High End Pop Songwriter Geoff Stephens Dies Aged 86 | The music

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#Grammy #Award-winning #British songwriter #Geoff #Stephens, behind such hits as #Winchester #Cathedral and The #Crying #Game, has died aged 86.

#In a message confirming the news to #Variety, his family wrote: “#Dad survived #Covid-19 in the spring but passed away with my mother, his 63-year-old wife, by his bedside, from pneumonia.

#Born in #North #London in 1934, until his early thirties, #Stephens was introduced to music with an amateur theater group alongside his work as a teacher, printer and air traffic controller. #His first hit was #Tell #Me #When, a #Top 10 hit by #Birmingham beat group the #Applejacks in 1964, and that year he also signed the unknown #Donovan for his first recording contract, co-producing his debut album. which featured the #Top 5 single #Vent.

#In 1964, he also wrote The #Crying #Game for #Dave #Berry, another #Top 5 hit that would become the theme of #Neil #Jordan’s film of the same name (with a successful cover of #Boy #George).

#In 1966 he formed the #New #Vaudeville #Band, a group of session musicians, to perform his song #Winchester #Cathedral – a deliberately nostalgic return to the #British music hall amid the melee of #London swing. #It was a surprise #No.1 in the US (rivaling the #Beach #Boys’ #Good #Vibrations to reach the top) and #Canada, and reached #No.4 in the UK; he won a #Grammy for #Best #Contemporary #Song and an #Ivor #Novello #Award for #Songwriting. #Frank #Sinatra later recorded his own version.

The #New #Vaudeville #Band had another UK #Top 10 hit with #Peek-a-Boo, and their 1967 song There a #Kind of #Hush became a transatlantic hit for #Herman’s #Hermits that year, and the #Carpenters in 1976. .

#Stephens wrote songs for a wide variety of 1960s #British stars, including #Tom #Jones’ #No.5 hit, #Daughter of #Darkness, #Sorry #Suzanne (#No.3 in 1969) and #Cincinnati’s #Scott #Walker. #His songs have also been recorded by #American country artists including #Wayne #Newton and #Crystal #Gayle, and he has co-written three songs performed by #Elvis #Presley: #Heart of #Rome, #This #Is #Our #Dance and #Sylvia.

#Her song #Knock #Knock, #Who’s There reached second place for #Mary #Hopkin in 1970, and also reached second place in the #Eurovision #Song #Contest that year. The 1970s saw him write #No. 1 UK hits for #David #Soul and the #New #Seekers, as well as songs for #Hot #Chocolate and more. #He also collaborated with lyricist #Don #Black on the musical #Dear #Anyone.

#Among those who paid tribute was #Tim #Rice, who praised #Stephens’ successes and described him as “a major talent and a lovable guy.”

#He is survived by his wife #Pam #Stephens, his son #Paul and his daughters #Jenny and #Ruth.

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