Elvis Presley Songwriter Sid Tepper Dies
Sid Tepper wrote hundred of songs for stars like Frank Sinatra, the Beatles, Jeff Beck and Ray Charles, but it’s the 40-plus songs he wrote for Elvis Presley that he’s best remembered for. The native New Yorker died on Friday (April 24) at the age of 96.
Two of his biggest hits were “Puppet on a String” and “G.I. Blues,” but he was a mainstay of the King’s movie career. Tepper and his frequent co-writer Roy C. Bennett earned five credits in the movie Blue Hawaii (1961). They also wrote the memorable “The Lady Loves Me,” from Presley’s 1964 movie Viva Las Vegas. The song was a duet with Ann Margaret.
“Talk about pressure,” he told the Miami Herald in 2008, talking about how quick he needed to deliver the song’s ultimate and final line, delivered by Margaret just after she pushes Presley into the pool.
“Red Roses for a Blue Lady” was his first big hit in 1949. Vaughn Monroe and Guy Lombardo recorded the song, which was inspired by an argument with his new wife. Over the years, Carl Perkins, Herman’s Hermits and the Dave Clark Five would cut his songs. Tepper and Bennett wrote the Christmas favorite “Nuttin’ for Christmas” as well, but made a living out of cutting songs for Presley, a man he never met.
The Guardian reports that Tepper died of natural causes at his home in Florida. He’s survived by many children and grandchildren. His wife Lillian died in 2005. They were married for 58 years.