Exmouth songwriter, John Greenslade, reaches semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Contest

PUBLISHED: 07:30 04 January 2020

John Greenslade. Picture: Courtesy of John Greenslade

John Greenslade. Picture: Courtesy of John Greenslade

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A prolific Exmouth song-writer, John Greenslade, has reached the semi-final of a national competition.

John Greenslade when he was in Gary Kane & The Tornadoes. Picture: Courtesy of John GreensladeJohn Greenslade when he was in Gary Kane & The Tornadoes. Picture: Courtesy of John Greenslade

Prolific songwriter, John Greenslade, 81, from Camperdown Terrace in Exmouth, has reached the semi-finals of the UK Songwriting Contest.

Created to discover and showcase new talent, the UK Songwriting Contest is a popular and long-running song writing event, and attracts entrants from all over the world.

This year, John's entry, 'The Love of my Life', written for his late wife June, has reached the semi-finals. He will find out if the song has made it to the finals later in January.

Yet, John, who is partially sighted, is no stranger to musical success.

John's involvement in the music industry has been industrious. During his lifetime, he has written more than 500 songs and has had 300 songs published.

After spending nine years in the army, John worked for Exwick bakery, Mother's Pride. However, his true passion lay with music and in his spare time he would spend hours composing songs in a little studio on a farm near Crediton.

John said: "I started my own record company, Exeter Sound Recording, with my friend, Percy Turner, over 50 years ago. It was the first of its kind in the South West, and well before stereo was introduced. I would do the recording and Percy Turner would cut the discs".

Away from the recording studio, John also performed on stage.

He said: "I was part of the successful band Gary Kane and Tornadoes for 20 years.

"We toured all over the UK and Ireland, winning several competitions".

John's walls are lined with framed golden discs and certificates displaying a lifetime of musical achievements.

One of John's biggest career highlights was penning the winning song, performed on talent show Opportunity Knocks, in 1976.

The song 'Sing Me' was written by John and June. The sprightly, reggae-inflected song, was performed by The Brothers and reached number eight in the UK Singles Chart, in the spring of 1977.

John said: "I was awarded a silver disc for Sing Me. More than 500,000 records had been sold".

This historic success could be matched with future triumph. John will find out if he has reached the next stage of the UK Songwriting Contest in the next few weeks.

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