Born in Lambeth in London on May 27th 1949, Stephen Colyer spent his early years growing up in and around the Old Kent Road and East Street Market. He loved the atmosphere of the markets, possibly due to the fact that his fathers’ family were Greengrocers. He clearly recalls that even from the age of seven he would pester his Dad to take him to work on Saturdays by rising at 4am to begin the day at the old Covent Garden Market and then on to his Grandfathers stall in Berwick Street, Soho where his family had been established for almost 40 years. However, it was Music not Markets that ultimately captured his attention and creative imagination.
Stephen entered the Music and Entertainment Industry in 1966 commencing as an Artist and Songwriter. His first real professional appearances were in 3000 capacity venues appearing on the same ‘Package Tour’ as ‘THE WHO’. He then spent almost two years working with ‘THE JEFF BECK GROUP’ with ROD STEWART and RONNIE WOOD (who is now with The Rolling Stones). After this amazing period in his life, he then auditioned with 2000 other candidates and Stephen was in the last two to be considered by ‘THE HOLLIES’ to replace the legendary Graham Nash.
In 1969 Stephen secured a position as a Promotion Executive at Decca Records. Within 18 months he was approached and offered 23 positions with other Record companies, the 23rd was as Head of Promotion at CBS Records to which he accepted. This was unprecedented for a 21-year-old to obtain such a senior position within the industry. During his time at this company he was instrumental in launching the successful music careers of many household names, not the least being DAVID ESSEX with whom he co-wrote many Songs including the No.1 Record “Gonna Make You A Star”. (Please refer to David’s Autobiography “A Charmed Life” pages 107-121-133-137)
In total, during a six-year period, Stephen successfully promoted more than 300 hit Singles! This resulted in phenomenal revenue (for the Artists and Record Companies he was associated with) through Singles and Album Sales.
As a Director of MAGNET RECORDS many Artists benefited from Stephen’s Promotion and Marketing skills, not the least being ALVIN STARDUST. It was during his time at Magnet that Stephen offered a Coventry based DJ named PETE WATERMAN his first job in the Industry. (Please refer to Pete’s Autobiography “I wish I was me” pages 51 through to 61). This company during Stephen’s period of Directorship obtained a market share of 9% of UK Singles sold in 1975. In comparison, the EMI share was 11%. Magnet was owned by Michael Levy, now known as Lord Levy.
In being drawn back into to his love of creativity, Stephen returned to Performing, Recording and Songwriting. He was signed to Polydor Records and appeared at Earls Court in London before an audience of 18,000 people! He also appeared on many Television and Radio shows as well as in national Newspapers and Magazines. It was also during this period that he was offered, and accepted the privilege, to undertake a course at R.A.D.A. (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) in London.
Stephen moved on to work for London Weekend Television and then became involved in Music Publishing with Chappell Music. He started his own Record Label and Produced many well known Recording Artists until the mid-Eighties when he was approached by a well respected Singer-Songwriter, named Peter Sarstedt of “Where Do You Go To My Lovely” fame, to be his Manager.
Within a very short period of time, Stephen was not only Manager to Peter, but also THE TREMELOES, MUD, THE NEW SEEKERS, DARTS, THE RUBETTES, HOT CHOCOLATE and STEVE ELLIS’ LOVE AFFAIR. All of who not only had a multitude of worldwide hits between them, but also many No.1 achievements. This was considered a tremendous endorsement to Stephen’s abilities within the Industry. He remained Personal Manager to The Tremeloes for sixteen years, to then part company with them in January 2005 due to unforeseen and devastating circumstances.
In November 2004, Stephen was diagnosed with T1 cancer of the larynx. A series of operations were immediately arranged culminating in an intense course of Radiotherapy. This episode of his life dominated virtually the whole of 2005/6. (Stephen attended regular check up’s for five years and received the final all clear in April 2010).
With his entire working life revolving around communication through talking and singing, he believed that his days of creativity were truly over. Then fate moved in. Stephen began working on the kind of project that he would never dream of attempting and was amazed as it began to manifest itself very swiftly.
“The Fruit & Veg Kids” arrived!
Rhymes, Stories, Illustrations and Research not only produced the first of a large series of books for Children, but also placed Stephen back into the song-writing arena commencing with a song to accompany this project entitled “Give Me Five”. He then swiftly created an initial 12 songs for the project. This also includes the inspiring “We Can Change the World” and the potential fun hit “The Banana Shuffle”. There are now eight books and a song book already created along with the potential for a series of animated Television Shows that will positively deliver the message of leading a ‘Healthy and Active Lifestyle’ to greatly benefit Children with an initiative they will respond to. Children will ‘Change the World’ and they will be the ones to lead the way in the global fight on Obesity.