Rest_In_Peace's current selection is:
Kiss Me Goodbye
by songwriter Les Reed, performed by Connie Francis
Les Reed (1935 to 2019) was an English songwriter and orchestra leader. Leslie David Reed was born on July 24th 1935 in Woking, Surrey, England, and grew up there. He had become an accomplished musician by the age of 14 (playing piano, accordion and vibraphone), and studied at the London College of Music before joining the 'Willis Reed Group', with whom he toured for four years. After being called up for National Service, he played piano and clarinet in the Royal East Kent Military Band and, following discharge, joined 'The John Barry Seven' in 1959 as their pianist. In the mid-1960s, Reed also began a successful songwriting partnership with Geoff Stephens, which yielded such hits as "Tell Me When" (a hit for 'The Applejacks'), "Here It Comes Again" (for 'The Fortunes'), "Leave A Little Love" (for Lulu) and "There's a Kind of Hush", the 1967 success for 'Herman's Hermits'. With Gordon Mills in 1964, he penned "It's Not Unusual" for Tom Jones (Mills was also the singer's manager) - it was Jones' debut recording and gave him a UK No. 1. Around this time, he also started writing with Barry Mason - they wrote a song for Kathy Kirby, "I'll Try Not To Cry", as Britain's entry in 1965 for the Eurovision Song Contest held in Naples (it was beaten by one called "I Belong"). Reed and Mason then had hits with "Everybody Knows" ('The Dave Clark Five', 1967) and 1968's "Delilah", another hit for Tom Jones. He and Mason also wrote "The Last Waltz" for Engelbert Humperdinck, a smash hit in September 1967. In 1968, they wrote the Des O'Connor No. 1 called "I Pretend", and in the same year "I've Got My Eyes on You" (by him with Jackie Rae) was multiply recorded by Petula Clark, Ray Conniff, P J Proby and 'The Vogues'. Clark also covered his "Kiss Me Goodbye", as did Connie Francis in November 1969 (featured here), and in 1970 Reed's own orchestra recorded "Man of Action", the theme tune for pirate station 'Radio North Sea International' (until it stopped broadcasting in 1974). As well as co-writing the Leeds United FC anthem "Marching On Together" in 1972, he also wrote or co-wrote many other songs, such as "Girl of Mine", "Sylvia", "This Is Our Dance", "Does Anybody Miss Me" and "That's What Life Is All About". His film score composition credits included those for "The Girl on a Motorcycle" (1968), "The Bushbaby" (1969), "One More Time" (1970), "George and Mildred" (1980), "Creepshow 2" (1987) and "Parting Shots" (1999). Reed's stage music writing work appeared during such productions as "The Magic Show", "American Heroes" and "And Then I Wrote", and his songs gained a number of gold discs and 'Ivor Novello Awards'. He was awarded the 'British Academy Gold Badge of Merit' in 1982, and was made a Freeman of the City of London (for his contributions to the music industry). He was awarded an OBE by HM The Queen in 1998, and had more lately co-composed (with Roger Cook) the score for the 2004 musical "Beautiful and Damned", based on the life of F Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda. Les Reed died in Petersfield, Hampshire, on April 15th 2019, aged 83. His wife June pre-deceased him, and he leaves their one daughter.
Posted: 17th May 2019
Hundreds of very talented musicians pass away each year, some without much recognition at all. On "Rest In Peace", I aim to give them a fitting 'send-off', with a decent Tribute. I hope you will join me in marking their passing.....
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