ESC Bubble is sad to report that Eurovision songwriter Bill Martin has died at the age of 81.
Bill wrote Eurovision hits such as ‘Puppet on a string’ (The first UK Winner of the Eurovision in 1967) and ‘Congratulations’ (Coming 2nd the following year at the 1968 Eurovision) alongside his songwriting partner Phil Coulter (You can see these below).
The duo also had records with a number of acts such as comedian Ken Dodd, George Harrison, Dick Emery, Tony Blackburn, Billy Connolly, Cilla Black, Sandie Shaw, Elvis Presley and more.
In 1975, Martin and Coulter reached the Eurovision final for the third time, this time writing Luxembourg’s entry, “Toi”, for Coulter’s future wife Geraldine Brannigan (You can see this below). The song finished in 5th place.
The songwriting duo’s final attempt at Eurovision was in 1978, when their song “Shine It On” finished third in the UK final A Song for Europe sung by the singer Christian. (You can see this below).
Bill was awarded the Gold Badge Award, for services to the music industry, by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors in 2009 and in 2014 Bill achieved an MBE for services to Music and Charity in Scotland.
Phil Coulter wrote on Twitter:
More bad news.Heard this morning of the passing of BILL MARTIN. He was my songwriting partner for almost twenty years and an important part of my life and career. I remember with most affection our early struggles in Denmark Street.End of an era.— Phil Coulter (@Phil_Coulter) March 26, 2020
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Bill at this difficult time.