Sid Tepper… a name many people are not familiar with, unless you are one of those music aficionados who wants to know everything about your favorite songs. This songwriter is responsible for hit songs that spanned decades as well as genres and singers. We are sad to announce that this amazing man who was born June 25, 1918 in Brooklyn, died at the age of 96.
Tepper started writing songs and poetry in elementary school, going on to secure a staff writing job with Mills Music in NYC after serving in the Army during WWII. Brooklyn, a hotbed for musical talent that would later spawn Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand and Barry Manilow is also where Tepper joined forces with his childhood friend Roy Bennett, and began their musical partnership.
Success came right from the start for the pair of writers with a Top 10 hit (twice) in 1949 with Red Roses for a Blue Lady recorded by Vaughn Monroe and Guy Lombardo. As with all songwriters, Tepper needed inspiration to create his magic and his “magic” was crafted during tougher times in his life. Red Roses was written after a little tiff with his new bride Lillian; “I sent her some red roses and wrote on the card, ‘I’m sorry, red roses for a blue lady.’ And about a week later, I thought, ‘What a great idea for a title, and the song wrote itself,” Tepper said in a Miami Herald profile in 2008 on his 90th birthday.
The British invasion of the sixties caused some problems for many songwriters of that time, but it didn’t affect this epic duo as Tepper and Bennett managed to publish over 300 songs between 1945 – 1970 for singers such as the Beatles, Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Rosemary Clooney. Elvis Presley was Tepper’s greatest success and biggest client, despite having never met, they managed to collaborate on 56 songs for a string of movies throughout the 1960s.
“He was never impressed with himself, it was his job. He loved it, but it was not something he bragged about,” said daughter Jackie Tepper regarding her father. “My dad was a real family man and preferred hanging out at home with his family and close friends over going out. He’s left an amazing legacy, that will be listened to and enjoyed forever. To have done all of this and lived almost 97 years is more than anyone can ask for. He is our hero.”
Tepper is survived by his children Susan Tepper-Kopacz, Michelle Tepper-Kapit, Brian, Warren and Jackie Tepper; grandchildren Rachel Reinberg, Jennifer Kopacz, Jessica, David, Joanna, Maxx and Samantha Tepper; great-grandchildren Ben, Sara and Lily Reinberg.
Services will be held at 12:30 p.m. Sunday at Levitt-Weinstein Memorial Chapels, 18840 W Dixie Hwy., North Miami Beach.