Linda Lewis (1950-2023)

The death has been reported of singer-songwriter Linda Lewis. 

On June 16, 1973, the Coventry Evening Telegraph said of Linda Lewis: “A Petite young lady with a possible big future”. This was a reference to her single Rock A Doodle Do which was said then to be “bubbling under the charts”.

Alas, the big future never quite materialised for Linda, but she was already an established artist with three albums under her belt, and although she never achieved A List status, she remained the girl next door nobody had a bad word to say about.

Notwithstanding her musical talents, Linda actually started her working life as a child actress.

Linda Lewis was born Linda Ann Fredericks in West Ham on September 27, 1950. Her first film appearances were The Wreck Of The Mary Deare (1959), A Taste Of Honey (1961) and the first Beatles film A Hard Day’s Night in 1964; she was uncredited in all three.

Her songwriting talents aside, she was best known for her remarkable 5 octave range, something few singers apart from Maria Carey and the late Prince are able to aspire to. Her vocal talents are on full display in It’s In His Kiss (a cover of a 1960s song) and I’d Be Surprisingly Good For You (from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita). 

She performed at the second Glastonbury Festival in 1971; the next few years were busy ones for Linda Lewis solo artist, in 1972 she supported Elton John; later years saw her in demand as a backing singer, something she was no stranger to, having appeared on Bowie’s 1973 Aladdin Sane album. In 1977, the artist formerly known as Cat Stevens wrote (Remember The Days Of The) Old Schoolyard for her.

In 1995, she made a live album in Tokyo – a regular haunt of Western rock musicians; after that she played the odd music festival. Her last appearance as a solo artist appears to have been at London’s Jazz Cafe in October 2008. Her official website was last updated four years ago.

Linda Lewis was married and divorced twice – nothing unusual in these circles. She died at her home on May 3.

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