Ken Lewis: 1942-2015

Tuesday, August 04, 2015

We are saddened to announce that Ken Lewis, also known as Kenneth Hawker - singer, producer and songwriter, passed away on Sunday at the age of 72.

John Carter, Ken Lewis's long time song-writing partner and close friend, reminisces on the career beginnings of the pair all the way to their journey as 'The Flowerpot Men';

“Having left school and started work in Birmingham, we decided to try our luck on a day trip to London, aiming to visit the Denmark Street music publishing offices.  We had an audition with  A&R man Terry Kennedy, who subsequently became our manager and Ken and I having been offered a publishing deal moved down to London, sharing a bedsit in Notting Hill.

Our songs were beginning to be recorded and played on the BBC, and we also performed as a duo (Carter-Lewis).  Terry Kennedy moved to work for Southern (Peer) Music in Denmark Street and we became contracted to them as writers.

We had our first major hit, “Can’t You Hear My Heartbeat” by Herman’s Hermits, which got to No. 1 in America.  We were still getting experience by performing on BBC Radio shows like “Easy Beat” and “Saturday Club”, with a backing group, calling ourselves Carter-Lewis and the Southerners, which at one point had Jimmy Page on guitar.

We had always loved harmony in recordings, so we teamed up with Perry Ford (another Denmark Street regular) to form the Ivy League, writing and recording some of our biggest hits, “Funny How Love Can Be” and “Tossing and Turning”.  We put together a band to tour the U.K. in the mid-Sixties, but it was very tiring and stressful so we decided to quit after a final tour to concentrate on more writing and producing.  At the last minute, Ken changed his mind and stayed with the band, when they went off to tour South Africa.

We got back together in 1967, after Ken had finally left the Ivy League, and we went on to write and produce “Let’s Go to San Francisco” (sung by us but calling ourselves The Flowerpot Men) for our joint production company.”

Ken's long time suffering with diabetes along with the stress and demands of writing caused him to move away from London; peacefully living in the Midlands and North-East until finally succumbing to his health issues.

Rest In Peace Ken Lewis, your music shall always live on.