Lynsey de Paul

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Lynsey de Paul
Lynsey De Paul - TopPop 1974 3.png
Lynsey de Paul in 1974
Background information
Birth name Lyndsey Monckton Rubin
Born (1948-06-11)11 June 1948
London, England
Died (2014-10-01)1 October 2014 (aged 66)
London, England
Genres Pop
Occupation(s) Singer-songwriter, actress
Instruments Vocals, piano
Years active 1971–2014
Website lynseydepaul.com

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 Ivor Novello Award-winning composer, actress and television celebrity.[1]

Early life[edit]

Lyndsey Monckton Rubin was born to Meta (née de Groot) and Herbert Rubin, a property developer.[6] 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.[7] She attended South Hampstead High School followed by Hornsey College of Art, now part of Middlesex University.

Career[edit]

Early song writing[edit]

Three of her earliest songs were co-written with Don Gould and recorded by Oliver! performer Jack Wild: "Takin' It Easy" and "Bring Yourself Back To Me" from the album Everything's Coming Up Roses, which was released in 1971.[8] "Bring Yourself Back To Me" was also the B-side to Wild's 1971 U.S. single "(Holy Moses!) Everything's Coming Up Roses".[9] 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.[10]

After these initial successes, she was contracted to ATV-Kirshner music publishing by Eddie Levy when she was 18 years old.[11] ATV Music was located above the Peter Robinson's store on Oxford Street, where she joined a group of professional songwriters that included Barry Blue (at that time known as Barry Green) and Ron Roker, resulting in revenues from songs recorded by other artists from 1971. One of their earliest songs was "Sugarloaf Hill", recorded by the reggae artist, Del Davis.[12][13]

Her major breakthrough came early in 1972 as the co-writer (with Ron Roker) of the Fortunes' Top 10 UK hit "Storm in a Teacup".[14] 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 (You Do It Once, You Do It Twice)", a Top 30 hit by the Continental Uptight Band[15] and also "When You've Gotta Go", an Australian chart hit recorded and released by Solomon King,[16] both songs also crediting her as L. Rubin. Other notable songs from this period included "Papa Do", which was released by Barry Green as a single,[17] as well as "Crossword Puzzle", also co-penned with Barry Green[18] and which led to an appearance on Top of the Pops for Irish singer Dana a.k.a. Dana Rosemary Scallon. "Crossword Puzzle" peaked at no. 2 on the Bangkok singles chart.[19] De Paul's own versions of both of these two songs would later be found as tracks on her debut album, Surprise.[20] In an interview with Cash Box, in early 1972, Don Kirshner said "We are looking for another Carole King. We think we found her in Lynsey Rubin."[21][22]

Chart successes[edit]

She wrote the song "Sugar Me" for Peter Noone, but her boyfriend at the time, Dudley Moore, suggested that she should take a demo version to manager Gordon Mills, who told her she should record it herself.[23] 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”.[6] Released as a single, "Sugar Me" reached the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart,[24] as well as the top of the singles charts in the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium. The arrangement featured a 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 was the start of de Paul 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).[24] She appeared on the first episode of the German music show Musikladen on 13 December 1972, where she performed "Sugar Me" and "Getting a Drag", both of which were hits in the German singles chart, as well as the "Doctor, Doctor", which would appear on her debut album a few months later.[25] She was listed as the third best female singer in the 1973 New Musical Express (NME) music poll.[26] In March 1973, her first album, Surprise, was released on the MAM label.[20] As well as writing or co-writing all of the songs on Surprise, de Paul was also the producer for all of the tracks. In his recent autobiography, label mate Tom Jones wrote "We had Lynsey de Paul, a big star, though she fell out with Gordon (Mills) for wanting to produce her own records".[27] Later that year, after "All Night", her third single, co-written with Ron Roker and released on the MAM label, failed to chart in the UK, de Paul returned to the UK Top 20 with "Won't Somebody Dance With Me",[24] which was also a hit in Ireland and the Netherlands. According to an interview with Michael Robson, featured in the liner notes to "Sugar and Beyond", de Paul had to fight hard to get this single released - indeed she would have preferred it in place of "All Night".[28] She was vindicated since it was a chart hit and she was presented with an Ivor Novello Award for the song, the first woman to do so.[29] 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 performed the song on the 500th edition special on 4 October 1973, which was the date of the release of the single.[30] The flip side of "Won't Somebody Dance With Me" was "So Good To You", a song that was covered by Lenny Zakatek on his single "I Gotcha Now", and that was also written by de Paul.[31] Another De Paul co-written song "Today Gluggo, Tomorrow The World" was the B-side of "Don't You Let It Bring You Down" by the Spencer Davis Group[32][33] as well as an album track on their 1973 Gluggo.[34]

