Graham Lyle

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Graham Lyle
Birth name Graham Hamilton Lyle
Born (1944-03-11) 11 March 1944 (age 70)
Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland
Origin Largs, Scotland
Genres Pop, folk rock, country rock, adult contemporary, soul
Instruments Vocals, guitar, mandolin, banjo, bass guitar, violin, drums, harmonica
Years active 1965 (1965)–present
Labels Capitol, A&M, Mercury, Hypertension
Associated acts Gallagher & Lyle, McGuinness Flint, Ronnie Lane

Graham Hamilton Lyle (born 11 March 1944, Bellshill, Lanarkshire, Scotland) is a Grammy Award winning Scottish singer-songwriter, guitarist and producer, who has been active in the music industry since the mid-1960s.[1]

Arguably Scotland’s most successful songwriter, he co-wrote 17 British Top 40 hits, 8 Billboard Hot 100 entries, 4 US Country No.1s and 1 US Adult Contemporary No.1, as well as 3 Australian chart-toppers, between 1970 and 1997. His songwriting collaborators have included Terry Britten, Albert Hammond, Troy Seals, Jim Diamond and his long-time performing partner, Benny Gallagher.[2][3]

His most famous composition is Tina Turner’s 1984 US chart-topper and international smash, "What's Love Got to Do with It?", which reached No.1 in the US, Canada and Australia and won him the Song of the Year Grammy.[4] He is also well known in Britain, Continental Europe and the Commonwealth as a member of Gallagher and Lyle, McGuinness Flint and Ronnie Lane’s band Slim Chance.[5]

With Benny Gallagher (1965-80)[edit]

Lyle and Benny Gallagher initially teamed up in 1959 as members of the local Largs based band, The Bluefrets, before moving to London in the mid-1960s.[6]

A rare one-off single, "Trees", was issued on UK Polydor 56093 in 1967, under the name Gallagher-Lyle. The pair also backed singer James Galt, a friend of theirs from Largs, on two singles for Pye that are now prized by northern soul collectors: "Comes The Dawn" and "With My Baby".[7]

In 1968, Gallagher and Lyle were signed by Apple Records, where they wrote for musicians such as Mary Hopkin ("Sparrow", "The Fields of St. Etienne", "International", "Heritage", and "Jefferson").[5]

In 1970, the two Scots became original members of the British band McGuinness Flint, writing nine of the 11 songs on the group's eponymous debut album, including the British hit singles "When I'm Dead and Gone" and "Malt and Barley Blues", which reached No.2 and No.5 respectively in Britain. The pair recorded a second album, Happy Birthday Ruthy Baby, with McGuinness Flint—again writing most of the songs—before leaving to form the duo Gallagher and Lyle in 1972.[5]

"When I'm Dead and Gone" is noted for its prominent use of mandolin, played by Lyle. He is also an accomplished fingerstyle acoustic folk guitarist, electric slide guitarist and banjoist.

As a duo, Gallagher and Lyle recorded a total of eight albums: Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle, Willie and the Lapdog, Seeds, The Last Cowboy, Breakaway, Love on the Airwaves, Showdown and Lonesome No More.[5] All these were issued on A&M except for the last, which was released on Mercury. The most successful of these was 1976’s gold-selling Breakaway, which was produced by David Kershenbaum and yielded the British Top 10 hits “I Wanna Stay With You” and “Heart On My Sleeve”,[8] both of which also charted in the US. “Heart On My Sleeve” was subsequently covered by Bryan Ferry, Judith Durham and Ringo Starr.

Two other songs from this album were successful in the US: Art Garfunkel's cover of "Breakaway", topped the Adult Contemporary chart,[9] and Don Williams took "Stay Young" to No. 1 on the Country record chart,[10] which saw the song receive in excess of one million airplays on American radio. The duo also penned and performed "A Heart in New York", which was later performed by both Simon & Garfunkel and Garth Brooks in their concerts in Central Park, New York to audiences of 500,000 and 750,000, respectively. The pair’s original recording of "A Heart In New York" eventually appeared on 1991's compilation album Heart On My Sleeve - The Very Best of Gallagher and Lyle.[11]

As session musicians, Gallagher and Lyle also backed numerous big names on disc, including Eric Clapton, Andy Fairweather-Low, Gary Brooker and Fairport Convention. The pair also had a stint in former Faces member Ronnie Lane’s folk rock band Slim Chance during 1973/74. Gallagher and Lyle split in 1980.

