Crispian St. Peters Biography

Robin Peter Smith, 5 April 1939, Swanley, Kent, England. Originally a member of UK pop acts the Beat Formula Three and Peter And The Wolves, Smith was plucked from obscurity by manager Dave Nicolson, rechristened Crispian St. Peters and signed to a 10-year management and production contract. After two unsuccessful singles for Decca Records (‘At This Moment’ and ‘No No No’) Nicolson persuaded him to cover We Five’s US hit ‘You Were On My Mind’, written by Sylvia Tyson. Although the single was almost buried in the pre-Christmas sales rush of 1965, it continued to sell into the New Year and took St. Peters into the UK Top 5. Under Nicolson’s tutelage, the shy star was momentarily transformed into arrogance incarnate and astonished the conservative music press of the period by his suggestion that he had written 80 songs of better quality than those of the Beatles. Other stars were also waved aside as St. Peters announced that he was better than Elvis Presley: ‘I’m going to make Presley look like the Statue of Liberty... I am sexier than Dave Berry and more exciting than Tom Jones... and the Beatles are past it’. Outraged readers denounced him in letters columns, but St. Peters returned stronger than ever with the sprightly ‘The Pied Piper’, a Top 10 hit on both sides of the Atlantic.

Thereafter St. Peters was remembered more for his idle boasts than his music. After successive chart failures, he switched to country, a form that better suited his singing style. Serious psychological problems hampered his remote chances of a comeback and he fell into obscurity, reappearing irregularly on the flickering revivalist circuit. Now based in his native Kent, he recorded a number of cassette albums in the late 80s and early 90s, but suffered a major stroke in 1995. Six years later he announced his final retirement owing to worsening ill health.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.

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