North West Wales

St Winifred's School Choir hit songwriter Lorenz dies

Gordon Lorenz
Image caption Lorenz worked with many top stars and produced Charlotte Church's first recordings

A record producer who wrote a No 1 hit for St Winifred's School Choir has died at his home in north Wales.

Gordon Lorenz, who was in his 60s, was found dead at his Llandudno home on Sunday after falling ill on Friday.

There's No-one Quite Like Grandma, written to mark the Queen Mother's 80th birthday in 1980, became a hit for Lorenz with the Manchester choir.

He had also been unwell while working recently with the Llandudno Town Band at London's Abbey Road studios.

The band's musical director Clive Wolfendale said Mr Lorenz was a "real character" who "exuded charm" and would be sadly missed.

Originally from Liverpool, Lorenz worked with a range of stars including Shirley Bassey, Cliff Richard, Atomic Kitten and Max Boyce in a career spanning 40 years.

There's No-one Quite Like Grandma knocked John Lennon's Starting Over off the top of the charts and spent two weeks at No 1.

Some of the original school choir were reunited to re-make the single 18 months ago for charity.

He was also the first producer to record Charlotte Church after she appeared as a 12-year-old introducing her aunt on a TV talent show.

Mr Wolfendale said Lorenz was a great character who loved Llandudno and had a particular flair for producing pop tunes with brass and military bands.

"Gordon had been under par for the last couple of months but he was keen to finish the production on our album, something he desperately wanted to complete," he said.

"He was the real deal - technically a very able producer with a real flair for knowing what would appeal to the listener.

"As a character he was very engaging, very funny and very distinctive with his long hair and his Smashie-and-Nicey type DJ voice.

"He exuded charm - he'll be really missed."

Mr Wolfendale said the brass band was likely to arrange a tribute concert in Llandudno featuring many of the artists Lorenz had worked with over the years.

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