Kenny Lynch

Kenneth Lynch, OBE (18 March 1938 – 18 December 2019)[2] was an English singer, songwriter, entertainer and actor. He appeared in many variety shows in the 1960s. At the time, he was among the few black singers in British pop music.[3]

Kenny Lynch

Lynch in 2010
Background information
Birth nameKenneth Lynch[1]
Born(1938-03-18)18 March 1938
Stepney, London, England
Died18 December 2019(2019-12-18) (aged 81)
GenresRock and roll, pop
Occupation(s)Singer, songwriter, entertainer, actor
Years active1960–2019
LabelsHMV, Satril Records

Early life

Lynch grew up in Stepney, East London, as one of 13 children; his sister Gladys (stage name Maxine Daniels) was a jazz singer of some note. After leaving school at 15 and working various jobs, he did national service in the Royal Army Service Corps and was the regimental featherweight boxing champion. He was also a professional singer. He had two daughters, Amy Lynch and Bobby Lynch. His father was born in Barbados and his mother was mixed-raced British and Jamaican.


Lynch had several UK hit singles in the early 1960s, including the two Top Ten hits, "Up on the Roof" in January 1963, and "You Can Never Stop Me Loving You" in August 1963.[3] He is also known for a single release of "Misery", the first cover version of a Beatles song to be released.[3] In early 1963, Lynch had been on the same bill as the Beatles on the group's first British tour; John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote "Misery" in January 1963, in the hopes that the artist on top of the bill, Helen Shapiro, would record it.[3] Shapiro's record producer turned it down, but Lynch took the composition and gave it a much more pop-oriented arrangement than the Beatles would use when they recorded "Misery" themselves on their debut album, Please Please Me. Whilst on a coach with the Beatles (on tour with Helen Shapiro), Lynch reportedly offered to help them write a song, but quickly became frustrated and criticised their ability to compose music – at the time Lennon and McCartney were writing "From Me to You".[4] Years later he appeared on the album cover of Wings' 1973 album Band on the Run, along with other celebrities.[5]

Much of Lynch's material was self-written, but he also covered songs by writers of the Brill Building.[3]

Lynch also wrote songs for others including actress Linda Thorson, Small Faces' No. 3 UK hit "Sha-La-La-La-Lee" and Cilla Black's No. 5 UK hit "Love's Just A Broken Heart", in collaboration with American songwriter Mort Shuman.[3] "You'd Better Believe It" (co-written with Jerry Ragavoy) and "Sorry She's Mine", which also appeared on the Small Faces' 1966 debut album, were both Lynch works.[3]

Lynch took part in the A Song For Europe contest in 1962 with the song "There's Never Been A Girl", but failed to win through to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest. Lynch had more success in 1978, as a songwriter and producer. That year, his song "Don't Bother To Knock", written for the group Midnight, placed second in the contest. The same year he wrote '"Love Crazy", the theme used for Carry On Emmannuelle, and "You Can't Fight It", the vocal version of the theme to the John Carpenter film Assault on Precinct 13. In the mid-1960s he owned a record shop, the Kenny Lynch Record Centre in Walker's Court, Soho.

Lynch oversaw the production for Hylda Baker and Arthur Mullard's comedy version of "You're the One That I Want" which reached 22 in the UK Singles Chart in September 1978.[6][7] In the early 1980s, Lynch formed a songwriting partnership with former tennis player Buster Mottram, a long-time white nationalist political activist.[8]

Lynch appeared on television programmes including Celebrity Squares, Mooncat & Co., Room at the Bottom, Bullseye and Curry and Chips. He also appeared on Z-Cars, The Sweeney, Till Death Us Do Part and Treasure Hunt.[9]

Lynch completed the London Marathon in 1982, played in several charity football matches and took part in Michael Parkinson's 'Celebrity Cricket' fundraisers.[9] In 2018, Lynch had a concert tour with Jimmy Tarbuck and Anita Harris, as well as appearing in ITV's Last Laugh in Vegas.[10]


Kenny Lynch died in the early hours of 18 December 2019, aged 81.[11]


Chart singles

Year Single Chart Positions
1960 "Mountain of Love" 33
1962 "Puff (Up In Smoke)" 33
"Up on the Roof" 10
1963 "You Can Never Stop Me Loving You" 10
1964 "Stand by Me" 39
"What Am I to You" 37
1965 "I'll Stay by You" 29
1983 "Half the Day's Gone and We Haven't Earned a Penny" 50



  1. Kenny Lynch, Oxford Reference. Retrieved 18 December 2019
  2. admin (18 December 2019). "Kenny Lynch Death - Beloved Singer Kenny Lynch Has Passed Away". Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  3. Unterberger, Richie. "Kenny Lynch Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved 30 October 2009.
  4. "From Me To You". 15 March 2008. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  5. "Band On The Run (album)". The Beatles Bible. 23 October 2010.
  6. "Hylda Baker & Arthur Mullard - You're The One That I Want".
  7. "HYLDA BAKER & ARTHUR MULLARD | full Official Chart History | Official Charts Company".
  8. Greenslade, Nick (5 September 2004). "The ten worst sportsmen in politics". The Observer. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  9. "Kenny Lynch OBE". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 23 May 2015.
  10. Dunn, Gemma; Gibbons, Duncan (4 April 2018). "Last Laugh in Vegas: Who's in it and what's it about?". Coventrytelegraph.
  11. Williams (18 December 2019). "Kenny Lynch Death - Beloved Singer Kenny Lynch Has Passed Away". Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  12. Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 334. ISBN 978-1-904994-10-7.
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