Sid Tepper, Songwriter for Elvis Presley, Dies at 96
Sid Tepper, the legendary songwriter who penned some of Elvis Presley's biggest hits, including "G.I. Blues" and "Stay Away," has died.
Tepper passed away on Friday (April 24) in Aventura, Fla., of natural causes. He was 96 years old.
Born on June 25, 1918, and raised in Brooklyn, N.Y., Tepper began working for the Mills Music publishing company in New York City, after serving in the Army during World War II. While at Mills Music, Tepper reunited with his childhood friend, Roy Bennett, with whom he co-wrote more than 300 songs, including several for the King of Rock and Roll.
"Puppet on a String," "Once is Enough" and 'All That I Am," as well as five songs for Presley's 1961 film, Blue Hawaii, are among Tepper and Bennett's many cuts by the legendary musician. The duo also wrote the famous "The Lady Loves Me" for Presley's 1964 movie, Viva Las Vegas.
In addition to the tunes recorded by Presley, Tepper and Bennett also co-wrote songs for several other big names, including Guy Lombardo's "Red Roses for a Blue Lady," Perry Como's "Kewpie Doll," Marty Robbins' "Stairway to Love" and Cliff Richard's "Travelin' Light."
“To be honest, it was a little downer feeling that we had to compete with the other writers because Roy and I had a life before Elvis,” Tepper said in the book Elvis Presley: Writing for the King. “We wrote songs for all the stars of our generation.”
After suffering a heart attack in the 1970s, Tepper move to Surfside, Fla., where he became an active member of the community. Throughout his life, his daughter Jackie Tepper says that he remained humble about his many accomplishments.
“He was never impressed with himself; it was his job. He loved it, but it was not something he bragged about,” she tells the Miami Herald. “My dad was a real family man and preferred hanging out at home with his family and close friends over going out. He’s left an amazing legacy that will be listened to and enjoyed forever. To have done all of this and lived almost 97 years is more than anyone can ask for. He is our hero.”
Tepper and his wife Lillian were married for 58 years, until her death in 2005. He is survived by his five children and numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The Boot extends our deepest condolences to them.
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