A British one-hit wonder of the mid-'60s that never crossed over to the U.S., Twinkle made number four in the U.K. at the end of 1964 with her self-penned debut "Terry," a maudlin disc about the death of a (fictional) biker boyfriend. "Leader of the Pack" it wasn't, yet the record caused a furor, accusations of bad taste leading to its ban from the BBC (and, most likely, aiding its rapid rise to popularity). Only 16 at the time, Twinkle owed her rapid entry into the studio to a then-boyfriend in the then-popular vocal group the Bachelors, who passed on her demo to his manager. Jimmy Page was among the high-profile session musicians who played on "Terry."
A lean mod blonde somewhat in the mold of Marianne Faithfull, Twinkle recorded several less successful follow-ups in the mid-'60s, most of which were light emulations of the New York girl group style. Vocally she bore a passing resemblance to Lesley Gore, though in an even whiter style (if such a thing was possible), making Gore seem downright funky in comparison. Twinkle, whose real name was Lynn Ripley, wasn't a mere creation of the image factory, though; she wrote much of her own material, including "Golden Lights," her only other single to approximate hit status. After six singles for Decca, Twinkle retired from the studio in 1966, at around the time of her 18th birthday, although she did record a single for Andrew Loog Oldham's Immediate label in 1969. Her legacy was propagated in unexpected ways: Elton John and Cat Stevens were fans, and "Golden Lights" was covered in 1986 by the Smiths. ~ Richie Unterberger