Jerry Lordan

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Jeremiah Patrick "Jerry" Lordan (30 April 1934 — 24 July 1995[1]) was an English songwriter, composer and singer.

Career[edit]

Born in Paddington, Lordan taught himself to play piano and guitar as a child. He attended Finchley Catholic High School and went into National Service in the Royal Air Force as a radar operator. On leaving the RAF, he held a number of jobs including stand-up comedian, singer and in advertising.

He began song-writing, and in 1958, with the help of contacts made in the advertising businessdemo of one of his songs was heard by a record producer. The song, "A House, A Car and a Wedding Ring" was recorded by Mike Preston on Decca Records. It did not sell well, but the song was successfully covered by the American rockabilly star, Dale Hawkins, on the Checker label. A later song, "I've Waited So Long" was recorded by the young Anthony Newley on Decca and got to number 3 in the UK Singles Chart in May 1959.[2] He was signed as a singer to Parlophone and had three charting singles in 1960, the most successful being "Who Could Be Bluer?".[1]

He found real fame as a composer with the instrumental, "Apache". It was originally recorded by Bert Weedon, but Lordan did not like the version. Weedon's label, Top Rank, did not release it immediately. On tour with The Shadows, Lordan demonstrated the tune to bass player Jet Harris, reportedly picking out the tune on a ukelele as confirmed by the Shadows on BBC Radio 2 documentary "Out of the Shadows."

When the rest of the band heard it, they agreed to record it. It was released in July 1960 and hit number one in August, staying at the top for five weeks. The tune was also recorded by the Danish guitarist Jorgen Ingmann, who took it to number two in the Billboard Hot 100. The Shadows' version was voted Top Record of 1960 in the New Musical Express Readers' Poll.[citation needed]

Lordan gave up singing for full-time writing. He wrote the Shadows' UK number one hit "Wonderful Land", and the band's #2 "Atlantis", as well as a vocal hit single in 1965 " Mary Anne", and a further number one, "Diamonds" for the ex-Shadows Jet Harris and Tony Meehan in 1963. Harris and Meehan also recorded his song "Scarlett O'Hara" taking it to number two in the same chart. He wrote further hits for Cliff Richard (such as "A Girl Like You"), Shane Fenton and "I'm Just a Baby" for Louise Cordet.[citation needed]

By the end of the 1960s the success was largely over and personal difficulties dogged Lordan through the 1970s. He became involved with the Cornish band The Onyx who under his guidance changed their name to Vineyard and released two singles on Decca and Deram in 1974. Later he made a brief foray in acting, appearing in the 1977 sex comedy, Come Play With Me. The film was directed by his neighbour, George Harrison Marks. In the 1980s Lordan remarried and started to write again, although his songs were never published.[citation needed]

Death[edit]

Lordan died in July 1995 in Shrewsbury Hospital, Shropshire, from acute renal failure, aged 61. A memorial service was held for him at St Martin-in-the-Fields on 25 October 1995.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 329. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  2. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 393. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 

External links[edit]