Norrie Paramor

Last updated

Norrie Paramor
Norrie Paramor (1960).jpg
Paramor in 1960
Background information
Birth nameNorman William Paramor
Also known asNorman Sidney, B-side Norrie
Born(1914-05-15)15 May 1914
London, England
Died9 September 1979(1979-09-09) (aged 65)
Barnet, England
GenresLight orchestral
Pop music
Rock music
Swing music
Easy listening
Occupation(s) Record producer
Band leader
Years active19501979
LabelsEMI Music publishing (imprint Capitol Records)
Associated acts Cliff Richard, The Shadows, Frank Ifield, Helen Shapiro, Ruby Murray, Michael Holliday

Norman William Paramor (15 May 1914 [1] 9 September 1979), [2] known professionally as Norrie Paramor, was a British record producer, composer, arranger, pianist, bandleader, and orchestral conductor. He is best known for his work with Cliff Richard and the Shadows, both together and separately, steering their early careers and producing and arranging most of their material from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Paramor was a composer of studio albums, theatrical productions, and film scores.

United Kingdom Country in Europe

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom (UK) or Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, and many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world. The Irish Sea separates Great Britain and Ireland. The United Kingdom's 242,500 square kilometres (93,600 sq mi) were home to an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017.

Record producer Individual who oversees and manages the recording of an artists music

A record producer or music producer oversees and manages the sound recording and production of a band or performer's music, which may range from recording one song to recording a lengthy concept album. A producer has many, varying roles during the recording process. They may gather musical ideas for the project, collaborate with the artists to select cover tunes or original songs by the artist/group, work with artists and help them to improve their songs, lyrics or arrangements.

Composer person who creates music, either by musical notation or oral tradition

A composer is a musician who is an author of music in any form, including vocal music, instrumental music, electronic music, and music which combines multiple forms. A composer may create music in any music genre, including, for example, classical music, musical theatre, blues, folk music, jazz, and popular music. Composers often express their works in a written musical score using musical notation.



Although the term "producer" was not in circulation at the time Paramor started producing records (the usual term being Artiste and Repertoire Manager, or A&R man), he effectively began this role in 1952 when he became Recording Director for EMI's Columbia Records. [3] As well as being producer for Cliff Richard and the Shadows, he produced records for Ruby Murray, Eddie Calvert, Michael Holliday, Helen Shapiro, Frank Ifield, the Mudlarks, the Avons, and Ricky Valance, among others.[ citation needed ] Until George Martin   his opposite number at EMI sister label Parlophone   produced "Candle in the Wind 97" for Sir Elton John, Paramor and Martin jointly held the record for having produced the most UK Number 1 hit singles, despite Paramor having died 18 years earlier.[ citation needed ]

EMI British music recording and publishing company

EMI Group Limited was a British transnational conglomerate founded in March 1931 in London. At the time of its break-up in 2012, it was the fourth largest business group and record label conglomerate in the music industry, and was one of the big four record companies ; its labels included EMI Records, Parlophone, Virgin Records, and Capitol Records, which are now owned by other companies.

Columbia Graphophone Company British record company, subsidiary of the US Columbia Graphophone Company

The Columbia Graphophone Company Limited was one of the earliest gramophone companies in the United Kingdom.

Ruby Florence Murray was a Northern Irish singer and actress. One of the most popular singers in the British Isles in the 1950s, she scored ten hits in the UK Singles Chart between 1954 and 1959. She also made pop chart history in March 1955 by having five singles in the Top Twenty in a single week.

Paramor recorded one of the biggest-selling albums from the Capitol of the World import series, released by another subsidiary of EMI, Capitol Records: In London in Love, featuring the soprano Patricia Clarke, who was used in many subsequent selling albums. This became his trademark orchestral signature sound, and was featured on Autumn, Amor Amor, In London, In Love Again, Warm and Willing, My Fair Lady, and Moods, among others.[ citation needed ]

Capitol Records American record label

Capitol Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group through its Capitol Music Group imprint. It was founded as the first West Coast-based record label "of note" in the United States in 1942 by Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, and Glenn E. Wallichs. Capitol was acquired by British music conglomerate EMI as its North American subsidiary in 1955. EMI was acquired by Universal Music Group in 2012 and was merged with the company a year later, making Capitol and the Capitol Music Group both a part of UMG. The label's circular headquarter building in Hollywood is a recognized landmark of California.

