Roger Cook (songwriter)


Roger Cook (songwriter)

Roger Frederick Cook (born 19 August 1940, in Fishponds, Bristol, England) is a well-known songwriter who has written many hits for other recording artists. He has also had a successful recording career in his own right.

Career

Early days

Most of the hits he has written have been in collaboration with Roger Greenaway, whom he originally met while they were members of a close harmony group, The Kestrels. They had a brief but successful recording career between 1965 and 1967 as David and Jonathan, scoring hits with a cover version of The Beatles' "Michelle", and their own "Lovers Of The World Unite". They also penned their first hit as songwriters for others in 1965, with "You've Got Your Troubles", a number 2 UK success, and U.S. #7 for The Fortunes.

As a performer Cook is best remembered as a member of Blue Mink, sharing lead vocals with Madeline Bell. That group was formed in 1969, primarily as a recording outfit, featuring a wealth of top session musicians including Herbie Flowers (bassist), Alan Parker (guitarist), and Roger Coulam (keyboardist), who were simultaneously members of the jazz / rock / big band fusion outfit CCS, another mainly recording act.

Over the next four years Blue Mink had several Top 20 entries, mostly co-written by Cook, the most successful being "Melting Pot" and "Banner Man", before they disbanded in 1974.

Cook also sang backing vocals on some of the earliest recordings by Elton John, and continued to record albums as a solo artist, including "Study" (1970), credited to Roger James Cooke, "Meanwhile..." (1972), "Minstrel in Flight" (1973), and "Alright" (1976).

The major hits

Amongst hits he has written with others, including Greenaway and writers such as Albert Hammond, Mike Hazlewood, and Tony Macaulay, are "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" (The New Seekers), "Good Times, Better Times" (Cliff Richard), "Softly Whispering I Love You" (The Congregation), "Something's Gotten Hold Of My Heart" (Gene Pitney), "Home Lovin' Man" (Andy Williams), "Blame It On The Pony Express" (Johnny Johnson and the Bandwagon), "Something Old, Something New" (The Fantastics), "Something Tells Me Something's Gonna Happen Tonight" (Cilla Black), "I've Got You On My Mind", "When You Are a King", and "My Baby Loves Lovin'" (White Plains), "Gasoline Alley Bred" and "Long Cool Woman In a Black Dress" (The Hollies); "Freedom Come, Freedom Go" (The Fortunes), "Doctor's Orders" (Sunny), "I Was Kaiser Bill's Batman" (Whistling Jack Smith), and "Like Sister Like Brother" (The Drifters).

Move to U.S.

In 1975 he moved to the U.S. and settled in Nashville, Tennessee, where he became a successful country music songwriter, with more hits including "Talking In Your Sleep" (Crystal Gayle), and "Love Is on a Roll" (Don Williams). In 1977 he produced "The Nashville Album", a country record by Chip Hawkes, who had recently left The Tremeloes (but would rejoin the group a few years thereafter). He also opened a publishing company with accomplished songwriter Ralph murphy named Pic-A-Lic.

In 1992 he joined former Stranglers member Hugh Cornwell and guitarist Andy West to release an album, "CCW", under the name Cook, Cornwell and West. Later he turned to writing for the stage, and has worked on two musicals, "Beautiful and Damned", based on the lives of Jazz Age author F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, in collaboration with Les Reed; and "Don't You Rock Me Daddio", set in 1957 at the height of the skiffle age, with Joe Brown.

In 1997 Cook became the first (and so far only) British songwriter ever to enter the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.

Cook's daughter, Katie, is a host/presenter for cable network CMT.

External links

* [http://www.rogercook.com/default.asp Who is Roger Cook?] Official website
*


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