Saturday 21 August 1971


Born: January 2nd, 1928, Edmonton, London (United Kingdom)
Died: July 1st, 2000, Fulham, London (United Kingdom)
Nationality: British

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


During World War II, trumpeter Ken Woodman arranged music for the Bands of the Royal Marines; he stayed in the army for several more years after war’s end. In the 1960s, he worked as an arranger and conductor in the London recording studios with many different artists, including Tom Jones (‘Help Yourself’), Chris Andrews (‘Yesterday Man’, ‘To Whom It Concerns’), David Garrick, Ebony Keyes, and most importantly, Sandy Shaw (‘Long Live Love’). His orchestrations are often characterised by the dominance of brass. In the 1970s, Woodman was the musical director of Val Doonican’s TV show. Later, he arranged a Spanish-language album by Shirley Bassey as well as songs by José Feliciano and Camilo Sesto.


For Sandy Shaw, Woodman wrote the all-important orchestration to her 1967 Eurovision winner ‘Puppet On A String’, written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter; most striking element in the arrangement is no doubt the bassoon in the opening bars. Like his colleagues Johnny Harris (in 1969) and Don Airey (in 1997), Kenny Woodman took part as a conductor in the Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom only once, yet belonged to the winning team. More significantly, ‘Puppet On A String’ was the UK’s first winning entry and became a massive hit across Europe.


Country – United Kingdom
Song title – “Puppet On A String”
Rendition – Sandie Shaw
Lyrics – Phil Coulter / Bill Martin
Composition – Phil Coulter / Bill Martin
Studio arrangement – Phil Coulter / Kenny Woodman
Live orchestration – Kenny Woodman
Conductor – Kenny Woodman
Score – 1st place (47 votes)

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