A soprano[soˈpraːno] is a type of classical female singing voice and has the highest vocal range of all voice types. The soprano's vocal range (using scientific pitch notation) is from approximately middle C (C4) = 261 Hz to "high A" (A5) = 880 Hz in choral music, or to "soprano C" (C6, two octaves above middle C) = 1046 Hz or higher in operatic music. In four-part chorale style harmony, the soprano takes the highest part, which often encompasses the melody. The soprano voice type is generally divided into the coloratura, soubrette, lyric, spinto, and dramatic soprano.

Film scores and professional career

Paramor also composed music for films, including Serious Charge (1959), Expresso Bongo (1959), The Young Ones (1961), No My Darling Daughter (1961), The Frightened City (1961), A Pair of Briefs (1962), Two and Two Make Six (1962), The Wild and the Willing (1962), The Fast Lady (1963), Doctor in Distress (1963), Father Came Too! (1963), and My Lover, My Son (1970). [4] He co-wrote the 1962 hit song "Let's Talk About Love" for Helen Shapiro.

<i>Serious Charge</i> 1959 film by Terence Young

Serious Charge is a 1959 British film, directed by Terence Young, produced and co-written by Mickey Delamar. It was adapted from a stage play written by Philip King. The film is notable for the screen acting debut of pop singer Cliff Richard in a minor supporting role.

<i>Expresso Bongo</i>

Expresso Bongo is a 1958 West End musical and a satire of the music industry. It was first produced on the stage at the Saville Theatre, London, on 23 April 1958. Its book was written by Wolf Mankowitz and Julian More, with music by David Heneker and Monty Norman, also the co-lyricist with Julian More. The production starred Paul Scofield with Hy Hazell, Millicent Martin and James Kenney. Musical director was Burt Rhodes and director William Chappell. The subsequent 1959 film version was directed by Val Guest and starred Laurence Harvey, Cliff Richard, and Yolande Donlan.

<i>The Young Ones</i> (1961 film) 1961 film by Sidney J. Furie

The Young Ones is a 1961 British film musical, directed by Sidney J. Furie and featuring Cliff Richard, Robert Morley as his character's father, Carole Gray as his love interest, and The Shadows as his band. The screenplay was written by Peter Myers and Ronald Cass, who also wrote most of the songs. Herbert Ross choreographed the dance scenes.

In 1962, Paramor was the subject of "A Tribute to Norrie Paramor" by David Frost on the satirical British television programme That Was the Week That Was for, the sketch claimed, taking undeserved songwriting credits and royalties, "writing ordinary tunes with ordinary words" and "[making] everything ordinary." [5]

David Frost English journalist, comedian, writer, media personality and daytime TV game show host

Sir David Paradine Frost was an English television host, media personality, journalist, comedian, and writer.

<i>That Was the Week That Was</i> television series

That Was the Week That Was, informally TWTWTW or TW3, is a satirical television comedy programme on BBC Television in 1962 and 1963. It was devised, produced and directed by Ned Sherrin and presented by David Frost. An American version by the same name aired on NBC from 1964 to 1965, also featuring Frost.

In 1968, he was the musical director for the Eurovision Song Contest, staged at the Royal Albert Hall, the first to be broadcast in colour. He also conducted the UK entry, "Congratulations", performed by Cliff Richard. In 1977, Paramor and his orchestra recorded with the Shadows for a final time, on the track "Return to the Alamo".

The Eurovision Song Contest, often simply called Eurovision, is an annual international song competition, with participants representing primarily European countries. Each participating country submits an original song to be performed on live television and radio, then casts votes for the other countries' songs to determine the winner. At least 50 countries are eligible to compete as of 2019; since 2015, Australia has been allowed as a guest entrant.

Royal Albert Hall concert hall on the northern edge of South Kensington, London

The Royal Albert Hall is a concert hall on the northern edge of South Kensington, London. One of the United Kingdom's most treasured and distinctive buildings, it is a registered charity held in trust for the nation, as it receives no public or government funding. It can seat 5,267.

"Congratulations" is a song recorded by British singer Cliff Richard. The song was written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter. It is best known as the British entry at the Eurovision Song Contest 1968, held in London.