Post-Gallagher and Lyle (1981–2009)[edit]

In 1981, Graham Lyle formed his own publishing company, Goodsingle Publishing (later to become goodsingle.com), chiefly to administer his own copyrights, and began writing for other artists. His earliest post-Gallagher & Lyle compositions included the singles "Our Love" for Elkie Brooks and "Listen To The Night" for Climax Blues Band.[12] Graham's songs were subsequently recorded by some of the biggest names in music including Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Diana Ross, Etta James, Patti Labelle, Anita Baker, Joe Cocker, Wyclef Jean, Fat Joe, Rod Stewart, Tom Jones, The Neville Brothers, Hall and Oates, Kenny Rogers, Crystal Gayle, Jim Diamond, The Judds, Wet Wet Wet, Paul Young, Bucks Fizz, Eros Ramazotti, and Warren G, but it is for his work with Tina Turner that Lyle is best known.[13]

Lyle and Terry Britten won the Song of the Year Grammy for "What's Love Got to Do with It?" and an Ivor Novello award for another of Tina Turner’s major international hits, "We Don't Need Another Hero", which was recorded for the soundtrack of Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome.[13] Tina would prove to be Lyle’s biggest money-spinning act; he would co-write another 3 US Hot 100 entries and 6 more British Top 40 hits for her, including 1989’s British No.8 hit “I Don’t Wanna Lose You” in collaboration with Albert Hammond.

Another high earner for the Lyle-Britten partnership was "Just Good Friends", which was recorded by Michael Jackson on his multi-million selling album “Bad (album)” in 1987. Jim Diamond scored a British and Australian No.1 in 1984 with "I Should Have Known Better", which he wrote with Lyle.

Between 1986 and 1988, Lyle co-authored 3 US Country chart-toppers: "Maybe Your Baby's Got the Blues" for The Judds,[14]Straight to the Heart” for Crystal Gayle,[15] and “Joe Knows How to Live” for Eddy Raven.[16]

Lyle’s recordings after 1980 were rare, but included an album with Tom McGuinness, credited to the Lyle McGuinness Band: Acting on Impulse (1983), as well as a solo portfolio album, Something Beautiful Remains (2003). A solo single, "Marley", was issued on Red Bus in the UK in 1983, while "Taking Off" - a TV advertising jingle, co-written with prolific session keyboardist Billy Livsey and credited to the Lyle-Livsey Band - was released on the Dolphin label in 1984, but only in Eire, where it became a Top 20 hit.[17]

In 1997, Lyle co-wrote and produced 2 British Top 20 hits for Connor Reeves: “My Father’s Son” (No.12) and “Earthbound” (No.14). The former song was covered by Joe Cocker.

More recently, Lyle performed his composition "One Woman" at the United Nations in New York (www.un.org/webcast/) on 24 February 2011 to launch their "U.N.Woman" project.

Reunion with Benny Gallagher (2009-present)[edit]

The seeds for a reunion with Benny Gallagher were sown in 2007 when he and Lyle, as session musicians, appeared on an album by Canadian singer-songwriter Chris Tassone; this was recorded at London's Abbey Road studios.[18] In April 2009, soon after Lyle's official retirement, the two Scots attended the opening of the Largs Heritage Centre.[19] The following year, the duo re-formed.

In October 2010, the pair staged two charity concerts in Largs in aid of Haylie House, a residential care home in the town.[20] The following month, they received the Tartan Clef for Lifetime Achievement at a ceremony in Glasgow.[21]

In June 2011 they performed alongside Midge Ure, Jim Diamond and Marti Pellow as part of 'The Big Gig', an all-star charity concert at Glasgow's Barrowland nightclub.[22] In September of that year, the duo appeared at the outdoor MOARE Festival in Faversham, Kent, which was headlined by former Average White Band stalwart Hamish Stuart.[23]

