Lynsey de Paul
|Lynsey de Paul|
Lynsey de Paul in 1974
|Birth name||Lyndsey Monckton Rubin|
11 June 1948|
London, England, UK
|Died||1 October 2014
London, England, UK
Lynsey de Paul (born Lyndsey Monckton Rubin; 11 June 1948[nb 1] – 1 October 2014) was an English singer-songwriter. She had chart hits in the UK and Europe in the 1970s, starting with the single "Sugar Me". She represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest and then had a successful career as a composer, actress and television celebrity.
Lyndsey Monckton Rubin was born to Meta (née de Groot) and Herbert Rubin, a property developer. They were a Jewish family, and had one other child, John (b.1944). De Paul later claimed that she and her brother suffered physical abuse at the hands of their father. She attended South Hampstead High School followed by Hornsey College of Art, now part of Middlesex University.
Early song writing
Three of her earliest songs were co-written with Don Gould and recorded by Oliver! performer Jack Wild: "Takin' It Easy" and "Bring It On Back to Me" from the album Everything's Coming Up Roses, which was released in 1971. Another song co-penned by her, this time with Edward Adamberry, called "E.O.I.O.", was recorded by Wild as a track on his 1972 album A Beautiful World, and also released as a single by The Beads.
After these initial successes, she was contracted to ATV-Kirshner music publishing, located above the Peter Robinson's store on Oxford Street, where she joined a group of professional songwriters that included Barry Blue and Ron Roker, resulting in revenues from songs recorded by other artists from 1971.
Her breakthrough came early in 1972 as the co-writer (with Ron Roker) of the Fortunes' Top 10 UK hit "Storm in a Teacup". De Paul performed the song the same year on the BBC's The Two Ronnies. She was credited as 'L. Rubin' on the record. Around this time, she also had chart success in Holland as the writer of "On the Ride", a Top 30 hit by the Continental Uptight Band and also "When You've Gotta Go", an Australian chart hit recorded and released by Solomon King, both songs also crediting her as L. Rubin.
She wrote the song "Sugar Me" for Peter Noone, but her boyfriend, Dudley Moore, suggested that she should take a demo version to manager Gordon Mills, who told her she should record it herself. She said: "There had been the massacre at the Munich Olympics and I was told that it would be better not to have a Jewish name. I took De from my mother’s maiden name, De Groot, and my father’s middle name was Paul”. Released as a single, "Sugar Me" reached the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart, as well as the top of the singles charts in the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium. The arrangement featured distinctive piano counter-melody motif as well as Hammond organ backing and a violin solo. "Sugar Me" was covered in the US by Nancy Sinatra and Claudine Longet, and later by other musicians.
This became the start of Lynsey becoming a regular chart and TV fixture over the next five years. Her follow up single to "Sugar Me" was "Getting a Drag" (UK No. 18). After her third single released on the MAM label "All Night" which was co-written with Ron Roker, failed to chart in the U.K., de Paul returned to the UK Top 20 with "Won't Somebody Dance With Me", which was also a hit in Ireland and the Netherlands. For the ballad she received an Ivor Novello Award, the first woman to gain the award. The BBC Radio 1 disc jockey Ed Stewart spoke the words "May I Have The Pleasure of This Dance" near the end of the record (he often played the record on his Junior Choice programme on Saturday mornings) although Tony Blackburn and Dave Lee Travis spoke these words when she appeared on BBC Television's Top of the Pops.
De Paul recorded the female lyric to Mott the Hoople's album track version of "Roll Away the Stone", but the female trio Thunderthighs appeared on the hit single version of the song. In 1973, when Mick Ralphs left Mott the Hoople, his replacement Luther Grosvenor was contractually obliged to change his name – de Paul suggested Ariel Bender. After appointing Don Arden her new manager at the end of 1973, de Paul released "Ooh I Do" in May 1974, which hit the charts in the UK, Netherlands and Japan. The song's co-writer, Barry Blue, also recorded a version of the song as an album track.
