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Roger’s songwriting career

One of Britain’s most prolific songwriting professionals who first sang in a church choir at age 11, Roger Cook first came to prominence during the British Invasion, usually working in tandem with Roger Greenaway. After the pair hit big with The Fortunes’ oldies-radio staple, “You’ve Got Your Troubles”, they continued to crank out hits for years, also writing numerous ad jingles - one of which, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, was a massive pop hit in its own right for both The Hillside Singers and The Seekers. In the late 80’s, Roger moved to Nashville to “do something fresh”, where he became a successful country-pop songwriter as well.

Roger wrote his first song in 1958 and recorded a few sides with a group called The Sapphires; he sang with The Londons, then split off to form a duo called Jon & Julie, and joined The Kestrels, where he met Roger Greenaway. The Fortunes’ recording of “You’ve Got Your Troubles” was a Top Ten smash both in the UK and US. The two Rogers formed the duo David & Jonathan, scoring another transatlantic hit with The Beatles “Michelle”. “This Golden Ring” was a Fortunes’ follow-up and Gary Lewis & The Playboys had an American Top Ten hit with “Green Grass”.

Roger went on to a solo recording career and then joined the group Blue Mink. Rejoining with Roger Greenaway, he wrote another US Top Ten for White Plains: “My Baby Loves Lovin’”, and the Hollies “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress”. Again Roger released two solo albums under his own name, “Meanwhile, Back at the World” and “Minstrel in Flight”.

His move to Nashville proved to be a good career choice, producing Crystal Gayle’s chart-topper “Talking In Your Sleep”, the BMI Song of the Year, and Don Williams’ “I Believe in You”. 1981 brought two more country Top 5’s in Gayle’s “Livin’ In These Troubled Times” and Williams “Miracles”. Don Williams landed another #1 with “Love Is On a Roll”, written by Roger and John Prine. Collaborating with Eddie Kilgallon, Roger wrote George Strait’s #1 smash, “One Night at a Time”, ASCAP’s Song of the Year; the following year, Strait landed another chart-topper with his cover of Roger & John Prine’s “I Just Want To Dance With You”.

Roger has written for the stage and has worked on two musicals, Beautiful and Damned, based on the lives of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda, and Don’t You Rock Me, Daddio, set in 1957. He is the first (and so far, the only) British songwriter to be inducted into the Nashville Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, in 1997. Other awards and honors include the American Songwriters Hall of Fame; in the UK he has twice been named British Songwriter of the Year and the British Songwriters Jimmy Kennedy Lifetime Achievement Award.

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