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Pensioner had been a pop star in the Fifties

ONE of the UK’s first international pop stars who ended up living in a council flat in Buckley has died.

Liverpool-born Ronnie Hulme – who scored Top 10 hits in Britain and the United States in the late 1950s under the name of Russ Hamilton – was a well-known figure in Buckley.

One resident, who did not want to be named, said: “He seemed down on his luck in recent years, but was well-liked.”

Ronnie, 76, who lived in Prince of Wales Court, Lane End, Buckley, was a singer-songwriter in his heyday.

The former Butlin’s Redcoat hit the big time in 1957 with the self-penned We Will Make Love – regarded as rather risque then – a Top 10 hit in the UK. But the flip side, Rainbow, reached number four in the US charts.

Russ was in huge demand for a while, appearing alongside major stars such as Perry Como.

Bus driver Andrew Hutchinson, who works in his family’s Buckley-based business, said: “Ronnie was a regular on our shopping bus. He was a nice, polite man who would always chat.

“I know he had been unwell recently and it’s sad he’s died.”

Town mayor John Thornton said: “I knew Mr Hulme was once a well-known singer.

“He never bragged about his success. I notice he had drawn into himself in later life and had been ill for a long time.”

It is understood Ronnie’s sister has flown in from Canada for his funeral.

Ronnie released 17 singles between 1957-64.

He followed We Will Make Love with Wedding Ring, which just scraped into the Top 20.

Unfortunately further chart success eluded him.

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