A second Ivor Novello Award followed a year later for "No Honestly", which was also the theme tune to a hit ITV comedy No, Honestly, and provided her with another UK Top 10 hit. The B-side to this single was de Paul's version of "Central Park Arrest", the song she had written for Thunderthighs which provided them with a top 30 UK hit single a few months earlier. The TV series No Honestly was followed by Yes Honestly, and although Georgie Fame wrote and performed the theme tune to the first series of Yes Honestly, an instrumental version of de Paul's "No Honestly" was chosen as the theme for the second series. "No Honestly" was the first release on the newly formed Jet Records, established by Don Arden. She also wrote the second single that was released on the Jet label, a song called "My One and Only" by U.K. female singing trio "Bones". De Paul continued to release a number of singles through the 1970s and early 1980s, including the UK hit "My Man and Me", which she performed an acoustic version of on The Old Grey Whistle Test, "Love Bomb" and "If I Don't Get You The Next One Will"
De Paul also continued to write songs for a wide range of recording artists. In a five-year period (1972–77), she wrote a total of fourteen UK Singles Chart hits, most notably "Dancin' (on a Saturday Night)" which was a hit for co-writer Barry Blue, as well as Flash Cadillac and bond. De Paul's songs have reached the charts in many territories, including the US, Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Canada and Australia. She also performed producing and arranging duties on many of these recordings. In 1976, she was the recipient of the 'Woman of the Year Award For Music' from the Variety Club of Great Britain. Management problems with Don Arden, however, made this a difficult time for de Paul and her third album for Jet Records Before You Go Tonight was shelved as the two parted ways.
"Rock Bottom", which she wrote with Mike Moran, was the UK entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1977. As she later explained, as well as being an honour, this was a way to circumvent the legal wrangles that were preventing her from signing to a new record label. Although it came second in the Eurovision Song Contest, it became a Top 20 hit in many European countries including France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where it reached the top of their singles chart.
De Paul and Moran subsequently wrote other songs together, such as "Let Your Body Go Downtown" (1977), a No. 38 UK hit for the Martyn Ford Orchestra; and the follow-up "Going to a Disco", as well as "Without You", and "Now and Then", which appeared on the albums Tigers and Fireflies and Just a Little Time, respectively.
De Paul also wrote and performed the theme music for the revival by London Weekend Television of the sitcom, The Rag Trade (1977); the same year she composed "Hi Summer", the title of another ITV variety show, performed by Carl Wayne. In addition to songs composed by her serving as the themes of nine prime time UK television series, de Paul's songs have been featured in such films as The Big Sleep, Anita and Me, Side by Side, Aces Go Places and most recently Cut Snake.
After a three-year period in California in the late 1970s and early 1980s with her lover at the time, actor James Coburn, de Paul returned to England. Although she only released one self composed solo single Strange Changes in the 1980's, she co-wrote with Terry Britten "A Little TLC", which was covered by Sam Hui and awarded an RTHK Top 10 Gold Songs Award in Hong Kong in 1986. Other versions of this song were recorded by Menudo, Japanese soul singer Marlene (as a track on her album "Looking for Love")  and also featured in the US children's television programme, Kidd Video. Whilst writing songs for artists as diverse as Shirley Bassey (There's No Place Like London), funk/soul band Heatwave, Marti Webb and the Real Thing, de Paul also branched out into record production, acting in musicals and plays, interviewing and TV presentation, drawing cartoons and also self-defence. She also continued to compose TV themes, including for BBC's 1981 comedy series "The Olympian Way". and in 1988 the long running Esther Rantzen programme, Hearts of Gold.
In 1983, De Paul orchestrated, played, and produced two classical records of compositions by Handel and Bach for Deutsche Grammophon and released "Air on a Heart String" backed with "Arrival of the Queen" with panflautist Horea Crishan. She also played Cinderella, with Joanna Lumley playing Prince Charming, in an all-star cast for the Prince's Trust at the Bobath centre. Lynsey also composed and performed songs for children. This included work for the Channel Tunnel Group, which involved writing and producing an album of children's songs with an accompanying song colouring book for Eurotunnel's mascot, entitled Marcus The Mole, as well as film music for the children's film Gabrielle and the Doodleman, where she had a starring role as an actress.
De Paul also composed jingles for radio stations including Capital Radio. In 1983, she appeared at the Conservative Party conference, where she sang a song she had composed especially for the occasion: "Vote Tory, Tory, Tory/For election glory". In 1985, she was awarded the Rear of the Year title for which she thanked the organisers "from the heart of my bottom". She was also a judge on the television talent show New Faces and hosted television shows such as Club Vegetarian, Shopper's Heaven, Eat Drink & Be Healthy, Women of Substance, The Vinyl Frontier and 15 episodes of Living Room Legends, which featured home videos.
