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British Songwriter Geoff Stephens Dies at 86

Prolific British songwriter Geoff Stephens has died at the age of 86, his household confirmed to Selection Sunday. His songs embrace Grammy winner “Winchester Cathedral,” “There’s a Form of Hush,” and “The Crying Recreation,” which was the theme tune of Neil Jordan’s Oscar-winning movie of the identical title.

London-born Stephens, who died on Dec. 24, 2020 in Bedfordshire, England, is survived by his spouse Pam Stephens, his son Paul, and daughters Jenny and Ruth, who in a textual content message despatched to Selection wrote: “Dad survived COVID-19 within the spring however handed away with my Mum, his spouse of 63 years, by his bedside, following a bout of pneumonia.”

Amongst these mourning his dying was lyricist Tim Rice, who described Stephens as a “main expertise,” and a “pretty” fellow.

Stephens started his profession writing songs for musical theater works, then moved into pop music within the early ’60s. Early compositions included songs for Gerry And The Pacemakers (“How Do You Like It?,” 1963), and Freddie & The Dreamers (“I Don’t Love You Anymore,” 1964). The Applejacks’ 1964 single “Inform Me When,” co-written with Les Reed, turned Stephens’ first prime 10 U.Okay. hit, adopted by Dave Berry’s “The Crying Recreation” in the identical yr. Berry’s observe was included in Jordan’s 1992 movie, along with Boy George’s cowl model.

Stephens had one other hit in 1966 with “Winchester Cathedral,” carried out by his group The New Vaudeville Band. The only reached #1 within the U.S. and received the 1967 Grammy Award for Finest Modern (R&R) Recording. The tune was additionally recorded by Frank Sinatra.

In 1965, Stephens and Peter Eden found Scottish folks singer Donovan, and Stephens co-produced the 19-year-old’s debut album, “What’s Bin Did and What’s Bin Hid,” launched within the U.S. as “Catch the Wind.”

Different memorable songs included “Semi-Indifferent, Suburban Mr. James” for Manfred Mann (pictured with singer Julie Felix) in 1966, written with John Carter, and “There’s a Form of Hush,” written with Les Reed, which was a success each for Herman’s Hermits in 1967, and once more for The Carpenters in 1976.

Stephens had additional hits with Sagittarius’ “My World Fell Down” in 1968, written with Carter, “Smile a Little Smile for Me” for the Flying Machine in 1969, written with Tony Macaulay, and The Hollies’ “Sorry Suzanne,” additionally written with Macaulay, in 1969.

Elvis Presley recorded Stephens’ “This Is Our Dance,” “The Coronary heart of Rome” and “Sylvia.”

Stephens later returned to composing for the theater, together with a West Finish present “Pricey Anybody” in 1983, written with Don Black and Jack Rosenthal, which spawned the hit single “I’ll Put You Collectively Once more” for Scorching Chocolate.

Information of Stephens’ dying was first reported by web site Finest Traditional Bands.

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