The Info List - Dick James

Dick James
Dick James
(12 December 1920 – 1 February 1986), born Leon Isaac Vapnick in the East End of London, was a British music publisher and singer and, together with his son Stephen, founded the DJM record label and recording studios, as well as (with Brian Epstein) the Beatles' publisher Northern Songs.


1 Early life 2 Switch to publishing 3 Later days 4 Death 5 UK chart hits 6 Notes 7 References 8 External links

Early life[edit] James sang with North London dance bands in his early teens, and was a regular vocalist at the Cricklewood Palais by the age of seventeen. He joined the Henry Hall band, and made first radio broadcast in 1940, but joined the Army in 1942. After World War II
World War II
he continued to sing with leading bands, including Geraldo's. Later still, James was also a part-time member of The Stargazers, a popular early 1950s vocal group.[1] In the 1950s he often appeared in the top ten Melody Maker vocal charts alongside the likes of Dickie Valentine and Frank Holder. He was the singer of the theme songs of The Adventures of Robin Hood and The Buccaneers, from British television in the 1950s, and was a friend and associate of the record producer George Martin.[2] Switch to publishing[edit] James entered the music publishing business as his singing career tapered off. In 1958 he joined Sidney Bron Music as a song-plugger but decided to leave and open Dick James Music
Dick James Music
in 1961. In early 1963, he was contacted by Brian Epstein
Brian Epstein
who was looking for a publisher for the second Beatles single, "Please Please Me". James called Philip Jones, producer of the TV show Thank Your Lucky Stars, played the record down the phone to him and secured the band's first nationwide television appearance.[3] The pair subsequently established Northern Songs Ltd., with Beatles John Lennon
John Lennon
and Paul McCartney, to publish Lennon and McCartney's original songs.[4] (Fellow Beatles George Harrison
George Harrison
and Ringo Starr
Ringo Starr
were also signed to Northern Songs as songwriters, but did not renew their contracts in 1968). James's company, Dick James
Dick James
Music, administered Northern Songs.[5] What initially began as an amicable working relationship between the Beatles and James disintegrated by the late 1960s: the Beatles considered that James had betrayed and taken advantage of them when he sold Northern Songs in 1969 without offering the band an opportunity to buy control of the publishing company. James profited handsomely from the sale of Northern Songs, but the Beatles never again had the rights to their own songs.[6] During the 1960s, James also handled Billy J. Kramer
Billy J. Kramer
and Gerry and the Pacemakers. James lived in Anson Road, Cricklewood, north-west London, in the 1960s. He was involved, along with Brian Epstein, in offering Bobby Willis a singing contract which he turned down on his future wife, Cilla Black's, insistence. Willis was a backing singer on Cilla Black's "You're My World." Later days[edit] James signed Reg Dwight and his lyricist Bernie Taupin
Bernie Taupin
as untried unknowns in 1967 after his son Stephen, who had been working with his father since 1963, found Dwight using their recording studios late at night without permission. Stephen, who had started the recording studios and opened a record production company called This Productions, formed DJM Records in 1969. Stephen instigated Dwight's adoption of a new stage name - Elton John
Elton John
- and oversaw his first recording contract. All of John's releases up to 1976 were issued on the DJM record label. The label also carried Jasper Carrott, RAH Band and John Inman. John formed his own Rocket label in 1976, but in 1982, he was involved in a court case with James about royalties.[7] In June 1985, the British music magazine NME
reported that John was suing James over the rights to his earlier material.[8] Death[edit] James died in London of a heart attack in early 1986, at the age of 65. Dick James Music
Dick James Music
was acquired by PolyGram
which was, in turn, bought by Universal Music Group. UK chart hits[edit]

"Robin Hood"/"The Ballad of Davy Crockett" (1956) - number 14 "Garden of Eden" (1957) - number 18[9]


^ [1] Archived 18 April 2005 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME
Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 23. CN 5585.  ^ Coleman, Ray (1990). Brian Epstein
Brian Epstein
- The Man Who Made The Beatles. London: Penguin. p. 118.  ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME
Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 117. CN 5585.  ^ Spitz 2005. p365 ^ Harry 2000. p573 ^ [2] Archived 20 March 2006 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Tobler, John (1992). NME
Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 405. CN 5585.  ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 278. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 


Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles
The Beatles
Encyclopedia: Revised and Updated. Virgin Publishing London. ISBN 0-7535-0481-2.  Oxford Dictionary of National Biography Spitz, Bob (2005). The Beatles: The Biography. Little, Brown and Company (New York). ISBN 1-84513-160-6. 

