Roy C. Bennett, Elvis Presley Songwriter, Dead at 97
Along with songwriting partner Sid Tepper, Bennett published over 300 songs. The duo wrote more than 40 tracks for Presley alone, including almost half of the massively successful Blue Hawaii soundtrack. In 2002, they were honored in Memphis for their contributions to Presley's career.
Both vets of WWII, Bennett and Tepper's first hit came with "Red Roses for a Blue Lady" in 1948, originally recorded by Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians before vocalist Vaughn Monroe made it a No. 3 hit single. That was followed by another big success came in 1951 with Rosemary Clooney's recording of "Suzy Snowflake". And in 1955, their song "Naughty Lady of Shady Lane" was a top-10 hit for both Dean Martin and the Ames Brothers.
Bennett and Tepper's collaboration ended in the 1970s when Tepper suffered a heart attack and retired to Florida, but Bennett continued on and even published the popular Choral Singer's Handbook, which still prints today.
Bennett is survived by his wife, Ruth Bennett; two sons, Keith and Neil Bennett; and three grandchildren.