Wigan-born musician and iconic songwriter Barry Mason cremated

The 85-year-old star's cremation took place without a ceremony this morning (May 28).

Friday, 28th May 2021, 12:07 pm
Barry Mason MBE

Wigan-born musician Barry Mason has been cremated.

The iconic songwriter died aged 85 on Friday, April 16, and tributes from musicians poured in on social media following his death, with messages describing him as a “wonderful, talented, sincere friend and ebullient, warm-hearted life-force"

The star's cremation took place without a ceremony this morning (May 28).

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Barry, who was born on Spencer Road and brought up in Coppull, 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.

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.

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.

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.

Earlier this month, a star-studded letter asked Wigan Council to create a permanent memorial to the musician in his hometown.

Dozens of prominent figures from the worlds of art and the media called on the town hall to recognise the man.

The list of signatories includes some of the high-profile musical luminaries who shared memories of him on the weekend news of his death broke, including musicals lyricist Tim Rice, Gary Kemp and Mike Batt.

The letter has also been signed by authors, broadcasters, speechwriters, artists, journalists, film-makers , illustrators and agents.

The letter expresses the hope that Barry could be given a star on the Wigan Walk of Fame in Believe Square.

However, the council said stars are only for living people but it would be keen to find other ways to remember Barry, such as a blue plaque.

These have already been used to commemorate distinguished musicians from the borough.

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