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Thread: Aventura man behind EP's hits honored

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    TCBGIRL
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    Aventura man behind EP's hits honored

    WILLIAMS ISLAND
    Aventura man behind Elvis Presley hits honored
    ALMOST 90, SID TEPPER IS BEING HONORED FOR THE SONGS HE WROTE FOR FAMOUS SINGERS -- ESPECIALLY ELVIS -- AND HE'S STILL MAKING MUSIC
    Posted on Tue, Jun. 17, 2008reprint print email
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    BY MICAELA HOOD
    [email protected]

    NURI VALLBONA/MIAMI HERALD STAFF
    Williams Island resident Sid Tepper, 89, holds a copy of his first big hit, "Red Roses for a Blue Lady." The songwriter, who co-authored hundreds of hits, was honored last week by the Surfside and Miami Beach commissions.The year was 1964, and Sid Tepper was writing songs with his partner for the movie Viva Las Vegas, starring Elvis Presley and Ann-Margaret.

    They were crafting The Lady Loves Me -- a duet with the two stars -- when the phone rang. Suddenly, they were under the gun.

    'The director says, `Elvis and Ann-Margaret are at the swimming pool on the diving board, and we want the last line to match [her] pushing Elvis into the water,' '' Tepper recalled. ``Talk about pressure and deadlines!''

    But the longtime writing team of Tepper and Roy Bennett knew how to pull it off; between 1945 and 1970, they published more than 300 songs, including 47 for Presley. To match the pool theme, the last line of the song became ``The gentleman's all wet.''

    Tepper, a Williams Island resident who turns 90 on June 25, was honored Tuesday by the Surfside Town Commission. He lived in Surfside for 35 years after breaking with Bennett and moving from New York.

    Mayor Charles Burkett presented Tepper with a key to the town and proclaimed his birthday as Sid Tepper Day. Miami Beach Commissioner Ed Tobin, a family friend, also presented Tepper with a proclamation recognizing his work.

    Tepper and Bennett's first hit was Red Roses for a Blue Lady in 1948, recorded by Guy Lombardo and his Royal Canadians. In the next 22 years, the songwriting team wrote for a host of famous clients including the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Wayne Newton, the Ink Spots, Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney, Eartha Kitt, Connie Francis and Cliff Richard.

    Other hits included The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane, Suzy Snowflake, The Young Ones and Nuttin' For Christmas.

    Their songs for Presley included G.I. Blues, New Orleans, Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce and It's a Wonderful World.

    He never met The King, but Tepper was impressed with how quickly Presley caught on to melodies.

    ''He had a fantastic ear,'' he said in his condo office, surrounded by sheet music, photos and other mementos from his long career. ``[Elvis] could hear a song, listen to it twice, and sing it like he knew it all his life.''

    Tepper started writing songs and poetry in elementary school. He landed his first real gig after getting out of the Army.

    ''It was right after WWII, I worked as a staff writer at Mill's Music in New York City and made $100 a week,'' he said.

    Mill's Music was a publishing company that discovered a number of songwriters and musicians, including Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway.

    After working for Mill's for three years, Tepper formed a business with his childhood friend Bennett. Their first hit, Red Roses for a Blue Lady, reached No. 4 on the Billboard charts.

    Tepper said he wrote the song after an argument with his wife, Lillian.

    'We were newlyweds then and just had a tiff. I sent her some red roses and wrote on the card, `I'm sorry, red roses for a blue lady.' And about a week later, I thought, 'What a great idea for a title,' and the song wrote itself,'' he said.

    The songwriter, who used to sleep with a pad and pencil next to his bed, still jots down songs and poems.

    Tepper said along with his music, his greatest love was his wife of 58 years, who died in 2005.

    ''One thing I've learned is you can't leave love in your will, you have to give it while you're living,'' he said.

    NURI VALLBONA/MIAMI HERALD STAFF

    Williams Island resident Sid Tepper, 89, holds a copy of his first big hit, "Red Roses for a Blue Lady." The songwriter, who co-authored hundreds of hits, was honored last week by the Surfside and Miami Beach commissions.
    Last edited by TCBGIRL; 06-17-2008 at 07:49 PM. Reason: Wanted to add Tepper's pic

  2. #2
    Angel utmom2008's Avatar
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    Does anyone else think it's funny the way this post LOOKS in the thread titles??

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    TCB Mafia midnight's Avatar
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    Boy I`m glad it is Elvis HITS they are honoring, I was getting a little worried there for a moment. I am pooped , I think it is bedtime!!!!

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    TCB Mafia ehollier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by utmom2008 View Post
    Does anyone else think it's funny the way this post LOOKS in the thread titles??
    I wondered that myself. Maybe Albert can fix this so it doesn't have that strange ring to it.
    "More people today should see him not simply as a performer, but as an artist with a great soul."

    John Bakke, professor emeritus
    University of Memphis

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    TCB Mafia SweetCaroline's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by utmom2008 View Post
    Does anyone else think it's funny the way this post LOOKS in the thread titles??

    No kidding....I did a double take

    I will never forget you Rosanne.
    R.I.P. 4-27-59~7-22-09

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    I Dreamed a Dream Tommy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by utmom2008 View Post
    Does anyone else think it's funny the way this post LOOKS in the thread titles??

    I fixed it

    I dream a world where man no other man
    will scorn. Where LOVE will bless the earth
    and peace its paths adorn...

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    Angel utmom2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy View Post
    I fixed it
    You're the man Tommy!!

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    Angel utmom2008's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by midnight View Post
    Boy I`m glad it is Elvis HITS they are honoring, I was getting a little worried there for a moment. I am pooped , I think it is bedtime!!!!

    With some of the things that have been said on here tonight.....I wasn't too sure what it meant.

  9. #9
    Elvis Presley Blvd Unchained Melody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by utmom2008 View Post

    With some of the things that have been said on here tonight.....I wasn't too sure what it meant.
    I know what your saying Rossie
    "How do I get placed in situations like this? Ah hell, I guess it's all part of showbusiness "~ Elvis in his limo on his way to perform in Omaha, NE on June 19th 1977


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