Former Marmalade singer Dean Ford dies aged 72

Scottish band marmalade.
Scottish band marmalade.
Have your say

Scottish singer Dean Ford, lead singer of Glasgow band Marmalade, who had a series of top-10 hits in the 60s and 70s including best known song ‘Reflections of My Life’, has died aged 72.

Ford, real name Thomas McAleese, was best known as the front man of eponymous band Dean Ford and the Gaylords, who changed their name after modest success in the 1960s to Marmalade.

Dean Ford.

Dean Ford.

The Airdrie-born singer’s death was announced by his daughter on social media, who paid tribute to Ford as “An amazing man, a gentle soul, extremely talented musician and a great father.”

Marmalade became the first Scottish band to top the UK singles chart in 1969 with a cover of the Beatles’ song “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” before signing for legendary pop music record label Decca.

Under that label, Marmalade recorded their best known hit, Reflections of My Life, co-written by Ford and his bandmate Junior Campbell.

Reflections of My Life was also successful in America and sold over 2 million copies across the world.

Ford went solo in the 70s, battling alcoholism before becoming a limousine driver in Los Angeles, and released a CD called ‘This Scottish Heart’ late last year.

Former bandmate Junior Campbell said: “Years ago when Pat and I went to see him singing with the Monarchs at the Barrowland Ballroom in Glasgow. Just his little guy with big ears and big hands, but from the moment he opened his mouth to sing Roy Orbison’s ‘In Dreams’, me, Pat, and the whole of Barrowland knew he was something special.

“He was an exceptional talent and I am privileged and proud to have performed with him, and to have written songs with him… some of which apparently still mean something, to many, all over the world. I loved him dearly”