She returned to the public spotlight in a different role in 1992 when she released a self-defence video for women called Taking Control. Lord Mackenzie, former president of the Police Association, endorsed it by saying: "It is a very positive contribution to crime prevention and the protection of women and I will be recommending it". She also presented a documentary about women's self-defence, called Eve Fights Back, which won a Royal Television Society award. In 2006, an updated DVD of her self-defence training programme Taking Control was released and featured on television (The Wright Stuff) and in the media. The programme showed the importance of self-defence for women, and she approached schools and universities to include the DVD in the curriculum.
Her contribution to the music industry was recognised in 2005 when de Paul received a Gold Badge Award. This was followed by her becoming a director on the board of the Performing Rights Society (PRS) on 30 June 2006 where she proved to be an active member. The PRS was renamed PRS for Music and in 2009 de Paul was re-elected for a second three-year term.
In 2007, de Paul played Sheila Larsen in the first episode of Kingdom, the Stephen Fry drama series. On 10 April 2008, de Paul participated in a celebrity version of the Channel 4 show Come Dine with Me along with Tamara Beckwith, MC Harvey and Jonathan Ansell. De Paul, who was a vegetarian, came in last place. She was also featured on a celebrity version of Cash in the Attic in March 2009 where she became a temporary auctioneer.
She wrote the foreword for the 2009 book Medium Rare about the spiritual medium Liam Scott. She also wrote travel articles for the Daily Mail on Mauritius (February 2008) and Australia's east coast (April 2009).
In 2011, de Paul had her own programme on Sky, entitled Lynsey's Love Songs. According to a news item on her website, she chose the songs she liked and researched the songwriters and people who made the records. In February 2012, Vintage TV broadcast three episodes where de Paul interviewed the songwriters Gilbert O'Sullivan, Mike Batt and Howard Jones. Aled Jones interviewed de Paul on his Good Morning Sunday programme on BBC Radio 2 on 29 April 2012. He asked her about her life, career and religious beliefs as well as what inspired her. Lynsey attended the 2012 Ivor Novello Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on 17 May 2012. She was on the UK jury for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012.
On 15 September 2012, de Paul, together with Noddy Holder, co-hosted the Marc Bolan 35th anniversary concert, a special charity event for the PRS for Music Members Benevolent Fund held at the O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire featuring Marc Almond, Boy George, Tony Visconti, Steve Harley, Alvin Stardust, Linda Lewis, Sandie Shaw, Glen Matlock, Mike Lindup, Andy Ellison and the Marc Bolan tribute band, Danielz and T.Rextasy. Two double CD anthologies of de Paul's songs from the 1970s including previously unreleased tracks, entitled Sugar and Beyond and Into My Music, were released in March 2013 on the Cherry Red/RPM record label. One of her last public appearances was as a trustee and guest at the unveiling of the Spike Milligan statue at Avenue House in Finchley on 4 September 2014. In 2015, PRS for Music established an annual Lynsey De Paul prize for emerging female singer-songwriters in honour of the singer-songrwriter. The 2015 winner of the prize was Emma McGrath, who was presented with the award at an event celebrating the life of Lynsey De Paul, hosted by Esther Rantzen.
During the 1990s de Paul bought a Victorian mansion in North London. She named it "Moot Grange", an anagram of "No Mortgage", after also considering "Gnome Groat" and also "No Meat/Grog", the latter because she was vegetarian and teetotal. De Paul was a long-time campaigner for animal rights and shared the house with a three-legged cat called Tripod.
De Paul suffered a brain haemorrhage on the morning of 1 October 2014 and died in a London hospital. Her niece, Olivia Rubin, told The Times that her death was "completely unexpected", adding: "She was a vegetarian, she didn't smoke, she didn't drink - she was amazing, in fact." Broadcaster and friend Esther Rantzen, for whose television series Hearts of Gold De Paul wrote the theme, said: "She was a renaissance woman. She could do everything: she could sing, she could compose, she was an immensely talented artist. She became a huge star but she was also a loyal and generous friend. It’s an absolutely tragic loss." She was interred with a Humanist funeral at Hendon Cemetery.
