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When Tony Ellingham hit the big time in the late 1960s he didn't have a care in the world, but he did have one problem - his stage name. Instead of the name his mother gave him he was told to go by a different one.

Something cool and sexy, something which would grab his fans' attention and portray him as an icon of Sixties' chic. His new name was Dorian Gray.

"I was a young man, it was terribly embarrassing and a lot of my friends took the mickey" admits Tony. "It comes from an Oscar Wilde tale about a man who never ages until he sees a picture he had for years. Must have seemed like a good idea at the time."

But since a notable evening in 1968 when he was spotted by Manager, Roger Easterby, during a performance at The Moat Hotel, Wrotham, fame and almost a fortune followed.

Dorian Gray's first record "Behind The Tear" didn't quite rip the charts open but it did lay the foundations for the next one - a top 40 hit "I've Got You On My Mind", which was written especially for him by Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook. He appeared on Top of the Pops (with his name shown in the TV listings at the time), toured the country with the likes of Tom Jones and Cilla Black and had his fair share of pretty girls running after him.

The two Rogers, who were then using the name "David and Jonathan", were so delighted at the way Dorian handled the number that they immediately wrote another for him - "Love Is All It Should Be", but unfortunately this failed to make the charts.

Thinking about the good old days, he says: "At one stage my record was always on pirate radio stations. You heard it everywhere and it was a real joy. I had a fantastic year of fame and was always appearing on TV. But then the law clamped down on pirate radio and that was the end of my career, because no-one was hearing the music. I always thought that, if the radio station had not been closed down, I would have been a millionaire by now!"

But he has no real regrets. "At least I managed to do something most musicians will only dream of, even if it was just for a while."

When interviewed by his local paper, Tony said “I was 26 when it was all happening. I had just moved into a new house, my wife had a baby in February and I was on Top of the Pops in March, but I had responsibilities and a mortgage to pay, so I had to turn my back on my singing career. I don’t regret it, I just had to be realistic as there wasn’t the money in music back then.”

Tony, who had been given six months off by his boss at Kent Art Printers in Rochester, returned to his job but was keen to get back into music and in 1974 formed his band Unit Five, which he still performs with today.

Tony added: “You couldn’t make the money back then that you can now. I was talking to the Stereophonics last year and they couldn’t believe that I didn’t make much money. I am a bit envious of the money they can make today, but it was all so different then.”.

“Back then my record was being played every single moment of the day on pirate radio stations, but when the government closed them down it changed.”

Tony celebrated his hit being chosen by the BBC for their recently released Sounds of the Sixties album and by Sony for their Honey Honey album, both of which romped up to high places in the Album Charts on release.   See our Music page for CD details and a YouTube video of Tony’s hit.

Speaking about the new records he added: “It’s been great and the sales of the CDs have already been fantastic. I even went to a branch of HMV and signed a few copies.”


the foundations for the next one - a top 40 hit "I've Got You On My Mind", which was written especially for him by Roger Greenaway and Roger Cook. He appeared on Top of the Pops (with his name shown in the TV listings at the time), toured the country with the likes of Tom Jones and Cilla Black and had his fair share of pretty girls running after him.
The two Rogers, who were then using the name "David and Jonathan", were so delighted at the way Dorian handled the number that they immediately wrote another for him - "Love Is All It Should Be", but unfortunately this failed to make the charts.
Thinking about the good old days, he says: "At one stage my record was always on pirate radio stations. You heard it everywhere and it was a real joy. I had a fantastic year of fame and was always appearing on TV. But then the law clamped down on pirate radio and that was the end of my career, because no-one was hearing the music. I always thought that, if the radio station had not been closed down, I would have been a millionaire by now!"
But he has no real regrets. "At least I managed to do something most musicians will only dream of, even if it was just for a while."
When interviewed by his local paper, Tony said “I was 26 when it was all happening. I had just moved into a new house, my wife had a baby in February and I was on Top of the Pops in March, but I had responsibilities and a mortgage to pay, so I had to turn my back on my singing career. I don’t regret it, I just had to be realistic as there wasn’t the money in music back then.”
Tony, who had been given six months off by his boss at Kent Art Printers in Rochester, returned to his job but was keen to get back into music and in 1974 formed his band Unit Five, which he still performs with today.
Tony added: “You couldn’t make the money back then that you can now. I was talking to the Stereophonics last year and they couldn’t believe that I didn’t make much money. I am a bit envious of the money they can make today, but it was all so different then.”.
“Back then my record was being played every single moment of the day on pirate radio stations, but when the government closed them down it changed.”
Tony celebrated his hit being chosen by the BBC for their recently released Sounds of the Sixties album and by Sony for their Honey Honey album, both of which romped up to high places in the Album Charts on release.   See our Music page for CD details and a YouTube video of Tony’s hit.
Speaking about the new records he added: “It’s been great and the sales of the CDs have already been fantastic. I even went to a branch of HMV and signed a few copies.”

DORIAN GRAY - TOP 60s RECORDING STAR

Dorian Gray