The cast

Oral histories




He's a good songwriter, Ken Gold, even if his name isn't as well known as it ought to be in Britain. He is actually British, but when he signed his first publishing deal in 1971, it was only in America that he was able to place his work. The problem was that Ken was into soul and frankly there wasn't any room for soul music in the British record industry at that time.

So he got his songs recorded by the likes of Aretha Franklin and Jackie Wilson and Eugene Record over in the States - which gives some indication of just how good he was - and couldn't get a hearing in Britain. That changed when he got to know Tony Hall, the veteran hero of British popular music who was then managing The Real Thing. The song that cracked it for Gold was 'You To Me Are Everything', which made both his and The Real Thing's career when it hit #1 in 1976.

Ken continued to work with the group over the next couple of years, writing 'Can't Get By Without You' and 'Whenever You Want My Love'. He also produced these records, mostly because Tony Hall was sufficiently impressed with what he'd done on the demo of 'You To Me' to give him a chance. The results, as both Gold and the band were aware, was something of a compromise. The Real Thing wanted to make heavier, funkier records than 'You To Me', but this was the 70s, when you had to make concessions to the limited vision of Radio One if you wanted to be heard.

Things had improved somewhat when he co-wrote and produced an album for Billy Ocean in 1980. Obviously this (and indeed his work with Delegation on 'Where Is The Love We Used To Know') lies outside the scope of these pages. It's worth mentioning, however, partly because it's good music - especially 'Stay The Night' - and partly because Billy Ocean is so keen to pay tribute to Ken's contribution: 'He really should get a little bit of respect in the sense that he was one of the innovators amongst English producers, taking black artists and treating them with a certain amount of respect and being serious with the music and sort of making an opening for us.'

Like many others who made their name in the 1970s, Ken found the British record industry becoming increasingly hostile in the 80s and in 1988 he relocated to the States. 'Within about six months,' he says, 'I had cuts with Randy Crawford, Teddy Pendergrass, Smokey Robinson.' Still a good writer, still under-rated.

Eddie Amoo
Ken Andrew
Dave Bartram
Mike Batt
Wayne Bickerton
David Blaylock
Trevor Bolder
Jacko Boogie
Tony Burrows
Sally Carr
Tina Charles
David Courtney
Rob Davis
Richard Dodd
Patrick Doonan
Ray Dorset
Herbie Flowers
Ken Gold
Graham Gouldman
Dave Hill
Harvey Hinsley
John Hughes
Jim Irvin
Jimmy James
Steve Jones
Lorraine Kelly
Paul Layton
Les McKeown
Russell Mael
Johnny Moore
Mike Moran
Chris Norman
Bill Oddie
David Paton
Lyn Paul
Phil Pickett
Suzi Quatro
Chris Rae
Chris Redburn
Norman Rogerson
Ron Roker
John Rossall
Andy Scott
Eddie Seago
Mat Snow
Chris Spedding
John Springate
Ray Stiles
Alwyn W Turner
David Van Day
Phil Wainman
Johnny Wakelin
Jeff Wayne
Alan Williams
Pip Williams