Johnny Keating

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John "Johnny" Keating (10 September 1927 – 28 May 2015) [1] was a Scottish musician, songwriter and arranger.



Keating was born in Edinburgh, Scotland. [1] After studying piano and trombone, he taught himself how to arrange and compose in his teens. From 1952, he worked with British big band leader Ted Heath as a trombonist, but within two years Heath asked him to become his primary arranger. In the early 1960s, he and songwriter Johnny Worth (writing as Les Vandyke) masterminded the career of a minor British pop star, Eden Kane. The team wrote and produced a string of British top 10 hits for Kane in 1961-63. In addition he wrote, produced or arranged hits by Adam Faith, Petula Clark, Anthony Newley, Caterina Valente, and Sammy Davis Jr. among others.

Keating arranged and conducted a series of albums for London Records' Phase 4 series, notable for its use of synthesiser technology such as the Moog synthesizer and the EMS VCS 3. The records were often used as demonstration discs in the 1970s in Hi-Fi stores because of their quality. Much of his work was rereleased following the Lounge music revival of the mid 1990s and its use as breakbeats.

His "Theme from Z-Cars", a #8 hit in the 1962 UK Singles Chart, [2] was adopted by Everton as their theme song. Additionally he composed the scores for the films Hotel (1967), Robbery (1967), and Innocent Bystanders (1972). His song "Bunny Hop" was also featured in the Tim Burton film, Ed Wood (1994).

As founder and principal of the Johnny Keating School of Music, Edinburgh, he was directly responsible for the musical education of many students who later became successful professionals.

In 1999, he completed a four–volume academic reference book dedicated to the art of professional songwriting: Principles of Songwriting: A Study in Structure and Technique.

Keating died in London, England, on 28 May 2015 at the age of 87. [1] [3]

Album discography

Songwriting credits

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  1. 1 2 3 Leigh, Spencer (9 June 2015). "Johnny Keating: Musician who worked with Tony Bennett and Bing Crosby but was best known for the 'Theme from Z-Cars'". Obituary. The Independent . Retrieved 5 February 2016.
  2. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 297. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  3. "Edinburgh-born composer of Z-Cars theme dies - Edinburgh Evening News". 30 May 2015. Archived from the original on 30 May 2015. Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  4. "John Keating cond[ucts] the London Symphony Orchestra [sound recording]. - Version details - Trove". Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  5. "Prime Cuts - Title: John Keating Conducts the Electronic Philharmonic Orchestra". Retrieved 30 May 2015.
  6. "Johnny Keating | Songs". AllMusic . Retrieved 30 May 2015.