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.[35][36] 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.[37] In February 1974, de Paul was voted top female singer in the UK music weekly Disc Readers Awards Poll, while David Bowie was voted top male singer and Slade the top group.[38] 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,[24] Netherlands and Japan. The song's co-writer, Barry Blue, also recorded a version of the song as an album track with different lyrics for the verses.[39] De Paul also wrote her first TV theme tune ("Pilger theme") for Pilger where journalist, John Pilger, examined various political issues at the time (1974-1977) in a series of 25 minute documentaries.[40][41] Another theme song, this time co-written with Barry Blue, was recorded and released as a single by the UK group, Rain, featuring Stephanie de Sykes as the vocalist. The song, "Golden Day", was used as the theme for The Golden Shot and was released as a single on 12 July 1974.[42]

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.[24] The B-side to this single was de Paul's version of "Central Park Arrest", the song she had written for Thunderthighs and which had 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,[43] established by Don Arden. She also wrote the second single that was released on the label, a song called "My One and Only" by UK female singing trio Bones.[44] Her second album, Taste Me... Don't Waste Me, was the first album release on Jet Records and was her personal favourite of all her albums.[45] De Paul continued to release a number of singles through the mid-1970s, including the UK hit "My Man and Me", which she performed an acoustic version of on The Old Grey Whistle Test, along with "Rhythm and Blue Jean Baby", "Love Bomb" and "If I Don't Get You The Next One Will"

De Paul in 1973

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,[29] most notably "Dancin' (on a Saturday Night)" which was a hit for co-writer Barry Blue, as well as Flash Cadillac and the Australian/British group bond. More hit singles co-written with Blue and performed by him followed, including "School Love",[46] "Miss Hit and Run"[47] and "Hot Shot".[48] They finally released a duet at the end of 1975, the festive "Happy Christmas To You From Me", which was co-written by the duo.[49][50] Other notable songs co-written by de Paul and Blue include "Tip of My Tongue which was a radio hit for the British group "Brotherly Love" as well as female vocal trio "Ellie" and "House of Cards recorded by a number of artists including John Christie,[51] Australian artist, Rob Guest, and even the D.J. Tony Blackburn. 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.

Her third album, Love Bomb, was released on Jet Records in 1975.[52] Whereas the title track was released as a single in most territories,[53] in the US and Japan the track "Sugar Shuffle" was released as a single.[54][55] Later, in 1984, Japanese singer Asami Kobayashi released a cover version of "Sugar Shuffle" on her album Cryptograph.[56] De Paul was voted best female singer in a poll by the readers of the weekly music newspaper Record Mirror & Disc in February 1976.[57] In April 1976, she appeared with Sacha Distel and Marti Caine at the London Palladium[14] and later that year she was the recipient of the 'Woman of the Year Award For Music' from the Variety Club of Great Britain.[58][59] Management problems with Don Arden,[60] 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 shortly after the release of "If I Don't Get You The Next One Will",[61] her last single of the Jet Records label.[62] Nevertheless, that year she recorded the only cover song of her recording career, the Lennon/MacCartney song "Because" that appeared on the soundtrack to the movie All This and World War II. The song appeared on a double album released in 1976 to tie in with the film.[63] The album charted in the US[64] and the UK.[65] and has recently been re-released as The Beatles and World War II on CD.[66] That same year she co-wrote the song "Don't You Remember When" for Dame Vera Lynn, after guesting on her show and being impressed by how long Vera could hold a single note for - indeed the song features such a long note at the very end. "Don't You Remember When" was released as a single on the EMI label in February 1976 and de Paul was also the producer as well as sang backing vocals.[67] Another notable guest was ex-Beatle Ringo Starr, who played the tambourine.[68] She also wrote and performed the theme song for "A Divorce" a series of three plays by Fanny Galleymore starring Julia Foster, Polly James and Michael Kitchen for the BBC[69] that was also broadcast on German TV.[70] On 4 November 1976, De Paul was one of the guests at the UK Premiere of The Song Remains The Same by Led Zeppelin at Warner West End Cinema, London.[71]