|"Getting A Drag"||18||48||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|"Won't Somebody Dance With Me"||14||-||-||21||9||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1974||"Ooh I Do"||25||-||-||16||-||-||-||12||-||-||-||-|
|1975||"My Man and Me"||40||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1977||"Rock Bottom" (with Mike Moran)||19||4||1||-||7||-||2||11||6||10||-||7|
- "Rhythm and Blue Jean Baby" / "Into My Music"
- "Happy Christmas to You From Me" / "Stick to You" (with Barry Blue)
- "Hug and Squeeze Me" / "You Made Me Write This Song"
- "Love Bomb" / "Rainbow"
- "If I Don't Get You The Next One Will" / "Season to Season"
- "You Give me Those Feelings" / "Beautiful"
- "Hollywood Romance" / "Losin' The Blues for You"
- "Tigers and Fireflies" / "Losin' The Blues for You"
- "Strange Changes" / "Strange Changes (version)"
- "Air on a Heartstring" / "Arrival of the Queen" (with panflautist Horea Crishan)
- "There's No Place Like London" / "There's No Place Like London" (Karaoke version) (credited as Lynsey & Friends)
- "Storm in a Teacup" ("Sugar Me") (written by de Paul and Ron Roker, a top ten hit the same year for The Fortunes)
- "Brandy" ("Getting a Drag")
- "Blind Leading the Blind" ("All Night")
- "So Good to You" ("Won't Somebody Dance with Me")
- "Nothing Really Lasts Forever" ("Ooh I Do")
- "Central Park Arrest" ("No Honestly") (female trio Thunderthighs had a UK top 30 hit with their version)
- "Dancing on a Saturday Night" ("My Man and Me") (co-written with Barry Blue who had a hit with it)
- "Into My Music" ("Rhythm and Blue Jean Baby")
- "You Made Me Write This Song" ("Hug and Squeeze Me")
- "Shouldn't Say That" (with Mike Moran) ("Rock Bottom")
- 1973: Surprise (titled Sugar Me in Australia)
- 1973: Lynsey Sings (comp.)
- 1973: Greatest Hits (comp.)
- 1974: Taste Me... Don't Waste Me
- 1974: The World of Lynsey de Paul (reissued as Lynsey Sings)
- 1975: Love Bomb
- 1975: No Honestly
- 1976: Getting a Drag - Best Collection (comp., released in Japan only)
- 1979: Tigers and Fireflies
- 1981: Profile (comp.)
- 1990: Before You Go Tonight
- 1994: Lynsey de Paul
- 1994: Greatest Hits (comp.)
- 1995: Sugar Me (comp.)
- 1996: Just a Little Time (aka Sugar Me)
- 2000: Best of the 70s – Lynsey de Paul (comp)
- 2013: Sugar and Beyond (comp.)
- 2013: Into My Music (comp.)
Hits written for other artists
- 1972: "Storm in a Teacup" (co-written with Ron Roker, #7 hit in the UK for The Fortunes)
- 1972: "On The Ride (You Do It Once, You Do It Twice)" (co-written with Ed Adamberry), #23 hit in the Netherlands for Continental Uptight Band 
- 1973: "Dancin' (on a Saturday Night)" (co-written with Barry Blue), #2 hit in the UK for Barry Blue 
- 1974: "School Love" (co-written with Barry Blue), #11 hit in the UK for Barry Blue 
- 1974: "Miss Hit and Run" (co-written with Barry Blue), #26 hit in the UK for Barry Blue 
- 1974: "Hot Shot" (co-written with Barry Blue), #26 hit in the UK for Barry Blue 
- 1974: "Central Park Arrest" written by Lynsey de Paul, #30 hit in the UK for Thunderthighs 
- 1977: "Let Your Body Go Downtown" (co-written with Mike Moran), #38 hit in the UK for Martyn Ford Orchestra 
- 1977: "Hi Summer" written by Lynsey de Paul, #10 hit in South Africa and #4 hit in Rhodesia for Carl Wayne 
- 1989: "Dancin' (on a Saturday Night)" (remix version co-written with Barry Blue), #86 hit in the UK for Barry Blue 
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- Note: The 1973 single version, with Mick Ralphs on guitar, was recorded with Thunderthighs on backing vocals, with one of them speaking the "Well I got my invite"/"Oh will do!" part. It was re-recorded in 1974, with Ariel Bender on guitar, for the subsequent The Hoople album, with Lynsey de Paul speaking the same part. (Most available recordings of this version have a strange unintended distortion on her vocal, fixed on later reissues).
- Roberts, David (1998). Guinness Rockopedia (1st ed.). London: Guinness Publishing Ltd. p. 282. ISBN 0-85112-072-5.
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- Paul Donnelley, Fade to Black: A Book of Movie Obituaries, Music Sales Group, 2003, page 161
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- "Cherry Red Records – Into My Music Anthology 1975–79, 2CD, RPM, 70s pop". Cherryred.co.uk. Retrieved 18 June 2013.
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|Awards and achievements|
Brotherhood of Man
with "Save Your Kisses for Me"
|UK in the Eurovision Song Contest
(with Mike Moran)
with "The Bad Old Days"