Elvis Presley songwriter and former Ham&High columnist dies aged 82
- Credit: Ken Howard
A heartfelt tribute has been paid to a prolific Hampstead Garden Suburb songwriter who has died aged 82.
Songwriter and composer Alan Blaikley, died overnight after being taken from his care home to hospital on July 4.
His close friend and songwriting partner Ken Howard told the Ham&High he had been ill for some time.
With Ken, Alan was responsible for a string of hit songs in the '60s and '70s for artists including Elvis Presley and The Bay City Rollers.
"He was my best friend, " said Ken. "We were friends from the age of seven as we were both at University College School (UCS), we started a song writing partnership when we were at college.
"We remained good friends throughout his life and had a lot of success as song writing partners which was another thing that strengthened our relationship.
"It's quite a shock."
- 1 Olivia Newton-John: From West Hampstead to worldwide fame
- 2 Camden's first 'parklet' installed in Belsize Park
- 3 Biggest 'shooting star' meteor shower to peak this week
- 4 Warning to ensure escape route from basement flats in case of flooding
- 5 Polio virus detected in sewage in Camden, Barnet, Haringey and Islington
- 6 Under-fire King William IV supporters rally behind pub with petition
- 7 Hospital trusts increasingly reliant on international medical staff
- 8 Last unit in Belsize Villagee snapped up by wine outlet
- 9 War veteran tackled suspected thief in Hampstead – and then 'got the sack'
- 10 'Will MP get the LGBT+-friendly government he wants?'
The pair were the first British songwriters to write hits for Elvis Presley, with I’ve Lost You and Heart of Rome, which was written in collaboration with Geoff Stephens.
They also wrote number one hits including Have I the Right, performed by the Honeycombs, and The Legend of Xanadu and Last Night in Soho, performed by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich.
Alan and Ken wrote several songs for Peter Frampton and The Herd, including From the Underworld, I Don’t Want Our Loving To Die, and Paradise Lost. They wrote Boy for Lulu and Wait For Me Mary Anne for The Marmalade.
Their first West End musical, Mardi Gras, was followed by Matilda and The Secret Diary Adrian Mole.
Film and TV scores include BBC TVs Miss Marple, The Flame Trees of Thika and By The Sword Divided.
Ken Tynan commissioned them to write a musical sketch for his erotic revue, Carte Blanche.
A collaboration with psychiatrist RD Laing led to the album Life Before Death.
Ken, who lives in Arkwright Road, Hampstead, added: "We used to write a column every week for the Ham&High called New Bearings.
"We used to try and annoy all the local big wigs in Hampstead."
Alan is survived by his brother Paul and sister Marian.