"Rock Bottom", which she wrote with Mike Moran, was chosen as the UK entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1977 and released on Polydor. The duo also wrote and performed the B-side, the amusing "You Shouldn't Say That". As she later explained, as well as being an honour, taking part in Eurovision was a way to circumvent the legal wrangles that were preventing her from signing to a new record label. Although it was the favourite to win, it came second in the Eurovision Song Contest and went on to become a Top 20 hit in many European countries including France, Germany, Austria and Switzerland, where it reached the top of their singles chart. It was the 15th best selling single of 1977 in Switzerland[72] and the 32nd best selling single in Germany.[73] The Eurovision experience resulted in a formal offer to stand as a liberal parliamentary candidate by chief party whip John Pardoe.[74][75][76] "It started when I shot my mouth off over the strike of BBC cameramen that threatened to black out the song contest in England," she recalled. John Pardoe, deputy leader of the Liberal Party, invited her to tea at the House of Commons and suggested that she run for a seat in Parliament.[77]

Together with Moran, de Paul subsequently wrote other songs, such as "Let Your Body Go Downtown" (1977), a No. 38 UK hit and a Top of the Pops appearance for the Martyn Ford Orchestra;[78] and the follow-up single "Going to a Disco", as well as the songs "Without You", and "Now and Then", which appeared on the albums Tigers and Fireflies and Just a Little Time, respectively.

Beach Boys member Bruce Johnston released his version of "Won't Somebody Dance With Me" on his 1977 solo album Going Public,[79] as did Lena Zavaroni on her 1977 album Presenting Lena Zavaroni.[80] The song was also featured in the 1978 film The Big Sleep, a remake of the Hollywood classic featuring Robert Mitchum, Joan Collins, Edward Fox, John Mills and directed by Michael Winner. The character Mona Grant, played by Diana Quick, actually sings the song.[81] "Won't Somebody Dance With Me" was also featured in The Muppet Show, sung by Gonzo (Season Two, Episode 41 with Julie Andrews)[82] as well as in The New Mickey Mouse Club performed by Lisa Whelchel.[83]

She released a further single "You Give Me Those Feelings" in August 1977,[84] and the song was also recorded by Grace Rivera as a track on her 1978 album Gracie Ann Rivera.[85] In 1977, de Paul also wrote and performed the theme music for the revival by London Weekend Television of the sitcom, The Rag Trade (1977);[14] 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, Fraeulein Phylllis and Cut Snake.[29]

Just over a year after the release of "You Give Me Those Feelings", de Paul released her next single "Hollywood Romance",[86] no doubt inspired by her recent move to California and the lyrics are a playful homage to some of Hollywood's classic films. The single garnered radio play and was also covered by Lena Zavaroni on her TV show.[87] It was a teaser and track on the 1979 album Tigers and Fireflies, which was produced by Rupert Holmes.[88][89] Justin de Villeneuve was Lynsey's manager at the time and the album was recorded at Long View Farm.[90] A second single, "Tigers and Fireflies", released in 1979 and lifted from the album, told of de Paul's experiences with various former managers.[91] Holmes and De Paul co-wrote the song "Twas", which also appeared on Tigers and Fireflies.[92]

1980s[edit]

