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Sid Tepper Dies at 96; Wrote Songs for Sinatra, Elvis, the Beatles

Sid Tepper, who wrote over 300 songs that were recorded by artists including Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley (45 songs), died April 24 of natural causes at his home in Miami Beach, Florida. He was 96.

Tepper also wrote songs for Carl Perkins, Jeff Beck, Herman’s Hermits, the Dave Clark Five, the Beatles, Perry Como, Andy Williams, Ray Charles, Louie Armstrong, Cliff Richard, Eddie Arnold, Marty Robbins, Slim Whitman, Bert Kaempfert, Wayne Newton, Robert Goulet, Dean Martin, Dinah Shore, Nancy Wilson, Connie Francis, Sarah Vaughn, Guy Lombardo, Eartha Kitt, the Ink Spots, Louis Prima, Arthur Godfrey, Tommy Dorsey and Lawrence Welk.

Among the songwriter’s hits were “Red Roses for a Blue Lady,” “The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane,” “Kiss of Fire,” “Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart,” “Kewpie Doll,” “G.I. Blues,” “Suzy Snowflake,” “Travelin’ Light,” “Puppet on a String,” “Stairway of Love,” “Nuttin’ for Christmas,” “The Woodchuck Song,” “Glad All Over,” Don’t Come Running Back to Me,” “New Orleans” and the Elvis-Ann-Margret duet “The Lady Loves Me.”

Tepper and his writing partner adjusted well to the advent of rock ‘n’ roll: In 1961, their song “The Young Ones” was instrumental in boosting the U.K. career of Cliff Richard, for whom they wrote 21 compositions. They went on to write 45 songs for Elvis Presley for his movies, including “It’s a Wonderful World” from the movie “Roustabout.”

In 2002, he was honored in Memphis for his part in Presley’s stellar career. He won a BMI Award for 1 million plays of “Kiss of Fire”and a Country Music Award for Eddie Arnold’s rendition of “Red Roses for a Blue Lady.”

Tepper had been a member of ASCAP since 1947. He served in WWII in the Special Services singing and entertaining troops.

Tepper’s wife Lillian died a decade ago. Survivors include his five children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

 

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