Sunday 10 October 1971


Born: November 7th, 1932, Edinburgh, Scotland (United Kingdom)
Died: March 21st, 2020, Palm Springs Ca. (United States)
Nationality: British

In due course, the short impression below will be replaced with a more extensive career overview


Scottish-born Johnny Harris studied at the Guildhall School of Music in London. He became a much sought-after composer, arranger, producer, and conductor in the 1960s. In 1965, he was contracted by PYE records, for which he arranged six albums of Shirley Bassey and her hit songs ‘Something’ and ‘Never, Never, Never’. Harris worked extensively as a musical director for BBC Television, accompanying the likes of Georgie Fame and Petula Clark. In 1968-69, he conducted the music for a BBC show series, Happening for Lulu. He composed movie scores, amongst which Fragment Of Fear (1970) and I Want What I Want (1972). Harris moved to the United States in 1972 and lived on the West Coast until his passing in 2020.


In 1969, Lulu was given the opportunity to sing for the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest. Johnny Harris was the musical director of the selection show in Britain in which she presented the songs, from which the audience could choose a winner. Subsequently, he travelled to the contest in Madrid with Lulu to conduct the Spanish orchestra during her rendition of ‘Boom-Bang-A-Bang’. This song became one of four winners that year, tying for first place with the entries from the Netherlands, Spain, and France.

Two years previously, Johnny Harris was commissioned to record the arrangement of France's Eurovision entry 'Il doit faire beau là-bas' with Noëlle Cordier.


Country – France
Song title – "Il doit faire beau là-bas"
Rendition – Noëlle Cordier
Lyrics – Pierre Delanoë
Composition – Hubert Giraud
Studio arrangement – Johnny Harris
(studio orchestra conducted by Johnny Harris)
Live orchestration – Johnny Harris
Conductor – Franck Pourcel
Score – 3rd place (20 votes)

Country – United Kingdom
Song title – "Boom Bang-A-Bang"
Rendition – Lulu 
Lyrics – Peter Warne
Composition – Alan Moorhouse
Studio arrangement – Johnny Harris
Live orchestration – Johnny Harris
Conductor – Johnny Harris
Score – 1st place (18 votes)

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