Geoff Stephens

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Geoff Stephens
Birth name Geoffrey Stephens
Born (1934-10-01) 1 October 1934 (age 80)
New Southgate, North London, England
Genres Pop music
Occupations Songwriter, record producer
Years active 1960s-present
Associated acts The New Vaudeville Band
Website http://geoffstephens.co.uk/

Geoffrey 'Geoff' Stephens (born 1 October 1934 in New Southgate, North London)[1] is an English songwriter and record producer, most prolific in the United Kingdom in the 1960s and 1970s. He wrote a long series of hit records, often in conjunction with other British songwriters including Tony Macaulay, John Carter, Roger Greenaway, Peter Callander, Barry Mason, Ken Howard, Alan Blaikley, Don Black, Mitch Murray, and Les Reed.[1]

He also formed The New Vaudeville Band, and their song "Winchester Cathedral" won Stephens the 1966 Grammy Award for Best Contemporary (R&R) Recording.[2]

Career[edit]

He began this career during his amateur theatrical days when he wrote songs and sketches for musical revues presented by his own company, the Four Arts Society, while working as a school teacher, air traffic controller and silk screen printer.[1] This led to BBC Radio accepting some of his satirical sketches for their Monday Night at Home programme.

Subsequently becoming involved with music, in 1964 he had his first hit "Tell Me When", co-written with Les Reed, a Top 10 hit for The Applejacks.[1][3] That year he and Peter Eden discovered and managed Donovan, producing his first hit single and debut album, What's Bin Did and What's Bin Hid.[1]

In 1964, Stephens wrote "The Crying Game",[1] a Top 5 hit for Dave Berry[4] (and later the title song of the film and a hit for Boy George).[5] In 1966 he formed The New Vaudeville Band, writing and recording songs in a 1920s musical style.[1] Their debut single "Winchester Cathedral" was a No. 1 hit in the U.S. and No. 4 in the UK Singles Chart,[6] and covered by others including Dizzy Gillespie and Frank Sinatra. It was followed by further hits for the band, "Peek A Boo", "Finchley Central" and "Green Street Green".[1][6]

With John Carter, Stephens wrote "Semi-Detached Suburban Mr. James" for Manfred Mann[7] and, with Les Reed, "There's a Kind of Hush" for The New Vaudeville Band. A year later, a cover version of "There's a Kind of Hush" was a hit for Herman's Hermits,[8] and it was also later a hit for The Carpenters. Over the next few years he wrote, or co-wrote, hits for The Hollies ("Sorry Suzanne"),[9] Ken Dodd ("Tears Won’t Wash Away These Heartaches"),[10] Cliff Richard ("Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha"),[11] Tom Jones ("Daughter of Darkness"),[12] Mary Hopkin ("Knock, Knock Who's There?"[13] - the 1970 UK entry in the Eurovision Song Contest), Scott Walker ("Lights of Cincinnati"),[14] Dana ("It's Gonna Be a Cold Cold Christmas"),[15] The Drifters ("Like Sister And Brother"),[16] Crystal Gayle ("It's Like We Never Said Goodbye"),[17] Hot Chocolate ("I'll Put You Together Again"),[18] Sue and Sunny and Carol Douglas ("Doctor's Orders")[19][20] and, most successfully of all, UK number one hits for David Soul, ("Silver Lady");[21] and The New Seekers (the Ivor Novello Award-winning, "You Won't Find Another Fool Like Me").[1][22]

In 1972, his joint composition with Peter Callander of "Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast", was recorded by Wayne Newton.[23] It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the R.I.A.A. in July 1972.[24]

In 1983, Stephens and Don Black composed the songs for the West End musical Dear Anyone, followed a year later by The Magic Castle with Les Reed. He has also been awarded the Gold Badge of Merit by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors in 1995, and the Jimmy Kennedy Ivor Novello Award for Services to British Songwriting in 2000.[1]

More recently he wrote "To All My Loved Ones", featured as a centrepiece of the Festival of Remembrance at the Royal Albert Hall.[1]

In 2005, Stephens worked with Peter Callander and David Cosgrove on the musical production of Bonnie & Clyde. Most recently Stephens has worked with Don Black on a planned stage revival of Dear Anyone.[25]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Geoff Stephens". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 6 January 2010. 
  2. ^ "Winchester Cathedral by New Vaudeville Band Songfacts". Songfacts.com. 3 December 1966. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 271. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  4. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 55. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  5. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 74. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  6. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 392. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  7. ^ "World of Mann: The Very Best of Manfred Mann & Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Manfred Mann : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. 6 June 2006. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  8. ^ Viglione, Joe. "There's a Kind of Hush (All Over the World) - Herman's Hermits : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  9. ^ "Sorry Suzanne - The Hollies : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "Ken Dodd - Tears Won't Wash Away These Heartaches (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  11. ^ "Goodbye Sam, Hello Samantha - Cliff Richard : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  12. ^ Promis, Jose F. (17 August 1993). "The Complete Tom Jones - Tom Jones : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "Mary Hopkin - Knock, Knock Who's There ? (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Scott Walker - Lights Of Cincinnati (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Dana - It's Gonna Be A Cold Cold Christmas (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Drifters, The - Like Sister And Brother (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "It's Like We Never Said Goodbye - Crystal Gayle : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  18. ^ Henderson, Alex. "Every 1's a Winner: The Very Best of Hot Chocolate - Hot Chocolate : Songs, Reviews, Credits, Awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "Sunny - Doctor's Orders (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  20. ^ "Carol Douglas - Doctor's Orders (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  21. ^ "David Soul - Silver Lady (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  22. ^ "You Won't Find Another Fool Like Me - The New Seekers : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  23. ^ "Wayne Newton : Greatest Hits". Allmusic.com. Retrieved 29 December 2012. 
  24. ^ Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 317. ISBN 0-214-20512-6. 
  25. ^ "Biography - Geoff Stephens - Songwriter". Geoff Stephens. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 

External links[edit]