Ronald Cass

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Composer Ronald Cass first earned notice via a series of hit stage revues that enjoyed enormous success in London's West End in the years following World War II. He subsequently moved into film and television,…
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Composer Ronald Cass first earned notice via a series of hit stage revues that enjoyed enormous success in London's West End in the years following World War II. He subsequently moved into film and television, writing vehicles for pop sensation Cliff Richard. Born April 21, 1923, in Llanelli, Wales, Cass first pursued a career as a math teacher but in 1951 won favorable reviews for his contributions to the revue 10:15, a musical produced at Leicester Square's Irving Theatre Club. Intimacy at Eight opened at Notting Hill Gate's New Lindsey Theatre on New Year's Eve 1952, and with a new title, High Spirits, it proved a smash upon debuting at the Hippodrome in 1953. Cass' compositions "A Stately Gavotte" and "A Smile, a Song and a Lexicon" emerged as crowd favorites, and a New Lindsey sequel revue, 1954's Intimacy at 8:30, further solidified his popular appeal. The sardonic 1956 revue For Amusement Only ran for two years and begat 1958's For Adults Only, which enjoyed a year-long run of its own. Following 1961's Saville Theatre production The Lord Chamberlain Regrets, over which he served as musical director, Cass teamed with lyricist Peter Myers to write The Young Ones, the first of three frothy movie musicals starring British pop idol Cliff Richard. (Summer Holiday, from 1963, and the following year's Wonderful Life completed the series.) Cass experienced his most enduring success with lyricist Warren Mitchell, co-writing the 1969 smash The Thoughts of Chairman Alf. He also published a pair of novels, True Blue and Fringe Benefits, as well as a volume of theatrical humor, A Funny Thing Happened or an Anthology of Pro's. Cass died June 2, 2006, at the age of 83.