Tributes paid to Wigan-born musician Barry Mason

Barry MasonBarry Mason
Barry Mason
Musicians took to social media on Saturday morning to remember the iconic songwriter.

The tributes posted online said he died on Friday. He was 85.

Barry became known to millions of pop music lovers around the world for songs such as Delilah, a hit for Sir Tom Jones, Love Grows (where my Rosemary goes), Here it Comes Again and The Last Waltz.

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The majority of his best-known work was written in partnership with Les Reed.

In a glittering career he won five Ivor Novello Awards and penned an extraordinary 11,000 songs.

Working in the golden age of British popular music in the 1960s, his songs were performed by the likes of Rod Stewart, Engelbert Humperdinck, Elvis Presley and The Drifters.

Barry and his family lived in London for many years but he always spoke proudly and fondly of his Wigan roots.

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His father Cecil Mason was a newspaper reporter and Barry considered following him into a life in the press before music took over.

A host of big names in music took to social media to pay tribute on hearing of his death.

Musicals lyricist Sir Tim Rice wrote: "Very sad music business news. The wonderful lyricist Barry Mason who wrote so many hit songs, many with Les Reed, has died. He was a delightful modest fellow and will be greatly missed by his many songwriting and musical friends. RIP Barry."

Musician and actor Gary Kemp, who was in Spandau Ballet, wrote: "Shocked to hear that my friend and lovely human Barry Mason died yesterday. A great songwriter who won 5 Ivor Novello Awards and co-wrote Love Grows Where my Rosemary Goes, Delilah, the Last Waltz and many more. All my love to his wife Vanessa and his children."

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Mike Batt described him as: "A wonderful, talented, sincere friend and ebullient, warm-hearted life-force."

In a 2014 interview with the Wigan Observer Barry described his life in the pop music industry based on Denmark Street in Soho, working on track after track with musicians and collaborators and then touring the songs around producers' offices in the hope they would be picked up.

He selected Delilah, The Last Waltz and Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes) as his three career highlights from his enormous discography.

He was awarded the MBE for his services to music in 2020.

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