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Troggs singer Reg Presley dies of cancer at 71

5

February

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From the AP:

The structure is simple, the guitar riffs basic, the lyrics at best inane, but the Troggs' Wild Thing remains a garage rock classic more than 45 years after its release made The Troggs and lead singer Reg Presley international stars.

Presley, whose raunchy, suggestive voice powers this paean to teenage lust, died Monday after a year-long struggle with lung cancer that had forced him and the band into reluctant retirement, his agent Keith Altham announced on Facebook late Monday night. He was 71.

"My dear old pal Reg Presley of The Troggs died today," he said, calling Presley "one very real person in a sometimes very unreal world." He said the singer had suffered a number of strokes recently and died at his home in Andover (70 miles west of London) surrounded by his family and friends.

Wild Thing was written by accomplished American songwriter Chip Taylor, whose real name is James Voight, brother of actor Jon Voight. The original recording by Jordan Christopher & The Wild Ones in 1965 was quickly forgotten. It took the Troggs' cover, released the following year, to make it a classic.

Presley, also a prolific songwriter, helped found the Troggs in the 1960s while he was working as a bricklayer. Born Reg Ball, he took the stage name "Presley" at his manager's suggestion.

He announced his retirement in January, 2012 in an open letter to his fans thanking them for their support. He said at the time that he was receiving chemotherapy and not feeling "too bad." He had a strong interest in crop circles, paranormal activity, and UFOs.

His daughter Karen told the music website WENN that she, her brother and her mother were with Presley when he died.

"We're absolutely heartbroken," she said.

[Photo: Presley in 2008. AP]

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[Last modified: Tuesday, February 5, 2013 2:32pm]

    

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