Del Newman

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Derrick Martin "Del" Newman (born Derrick Martin Morrow) is a British conductor, orchestral arranger and music producer. His orchestral arrangements appeared on songs by many rock and pop artists from the 1960s to the 1990s, including Cat Stevens, Elton John, Carly Simon and Rod Stewart. His work has also encompassed Hollywood film scores and West End musicals.[1]

Early life[edit]

Newman was born Derrick Martin Morrow in London. His father was a doctor of West African descent, and his mother was an Irish nurse. He was adopted by the Newman family when he was a few months old. At the age of seven, he began learning to play the cello and the piano.[2]

After serving with the Royal Navy, he studied music at university in Exeter and London and then at Trinity College of Music, where he chose to specialise in musical composition and conducting. He received tuition from composer Elizabeth Lutyens and conductor Antal Doráti, among others.[2]


Newman worked on guitarist Gordon Giltrap's self-titled 1968 album and subsequently provided string arrangements for Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman (1970). In addition to working with Elton John, Carly Simon and Rod Stewart, he contributed orchestral arrangements to albums by Asha Puthli, Peter Frampton, Harry Nilsson, Paul Simon, Scott Walker, Donovan, 10cc, George Harrison and many other artists throughout the 1970s.[3]

Newman also conducted George Martin's[4] orchestral score for Paul McCartney and Wings' theme song for the 1973 James Bond film Live and Let Die.[1] Referring to Newman's sympathetic work on John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road album, author James E. Perone likens the "fully integrated" aspect of their collaborations to that of Martin's musical arrangements for the Beatles.[5] Among his projects as a record producer, Newman produced Scott Walker's 1973 album Stretch, which included his composition "Someone Who Cared".[6] He also produced Asha Puthli's debut, self-titled solo album in 1973.

In the 2000s, Newman withdrew from recording to focus on teaching. His autobiography, A Touch from God: It's Only Rock & Roll, was published in 2010. In October 2015, he received a Gold Badge Award from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors for his contribution to music in the United Kingdom.[1]


  1. ^ a b c Sutherland, Mark (15 October 2015). "Del Newman". Archived from the original on 16 September 2016. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b "A Touch From God: It's Only Rock and Roll" > "About the Author". Apex Publishing. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  3. ^ "Del Newman: Credits". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  4. ^ Madinger, Chip; Easter, Mark (2000). Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium. Chesterfield, MO: 44.1 Productions. p. 179. ISBN 0-615-11724-4.
  5. ^ Perone, James E. (2012). "Elton John Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (1973)". The Album: A Guide to Pop Music's Most Provocative, Influential, and Important Creations. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 9780313379079. Retrieved 7 October 2017.
  6. ^ Doran, John (6 December 2012). "Cracking Up: Scott Walker Interviewed". The Quietus. Retrieved 7 October 2017.

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