The Red Balloon songwriter Raymond Froggatt dies aged 81

The singer-songwriter from Birmingham wrote hits for Cliff Richard and the Dave Clark Five.

Raymond Froggatt, pictured in 2011, has died at the age of 81. (Getty Images)
Raymond Froggatt, pictured in 2011, has died at the age of 81. (Getty Images)

Singer and songwriter Raymond Froggatt has died at the age of 81.

The Birmingham musician, known as Froggie - who wrote hits for Sir Cliff Richard and the Dave Clark Five - passed away at Shrewsbury hospital after a short illness.

Family friend Lynn Hartley-Cain announced on social media: "It is with heavy heart that we tell our Froggie family - on the 23 July, 2023 at 9.26am our beloved Froggie passed away peacefully After a short illness.

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"Our greatest thanks to Jon & Haley,Ben & Michelle, the wonderful team at the Shrewsbury Hospital AMU who looked after Froggie. Words can not express how fantastic they are.

"To everyone of you Froggie folks the old & new Froggies eternal love will always be with you. We know your love and support Froggie carried with him at all time .

Raymond Froggatt performing on stage at Hammersmith Odeon, London, 2 March 1974. (Photo by Ian Dickson/Redferns)
Raymond Froggatt, known as Froggie, performing on stage at Hammersmith Odeon in 1974. (Getty Images)

"Now it is time for him to rest. Goodnight, God bless Frog you’ll always be walking along side us."

Froggatt was a well-known country music artist and recorded around 40 albums of his own music.

In 1968, The Dave Clark Five reached Number 7 in the music charts with their version of Froggatt's song The Red Balloon.

And he also wrote Big Ship, which charted at Number 8 for Sir Cliff Richard in 1969.

His work has also been covered by Daniel O'Donnell, Gladys Knight, Leapy Lee and Dominic Kirwa.

Froggatt formed The Raymond Froggatt Band in 1965, along with guitarist Hartley Cain, Lou Clark and Len Ablethorpe. The band toured England and France before and were signed by Polydor Records in 1967.

Raymond Froggatt, British singer-songwriter, playing the guitar and singing into a microphone during a live concert performance, circa 1975. (Photo by Mike Prior/Redferns/Getty Images)
Raymond Froggatt wrote hits for others including Cliff Richard, but recorded around 40 country music albums of his own. (Getty Images)

Froggatt grew up in Birmingham and spent much of his later life in Telford, Shropshire.

Hartley Cain told the BBC that Froggatt, "never lost his love for music".

Read more: Cliff Richard taking a break from performing but insists he’ll never retire

He remembered him as a "close and dear friend" who was "really generous".

Watch: Cliff Richard opens up on health fears after false accusations of sexual assault