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Lee Sheriden

Lee Sheriden
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Background information
Birth name Roger Pritchard
Born (1949-04-11) 11 April 1949 (age 65)
Bristol, England, UK
Genres Pop music
Occupations Singer-songwriter, music director
Instruments Vocals, guitar
Years active 1973–present
Labels Pye Records

Lee Sheriden (born Roger Pritchard, 11 April 1949, Horfield, Bristol) is a British singer/songwriter and musical director, best known as a member of pop group Brotherhood of Man.[1]

Early career

As a child, Roger Pritchard learned the piano and later took up the guitar when he joined his first group at the age of 14. This group appeared on a television talent show but he soon found his way into other groups. After he left school he became a resident musician at the Top Rank club in Bristol (now renamed The Works) for four years.[2] In the early 1970s he embarked on a career as a songwriter. This brought him to the attention of Tony Hiller, who was looking for songwriters for his publishing company. Sheriden signed up with Tony Hiller Music and soon after Hiller, aware that Sheriden could also sing, asked him to be a part of the new Brotherhood of Man line-up.[3]

Sheriden agreed and along with Martin Lee and Nicky Stevens, appeared on various television and radio shows. While Sheriden released a solo single in January 1973 called "Sweetest Tasting Candy Sugar", Hiller began composing songs with Sheriden and Lee with the view to putting together an album.[4]

In 1973 the group released two singles "Happy Ever After" and "Our World of Love", but neither charted. In late 1973 they were joined by singer Sandra Stevens and the now four-piece group secured a record deal with the Pye spin-off Dawn Records. Sheriden along with Hiller wrote the first single "When Love Catches Up on You", but it was the second release "Lady" which gained them attention by becoming a hit in Europe.[5]

Success in Europe

With an album completed and released before the end of 1974, the group scored their next big hit with "Kiss Me Kiss Your Baby". According to Sheriden, during writing sessions for their second album, he came up with a song called "Save Your Kisses for Me", which the others rejected initially. He then presented it to them again as Hiller was looking for a song to enter in the following year's Song for Europe. This time they went with it and after some rewriting the song won the contest in 1976.[6] It went on to win the Eurovision Song Contest and became a No. 1 in many countries, selling over a million copies in the UK alone.[7][8]

The writing team of Sheriden, Hiller and Lee continued for the next few years, writing hit singles and albums for the group. Sheriden himself also acted as Musical Director on the recordings, as he later recalled; "It was my job as musical director to go home and sit down and write the score. there were no computers and no synthesizers in those days, you had to do it the old-fashioned way and write out all the music for the orchestra." Sheriden would then spend the day in the studio working with the musicians before the singers would come in later in the evening. "They'd been in bed all day while I'd been working, but the idea is the voices would be warmer, you can sing better at night".[9] Two more UK #1s followed in the form of "Angelo" (1977) and "Figaro" (1978).[10][11]

As a songwriter, Sheriden received three Ivor Novello Awards.[7] In 1981, after his career wound down, he left the band and studied for a Degree in Music. He was replaced by Barry Upton in 1982, but it was just two years before the band split completely.[12]

In 1986, Sheriden agreed to reunite with Martin Lee, Sandra Stevens and Nicky Stevens and the group were again touring. The line-up still continues to this day and the group appear regularly on television around Europe as well as performing in concert.[13] On 23 March 2007 Sheriden took part in a charity concert as a solo act. After the show he stated that it was the only time he'd performed solo on stage.[14]

Personal life

Sheriden is married with two daughters.[15]

At the time of his Eurovision wins he was still living in Ashley Down in Bristol but moved to Hertfordshire the following year.[16] He currently lives with his wife in Buckinghamshire.[17]

References

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Netherlands Teach-In
with "Ding-A-Dong"
Winner of the Eurovision Song Contest
1976
(as part of Brotherhood of Man)
Succeeded by
France Marie Myriam
with "L'oiseau et l'enfant"
Preceded by
The Shadows
with "Let Me Be the One"
UK in the Eurovision Song Contest
1976
(as part of Brotherhood of Man)
Succeeded by
Lynsey de Paul and Mike Moran
with "Rock Bottom"

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