'Cuddly' Dudley

Born Dudley Heslop, he changed his name to Cuddly Dudley and got his big break as a solo singer on Jack Good's 'Oh Boy!' TV show. Cuddly was exposed and warmly received on the show with his famous big grin, sharp suits and flashy ties. His first recordings were on the 'Oh Boy!' LP released in late 1958 on Parlophone and his first solo disc was released in 1959. Cuddly also appeared in a film called "Girls Of The Latin Quarter" in January 1959 and had a very busy career dashing all over the country for appearances at which he was always very well received. 1959 was Cuddly's best year, what with the film, plenty of TV and many live touring shows and not forgetting his 45 on HMV.  

During October 1959 Cuddly now had his own group backing him - they were an all black foursome he called 'The Embraceable Four'. In 1960 he toured the UK supporting the top American group The Platters and HMV released his second 45. In 1961 he took over a London band called 'The Redcaps' for a while. Cuddly and The Redcaps recorded and had released one 45 single. The Redcaps later found fame as Johnny Kidd's backing group 'The Pirates'. Cabaret work followed, singles still appeared in the early sixties on the Piccadilly label, then he made the move to Ska Music and worked with the Bluebeats. Cuddly Dudley possibly ahead of his time, might have fared better had he been part of the early 60s R'n'B movement. But Cuddly will be best remembered for his appearances on the "Oh Boy" TV show. He died 15th July 2011.

Redcaps band members: Frank Farley drums (1959 - Jul 1961) (born Frank William Farley, 18.2.1942, in Belgaum, UK); Johnny Spence bass (1959 - Jul 1961) (born John Spence Holliday, 26.1.1942, in Birmingham, Warwickshire); Vic Cooper organ (1959 - Jul 1961) (born Victor Cooper, 13.12.1942, in Oxford, Oxfordshire).

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