Reg Presley

Reg Presley

Reg Presley (born Reginald Maurice Ball; 12 June 1941 – 4 February 2013) was an English singer-songwriter. He was best known as the lead singer with the 1960s rock and roll band The Troggs, whose best known hit was "Wild Thing", though their only UK number one single was the follow-up "With a Girl Like You".


Presley, whose stage name was given to him in 1965 by the New Musical Express journalist and publicist Keith Altham, was born at 17 Belle Vue Road, Andover, Hampshire. He joined the building trade on leaving school and became a bricklayer. He kept up this occupation until "Wild Thing" entered the UK Singles Chart in 1966. It reached No. 2 in the U.K. but No. 1 in the U.S., and sold five million copies.
Presley wrote the hits "With a Girl Like You" and "I Can't Control Myself," but his most famous composition is "Love Is All Around". Wet Wet Wet's 1994 cover stayed at No. 1 in the UK Singles Chart for fifteen weeks. Presley used his royalties from that cover to fund his research subjects, such as alien spacecraft, lost civilisations, alchemy, and crop circles and outlined his findings in a book, Wild Things They Don't Tell Us, published in October 2002.

Health problems and Death

In December 2011, Presley was hospitalized in Winchester, Hampshire, with what was suspected to be a stroke. He was also suffering from pneumonia and fluid around the heart. Presley had suffered a major stroke about a year before. His wife said he first began to feel bad while performing in Germany on 3 December 2011 and had got progressively worse. "Doctors think he has had another stroke. He's not very well and I have no idea how long he'll be in hospital", she said. The following month, Presley announced he had been diagnosed with lung cancer and therefore decided to retire from the music industry. Just over a year later, on 4 February 2013, Presley died from this cancer and, according to Altham, "a succession of recent strokes.

Influence and legacy

Presley's music has influenced Iggy Pop and won praise from Bob Dylan. The rock critic Lester Bangs called the Troggs the "godfathers of punk" and compared Presley to Marcel Proust. Presley appears as a character in Steve Erickson's novel These Dreams of You (2012)

Reg Presley
Birth nameReginald Maurice Ball
Born12 June 1941
Andover, Hampshire, England
Died4 February 2013 (aged 71)
Andover, Hampshire, England
Years active1960s–2012
Associated actsThe Troggs