'Delilah' and 'It's Not Unusual' songwriter Les Reed has died, aged 83

16 April 2019, 17:30 | Updated: 9 January 2024, 12:22

Conductor Les Reed
Conductor Les Reed. Picture: Getty

Les Reed also wrote 'It's Not Unusual' and Engelbert Humperdinck's 'The Last Waltz' among many other hits.

Les Reed has passed away at the age of 83, his family has confirmed.

He served as a pianist in The John Barry Seven, and conducted his own orchestra for more than 10 years.

"We are all so immensely proud of everything Les achieved in his incredible lifetime," his family said.

"We know that his name will be remembered for what he did for music and that he will always live through his songs and compositions for the rest of time."

Sir Tom Jones paid tribute, saying: "So sorry to hear the news of the passing of my friend and colleague Les Reed."

Tom Jones - Delilah 1968 (1973) (HQ Audio)

"Les was a gifted songwriter and arranger who was instrumental in penning many a hit, including two important songs for me... Les was a lovely man, a legend in the world of songwriting whose legacy will live through his music."

Reed was also well-known to Leeds United fans, as the co-writer of 'Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!'. The song became better known as 'Marching on Together', and has been sung by fans ever since.

"A master of British songwriting has left us. Here's to the great Les Reed, a beautiful, gentle man who gave us giants like There's a Kind of Hush, Delilah and the Last Waltz," Spandau Ballet's Gary Kemp tweeted.

Lyricist Sir Tim Rice added: "He was composer of countless hits that will live on for years, decades, to come."

Other songs Les Reed wrote include:

The Fortunes - 'Here It Comes Again'
Herman's Hermits - 'There's A Kind of Hush'
Des O'Connor - 'I Pretend'
Connie Francis - 'Kiss Me Goodbye'
Elvis Presley - 'Sylvia'

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