Norrie Paramor

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Norrie Paramor
Norrie Paramor (1960).jpg
Paramor in 1960
Background information
Birth name Norman William Paramor
Also known as Norman Sidney, B-side Norrie
Born (1914-05-15)15 May 1914
London, England, UK
Origin English
Died 9 September 1979(1979-09-09) (aged 65)
Barnet, England, UK
Genres Light orchestral
Pop music
Rock music
Swing music
Easy listening
Occupation(s) Record producer
Composer
Arranger
Conductor
Pianist
Band leader
Instruments Piano
Years active 1950–1979
Labels EMI Music publishing (imprint Capitol Records)
Associated acts Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Frank Ifield, Helen Shapiro, Ruby Murray, Michael Holliday
Notable instruments
Piano

Norrie Paramor (born Norman William Paramor; 15 May 1914[1] – 9 September 1979)[2] was a British record producer, composer, arranger, pianist, bandleader and orchestral conductor. He is best known for his work with Cliff Richard and the Shadows, both together and separately, steering their early career and producing and arranging most of their material from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Paramor was a composer of studio albums, theatrical productions and film scores.

Producer[edit]

Although the term "producer" was not in circulation at the time Paramor started producing records (the usual term being Artiste and Repertoire Manager, or A&R man), he effectively began this role in 1952 when he became Recording Director for EMI's Columbia Records. As well as being producer for Cliff Richard and the Shadows, he produced records for Ruby Murray, Eddie Calvert, Michael Holliday, Helen Shapiro, Frank Ifield, the Mudlarks, the Avons and Ricky Valance among others.[citation needed] Until George Martin—his opposite number at EMI sister label Parlophone—produced "Candle In The Wind 97" for Sir Elton John, Paramor and Martin jointly held the record for having produced the most UK Number 1 hit singles, despite Paramor having died 18 years earlier.[citation needed]

Paramor recorded one of the biggest-selling albums from Capitol Records' Capitol of the World import series: In London in Love, which featured the soprano Patricia Clarke, who was used in many subsequent selling albums. This became his trademark orchestral signature sound, and was featured on Autumn, Amor Amor, In London, In Love Again, Warm and Willing, My Fair Lady and Moods among others.

Film scores and professional career[edit]

Paramor also composed music for films, including Serious Charge (1959), Expresso Bongo (1959), The Young Ones (1961), No My Darling Daughter (1961), The Frightened City (1961), A Pair of Briefs (1962), Two and Two Make Six (1962), The Wild and the Willing (1962), The Fast Lady (1963), Doctor in Distress (1963), Father Came Too! (1963) and My Lover, My Son (1970).[3] He also co-wrote the 1962 hit song "Let's Talk About Love" for Helen Shapiro. In 1968, he was the musical director for the Eurovision Song Contest, staged at the Royal Albert Hall, the first to be broadcast in colour. He also conducted the UK entry, "Congratulations", performed by Cliff Richard. In 1977, Paramor and his orchestra recorded with the Shadows for a final time, on the track "Return to the Alamo".

In the early 60's Norrie was asked to conduct the hugely successful Judy Garland concerts at the London Palladium, as well as recording an album with Judy during her time in London.

In 1968 Paramor left EMI and formed The Norrie Paramor Organisation and some artists to come under his production were Sacha Distel, The Scaffold, the Gunther Kallman Choir, John Rowles and Nana Mouskouri. The lyricist Tim Rice was Paramor's assistant producer for a time in the late 1960s followed by Nick Ingman, successful arranger, composer and conductor.

in 1973 he was asked to become principal conductor to the BBC Midland Radio orchestra

In 1974, following the death of long standing friend Cyril Stapleton, Max Bygraves asked Norrie if he would take over his record production

Personal life and death[edit]

Paramor was briefly married to actress Gloria Brent, a marriage which was annulled after a matter of months; he subsequently married Joan Margaret Jean Gerrard on 3 July 1943, a marriage which lasted until his death; they had three children Carolyn, Jane and John.[citation needed] He died, on 9 September 1979,[2] of lung cancer.[citation needed] His death came a fortnight after his protege Cliff Richard had returned to the top of the UK Singles Chart with "We Don't Talk Anymore",[4] his first number one single in more than ten years. Paramor and Richard had worked together professionally from 1958 to 1972.

Despite his record of success as a producer, he died in relative obscurity without receiving any public recognition from any British institution.

David Frost attack[edit]

In 1962, Paramor was the subject of a scathing critique by David Frost on the satirical British television programme That Was the Week That Was for, the programme incorrectly claimed, taking undeserved songwriting credits and royalties on other people's work. Paramor did write under various pseudonyms and was paid royalties that were due to him. Frost's criticism of Paramor for "making popular music more bland and "ordinary"" was a matter of personal opinion and, considering his commercial success, somewhat unfair.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Robert Farnon Society". Rfsoc.org.uk. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  2. ^ a b Doc Rock. "The 1970s". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 2011-06-24. 
  3. ^ "Norrie Paramor : Composer". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2012-12-21. 
  4. ^ Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 198. ISBN 0-85112-250-7. 
  5. ^ "That Was the Week That Was, 15 Dec. 1962". Retrieved 2014-06-30. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Austria Johannes Fehring
Eurovision Song Contest conductor
1968
Succeeded by
Spain Augusto Algueró