Terry Uttley
- A reworked version of Living Next Door to Alice (Who the F**k Is Alice), which the band recorded with infamous comedian Roy Chubby Brown, achieved significant UK chart success.
- Bradford is the birthplace of famous singer, One Direction member Zayn Malik.