Coventry-born Edelweiss singer Vince Hill dies at 89

Vince Hill, the singer best known for his 1967 hit Edelweiss, has died at the age of 89.

Born in Holbrooks, Coventry, he sang with big bands and vocal groups before his first solo success in 1962.

Over a long career, Hill performed with singers including Tony Christie and Cilla Black and presented programmes on television and radio.

“He really was an amazing singer and also an absolute gentleman,” said Pete Chambers from Coventry Music Museum.

“He had that sort of velvety voice [and] wow he could project it.

“An incredible performer and a lovely man.”

Hill became a singer after winning a talent contest at 15, but also worked as a baker, truck driver and miner before finding success.

His debut single The Rivers Run Dry, released by Piccadilly Records in 1962, led to TV and radio appearances which brought him to the attention of bigger labels.

Signed to EMI’s Columbia label in 1965, he went on to produce a string of hits, including a cover version of Edelweiss, from the 1959 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical The Sound of Music.

The track reached number two and stayed on the UK charts for 17 weeks.

The singer told Desert Island Discs in 1975 the success of the song led to top billing at London theatres, the Palladium and The Talk of the Town.

DuringĀ a career spanning six decades he released 25 studio albums, recorded movie theme songs and performed internationally at venues including the Sydney Opera House.

Although he moved to Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire he “never forgot his roots”, said Mr Chambers, and would often phone to ask how Coventry City had fared.

The singer mourned the death of his wife Annie in 2016 and also lost his son Athol in an accident in 2014.

An update posted onĀ his official websiteĀ on Saturday said: “We’re very sorry to have to tell you Vince has left us.

“He passed peacefully at home in Henley this afternoon.”


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