After a four-year period in California in the late 1970s and early 1980s with her partner at the time, actor James Coburn, whom she met at a party thrown by Joan Collins[93][94] de Paul returned to England. Although she only released one self-composed solo single, "Strange Changes",[95] in the 1980s, 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.[96] Other versions of this song were recorded by Menudo, with lead vocals by Ricky Martin, as well as Japanese soul singer Marlene (as a track on her album Looking for Love)[97] and also featured in the US children's television programme, Kidd Video.[98] She later released her own version of the song on her website music store.[99] Whilst writing songs for artists as diverse as Shirley Bassey ("There's No Place Like London"), funk/soul band Heatwave, Marti Webb (both recording the song "All I Am") and the Real Thing ("We Got Love"), 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 the BBC's 1981 comedy series The Olympian Way[100] and in 1988 the long-running Esther Rantzen programme Hearts of Gold.[101]

De Paul hosted a radio show on Capital Radio in 1982 to promote new talent in the music business and Eduardo Palma Jnr. a musician from the Czech Republic, won the contest with his own quirky song "King Kong in Hong Kong" and it was released as a single[102], which became a hit in his native country. It was widely played at London discos, in particular at The Empire by DJ Roy Kelly.[103]

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.[104] She also played Cinderella, with Joanna Lumley playing Prince Charming, in an all-star cast for the Prince's Trust at the Bobath centre.[105] De Paul 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,[106] as well as film music for the children's film Gabrielle and the Doodleman, in which she had a starring role as an actress.[29][107] That same year, she also appeared with Carl Davis in a specially commissioned film "What Price Music?" for the Performing Rights Society (PRS) explaining how the PRS looks after its 15,000 members as well as almost half a million affiliated members worldwide.[108][109]

De Paul also composed jingles for radio stations including Capital Radio. In 1983, she appeared at the Conservative Party conference with DJ Kenny Everett and film producer Michael Winner, where she sang a song she had composed especially for the occasion: "Vote Tory, Tory, Tory/For election glory". She was the subject of the first episode of a TV series about female singers called "Ladybirds", directed by Bryan Izzard. As well as being interviewed about her music and life, she played some of her most famous compositions, as well as a solo version of "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" on a London roof top overlooking St Paul's Cathedral.[110]

In 1982, De Paul made her acting debut onstage in Iain Blair’s thriller Shriek! at the Churchill Theatre, Bromley and in the following year on television in Granada’s The Starlight Ballroom she played the leads female character alongside Alvin Stardust. Her first panto appearance was as "Cinderella's Star Night" where De Paul played Cinderella as part of an all-star cast to raise funds for The Bobath Centre held at the Prince Edward Theatre, London, on 31 January 1982. The script was written by a number of writers including Michael Frayn, Jack Rosenthal and John Cleese with the epilogue provided by Alan Ayckbourn and narrated by Ian McKellen and also featured Joanna Lumley, Nigel Havers and Helen Mirren.[111][105] De Paul also appeared in Aladdin at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 1983 and Jack and the Beanstalk (Oxford Playhouse, 1989). She also appeared as the character Prudie in Pump Boys and Dinettes (Piccadilly Theatre, 1985).[112]

On 19 November 1984, de Paul was honoured to be one of the performers at the Royal Variety Performance in the presence of Queen Elizabeth as well as the Queen Mother and the Prince and Princess of Wales and Lady Sarah Armstrong-Jones at the Victoria Palace Theatre. The complete show was aired on BBC1.[113][114]

On a lighter note, 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 also on "Sky Star Search"[115] as well as a regular panellist on the television shows Call My Bluff,[116] Punchlines[117] and Blankety Blank.[118] She 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.[29] On 21 April, 1989, she was a special guest and performed songs during RTÉ Television coverage of the first People in Need Trust Telethon.[119]

Later career[edit]

De Paul returned to the public spotlight in a different role in 1992 when she released a self-defence video for women called Taking Control. As well as starring in the video, both as the presenter and demonstrator of self-defence techniques, she co-wrote the theme song and incidental music with Ian Lynn.[120] 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.[29][7] A book based on the programme and video written by de Paul and Clare McCormick with the title Taking Control: Basic Mental & Physical Self Defence for Women, was published by Boxtree in 1993.[121] In 2006, an updated DVD of her self-defence training programme, Taking Control: Simple Mental & Physical Self Defence for Women, was released[122] 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.

