Sid Tepper, the songwriting phenomenon behind singers like Elvis Presley, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and many more, has died at the age of 96. It was confirmed by Tepper’s daughter, Jackie, that Sid died on Friday, April 24, in his Miami, Florida, home.
Though Sid Tepper is most known and awarded for the work he did for Elvis Presley, the songwriter got his start much earlier. He began in partnership with Roy C. Bennett, at which time he was responsible for the creation of songs like, Jo Stafford’s 1948 “Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart,” Guy Lombardo’s 1949 “Red Roses for a Blue Lady,” Perry Como’s 1958 “Kewpie Doll,” and much more. Sid Tepper reportedly wrote many of his love songs about his wife Lillian, who died just 10 years ago. Tepper once explained his purpose for writing songs about his loved ones.
“One thing I’ve learned is you can’t leave love in your will, you have to give it while you’re living.”
In an interview from Ken Sharp’s book Elvis Presley: Writing For The King, Sid tells of the perils associated with the music industry, which forces writers to have to continually prove themselves. Tepper stated that the competition between he and his partner Bennet and other writers was never-ending, and it was not fair because he had already paid his dues before Elvis Presley was ever heard of.
“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. We wrote songs for all the stars of our generation.”
Still with Sid Tepper’s long track record for writing hit songs for many artists, he continued to be awarded for his Presley songs. In 2002, he and Roy C. Bennett were honored for heightening Elvis Presley career in Elvis’ former city of Memphis, Tennessee. The most well-known Elvis songs Tepper and Bennett wrote together include, “Puppet on a String,” “Once is Enough,” “G.I. Blues,” “All That I Am,” and “Stay Away.” Sid and Roy were childhood friends, who began writing together after Tepper served in World War II.
For most of Sid Tepper’s life, he remained in good health. After retiring to Florida, however, Sid suffered a heart attack while in his 70s. Still, his daughter confirmed that the talented writer died of natural causes. According to The Independent, Sid Tepper leaves behind, five children, seven grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.
[Image courtesy of independent.uk.com]