Kenny Woodman

Born: January 2nd, 1928, Edmonton, London (United Kingdom)
Died: July 1st, 2000, Fulham, London (United Kingdom)
Nationality: British

During World War II, trumpeter Ken Woodman arranged music for the Bands of the Royal Marines; he stayed in the army for several more years after war’s end. In the 1960s, he worked as an arranger and conductor in the London recording studios with many different artists, including Tom Jones (‘Help yourself’), Chris Andrews (‘Yesterday man’, ‘To whom it concerns’), David Garrick, Ebony Keyes, and most importantly, Sandy Shaw (‘Long live love’). His orchestrations are often characterized by the dominance of brass. In the 1970s, Woodman was the musical director of Val Doonican’s TV show. Later, he arranged a Spanish-language album by Shirley Bassey as well as songs by José Feliciano and Camilo Sesto.

For Sandy Shaw, Woodman wrote the all-important orchestration to her 1967 Eurovision winner ‘Puppet on a string’, written by Bill Martin and Phil Coulter; most striking element in the arrangement is no doubt the bassoon in the opening bars. Like his colleagues Johnny Harris (in 1969) and Don Airey (in 1997), Kenny Woodman took part as a conductor in the Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom only once, yet belonged to the winning team. More significantly, ‘Puppet on a string’ was the UK’s first winning entry and became a massive hit all over Europe.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Kenny Woodman will be published on this website


Songs conducted
1967: Puppet on a string