That same year, music magazine "Rock Compact Disc Magazine" published by Northern & Shell PLC, listed the de Paul MAM compilation album "Lynsey Sings" aka "The World of Lynsey De Paul" (comprising tracks from the "Surprise" album plus various non-album singles and B-sides) one of the top 50 glam rock era albums in their "Wham Bam, Thank You Glam: 50 Glam Era Highlights 1972-1974" listing, with a greatest hits album from co-writer and colleague Barry Blue also featuring in the listing.[123][124]

In 1994, she released her first album in 15 years entitled Just a Little Time. It featured newly recorded and released songs, notably "Words Don't Mean a Thing" and "We Got Love", as well as reworked and updated versions of many of her classic hits, plus two club mixes of "Sugar Me" and "Getting a Drag". This was a CD-only release on the Music DeLuxe label.[125] That year, she also released a single "There's No Place Like London", her version of the song she had written for Shirley Bassey, featuring an all-star cast that included Frankie Vaughan, Patti Boulaye, Gareth Hunt, Kenny Lynch, Rula Lenska, Gwen Taylor, Lionel Blair, Lorraine Chase, Pam St. Clement, Harry Fowler, Polly James, Larry Adler, Rose Marie, Victor Spinetti, Gorden Kaye and the St Joan of Arc School Choir and credited to Lynsey & Friends.[126] The song was the winning record for the LBC London Parade and it went on sale to raise money for the Variety Club. In an LBC radio programme, de Paul discussed how it came about and how it got its title. Lorraine Chase who sang on the track, also discussed her role. Elizabeth Cohen of Nonsuch High School and David Burditch of St Joan of Arc School in Rickmanshaw, described how their schools became involved in the recording. Lionel Blair urged everyone should join the parade to promote London and Ian Fenn provided a report from Stock Aitken Waterman's Hit Factory, where the record was produced.[127]

One year later, de Paul also co-wrote with Ian Lynn an album How Do You Do - I'm Marcus, for the opening of Eurotunnel, which was released on CD. It was a children's album that told the story of Marcus the Mole and various other characters, as featured in the book of Cheryl Wilson.[128] De Paul also performed some of the tracks on the album credited as the character Michelle ("He Can't Dance") and also Moleye ("Old Mole and Grandma"). Other artists appearing on the album included Ron Moody, Kate Robbins, Ian Lynn, Tony Jackson (bass player) and Jon Glover.[129][130][131]

Gerard Kenny released his version of "Take Back Your Heartache", a song that he co-wrote with de Paul[132] on his 1995 album, An Evening with...,[133] as well as his "Old Friends" album[134] and that de Paul performed as "Take Back Your Heartaches" on TV in the UK. In 1996, her song "Martian Man" was featured on a CD single "The Milkman" by the Julianne Regan fronted group Mice.[135] Regan is a long-time fan of de Paul and sought her approval to record the song.[136] The single made it to the lower reaches of the UK Singles Chart.[137] It was also a track on the album "New & Improved" by Mice.[138]

De Paul was featured on the cover of "Saga Magazine", published by Saga plc and a lengthy interview also appeared in the magazine where she discussed her early years, as well as how she became a successful songwriter. The interview also includes her relationship with James Coburn and the four years she lived with him in Los Angeles. De Paul reveals for the first time that during this period she was in talks with Dolly Parton's management, but that they mysteriously broke off. She also spoke at length about her belief in the need for self-defence for women, giving the background to how she conceived the "Taking Control" video.[139]

