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|Lynsey de Paul|
Lynsey de Paul in 1974
|Birth name||Lynsey Monckton Rubin|
11 June 1950 |
Cricklewood, London, England
Lynsey de Paul (born 11 June 1950) is an English singer-songwriter. Allmusic journalist Craig Harris stated that "one of the first successful female singer-songwriters in England, de Paul has had an illustrious career".
Born Lynsey Monckton Rubin in Cricklewood, London to Meta and Herbert Rubin, a property developer. She grew up in a Jewish family in Cricklewood, North London, and attended South Hampstead High School followed by Hornsey College of Art, now part of Middlesex University.
de Paul took an unusual route to becoming the UK's first commercially successful female singer-songwriter. While attending Hornsey College of Art, and wanting to leave home, she started to design album sleeves for artists which required her to listen to the tracks. From income earned from album sleeve design, she got her first flat, where she turned to songwriting. Three of her earliest songs were co-written with Don Gould and recorded by Jack Wild: "Takin' It Easy" and "Bring It on Back to Me" from the album Everything's Coming Up Roses which was released by Jack in 1971. Another song copenned by Lynsey, this time with Edward Adamberry called "E.O.I.O." was recorded by Jack as a track on his 1972 album A Beautiful World and also released as a single by The Beads.
After these initial successes, de Paul was contracted to ATV-Kirshner music publishing, located above the Peter Robinson's store on Oxford Street, where she joined a group of professional songwriters that included Barry Blue and Ron Roker, resulting in revenues from songs recorded by other artists from 1971. Her breakthrough came early in 1972 as the co-writer (with Ron Roker) of The Fortunes' top 10 U.K. hit, "Storm in a Teacup". She was credited as 'L. Rubin' on the record. Around this time, she was also had chart success in the Netherlands as the writer of "On the Ride", a Top 30 hit by the Continental Uptight Band.
A few months later she was propelled into the limelight as the performer of her own hit song "Sugar Me", which reached the Top 10 of the UK Singles Chart (#5), as well as the top of the singles charts in the Netherlands, Spain and Belgium, the first UK female singer-songwriter to do this. "Sugar Me" was covered in the US by Nancy Sinatra and Claudine Longet, and more recent cover versions are still being released (see below). Noted[by whom?] for her keyboard skills, ability to write catchy songs and sultry looks, De Paul went on to be a regular chart and TV fixture over the next five years. Her follow up single to "Sugar Me" was the amusing "Getting a Drag" (UK #18) which was a light hearted dig at the glam rock scene. After the relatively poor chart performance of her third single "All Night" which was written with Ron Roker and peaked in the UK at #56, de Paul returned to the U.K. Top 20 with "Won't Somebody Dance With Me"  which she always felt should have been her third single. She was the first woman to be awarded an Ivor Novello Award for this ballad, which was also a hit in Ireland and the Netherlands. 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 recorded the female lyric to Mott The Hoople's album track version of "Roll Away the Stone", but she was replaced by female trio Thunderthighs on the hit single version of the song. 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. After appointing Don Arden, her new manager at the end of 1973, de Paul released "Ooh I Do", which hit the charts in the UK, Netherlands and Japan. The song's co-writer, Barry Blue, also recorded a version of the song as an album track.
A second Ivor Novello award followed a year later for "No Honestly", which was also the theme tune to a hit ITV comedy of the same name, and provided her with another UK Top 10 hit, peaking at #7. 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. De Paul continued to release a number of singles through the 1970s and early 1980s, including the UK hit "My Man and Me", which she performed an acoustic version of on The Old Grey Whistle Test.
A prolific songwriter, de Paul also continued to write songs for a wide range of recording artists as well as composing the theme music to the 1970s documentary television programme Pilger (John Pilger) for ATV. In a five year period (1972–1977), she wrote a total of fourteen UK Singles Chart hits, most notably "Dancin' (on a Saturday Night)" which was a hit for co-writer Barry Blue, as well as Flash Cadillac and bond. 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 has also performed producing and arranging duties on many of these recordings. In 1976, she was the recipient of the 'Woman Of The Year Award For Music' from the Variety Club of Great Britain. Management problems with Don Arden 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.