External links[edit]

Dick James
Dick James
on IMDb 'Robin Hood' song connections webpage Detailed website concerning Beatles song rights, including Dick James references James mini-biography at the Musicweb site beatlesbible.com bio

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Elton John

Discography Albums Singles Videography Awards

Studio albums

Empty Sky Elton John Tumbleweed Connection Madman Across the Water Honky Château Don't Shoot Me I'm Only the Piano Player Goodbye Yellow Brick Road Caribou Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy Rock of the Westies Blue Moves A Single Man Victim of Love 21 at 33 The Fox Jump Up! Too Low for Zero Breaking Hearts Ice on Fire Leather Jackets Reg Strikes Back Sleeping with the Past The One Duets Made in England The Big Picture Songs from the West Coast Peachtree Road The Captain & the Kid The Union The Diving Board Wonderful Crazy Night

Live albums

17-11-70 Here and There Live in Australia with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra Elton John
Elton John
One Night Only – The Greatest Hits Elton 60 – Live at Madison Square Garden

Soundtrack albums

Friends The Lion King The Muse Elton John
Elton John
and Tim Rice's Aida The Road to El Dorado Gnomeo & Juliet

Compilation albums

Greatest Hits Greatest Hits Volume II The Thom Bell Sessions Lady Samantha Greatest Hits Vol. 3 The Complete Thom Bell Sessions To Be Continued The Very Best of Elton John Rare Masters Greatest Hits 1976–1986 The Superior Sound of Elton John Chartbusters Go Pop Classic Elton John Love Songs Prologue Greatest Hits 1970–2002 Elton John's Christmas Party Rocket Man: The Definitive Hits Diamonds

Other albums

Two Rooms: Celebrating the Songs of Elton John
Elton John
& Bernie Taupin Good Morning to the Night Revamp & Restoration

Video albums

The Afternoon Concert The Night Time Concert Night and Day Concert Live in Australia The Very Best of Elton John Live in Barcelona Love Songs Elton John
Elton John
One Night Only – The Greatest Hits Dream Ticket Elton 60 – Live at Madison Square Garden The Red Piano

Concert tours

1970 World Tour West of the Rockies Tour Louder Than Concorde Tour 1980 World Tour Jump Up Tour Too Low for Zero Tour European Express Tour Breaking Hearts Tour Ice on Fire
Ice on Fire
Tour Tour De Force Reg Strikes Back
Reg Strikes Back
Tour Sleeping with the Past Tour The One Tour Face to Face 1994 Face to Face 1995 Made in England Tour Big Picture Tour Face to Face 1998 An Evening with Elton John Medusa Tour Stately Home Tour Face to Face 2001 Songs from the West Coast Tour Face to Face 2002 A Journey Through Time 2003 Tour Face to Face 2003 2004 Tour Peachtree Road Tour 2006 European Tour The Captain and the Kid Tour Rocket Man: Greatest Hits Live Face to Face 2009 Face to Face 2010 2010 European Tour Greatest Hits Tour 40th Anniversary of the Rocket Man The Diving Board
The Diving Board
Tour Follow the Yellow Brick Road Tour All the Hits Tour The Final Curtain Tour Wonderful Crazy Night
Wonderful Crazy Night
Tour Farewell Yellow Brick Road

Concert residencies

The Red Piano The Million Dollar Piano

Miscellaneous performances

List of Elton John
Elton John
and Ray Cooper concert tours The Union Tour


The Lion King

animated live-action musical

Billy Elliot the Musical Aida Lestat The Devil Wears Prada

Related articles

Bernie Taupin Gus Dudgeon Paul Buckmaster John Reid Dick James David Furnish Kiki Dee Elton John
Elton John
AIDS Foundation Watford F.C. Bluesology Hookfoot Woodside, Old Windsor The Union Elton John: Me, Myself & I Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras Elton John: The Classic Years

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People associated with the Beatles


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Rory Storm
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WorldCat Identities VIAF: 86556749 MusicBrainz: 9d140933-ea58-4531-8862-