PJ Proby, who was discovered by TV and stage producer Jack Good, found his greatest fame in England. His hits, which included 'Hold Me' (1964) and 'Somewhere' (1965), displayed an affected vocal style which owed much to Elvis. He was able to make a simple Pop song deep and dark, he didn't need cheep gimmicks; but when his trousers split onstahe in 1965 he adopted the stunt as a refular part of the act. The righteous English papers led a backlash and Proby's career- dogged by managerial and money problems- never recovered.

The wayward genius of Proby has since been employed in a variety of roles (including inspiring Blur's 'Country Sad Ballad Man'). For all of his mind-blowing moments, there are five that promise more than they deliver. However, similar to Elvis, it is the presence of a talent so blindingly obvious that keeps the faithful coming back. His bizarre 7-minute 'Mary Hopkin Never Had Days Like These' (1968) was a maverick inspiration. The spirited backing provided on Three Week Hero (1969) cam courtesy of the then unknown Led Zeppelin. Stints on the stage playing the lead role in the musical Elvis in 1977 and 1995 produced some of his best-ever performances, but resulted in one ignomious sacking when he apparently lost interest in his work.

The Manchester label Savoy produced a series of sublime Dance singles using Proby's strong vocal in adaptations of Joy Division's 'Love Will Tear Us Apart', among others. He left hospital, against medical advice, two days after a heart attack in 1991, but as recently as The Legend (1997), still sounded great.

drownzsurf says: What a flipped out flashback for me, I remember the way he fondled the microphone

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