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When You're Standing There
by Rosetta Stone, feat. Gregory Gray
CATCH-UP: Gregory Gray (1959 to 2019) was a Northern Irish singer/songwriter, with 'Rosetta Stone'. Gregory Gray was born Paul Lerwill on May 20th 1959 in Portrush, County Antrim, Northern Ireland (although his mother was English and his father an Anglo-Indian RAF officer). He had three brothers and a sister and, when he was just 10 years old, the family moved to Singapore where they lived at the RAF Changi air base for three years - it was there that he first learned to play the guitar. On returning to Portrush, as a 14-year-old he accompanied the 'Singing Farmer', John Watt, on the guitar in the Northern Star bar in Ballymoney (his father actually owned the pub). Lerwill also worked in amusement arcades in Portrush and as a DJ in a local nightclub called Kelly's, but when he left school at 16 he moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he continued his work as a DJ until he was 19. He first started a recording career as a guitarist with the 'boyband' 'Rosetta Stone' (originally called the 'Young City Stars') in 1979, replacing Ian Mitchell, who performed with both them and the 'Bay City Rollers' under their manager Tam Paton. The band's output was mainly cover versions of 1950s and 1960s pop hits, and after making a number of records with them and two years touring the world, he left the group to return to Northern Ireland (it was at this point that he changed his name to 'Gregory Gray', in order to disassociate himself from his 'boyband' past). He immediately formed 'Perfect Crime', a four-piece 'post-punk' group, operating as lead singer, guitarist and songwriter, in the same year. They released two singles on 'MCA Records', "Brave" in 1983 and "I Feel Like an Eskimo" in 1984, before going their separate ways in the latter year. One claim-to-fame was their status as an opening act for Irish rockers 'U2' on the first leg of the "War Tour" from March 1983 (they appeared alongside 'U2' with 'Steel Pulse', 'Big Country', the 'Eurythmics' and 'Simple Minds' at a nine hour concert in Dublin in August of that year). He eventually signed as a solo artist to 'CBS Records' in 1985, and his album "Think of Swans" was released the following year - however, it did not sell well and his contract was promptly cancelled. (His second solo album, "Strong at Broken Places", was instead released by 'Atco Records' in 1990.) After Gray signed to the 'EMI' label in 1994, his third album, "Euroflake in Silverlake", came out in 1995. Both his second and third LPs received favourable reviews in the press and became popular on US student radio (they were also a hit in Japan and sold well in Southern Europe). In the late 1990s, he and his same-sex partner moved from Northern Ireland to Hertfordshire, England, where they bought a home and built a music room for him to work in independently. He uploaded his work for free on platforms such as "SoundCloud" and "YouTube" under the account name of 'Mary Cigarettes' (though he continued to use 'Gregory Gray' in his personal life). He worked on electronic dance music with a duo from Cork called 'Fish Go Deep', and ex-rocker/radio presenter Tom Robinson often played his tracks on his 'BBC Radio 6 Music' programme. Gregory Gray died after a short illness at his home in Hertfordshire on April 25th 2019, aged 59. http://www.irishnews.com/notices/livesremembered/2019/05/18/news/gregory-gray-my-life-story-must-read-as-a-manual-in-how-not-to-become-successful-but-it-all-turned-out-pretty-great-in-th-1622369/
Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Gray
Posted: 25th June 2019
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† REST IN PEACE †
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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