Reg Presley


Singer with 1960s hit-making pop group the Troggs, Reg Presley was the archetypal and irrepressible frontman with a swaggering and macho onstage manner.

Born Reginald Maurice Ball in Andover, Hampshire, he began his musical career as a teenage member of a skiffle group, at the same time holding a job as a bricklayer.

Originally the Troggs’ bass player, Presley assumed singing duties following a personnel reshuffle and change of surname under the guidance of the group’s manager Larry Page.

The band’s first record flopped, but the second, Wild Thing, a cover of an obscure song written by American Chip Taylor, propelled them to No 2 in the charts in May 1966, due in no small measure to Presley’s lascivious vocal. In America, the song went all the way to the top of the charts, becoming something of a teenage garage anthem.

The follow-up, Presley’s own composition With a Girl Like You, was a UK No 1. The next single, also written by Presley, was the suggestive I Can’t Control Myself, which reached No 2. Several smaller hit records ensued, including the Presley-penned Love is All Around, which was a major success in the 1990s when revived by both REM and Wet Wet Wet.

Subsequently developing a strong interest in the study of crop circles and paranormal activity, Presley went on to write a book on the subject published in 2002.

In January 2012, it was revealed that Presley had been diagnosed with lung cancer, and he announced his retirement from performing.

Reg Presley was born on June 12, 1941, and died peacefully at his Andover home on February 4, aged 71. He is survived by his wife Brenda, daughter Karen and son Jason.