Barry Mason

John Barry Mason[1] (born 12 July 1935),[2] known professionally as Barry Mason, is an English songwriter; he grew up in the village of Coppull, near Chorley in Lancashire. A leading songwriter of the 1960s, he wrote the bulk of his most successful songs in partnership with Les Reed. Mason gained many gold and platinum awards for his work including five Ivor Novello Awards, the most recent of them in 1998.

Barry Mason
Birth nameJohn Barry Mason
Born (1935-07-12) 12 July 1935
Wigan, Lancashire, England
GenresPopular music
Years active1960s–present
Associated actsLes Reed

Life and career

His songwriting credits included "Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)", "The Last Waltz", "Here It Comes Again", "I Pretend", "There Goes My First Love", "A Man Without Love", "Winter World of Love" "Now That You are Gone", "Rowbottom Square" and "Delilah".

His songs have been recorded by Tom Jones, Dalida, P. J. Proby, David Essex, The Drifters, Rod Stewart, Petula Clark, Perry Como, Elvis Presley, Engelbert Humperdinck, The Fortunes, Charles Aznavour, Tony Christie, Connie Francis, Mireille Mathieu, Barbra Streisand, The Dave Clark Five, Cliff Portwood and Ashley Maclaine.

Mason and Reed wrote a song for Kathy Kirby, "I'll Try Not To Cry", as part of A Song for Europe 1965, the BBC's contest to choose the United Kingdom entry for that year's Eurovision Song Contest in Naples.[3] The song was beaten by "I Belong".[4] "The Last Waltz" became a million selling UK number one for Humperdinck in September 1967.[3][5] In 1968, the duo scored another UK number 1 hit with Des O'Connor's recording of "I Pretend".[6] Mason and Reed also wrote "Who's Doctor Who", a novelty song recorded by Doctor Who star Frazer Hines in 1967, but it failed to chart. They also wrote "Marching On Together" (aka "Leeds! Leeds! Leeds!"), the anthem of Leeds United F.C.

He was also the major songwriter for the English singer Declan Galbraith for his first album, Declan (2002), including the hit "Tell Me Why" (No. 29 in UK[7]) and "Till the Day We Meet Again".

He founded his own publishing company, Barry Mason Enterprises Ltd.[2][8]

Mason was a frequent guest on the BBC1 panel game Pop Quiz, hosted by Mike Read.


  1. "Works written by: MASON JOHN BARRY". ACE Title Search. American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers. Retrieved 23 November 2008.
  2. "Barry Mason Discography at Discogs". 12 July 1935. Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  3. Les Reed (24 July 1935). "Les Reed - Music Biography, Credits and Discography". AllMusic. Retrieved 28 December 2012.
  4. "Eurovision Song Contest 1965 | Year page | Eurovision Song Contest - Malmö 2013". Retrieved 29 December 2012.
  5. Ami Sedghi (4 November 2012). "UK's million-selling singles: the full list". Guardian. Retrieved 4 November 2012.
  6. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 403. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  7. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 146. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  8. "John Barry Mason - Director at Patricia Music Limited and Barry Mason Enterprises Limited. During the week of Monday, January 9 - Friday, January 13, 2017 Barry is picking his 'Tracks of My Years' on the Ken Bruce Show on BBC Radio 2". Retrieved 29 December 2012.
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