Wayne Fontana – bottom centre – and The Mindbenders
Sixties chart topping singer Wayne Fontana has died. He was aged 74.
Fontana and his band The Mindbenders had a number hit in America with “Game of Love” in 1965.
The single reached number two in the UK.
Fontana left the group during a concert over “musical differences”.
The Mindbenders next recorded their biggest hit “Groovy Kind Of Love”.
Phil Collins’ 1988 version was a number one hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
Fontana had a solo hit in 1967 with “Pamela, Pamela” but his career petered out.
He tried various comebacks – joining nostalgic 60s tours and singing on cruise ships.
He recounted most people wanted him to sing “Groovy Kind Of Love” – but he didn’t.
His management agency Chimes International said:
“Chimes Int’l on behalf of the family of Wayne Fontana regret to announce he passed away this afternoon at Stepping Hill Hospital, Stockport.
“His long-term partner was by his side.
“Known for his 1965 hit Game of Love. Family asks for privacy at this time.”
Fontana was born Glyn Ellis and took his stage name from Elvis Presley’s drummer, DJ Fontana.
Disc jockey Tony Blackburn paid tribute to Fontana on Twitter, writing:
“So sorry to hear about the passing of great 60’s icon Wayne Fontana yesterday.
“He was a lovely guy and gave us some great songs.
“As Sounds Of The Sixties has been recorded already for tomorrow, we will do a tribute on Saturday week’s show. R.I.P. Wayne.”