Wayne Bickerton, songwriter, Died at 74

  Music, Writers

Wayne Bickerton was born Arthur Ronald Bickerton on July 11, 1941, and died on November 29, 2015.

He was a British songwriter, record producer, and music business executive.

Wayne became well known, with Tony Waddington, as writer and producer of a series of UK chart hits in the 1970s for The Rubettes, and as a leading figure in SESAC – one of the three major American performing rights organisations.

Born in Rhyl, North Wales, and named after his father, Wayne grew up in Kirkdale, Liverpool.

Wayne first came to prominence in 1963 when, after spells with the Bobby Bell Rockers, Steve & the Syndicate, Lee Curtis & the All Stars and The Remo Four, he became bassist and singer with the Pete Best Four (later the Pete Best Combo), at the same time as childhood friend Tony Waddington became the group’s guitarist.

As well as sharing most of the singing, Wayne and Waddington became songwriters for the group, which toured mainly in Germany and the US, before they left in 1966.

Wayne moved into the upper reaches of the wider music industry, initially as an executive of the Performing Right Society in England, where he worked since the late 1970s, eventually as Chairman and acting Chief Executive.

He also became Deputy Chairman of The University of Liverpool Institute of Popular Music.

In 1997, Wayne became an executive at SESAC, as Chairman of SESAC International, and was also awarded an honorary doctorate (LL.D.) by the University of Liverpool.

Wayne passed away on November 29, 2015, aged 74.