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.