Ian Samwell

British rock guitarist and songwriter

Ian Samwell, the British rock guitarist and songwriter who wrote the 1958 hit “Move It” for Cliff Richard and the Drifters and later was credited with helping popularize the 1970s band America, died of heart failure March 14 at Mercy San Juan Hospital in Sacramento. He was 66and had undergone a heart transplant in 1991.

The British-born musician had been playing with a London skiffle band when he hooked up with Richard’s group in 1958 after seeing it perform in a London coffee bar.

A few months later, Samwell wrote “Move It” as he sat on a bus tryingto play guitar like Chuck Berry, as he recalled later.

The song peaked at No. 2 in the United Kingdom and was followed by a string of other British hits, including “High Class Baby.”

Samwell switched to producing in the 1960s, and in 1971 he produced America’s first album, which included the hit “A Horse With No Name.”

He moved to Sacramento in 1980, but remained active in the music business. Among Samwell’s more recent production credits was the album “Blonde on the Bayou” for the Sacramento-area rock band The Beer Dawgs.

Samwell is survived by two sons, both of London.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Scene News from Variety

Loading