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Brian Bennett

BRIAN BENNETT was born in London in 1940 and by the late 1950s was one of the most sought-after percussionists around.
He was drummer in residence at the legendary `2 i s' in Soho and a regular on Jack Good's ground breaking TV show Oh Boy.
In 1961, he was invited to join Cliff Richard and The Shadows and wrote many of the hit songs from the films, including Summer Holiday (for which he won his first Ivor Novello award), Wonderful Life and Finders Keepers.
In the 1970s, he became Cliff Richard's musical director and formed The Brian Bennett Orchestra touring the world including the first concerts to be staged in Russia.
By the mid 1970s, Brian was in demand as an arranger, conductor and record producer and had already started composing for film and television.

During the 1980s, he was awarded his second Novello award (for 25 years services to music) and was busy writing and recording music for a wide range of programmes including Dallas, Knotts Landing, Pulaski, The Royal Wedding, BBC Golf theme, The Sweeney, Dennis Hopper's film The American Way and Ellen Barkin and David MacCallum's Terminal Choice.
In 1990, he won his third Ivor Novello award for Best Score For A Television Series (The Ruth Rendell Mysteries).

From the 1990s to 2000, he was in demand more than ever, recent commissions including the long-running series The Knock, Nomads of the Wind, Global Sunrise, The Harpist, David Jason In His Element, Living Britain and Dirty Work.

In 2001, Brian was the proud recipient of the Gold Badge Award given by the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters Society. He also won the Royal Television Society Craft & Design Awards 2000/2001 for Best Original Title Music for Murder In Mind

He lives and works in Hertfordshire where he runs his own recording studio and record label.

Sir Tim Rice writes...

Brian Bennett has been a force in British music for over 40 years. He was in the forefront of the early days of rock 'n' roll (or to be strictly accurate, at the back, because he was a drummer), part of both the innovative and influential '2 i s' coffee bar scene in Soho, and of another equally important institution of the late Fifties, Jack Good's immortal television series 'Oh Boy!'. On TV and on tour he played with many of the American musical giants of the time, such as Eddie Cochran, Conway Twitty and Gene Vincent, and also with many of the original British rockers, including one of the first and best, Marty Wilde.

Becoming a permanent member of Marty's band, the Wildcats, Brian first hit the charts as a member of the not unrelated Krew-Kats with 'Trambone' in 1961. This was the year in which he was invited to step into the Shadows, already Britain's leading pop group, and with Brian on the drumstool, the Shadows scaled new heights as performers and songwriters, both with and without Cliff Richard. Brian wrote many of their greatest hits, including (with Bruce Welch) one of the most performed songs of the last century - 'Summer Holiday'. Other BB-written hits at this time included 'I Could Easily Fall' and 'The Rise and Fall Of Flingel Bunt'.

In the later part of the Sixties, Brian was more often to be found directing and conducting an orchestra than on Shadow duty, becoming one of the country's most in-demand arrangers, working as musical director for Cliff Richard, Demis Roussos and many other artists. His orchestra was the first rock aggregation to play in the Soviet Union, way before the more-publicised trips by subsequent rock stars. The Shadows had a magnificent late Seventies renaissance, which made Brian once again a star performer all over the world, but he never abandoned his solo career. All through the Eighties and Nineties he wrote and produced for films and television, winning both accolades and awards (such as the Ivor Novello for his Ruth Rendell scores). His recent work is currently to be heard via 'Murder In Mind' on BBC1, while many of his older compositions, we are delighted to say, show no signs of going away.

(From the British Academy of Composers & Songwriters 27th Gold Badge awards, October 2001)

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