Keith West

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Keith West
Birth nameKeith Alan Hopkins
Born (1943-12-06) 6 December 1943 (age 77)
Dagenham, Essex, England
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter
Years activeMid-1960s–present
Labels Parlophone, Kuckuck (FRG)
Associated acts Tomorrow, The In Crowd, Four Plus One, Heartland, Moonrider

Keith Hopkins [1] (born 6 December 1943, Dagenham, Essex, England), [2] known by his stage name Keith West, is a British rock singer, songwriter and music producer. He is a solo artist and also the lead singer of various groups including Tomorrow, a 1960s psychedelic rock band. [3] West wrote most of his own songs (credited to Keith Hopkins), often in collaboration with Ken Burgess. Despite critical acclaim and support from BBC Radio 1 DJ John Peel, who featured Tomorrow on his The Perfumed Garden show, the group was not a major commercial success.

In 1964, West became lead singer of The In Crowd, a band from London, who later changed their name to Tomorrow. The following year The In Crowd recorded three singles for Parlophone. [4] Another member of these groups was guitarist Steve Howe, later of the band Yes.

In 1967, West became acquainted with Mark Wirtz, a record producer who had already created the instrumental title "A Touch of Velvet, a Sting of Brass" (1965). The melody later became the theme music for the German television programmes Beat-Club and Musikladen . West was also a participant in Wirtz's A Teenage Opera project: he was the singer of "Excerpt from A Teenage Opera", also known as "Grocer Jack", which reached number 2 on the UK Singles Chart in 1967. [5] He also performed "Sam", which reached the bottom end of the UK Top 40 the same year. [5]

In August 1967, Tomorrow released a single of a Hopkins/Howe song titled "Revolution". West released the solo single "On a Saturday" on Parlophone in 1968. Other musicians who appeared on that single were guitarist Howe, bassist Ronnie Wood, and drummer Aynsley Dunbar. It has since been included on the remastered CD version of the Tomorrow album (1999).

In 1971, West released a solo album, Wherever My Love Goes, on the German progressive rock record label Kuckuck. It featured his songwriting partner Ken Burgess and steel guitarist Glenn Ross Campbell (ex-The Misunderstood). Two tracks of it were produced by Andrew Loog Oldham.

By the mid-1970s West was the lead singer of a group called Moonrider, which also featured John Weider, Chico Greenwood (later to perform with Murray Head) and Bruce Thomas.

Today West continues to produce and record music, which is used primarily within the advertising industry. He is also associated with Burns Guitars. [6]

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References

  1. "Musical Calendar for December 6". Big Bands Database Plus. Archived from the original on 27 October 2005. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  2. "Keith West". Chartwatch Publications. 8 February 2003. Archived from the original on 14 November 2003. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  3. Unterberger, Richie. "Keith West | Biography & History | AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  4. "The In Crowd [UK] Discography". 45cat. Retrieved 10 October 2016.
  5. 1 2 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 596. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  6. "Burns/Hayman prototype hybrid guitar". guitarz.blogspot.co.uk.