multi-instrumentalist, producer and songwriter from New York City who
learned how to play accordion, bass, drums, guitar, piano, trombone and
trumpet before he even made it to high school. Once there, he spent his days making
music at school and his nights making music on the local club circuit.
He cut his
first record in the early 1960s and it became a hit in Maryland and was
heard by a music publisher by the name of Shapiro Bernstein who gave him a
job as a songwriter. It was
back to the Apple for Randell, whose interest in
arranging and producing paid dividends when working with other artists and
Artist & Repertory point-man and producer with CBS, introduced him to
his partner, Bob Gaudio. Gaudio was
working with The Four Seasons and hired him to arrange and conduct sides
such as “Big Man in Town”, “On Broadway Tonight”,
and “Save it for Me”.
He even played the Democratic Convention in 1964 in Atlantic City,
New Jersey, as Lynda Bird Johnson was a fan of the quartet.
and Bob Crewe, producer of The Four Seasons, Randell
was introduced to fellow songwriter Sandy Linzer and they hit it off right
away with a pair of chart-busters in 1965: “Let’s Hang On!”
by Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons and
“A Lover’s Concerto”, based on Bach’s “Minuet
in G”, by The Toys. Other
hits penned by the pair include The Four Seasons’ “Opus 17 (Don’t
Worry ‘bout Me)” and “Workin’
My Way Back to You”. They
also co-wrote a couple of songs for The Monkees,
“The Day We Fall in Love” and “I’ll Be Back up on
In 1969, Randell made the great egress to Los Angeles,
California. It was here that he
found himself in demand as an A&R man, first at RCA, then at
Warner/Discreet, where his boss was none other than Frank Zappa. They collaborated with Tim Buckley
on his album, Sefronia,
which charted on the Billboard Top 200. Then Frank entrusted Ruben and the
Jets’ second album to Randell, this time
giving him production responsibilities.
brought his newly acquired experience back to The Big Apple, where he
co-penned “Native New Yorker” with his old partner-in-crime,
Sandy Linzer. It was a hit for
Odyssey and turned up on the soundtrack of The Eyes of Laura Mars in 1978. In 1980, The Spinners scored an
international hit with their rendition of “Working My Way Back to
You/Forgive Me Girl”.
or co-wrote four tracks for inclusion in the horror comedy, An American Werewolf in London. He also got his teeth into a pair of
movie-themed projects, Meco’s Pop Goes the Movies and
“Themes from E.T.” which is credited to Denny Randell & The Rockophonic
In the 1980s,
he began a creative and personal partnership with singer-songwriter Biddy Schippers,
and the pair of them pooled their electronic resources and released a
number of techno dance tracks, such as “Alice in Wonderland”
and “Love Jam”.
Working together led to living together and eventually wedding bells
rang for the do-it-yourselfers, who recorded out of a makeshift studio in
their own home.
relevant, whether keeping up with the latest technology or recognizing new
talent, Randell enjoyed international success
through his collaborations with Boyzone and Kelly
Chen. In 1999, Backstreet Boys
recorded Linzer’s and Randell’s
“Spanish Eyes” on their Millennium
The turn of
the millennium found his name on a list of many credited with the Busta Rhymes/P. Diddy ditty,
“Pass the Courvoisier”, a #11 hit on the Billboard singles
chart. He has a new group
called Soul Tempo whose song “You’ll Never Be Alone”
received airplay in 2002.
In 2005, plans
were underway to release another Soul Tempo album, as well as a Randell
& Schippers CD containing previously released and unreleased material. He can also officially say that he
has made it on Broadway: Three
of the songs he co-wrote with Sandy Linzer for The Four Seasons made the
cut in the Tony Award-winning musical, Jersey Boys.
The Spinners recordings
Working My Way Back to You/Forgive Me Girl (Sandy Linzer/Denny Randell/Michael