Lionel Bart Estate

One of the major songwriters of the twentieth century, Bart penned not only the music but also the words of great songs across rock ‘n’ roll, pop and musical theatre.

His early songs with Tommy Steele (‘The British Elvis Presley’) introduced rock ‘n’ roll to the UK charts, including titles such as ‘Rock With The Cavemen’, ‘Little White Bull’ and ‘Handful Of Songs.’

Bart’s position as the ‘king of Denmark Street’ was further solidified when he penned ‘Living Doll’ for Cliff Richard. Hit followed hit with songs such as ‘Do You Mind?’ for Anthony Newley and the first Bond Song, ‘From Russia With Love’ with Matt Monro.

Not satisfied with conquering the charts, Bart went on to triumph in the theatre. Known as the father of the modern British musical, he was the first ever composer to have three hit shows running in the West End at one time. Musicals such as Fings Ain’t Wot They Used T’be, Blitz and Maggie May were all hits, but none compared to the international unstoppable smash of Oliver!.

Bart lived a life of wild, lavish parties, setting him on a rollercoaster from rags to riches to rags again. He sold most of the rights to his work in bad business deals, leaving him penniless as his life spun out of control.

At various times in his life, Bart dealt with the extremes of having nothing and everything but despite the ups and downs he retained a genius gift for words and music.




1 March – Royal Festival Hall, London