Norrie Paramor (15 May 1914 – 9 September 1979) was a British pianist, orchestrator, arranger and orchestral conductor. As musical director for EMI/Columbia from 1952, Paramor produced albums in varied genres, from swing to rock n' roll, to 'easy listening' music.
Norrie studied piano and worked as an accompanist, prior to playing and arranging with a number of London dance bands, among them Maurice Winnick's Orchestra. During his time in the RAF during World War II, Paramor entertained servicemen in the company of artists such as Sidney Torch and Max Wall, served as a musical director for Ralph Reader's Gang Shows, and scored music for Noel Coward, Mantovani and Jack Buchanan. After the war he was the featured pianist with Harry Gold And His Pieces Of Eight, and toured with the lively Dixieland unit for five years.
In 1950 he recorded some sides for the Oriole label with Australian singer Marie Benson, and in 1952 was appointed recording director of the UK EMI Columbia label in 1952. His earliest hits as a producer were with trumpeter Eddie Calvert, who had a million seller in 1953 with "O Mein Papa," and who had the most successful UK cover of "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" in 1955. Although the term 'producer' was not in frequent circulation at the time Paramor started producing records (the usual term being 'Artiste and Repertoire Manager' or 'A&R Man')
Norrie jumped on the lush strings bandwagon in the mid-1950s, producing a series of albums such as "Amor, Amor" and "Jet Flight." Paramor's are among the easiest of all easy-listening albums--he maintains a smooth surface of sound from cut to cut, disturbed by the barest of accents. He recorded one of the biggest selling albums from Capitol Records' "Capitol of the World" import series: In London in Love, which featured the floating voice of the soprano Patricia Clark, who was used in many subsequent selling albums. This became his trademark orchestral signature sound.
Theme From a Summer Place which features vocals from Patricia Clark, charted in March 1960 in the UK & peaked at #36.
Paramor produced the first British rock-n-roll single, "Teach You to Rock," by Tony Crombie and his Rockets. Although Paramor clearly preferred mainstream pop to rock, he had a hard time avoiding it. He brought out the first recordings by teen idol Cliff Richard, and produced a long string of EPs and LPs by Richard' backing band, The Shadows. He contributed a number of The
Norrie Paramour with Cliff Richard & the Drifters in 1958
Shadows' best songs, including "Frightened City." He produced many of the British pop stars of the 1950s and early 1960s, such as Ruby Murray, Eddie Calvert, Michael Holliday, Helen Shapiro, Frank Ifield, the Mudlarks, the Avons, Billy Fury and Ricky Valance among others.He also wrote soundtracks for several British films, including Serious Charge (1959), Expresso Bongo (1959), The Young Ones (1961). He also composed music for several films, The Frightened City (1961) and The Fast Lady (1962).
In 1968, he was the musical director for the Eurovision Song Contest, staged at the Royal Albert Hall, the first to be broadcast in colour. He also conducted the UK entry, "Congratulations", performed by Cliff Richard. After leaving EMI in the late 1960s, Paramor continued to record occasional easy-listening string albums. In 1977 Paramor and his orchestra recorded with The Shadows for a final time with the track, "Return to the Alamo".
From 1972-78 Paramor was the Director of the BBC Midland Radio Orchestra, but he continued to dabble in independent production for acts such as the Excaliburs, and his publishing company was still finding material for Cliff in the 70s.
Paramor died of cancer on 9 September 1979. His death came a couple of weeks after his protégé, Richard, returned to the top of the UK Singles Chart with "We Don't Talk Anymore", his first number one single in over ten years. Paramor and Richard had worked together professionally from 1958 to 1972.
Sadly, despite his track record of success as a producer, he died in obscurity without receiving any public recognition of success from any British institution. (Info edited mainly from from Wikipedia & Spaceage Pop)