A prolific songwriter, Geoff Stephens wrote a slew of hits for one-off groups in the early days of British rock. In 1964, singer Dave Berry recorded Geoff’s song “The Crying Game” to great success. Later the same year, Geoff co-produced the debut album for British psychedelic folksinger Donovan.
In 1966, Geoff assembled a group of studio musicians to form the New Vaudeville Band. They had an international hit with the throwback novelty tune “Winchester Cathedral.” The song won a Grammy at the following year’s awards ceremony and was covered by a range of performers including Frank Sinatra and Dizzy Gillespie. The song “There’s a Kind of Hush,” also appeared on the New Vaudeville Band’s debut album. It was later recorded by Herman’s Hermits and even later by The Carpenters.
In the late 60s and early 70s, Geoff was writing hits for recording artists like Cliff Richard, Tom Jones, Mary Hopkin, Scott Walker, The New Seekers, Hot Chocolate and many others. The 1970 United Kingdom entry in the Eurovision Song Contest was penned by Geoff. In the 80s, he was writing songs for musicals with a variety of collaborators. In 2005, he was involved with the production of a musical based on the lives of the notorious Bonnie & Clyde.
Geoff passed away on Christmas Eve 2020, another casualty of the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic. He was 86.