Ross Parker (songwriter)

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Ross Parker
Album cover of The Happy Piano of Ross Parker.jpg
Ross Parker on the cover of his 1968 album The Happy Piano of Ross Parker
Background information
Birth nameAlbert Rostron Parker[1]
Also known asRoss Parker
Clarke Ross-Parker
Born(1914-08-16)16 August 1914
Manchester, England
Died2 August 1974(1974-08-02) (aged 59)
Kent, England
GenresPop, swing
Occupation(s)Songwriter, lyricist, actor
Years active1930–1974

Ross Parker (born Albert Rostron Parker) (16 August 1914 – 2 August 1974) was an English pianist, composer, lyricist and actor. He is best known for co-writing the songs "We'll Meet Again"[2] and "There'll Always Be an England".

Songwriting career[edit]

Parker had a long and successful songwriting career which included chart hits from 1938 to 1970. In 1938 he was already considered one of England's "big five" songwriters.[3] Horace Heidt's version of Parker's song "The Girl In The Blue Bonnet" reached #15 on the Billboard charts in 1938.[4] "I Won't Tell A Soul (I Love You)" was a number one hit for Andy Kirk and his Twelve Clouds of Joy, spending 12 weeks on the Billboard chart in 1939.[5] Although "There'll Always Be an England" was released before the start of World War Two, it became an enormous success when war was declared by Britain. Parker joined the British Army. He and Hughie Charles (his collaborator on "There'll Always Be an England" and "We'll Meet Again") continued to write patriotic songs such as "The Navy's Here" during the war.[6]

Ross Parker wrote the original songs for several stage shows performed by The Crazy Gang at the Victoria Palace, London, in the early 1950s, including Knights of Madness, Ring out the Bells, Jokers Wild and These Foolish Kings.

In 1956, Shirley Bassey's manager Michael Sullivan commissioned Parker to write a song for the then 19-year-old Bassey.[7][8] Parker wrote "Burn My Candle", which later became Bassey's first recording.

Acting Career[edit]

Parker made his on-screen debut in the British-American film by Albert R. Broccoli, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, as Lord Scrumptious's chef. It was his only notable role in a blockbuster film.

Parker previously had appeared on stage in Paris, in 1955, in "Pommes à l'Anglaise". He then performed in the revue La Plume de Ma Tante for several years, firstly at the Garrick Theatre in London from 1956 to 1958, then at the Royale Theatre, New York, from 1958 to 1960, after which the revue toured to Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Francisco in 1961. Parker returned to the Théâtre des Variétés in Paris in 1965 to appear in this revue once again.

Musicals[edit]

Discography[edit]

  • "The Happy Piano of Ross Parker" (NPL 18262)[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Notice of name change in The London Gazette, 14 August 1951
  2. ^ Mark Steyn (2000). Broadway Babies Say Goodnight: Musicals Then and Now. Taylor & Francis. p. 166. ISBN 978-0-415-92287-6.
  3. ^ "Composer Dies At 59". Glasgow Herald. 3 August 1974.
  4. ^ Tsort. "Song artist 421 - Horace Heidt". tsort.info.
  5. ^ Tsort. "Obsolete song artist page". tsort.info.
  6. ^ "There'll Always Be An England". Coaticook Observer. 27 September 1940.
  7. ^ Williams, John L. (2010). Miss Shirley Bassey. London: Quercus. pp. 121–122. ISBN 978-1-84724-974-6.
  8. ^ Burgess, Muriel (31 August 2013). Shirley. Random House.
  9. ^ "Clown Jewels". The Guide To Musical Theatre. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  10. ^ Anon. "Happy as a King". Theatre World. 48 -49. p. 6.
  11. ^ "Knights of Madness". Guide To Musical Theatre. Retrieved 4 July 2014.
  12. ^ Colin MacKenzie (2005). Mantovani: A Lifetime in Music. Melrose Press. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-905226-19-1.
  13. ^ http://www.ibdb.com/production.php?id=2715 La Plume de Ma Tante
  14. ^ "The rotund and jovial Ross Parker is a tremendous cabaret favourite in London's West End". Country Fair. 35. 1968. p. 35.

External links[edit]