Personal life and death

Paramor died on 9 September 1979, [2] a fortnight after Cliff Richard had returned to the top of the UK Singles Chart with "We Don't Talk Anymore", [6] his first number one single in more than ten years. Paramor and Richard had worked together professionally from 1958 to 1972.

Related Research Articles

Helen Shapiro British singer and actor

Helen Kate Shapiro is an English pop singer, jazz singer and actress. She is best known for her two 1961 UK chart toppers, "You Don't Know" and "Walkin' Back to Happiness" both recorded when she was just fourteen years old.

The Shadows English instrumental rock group

The Shadows were an English instrumental rock group. They were Cliff Richard's backing band from 1958 to 1968 and on numerous reunion tours. The Shadows have placed 69 UK charted singles from the 1950s to the 2000s, 35 credited to the Shadows and 34 to Cliff Richard and the Shadows. The group, who were in the forefront of the UK beat-group boom, were the first backing band to emerge as stars. As pioneers of the four-member instrumental format, the band consisted of lead guitar, rhythm guitar, bass guitar and drums. Their range covers pop, rock, surf rock and ballads with a jazz influence.

<i>The Shadows</i> (album) 1961 studio album by The Shadows

The Shadows is a 1961 rock album by British group The Shadows, which reached number one in the UK charts.

"The Next Time" backed with "Bachelor Boy" was the first of three number one hit singles from the Cliff Richard musical, Summer Holiday. Both sides were marketed as songs with chart potential, and the release is viewed retrospectively as a double A-side single. However, technically double A sides were not regarded as such until 1965, so "The Next Time" was pressed as the A-side, with "Bachelor Boy" the B-side. The song was succeeded at number one by The Shadows' "Dance On!".

"Wonderful Land" is an instrumental piece written by Jerry Lordan recorded and released as a single by the Shadows in 1962. It stayed at No. 1 for eight weeks in the UK Singles Chart.

<i>Cliff</i> (album) 1959 live album (live in the studio) by Cliff Richard and The Drifters

Cliff is the debut album in 1959 by British singer Cliff Richard and his band the Drifters. The album is a live-in-the-studio recording of their early rock and roll in front of an invited audience of several hundred fans. It was recorded over two nights during February 1959 in Studio 2 at EMI Recording Studios with Norrie Paramor as producer.

<i>Cliff Sings</i> 1959 studio album by Cliff Richard with The Shadows

Cliff Sings is the second album by British vocalist Cliff Richard, however as his first album, simply titled Cliff was recorded live, it is considered his first conventional studio album. It was released in November 1959 through EMI Columbia Records and recorded at Abbey Road Studios. It reached No. 2 in the UK album chart. No singles were released from the album in the UK.

<i>Me and My Shadows</i> 1960 studio album by Cliff Richard and The Shadows

Me and My Shadows is the second studio album by singer Cliff Richard and third album overall. Recorded with The Shadows and produced by Norrie Paramor, it was released through Columbia Records in October 1960 and reached No. 2 in the UK album chart. The album was recorded at Abbey Road Studios.

<i>The Young Ones</i> (album) 1961 soundtrack album by Cliff Richard and the Shadows

The Young Ones is a soundtrack album by Cliff Richard and the Shadows to the film of the same name. It is their first soundtrack album and Richard's sixth album overall. It was produced by Norrie Paramor, with music by Ronald Cass and Stanley Black. The album topped the UK Albums Chart for six weeks and charted for 42 weeks in total when the chart was a top twenty. The album became the first UK soundtrack to sell more than one million copies in total, combining UK and international sales.

<i>Out of the Shadows</i> (Shadows album) 1962 studio album by The Shadows

Out of the Shadows is a 1962 rock album by British group The Shadows. It was their second album.

<i>Listen to Cliff!</i> 1961 studio album by Cliff Richard

Listen to Cliff! is the third studio album by singer Cliff Richard and fourth album overall. It was released through EMI Columbia Records in April 1961 and features rock and pop standards, it reached No. 2 in the UK album chart, charting for 26 consecutive weeks and re-entering twice.

