Phil Coulter

Born: February 19th, 1942, Derry/Londonderry (Northern Ireland)
Nationality: British

Phil Coulter studied French and music at Queen’s University, Belfast. Already during his student days, he composed songs which were successfully recorded by Irish artists. In 1964, he moved to London to work as a songwriter and arranger for, amongst others, Tom Jones, Van Morrison, and Jerry Lee Lewis. He joined forces with Bill Martin, with whom he wrote several well-known songs, including ‘My boy’, which was recorded by many artists, most famously Elvis Presley. Coulter also penned hits for Slik and Joe Dolan. In the 1980s, Coulter moved to Bray, Ireland; in 1984, he released his first record as a solo artist. In 1995, he composed ‘Ireland’s Call’, an anthem played before matches of the united Irish and Northern Irish rugby team. In 2009, Coulter received the Gold Badge from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors (BASCA).

Phil Coulter and Bill Martin composed two back-to-back UK entries, both commercially highly successful: ‘Puppet on a string’ for Sandie Shaw in 1967, the first victory in the contest for the United Kingdom, and ‘Congratulations’ for Cliff Richard in ’68. In 1970, Coulter wrote the arrangement to the Irish Eurovision winner ‘All kinds of everything’; this Dana song was published by Martin and Coulter’s company. In 1975 came Coulter’s only participation as a conductor, when he led the orchestra during the Luxembourg entry ‘Toi’ for his future wife Geraldine Branagan, an Irish singer; Coulter had written the song in collaboration with Bill Martin and Pierre Cour. In 1978, Coulter and Martin wrote ‘Shine it on’ for Christian, who, with it, finished third in the UK Eurovision heats.

In due course, a more extensive biography of Phil Coulter will be published on this website



Songs conducted
1975: Toi