Sad news from the United Kingdom today as Pearl Carr passes away at the age of 98. Pearl represented the United Kingdom at the 1959 Eurovision Song Contest alongside her late husband Teddy Johnson.
The news was confirmed by actor and songwriter, Bobby Crush, on Twitter earlier today. Bobby noted how Pearl, and her husband Teddy, was his “friends for 40+ years”.
Life and career
Pearl Carr was born on 2nd November 1923 in Exmouth, Devon. Before her marriage to Teddy Johnson in 1955, she was lead singer of The Keynotes. The group had two British hits in 1956 with Dave King, reaching number 5 and number 11 in the British charts.
Following their marriage, Pearl & Teddy had much success together including appearing on many popular British TV shows such as The Winifred Atwell Show, Big Night Out and Blackpool Night Out.
Pearl & Teddy were the second act to represent the United Kingdom at Eurovision. They travelled to Cannes to represent the UK at the 1959 contest, where they finished in 2nd place behind The Netherlands. They were indeed the first of 15 British acts to finish second at the contest. They attempted to represent the island nation again at the 1960 contest with “Pickin’ Petals” and “When The Tide Turns” – the latter making the pre-selection final. It was however beaten by “Looking High, High, High” by Bryan Johnson – Pearl’s brother-in-law.
At the end of the 1980s, Pearl played the role of Emily Whitman on the West End in a revival of Stephen’s Sondheim’s Follies. When the run of the show finished in 1990, Pearl – along with Teddy – retired. Until her death, she lived at Brinsworth House, a retirement home for retired entertainers.
The thoughts of the entire team at ESCXTRA are with Pearl Carr’s friends and family in these difficult times.