The Info List - Les Vandyke

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LES VANDYKE (born JOHN WORSLEY; 21 June 1931, Battersea
, South London , England) was a popular music singer and later songwriter from the 1950s to the 1970s. He was also known as JOHNNY WORTH and JOHN WORTH.


* 1 Early life * 2 Career * 3 Songwriting credits * 4 References * 5 External links


When John was born, his father, a Greek Cypriot, was determined to christen his son as YANNIS PARASKOS SKORDALIDES as a Greek Orthodox
Greek Orthodox
, but his Welsh mother insisted that he be named John Worsley
and christened in the Church of England
Church of England
. The name "Worsley" was chosen by his father during The Wall Street Crash because he feared that he would not be able to get work with a Greek name. He changed it by deed poll . He chose the name "Worsley" by placing a pin at random on a map of England, which landed on Worsley
in Greater Manchester. However, in their book, Big Time: The Life Of Adam Faith
Adam Faith
(2015), the authors David and Caroline Stafford assert that Worth was named Yani Panakos Paraskeva Skoradalides.

AllMusic journalist Bruce Eder states, "Vandyke is one of those rare talents in English pop music whose songwriting success crossed several genres and eras, from the end of the 1950s right into the 1970s".


In his youth he was simply known as John Worsley. After schooling, he began work as a draughtsman prior to his compulsory two years national service which he claims were the happiest two years of his life. Returning to civilian life, he determined to become a singer, changing his name for the purpose to Johnny Worth.

He worked in pubs as a semi-professional until he managed to secure a television appearance. Watching was the wife of well-known leader of the Oscar Rabin Band , and Worth was signed to the band, with whom he remained for five years, making a number of recordings for Oriole Records and Columbia Records
Columbia Records
. He also recorded for the Embassy Records label , which produced cheap covers of popular hits , usually sold through Woolworth\'s stores. He then joined the Raindrops vocal quartet (together with Len Beadle, Len's wife Jackie Lee and Vince Hill ), which appeared on the television programme Drumbeat and subsequent LP . It was on this show that he met Oscar -winning composer John Barry , with whom he was soon to work, and the singer Adam Faith
Adam Faith

Worth had aspirations to be a songwriter, and though initial attempts had failed, he asked pianist Les Reed to arrange a demo of his song " What Do You Want? ". Faith and Barry liked it, and with Barry's arrangements , Faith took the song to number one in the UK Singles Chart
in November 1959, within which it remained for nineteen