In 2000, de Paul was present for the launch of the charity "Support for Africa 2000", with the aim to help those suffering from the effects of HIV/AIDS or malaria at a reception at the Nigerian Embassy in London, hosted by HE Prince Bola Ajibola, the Nigerian High Commissioner to the UK. Among the guests were Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia; tenor Russell Watson, who sang a duet with the charity's president Patti Boulaye; and Errol Brown.[140] De Paul was a long term supporter of this charity and appeared at a number of their events and concerts.[141][140][142]

Her longstanding contribution to the music industry was recognised in 2005 when de Paul received a Gold Badge Award.[143] 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.[144] She was held in high regard by her peers at PRS, where she also served as Trustee of the Members Benevolent Fund.[145]

Since she had trained as an artist at the Hornsey College of Art and was a good cartoonist (as evidenced from the gatefold album sleeve of her debut album, Surprise), she was employed as the resident cartoonist for Okay! Magazine in its first year of weekly distribution in 2006, with her pocket-cartoon series entitled "Light Entertainment". She also provided cartoons for the women’s magazine Chic with another series of pocket-cartoons entitled "Woman to Woman".[146]

In 2007, de Paul briefly returned to acting and played the glamorous character 'Sheila Larsen' in the first episode of Kingdom, the Stephen Fry drama series. Peter Kingdom manages to clear up a feud between Sheila Larsen's two sons that starts after she dies suddenly and whose money apparently disappeared.[147] 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.[148] De Paul, who was the only vegetarian among the group, 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.[14]

The 2008 album Songs From The British Academy, Vol. 1 featured de Paul singing her song "Words Don't Mean a Thing", as well as other artists such as Boy George, Peter Gabriel, KT Tunstall, Brian May, The Pretenders, Robin Gibb and Cliff Richard.[149]

She wrote the foreword for the 2009 book Medium Rare about the spiritual medium Liam Scott who is one of the UK’s leading stage psychics.[150] She also wrote travel articles for the Daily Mail on Mauritius (February 2008), one about Australia's east coast (April 2009) and another entitled "A Date with the Dolphins".[151] She was one of the interviewees in an article "60 years old: happy birthday to the single" where celebrities and media personalities were asked to name a single that was important to them. De Paul chose "Love Came to Me" by Dion (1962) and said "It was a really good pop record of its time. Certain songs have emotional associations in one's life. This was almost a coming of age."[152]

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.[14] She attended the 2012 Ivor Novello Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on 17 May 2012.[153] She was a member of the UK jury for the Eurovision Song Contest 2012.[14]

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.[154] One week later, de Paul appeared in the play "Hollywood Love" playing the role of the American actress and one of America's best-known gossip columnists Hedda Hopper, together with actor Jeff Stewart (Reg Hollis from "The Bill") who played the actor Gareth Hughes who was her friend.[155] From 2013 until her death, De Paul was a regular guest newspaper reviewer for BBC Radio London 94.9 FM on the Simon Lederman Show, commenting on the day’s news and current affairs.[156][157]

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, a project that was personally overseen by de Paul.[158][159] Also that month, de Paul appeared as a guest on Ken Bruce's programme, "Tracks of my Years", where she selected some of her favourite songs from other artists such as John Lennon, Earth, Wind and Fire, Leanne Womack and R Kelly.[160] De Paul was one of the guests at the PRS for Music event "100 Years of Music" VIP launch in London, along with other UK based songwriters such as Cathy Dennis, Glenn Tilbrook, Mike Batt, Bob Geldof and Gary Kemp.[161] 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.[162]

In 2015, PRS for Music established an annual Lynsey de Paul prize for emerging female singer-songwriters in honour of the singer-songrwriter.[163] The 2015 winner of the prize was Emma McGrath,[164] who was presented with the award at an event celebrating the life of Lynsey de Paul, hosted by Esther Rantzen.[165] The second Lynsey de Paul prize was presented to Elsa Hewitt in September 2016.[166]

Media mentions and influence on[edit]