2012 saw Gallagher and Lyle undertake their first tour since 1979, consisting of 9 dates at 8 Scottish venues.[24] Their 22-song set on the tour included all their British chart entries and both their US chart-topping songs, as well as "A Heart In New York". Their two dates at The Green Hotel in Kinross, a large golf resort, earned them the Mundell Music Award for Best UK Performance of the year.[25]

Hit singles as a songwriter[edit]

McGuinness Flint[26][27][28]

Gallagher and Lyle[26][27][29]

Jim Diamond[26][27][32]

Tina Turner[26][27][32][33][34]

Connor Reeves[26][27]

  • "My Father's Son": UK#12 (1997)
  • "Earthbound": UK#14 (1997)

US Country No.1s[26]

Discography[edit]

See Gallagher and Lyle.

References[edit]

  1. ^ [1][dead link]
  2. ^ "BBC Radio Scotland - Musical Legends, Graham Lyle". bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  3. ^ "Goodsingle - License music the easy way". goodsingle.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  4. ^ "International Tina Turner Fan Club - Archives". tinaturnerfanclub.eu. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  5. ^ a b c d "Gallagher & Lyle Biography - ARTISTdirect Music". artistdirect.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  6. ^ "Gallagher And Lyle – Free listening, videos, concerts, stats and pictures at Last.fm". last.fm. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  7. ^ "James Galt Discography - All Countries - 45cat". 45cat.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  8. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 220. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 99.
  10. ^ a b Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944–2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 31.
  11. ^ "Heart on My Sleeve: The Very Best of Gallagher & Lyle by Gallagher and Lyle (Compilation, Folk Rock): Reviews, Ratings, Credits, Song list - Rate Your Music". rateyourmusic.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  12. ^ "45cat - Climax Blues Band - Listen To The Night / Church - Virgin - UK - VS 576". 45cat.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  13. ^ a b "Hornall Brothers, Graham Lyle". hobro.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  14. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944–2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 184.
  15. ^ *Whitburn, Joel, "Top Country Songs: 1944–2005," 2006.
  16. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). The Billboard Book Of Top 40 Country Hits: 1944–2006, Second edition. Record Research. p. 281.
  17. ^ "45cat - The Lyle / Livsey Band - Taking Off / Taking Off (Instrumental) - Dolphin - Ireland - DOS 175". 45cat.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  18. ^ "Modern Day Beatle Chris Tassone | Cashbox Magazine Canada". cashboxcanada.ca. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  19. ^ "Cochrane's Column - Gallagher and Lyle re-united! | Largs | News | Largs & Millport Weekly News". largsandmillportnews.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  20. ^ "Extra tickets for Gallagher and Lyle show | Largs | What's On | Largs & Millport Weekly News". largsandmillportnews.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  21. ^ "Tartan Clef Awards: Scots singer Paolo Nutini receives top honour - Daily Record". dailyrecord.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  22. ^ "The Big Gig | News | Press | Bauer Media". bauermedia.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  23. ^ "mOare Music, Saturday night: Gallagher & Lyle, Hamish Stuart | Faversham People". favershampeople.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  24. ^ "Gallagher & Lyle: The Homecoming Tour March 2012 - Google Maps". maps.google.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  25. ^ "BLOG - BETWEEN A ROCK & A HARD PLACE: Mundell Music 2013 Awards". rockingatthestables.blogspot.co.uk. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  26. ^ a b c d e f "Goodsingle - License music the easy way". goodsingle.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  27. ^ a b c d e "everyHit.com - UK Top 40 Chart Archive, British Singles & Album Charts". everyhit.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  28. ^ "McGuinness Flint - Chart history | Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  29. ^ "Gallagher & Lyle - Chart history | Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  30. ^ "Bryan Ferry - Chart history | Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  31. ^ "Art Garfunkel - Chart history | Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  32. ^ a b "Number Ones in 1985 - Take 40". take40.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  33. ^ "Tina Turner - Chart history | Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  34. ^ "Number Ones in 1984 - Take 40". take40.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  35. ^ "Crystal Gayle - Chart history | Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  36. ^ "The Judds - Chart history | Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 
  37. ^ "Eddy Raven - Chart history | Billboard". billboard.com. Retrieved 2014-11-10. 

External links[edit]