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Dennis Cordell-Lavarack (1 August 1943 – 18 February 1995), known as Denny Cordell, was an English record producer. He is notable for his mid 60s and early 70s productions of hit singles for The Moody Blues, Leon Russell, The Move, Procol Harum and Joe Cocker.
Early life and career
He met Chris Blackwell when he was aged twenty one, and started to work for Blackwell's label, Island Records, as a producer. When Cordell started to work more closely with The Moody Blues, he decided to leave Island and become an independent producer.
Cordell produced the Moody Blues' debut album The Magnificent Moodies on the Decca record label in 1965. The record contained the hit "Go Now" (produced separately by Alex Wharton), which had been a #1 hit on the UK Singles Chart a year earlier. This was followed up with hits for Cordell producing The Move, Georgie Fame, Procol Harum and Joe Cocker (all but Fame were Essex/Straight Ahead Productions artists). On the back of his success with Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale" and Joe Cocker's "With a Little Help From My Friends", Cordell moved his operation to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and started up Shelter Records, with session piano player, Leon Russell.
In the late 1970s he started up the Flippers roller skating boogie palace in Los Angeles, California. In the 1980s he turned to his other interest, horseracing, but in the 1990s he took up producing records again, and once more worked for Island. Among others he helped produce The Cranberries, who wrote a song in his tribute called "Cordell" (1996), and Melissa Etheridge's album, Yes I Am.
He was the father of the musicians Tarka Cordell, and Milo Cordell of the band The Big Pink. A horse race, the Denny Cordell Lavarack Fillies Stakes, is run annually in Cordell's memory at Gowran Park Racecourse, where he saddled his first winner as a racehorse trainer.