At least four of de Paul's songs have been used as the basis for other songs. The first was "All I Am", which formed the music for the Buddha Monk song "Dedicated" that appeared on his 1998 Billboard charting album The Prophecy and that was co-credited to de Paul and Susan Sheridan.[167] Bilal performed the song "Certified" which incorporates a looped sample of Klaus Wunderlich's version of "Sugar Me" and resulted in a writing credit for de Paul and Blue on Guru's Jazzmatazz Streetsoul vol. 3 album, released in 2000,[168] which reached no. 32 on the Billboard 200 and no. 72 on the UK Albums Chart. The third song is "You Don't Know", by UK soul/funk outfit Smoove and Turrell, that credits de Paul with co-writing the song since it features a long sample of her track "Water" from her debut album, Surprise.[169] Most recently, her song "Strange Changes" was reworked by Stellar Well's Jake Goldsmith, a.k.a. Gentle Hands as "Stranger Changes" and released on La.Ga.Sta.[170]

The original recording of her song "Won't Somebody Dance With Me" featured on a playlist of songs that director Nicolas Winding Refn circulated to the cast and crew of his film The Neon Demon to get them into the right mood for filming[171] and this has been released on the album The Wicked Die Young.[172]

De Paul has been impersonated on television programmes such as the Benny Hill Show by Jackie Wright, originally aired on 18 February 1976,[173] Who Do You Do?,[174] and The Goodies.[175] The acclaimed book "Diary of a Rock'n'Roll Star" by Ian Hunter mentions de Paul as a singer/songwriter of repute.[176] In the 1998 novel Breakfast on Pluto by Patrick McCabe, the main character Patrick is said to resemble de Paul when he dresses up as his alter ego "Pussy".[177] One chapter in the book is entitled "Lynsey de Paul"[178] and another "Dancing on a Saturday Night";[179] plus de Paul's first hit "Sugar Me" was also mentioned. In the film version, his alter ego became "Kitten" and the de Paul reference was replaced by Dusty Springfield.[180] De Paul is also mentioned in the book Untorn Tickets by Paul Burke.[181] The actor and writer Tom Conti told de Paul that he had written the book The Doctor, and she put him in contact with the publisher Jeremy Robson who published the book. De Paul was a guest of honour at the book launch party held at The Royal Society of Medicine, Chandos House, London on 29 September 2004.[182] Carla Lane, writer of "The Liver Birds", "Butterflies" and "Bread" credited de Paul for goading her to write her autobiography, Someday I'll Find Me.[183] De Paul is also mentioned in Vail by Trevor Hoyle.[184] Muppets creator, Jim Henson, was a friend of de Paul and James Coburn and, in his Red Book, revealed that he stayed in a guest house owned by de Paul in 1978, and he also spent Christmas Eve 1979 with de Paul and Coburn.[185]

Robert Holmes, the founder of the musical group Love Bomb, was inspired to choose this name for the group because of the de Paul song of the same name.[186] The Japanese singer-songwriter Sugar Me, is named after the de Paul song.[187] The song "Rock 'N' Roll Winter (Loony's Tune)", a UK chart hit by Wizzard was inspired and dedicated to de Paul by the song's writer, Roy Wood.[188] She is mentioned in the song "True Grit" by "Half Man Half Biscuit".[189] De Paul was also name checked in the film The Great Rock 'n' Roll Swindle where it is mentioned that Richard Branson is in a mansion that "overlooked the tomb of Karl Marx and the bedroom of Lynsey de Paul". The song "Black Crow" by London-based duo Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve, was inspired by her song "Sugar Me".[190][191] Spanish singer-songwriter, Lia Pamina, cites de Paul as an influence,[192] as has the British singer Kim Wilde.[193] Her photo appeared in the Patrick Lichfield book The Most Beautiful Women.[194] The Louis Vuitton Spring Summer 2012 fashion show advertisement campaign, used de Paul's "Sugar Me" as the soundtrack .[195][196]

Personal life[edit]

De Paul did not marry. She had been romantically involved with Dudley Moore, Chas Chandler, Roy Wood, Ringo Starr, James Coburn, Bill Kenwright, Dodi Fayed, Sean Connery, George Best, Bernie Taupin and David Frost.[7][197][198][199][200] She had received five marriage proposals, one of which was from Chandler and another of which was from Coburn.[7][197][198][200] In his autobiography, George Best said that De Paul was "fiercely independent".[201]

Known for her sharp sense of humour, de Paul was labelled "Looney de Small" by her friend Spike Milligan.[29] She was a patron of the Spike Milligan Statue Memorial Fund and present for the unveiling of the statue in his honour in September 2014.[58][197] She was also a friend of Michael Bentine.

