Beginning his career several years previously, initially Black was a real band, consisting of Verncombe and other musicians. Then, Verncombe formed a partnership with another musician, signing with a promising record label. Soon after, they started to gain international projection, scoring a hit, having television airplay and setting a foot in the music industry.
Unfortunately, their rising road to stardom was cut short, when they were dropped from the record label. By virtue of this unexpected turn of events, with several other problems occurring in his personal life, Verncombe wrote the song “Wonderful Life”, an ironic play on his troubled and chaotic life.
Ironically as it is, the song caught the attention of a major label, that released it, and the piece became an international hit. Verncombe’s status as an unknown musician was over. Wonderful Life scored high in several countries – especially in Ireland and the UK –, and in 1987, an album of the same name was released.
Despite his ephemeral success, Verncombe never went inactive. He has had a long and prolific career, always releasing albums, under the Black moniker, as well as under his own name. Much of the time he was seen on the spotlight in his later career, though, was by the grace of his famous hit, that he constantly sang in live performances and television shows. In late 2015, Verncombe even recorded a version of the song in the Catalan language.
Although displaying a considerable degree of musical abilities, it’s a shame that Verncombe never had the means or the opportunities to solidify a career. He will always be remembered by his only hit.
Verncombe died in January 2016, in a traffic collision in Ireland. He was 53 years old.