"Rock Bottom", which she wrote with Mike Moran, was the UK entry in the Eurovision Song Contest 1977. As she later explained, as well as being an honour, this was a way to circumvent the legal wrangles that were preventing her from signing to a new record label. Although it came second in the Eurovision Song Contest, it 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. De Paul and Moran went on to write a number of songs, such as "Let Your Body Go Downtown" (1977), a #38 UK hit for the Martyn Ford Orchestra; and the follow-up "Going to a Disco", as well as "Without You", and "Now and Then", which appeared on the albums Tigers and Fireflies and Just a Little Time, respectively. De Paul also wrote and performed the theme music for the 1977 revival by London Weekend Television of the sitcom, The Rag Trade; the same year she composed "Hi Summer", the title of another ITV variety show, performed by Carl Wayne. Later TV credits included the theme to the BBC's Hearts Of Gold and "Olympian Way". 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 & Me, Side by Side, American Swing and Aces Go Places.
After a three year period of being based in California in the late 1970s and early 1980s with her partner at the time, actor James Coburn, de Paul returned to England. During this period, she co-wrote with Terry Britten "A Little TLC", which was covered by Sam Hui and awarded an RTHK top 10 gold award in Hong Kong in 1986. Other versions of this song were recorded by Menudo, sung by their lead singer Ricky Martin, and also featured in the US children's television programme, Kidd Video. Whilst writing songs for Shirley Bassey, Heatwave and The Real Thing, de Paul also branched out into record production, acting in musicals and plays, interviewing and TV presentation, drawing cartoons and also self defence.
De Paul has 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. De Paul has 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, as well as film music for the children's film, Gabrielle and the Doodleman, where she had a starring role as an actress. De Paul has also composed jingles for radio stations including Capital Radio. In 1983, she appeared at the Conservative Party conference, where she sang a song she had composed especially for the occasion - "Vote Tory, Tory, Tory/For election glory". In 1985, she was awarded the Rear of the Year title for which she thanked the organisers from the "heart of her bottom". She was also a judge on the television talent show New Faces and has 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.
She returned to the public spotlight in a different role in 1992 when she released a self defence video for women called Taking Control. 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. In 2006, an updated DVD of her self-defence training programme Taking Control was released and featured on television (The Wright Stuff) and in the media. The programme showed the importance of self-defence for women, and she has approached schools and universities to include the DVD in the curriculum.
Her contribution to the music industry was recognised in 2005 when de Paul received a Gold Badge Award. This was followed by her becoming a director on the board of the Performing Rights Society (PRS) on 30 June 2006 where she has 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.
In 2007, she played Sheila Larsen in the first episode of Kingdom, the Stephen Fry drama series. 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. De Paul, who is a vegetarian, 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.
She wrote the foreword for the book Medium Rare by Billy Roberts, Liam Scott (Apex Publishing, ISBN 978-1-906358-49-5) published in April 2009. The book is about the spiritual medium, Liam Scott. She has also written travel articles for the Daily Mail on Mauritius (February 2008) and Australia's east coast (April 2009).
In 2011, she 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 broadcasted three episodes where de Paul interviewed the songwriters Gilbert O'Sullivan, Mike Batt and Howard Jones. Aled Jones interviewed Lynsey on his Good Morning Sunday programme on BBC Radio Two on 29th April 2012. He asked her about her life, career and religious beliefs as well as what inspires her.. Lynsey attended the 2012 Ivor Novello Awards held at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, on 17 May 2012.. She has been selected for the UK jury for the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest on the BBC. Some of her songs, including previously unreleased material, are avilable as MP3s via her own shop, which is linked to her official website.
Although never married, at various times de Paul has been romantically linked with Ringo Starr, Roy Wood, James Coburn, George Best, Sean Connery, Dodi Fayed, Bill Kenwright, Bernie Taupin, Chas Chandler and Dudley Moore. Known for her sharp sense of humour, de Paul was labelled "Looney de Small" by Spike Milligan. She is a patron of the Spike Milligan Statue Memorial Fund.
|"Getting A Drag"||18||48||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|"Won't Somebody Dance With Me"||14||-||-||21||9||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1974||"Ooh I Do"||25||-||-||16||-||-||-||12||-||-||-|
|1975||"My Man And Me"||40||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-||-|
|1977||"Rock Bottom" (with Mike Moran)||19||4||1||-||7||-||2||-||6||10||-|
Artists who have recorded songs written or co-written by Lynsey de Paul include:
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|Awards and achievements|
Brotherhood of Man
with "Save Your Kisses for Me"
|UK in the Eurovision Song Contest
(with Mike Moran)
with "The Bad Old Days"