|Birth name||Ronald Ernest Alfred Roker|
|Born||23 January 1941|
|Occupation(s)||Songwriter, singer, record producer|
Roker first worked as a song-plugger. His first taste of chart success was provided by the theme music to children's TV programme The Adventures of Rupert Bear. The song "Rupert", co-written with Len Beadle and recorded by Beadle's wife Jackie Lee, made the UK Singles Chart in 1971. He also wrote the theme for Inigo Pipkin (later renamed Pipkins). Further success was attained when Roker met up with Lynsey Rubin (who was about to change her name to Lynsey de Paul). Together they penned "Storm in a Teacup" for The Fortunes, which landed them a Top Ten hit single; "When You've Gotta Go" which made the Dutch Tipparade (peak number 17) in late 1972, as well as the lower reaches of the Australian Aria chart in 1973; and also de Paul's third single, "All Night", which made the UK chart breakers listing in May 1973 and No. 17 on the Dutch Single Tip chart. Together with de Paul, he also wrote "Taking It On" and "It's Been a Long Time", both recorded by the Young Generation on their 1973 album Give Me Love.
Roker also began writing with De Paul's partner Barry Blue, (with whom he is often confused) notably on the song, "Do You Wanna Dance", a Top Ten hit at the end of 1973, as well as some album tracks. The three of them also wrote "Sugarloaf Hill" recorded by reggae artist Del Davis and released on the Trojan record label in 1972. "Sugarloaf Hill" appeared as a track on the 2003 compilation CD Trojan Carnival Box Set.
Moving from pop to a more soulful/dance vein, he was behind the Tina Charles hits "Love Bug" and "Dance Little Lady Dance". His profile in the US benefited from Dionne Warwick recording one of his songs, "Do You Believe in Love at First Sight", and this became the theme song of the film of the same name, starring Dan Aykroyd. "Up in a Puff of Smoke", also written by Roker and recorded by Polly Brown (aka Polly Browne, formerly of Pickettywitch), was a Top 20 hit in America in the 1970s and charted in the UK. Together with Gerry Shury, he wrote "Guilty", which was recorded both by The Pearls and First Choice and was a hit on both sides of the Atlantic.
Mid to late 1970s
One song he did not write was Sweet Dreams' cover version of the ABBA song "Honey, Honey", although Roker actually sang the male vocal on that record, in a duet with Polly Brown. He also co-wrote and co-produced "Stone Cold Love Affair", a 1975 single by The Real Thing.
Working with Gerry Shury, they produced a record for former 1976 Eurovision British contestant Louisa Jane White. They produced the single, "Don't Stop" which they both composed. It was backed with a Van McCoy and Charles Kipps composition, "Don't Pity Me", released on Pye 7N 45661 in 1977.
Roker together with Blue and Shury also wrote "Devil's Gun", a US and UK chart hit for C. J. & Company. It was the first record played by DJ Richie Kaczor at the opening night of Studio 54 on 26 April, 1977. It was also featured on the soundtrack to The Get Down (Original Soundtrack From The Netflix Original Series). The original version of the song was released in 1973 by Great Expectations. Other versions of "Devil's Gun" were recorded and released by Inner Strength and Blue himself, who released it as a single in 1975.
In 1983, Roker resurfaced with Jan Pulsford and Phil Wigger as the songwriters of the UK's Eurovision Song Contest entry, "I'm Never Giving it Up". It was recorded by another band called Sweet Dreams, which came in sixth in the song contest. That year his protégé group, Two Way (featuring actor Anthony Head), released a single "Face in the Window", penned by the same writers.
- "Ron Roker Discography". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "Ronald Roker". Companiesintheuk.co.uk. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "Dellam Corporate Information Limited, England". Dellam.com. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "Artist: Ronald Ernest Alfred Roker". Second Hand Songs. 22 December 2003. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 316. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Ron Roker Discography". Rock.discogs.com. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- on YouTube
- "Songs composed by Ron Roker". AllMusic. Retrieved 6 March 2011.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 208. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- Top 40, Stichting Nederlandse. "Solomon King - When You've Gotta Go". Top40.nl.
- "Top Singles of 1973". Australian-charts.com. Retrieved 19 April 2018.
- "Dutch Charts". Dutchcharts.nl.
- "Vinyl Album: The Young Generation - Give Me Love (1973)". 45worlds.com.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 65. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
- "Del Davis - Sugarloaf Hill". 45cat.com. Retrieved 7 April 2018.
- "Various - Trojan Carnival Box Set". Discogs.com. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
- "Up in a Puff of Smoke – PollyBrowne : Listen, Appearances, Song Review". AllMusic. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "up in a puff of smoke | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company". Officialcharts.com.
- "Pearls, The – Guilty (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "Real Thing, The – Stone Cold Love Affair (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- Shropshire Star, September 30, 2019 - Singing schoolgirl knocked on door of stardom by Toby Neal
- Louisa Jane White - Don't Stop / Don't Pity Me Album, Dynaero.fr
- "C.J. & Company". Billboard.com. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
- "C.J. & CO | full Official Chart History". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
- "Studio 54 @ Disco-Disco.com". Disco-disco.com. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
- "Various - The Get Down (Original Soundtrack From The Netflix Original Series)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
- "Great Expectations - Devils Gun / Bigger And Better". Discogs.com. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
- "Inner Strength - Devils Gun". Discogs.com. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
- "Barry Blue - Devil's Gun / You Make Me Happy (When I'm Blue)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 9 April 2023.
- "Sweet Dreams – I'm Never Giving Up (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 January 2013.
- "Two Way – All Dressed Up (Vinyl)". Discogs.com. Retrieved 15 January 2013.