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.[202]

She put her career on hold at the end of the 1990s until the end of 2001 to look after her mother, who, until she died, was the company secretary for Lynsey de Paul Music Limited.[203]

De Paul suffered a brain haemorrhage on the morning of 1 October 2014 and died in a London hospital.[204] 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."[205] 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."[206] She was interred with a Humanist funeral at Hendon Cemetery.[207]

Discography[edit]

Chart singles[edit]

Year Title Chart positions
UK[24] DE CH NL IRE ES AT BE SWE FR AUS NOR
1972 "Sugar Me" 5 16 - 1 - 1 2 1 4 - 4 -
"Getting a Drag" 18 48 - - - - - - - - - -
1973 "All Night" - - - - - - - - - - - -
"Won't Somebody Dance with Me" 14 - - 21 9 - - - - - - -
1974 "Ooh I Do" 25 - - 16 - - - 12 - - - -
"No, Honestly" 7 - - - - - - - - - - -
1975 "My Man and Me" 40 - - - - - - - - - - -
1977 "Rock Bottom" (with Mike Moran) 19 4 1 - 7 - 2 11 6 10 - 7

Other singles[edit]

B sides[edit]

  • "Storm in a Teacup" ("Sugar Me") (written by de Paul and Ron Roker, a top ten hit the same year for The Fortunes)[24]
  • "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")

Albums[edit]

Hits written for other artists[edit]

  • 1972: "Storm in a Teacup" (co-written with Ron Roker, no. 7 hit in the UK for The Fortunes)[24]
  • 1972: "On The Ride (You Do It Once, You Do It Twice)" (co-written with Ed Adamberry), no. 23 hit in the Netherlands for Continental Uptight Band [213]
  • 1973: "Dancin' (on a Saturday Night)" (co-written with Barry Blue), no. 2 hit in the UK for Barry Blue [24]
  • 1974: "Dancin' (on a Saturday Night)" (co-written with Barry Blue) no. 93 hit on the Billboard Hot100 for Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids,[214] no. 79 on the Cashbox Top 100 singles[215]
  • 1974: "School Love" (co-written with Barry Blue), no. 11 hit in the UK for Barry Blue [24]
  • 1974: "Miss Hit and Run" (co-written with Barry Blue), no. 26 hit in the UK for Barry Blue [78]
  • 1974: "Hot Shot" (co-written with Barry Blue), no. 26 hit in the UK for Barry Blue [24]
  • 1974: "Central Park Arrest" written by de Paul, no. 30 hit in the UK for Thunderthighs [78]
  • 1977: "Let Your Body Go Downtown" (co-written with Mike Moran), no. 38 hit in the UK for Martyn Ford Orchestra [78]
  • 1977: "Hi Summer" written by de Paul, no. 10 hit in South Africa and no. 4 hit in Rhodesia for Carl Wayne [216]
  • 1989: "Dancin' (on a Saturday Night)" (remix version co-written with Barry Blue), no. 86 hit in the UK for Barry Blue [217]
  • 1996: "Martian Man" (track on the maxi-CD "The Milkman" by Juliane Regan's group Mice)[135] no. 92 hit in the UK.[137]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ There is a conflict between sources such as the BBC, The Guardian[1] and The Times, which gave her age at death as 64, and official records such as the General Registry Office at FreeBMD online[2][3] and company records[4][5] which show her birth date as 1948.

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External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Brotherhood of Man
with "Save Your Kisses for Me"
UK in the Eurovision Song Contest
1977
(with Mike Moran)
Succeeded by
Co-Co
with "The Bad Old Days"