"When the Girl in Your Arms Is the Girl in Your Heart" is a 1961 hit by Cliff Richard written by the songwriting team of Sid Tepper and Roy Bennett who would contribute fifteen songs to the Cliff Richard canon including his career record "The Young Ones". Produced by Richard's regular producer Norrie Paramor, "When the Girl in Your Arms..." featured backing by the Norrie Paramor Orchestra with vocal support from the Mike Sammes Singers. Richard's own group the Shadows backed him on the B-side "Got a Funny Feeling".

<i>32 Minutes and 17 Seconds with Cliff Richard</i> 1962 studio album by Cliff Richard with The Shadows and Norrie Paramor and his Orchestra

32 Minutes and 17 Seconds with Cliff Richard is the fifth studio album by Cliff Richard and was released in September 1962. The album reached #3 on the UK Albums Chart. The album contains 14 songs, of blues and pop rock, six with the Shadows and eight with the Norrie Paramor Orchestra.

<i>Spotlight on The Shadows</i> 1962 EP by The Shadows

Spotlight on The Shadows is an EP by The Shadows, released in February 1962. The EP is a 7-inch vinyl record and released in mono with the catalogue number Columbia SEG 8135. Spotlight on The Shadows was the UK number-one EP for 8 weeks, having two separate stints at the top of the chart from March to May 1962.

<i>The Sound of The Shadows</i> 1965 studio album by The Shadows

The Sound of The Shadows is the fourth rock album by British instrumental group The Shadows, released in July 1965 through EMI Records. The album was re-released by Capitol Records of Canada in stereo on 4 October 1965.

<i>Cliffs Hit Album</i> 1963 compilation album by Cliff Richard

Cliff's Hit Album is Cliff Richard's first compilation album and ninth album overall. It was released in July 1963 and reached number 2 on the UK Albums Chart. The album contains 14 songs from his singles released between August 1958 and May 1962. It includes all Richard's singles in this period that made the top 3 of the UK Singles Chart.

<i>Cliff Richard</i> (1965 album) 1965 studio album by Cliff Richard

Cliff Richard is a studio album by Cliff Richard, released by Columbia Records on LP in 1965 and available in both mono and stereo.. It is Richard's seventh studio album and thirteenth album overall. The album peaked at number 9 in the UK Albums Chart.

<i>The Shadows No. 2</i> 1961 EP by The Shadows

The Shadows No. 2 is an extended play 45 rpm record released in 1961 by The Shadows. It was released on Columbia Records/EMI Records as SEG 8148 in mono and reached #12 in the UK EP charts in January, 1962.

<i>The Shadows No. 3</i> 1961 EP by The Shadows

The Shadows No. 3 was an extended play 45 rpm record released in 1961 by The Shadows. It was released on Columbia Records/EMI Records as SEG 8166 in mono and reached #13 in the UK EP charts in August 1962. The cover picture is the same as The Shadows album cover.

<i>The Hit List</i> (Cliff Richard album) 1994 compilation album by Cliff Richard

The Hit List, released with the subtitle The Best of 35 Years, is a compilation album by English singer Cliff Richard. Released in October 1994, the album reached number 3 in the UK Albums Chart and was certified platinum in the UK. The album celebrates Richard's 35th anniversary in the music industry and compiled all of Richard's top 5 UK hit singles, which coincidentally totalled 35 at the time. Two bonus tracks were also chosen by Richard for the album – "Miss You Nights", at the request of fans for a re-release, and "Green Light" a favourite of Richard's.


  1. "Robert Farnon Society". Archived from the original on 20 June 2011. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  2. 1 2 Doc Rock. "The 1970s". The Dead Rock Stars Club. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  3. Colin Larkin, ed. (1997). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Popular Music (Concise ed.). Virgin Books. p. 930. ISBN   1-85227-745-9.
  4. "Norrie Paramor : Composer". Retrieved 21 December 2012.
  5. "That Was the Week That Was, 15 Dec. 1962, from 13:30". YouTube . Retrieved 11 September 2016.
  6. Rice, Jo (1982). The Guinness Book of 500 Number One Hits (1st ed.). Enfield, Middlesex: Guinness Superlatives Ltd. p. 198. ISBN   0-85112-250-7.
Preceded by
Flag of Austria.svg Johannes Fehring
Eurovision Song Contest conductor
Succeeded by
Flag of Spain.svg Augusto Algueró