Kenny Young

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Kenny Young

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Kenny Young
Origin Jerusalem, New York,[1] USA
Occupations songwriter, musician, record producer
Years active 1960spresent

Kenny Young is an American songwriter who has been an active writer, artist, and producer from 1963 to the present. His most famous song was "Under the Boardwalk," co-written with Arthur Resnick and recorded by The Drifters in 1964 and by The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys, and many other artists; this was followed through the 1960s by top 10 songs for Ronnie Dove, Herman's Hermits, Reparata and the Delrons, Clodagh Rodgers, Fox, Yellow Dog and others.

Early life

Young grew up in the lower East Side of Manhattan, attended Seward Park High School, and then City University of New York (CUNY), majored in sociology and psychology.


He was a singer songwriter in the 60s (many singles issued under his own name and as "The Squirels" and other names). Wrote songs in the Brill Building for The Drifters, Herman's Hermits, The Searchers, Ben E. King, The Shirelles, Kenny Rogers and many others.

He wrote and produced over 25 chart records in his career. His songs included many top ten hits, "Under the Boardwalk," "Arizona" and the Grammy Award winning song, "Ai No Corrida" among them. Moved to England in 1970. Formed "Moonshine" (two singles) and then signed with Warner Bros in 1972 and record two albums: "Clever Dogs Chase The Sun" and the science fiction rock opera "Last Stage For Silverworld."

His songs have been recorded by The Rolling Stones, Jay-Z, LL Cool J, The Beach Boys, Jungle Brothers, The Jackson 5, Quincy Jones, Joni Mitchell, Debbie Harry, Sam and Dave, Lenny Kravitz, Iggy Pop, Rickie Lee Jones, Gilberto Gil, Kate Bush among others.


Young formed two UK bands Fox and Yellow Dog with whom he played, wrote and produced their top ten hits. In 1974 Young founded Fox, a band featuring Susan Traynor as lead singer and who adopted the stage name Noosha Fox. The band broke up in 1977. Fox had 3 top 10 hits in the UK and other European countries. Young's other bands were Yellow Dog, Gentlemen Without Weapons, 39 Vybes, and Rhythms del Mundo. His song Love Ship was played extensively on Radio Caroline, in both his original version, and the version subsequently recorded with Fox.


Young has been concerned about environmental issues for years and in the 1980s co-founded the rainforest conservation organization, Earth Love Fund, with colleagues Vic Coppersmith-Heaven and Nick Glennie-Smith. He was recipient of the United Nations Global 500 Award for outstanding practical achievements in the protection and improvement of the environment for his work as co-founder and trustee of the Earth Love Fund, which supported and initiated over 200 community based projects in Brazil, Africa, Asia and Australia.

He co-produced the Hollywood Genesis Award winning film Spirit of the Forest, which was a BBC-TV documentary about the destruction of the Amazon Rainforest.

He co-produced the album Earthrise, which was no.1 in the UK and released worldwide featuring U2, Paul McCartney, Sting, Pink Floyd, Elton John, Paul Simon, R.E.M., Peter Gabriel, Queen, Seal and many others for ELF's conservation projects for the world's rainforests. He wrote and co-produced the song "Spirit of the Forest," which was a benefit record released by Richard Branson's Virgin Records and featured over 50 major international artists including Joni Mitchell, Ringo Starr, Lenny Kravitz, LL Cool J, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, The Ramones, Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Gilberto Gil, Djavan, Rita Lee, Marisa Monte, Belinda Carlisle, Jungle Brothers, Afrika Bambaataa and many others. He wrote and co-produced and performed on album Transmissions by Gentlemen Without Weapons on A&M Records. The band used only samples of nature for the music. A unique album, with a video produced by Pink Floyd's art director Storm Thorgeson, who also designed the album cover. He co-produced ELF's album Earthrise II, which featured top international names including Elton John, U2, The Cranberries, Shane MacGowan, R.E.M., Tears for Fears, Genesis, Eurythmics, Stereo MCs, Meat Loaf and more. He produced the album Planet Electrica in aid and relief of Hurricane Mitch. The album featured the top names in dance music, including The Chemical Brothers, Massive Attack, Fatboy Slim, Underworld, Roni Size and Reprazent, LTJ Bukem, Les Rythmes Digitales, and many others. Most recently he produced the album Rhythms del Mundo with musicians from Buena Vista Social Club and featured Coldplay, Sting, U2, Arctic Monkeys, Franz Ferdinand, Kaiser Chiefs, Dido, Ibrahim Ferrer, Radiohead, Omara Portuondo and other top international artists. The proceeds from the album benefits the environmental nonprofit organization Artists Project Earth, which raises awareness and funds for climate change projects and for disaster relief efforts.

Currently he resides in the village of Brailes, Warwickshire, England.

Selective 45rpm Discography

  • Thumbin'/Don't Waste Your Arrows (MGM K13136 1963)
  • The Out Crowd/Melvin' Theme (as THE SQUARES) (Roulette R-4598 1964)
  • Just a Little Bit Better/Shanga-Zooma (Atco 45-6322 1964)
  • (Mrs. Green's) Ugly Daughter/Freddy's Street (as KENNETH YOUNG & THE ENGLISH MUFFINS) (Diamond D-183 1965)
  • Little Sister/My Ain Is To Please You (United Artists UA-50032 1966)
  • Who's The Bird?/A Girl's Imagination (as THE SQUIRRELS) (RCA Victor 47-9127 1967)
  • Don't Go Out Into The Rain (You're Gonna Melt)/Hitting The Moon With A Sling Shot (as THE SEAGULLS) (Date 2-1536 1967)
  • Twiggs/Charlie No One (as THE SEAGULLS) (Date 2-1551 1967?)
  • Death Of a Clown/Anabel (as THE SEAGULLS) (Date 2-1573 1968)
  • Fairy Tales Can Come True (Have You Heard About Lucy)/Su Su (as SAN FRANCISCO EARTHQUAKE) (Smash S-2157 1968)
  • Looky, Looky, My Cookie's Gone/Good Morning, Baby (as THE RASHBERRY PIRATES) (Atco 45-6624 1968)
  • Spider/Spider Woogie 9th. Movement (as K.G. YOUNG) (UK CBS 4302 1969)
  • The Time Is Now/Abide With Me (as EVERYBODY'S CHILDREN) (Date 2-1673 1969)
  • Just a Little More Line/I Am The Tail (As Moonshine/Moonshyne) (UK RCA Victor 1954/US A&M 1202 1970)
  • Rocking Horse Man/Nayl, Nayl, get Me Down To Washington (as MOONSHINE) (UK RCA Victor 2022 1970)

During the time he was in the UK (1969-1970's), prior to him signing to Warner Bros, he produced records for Sylvia McNeill, Clodaugh Rodgers, and probably other artists,

Just A Little Better and Don't Go Out In The Rain were covered by Herman's Hermits.


  1. interview by Brent Cash

External links

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