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The passing of Terry Demspey 08/03/1941 – 10/02/2019

It is with great sadness that the Dempsey family communicate the passing of Terry Dempsey, a true Renaissance Man of both the local and international music industry.

Terry Dempsey was a professional songwriter, record producer, musician, music publisher, manager, agent, digital artist, film and television producer, and painter for more than 50 years.

He wrote some 40 odd hits both in South Africa and internationally, ranging from Daydreamer sung by David Cassidy (Number 1 in Britain) to Love Is A Beautiful Song sung by Dave Mills (Number 1 in SA., Canada and Australia) and Le Mal Aimé recorded by Claude François (Number 1 in France). Many other artists around the world have recorded his songs including Cliff Richard, Tina Turner, Cilla Black, Tom Jones, The New Seekers, Engelbert Humperdinck, Petula Clark and Demis Roussos to name a few.

He received numerous awards and gold discs and was nominated for an Ivor Novello award in Britain and chosen as a composer in both the Tokyo Song Festival and the Tokyo Music Festival.

He was founder and president of The Loony’s Charity Organisation, the official charity organisation of the South Africa Music Industry for 20 years.

He owned a high-tech music recording studio where he has written and produced many themes for television programmes including Topsport, Million Dollar Golf, the History of South Africa Rugby, Cricket, World Cup Golf, World Cup Soccer, The Blue Train Series, The Comrades, Twist Grip and Drive Time as well as the television series The Power of Persuasion and Wings Over Africa.

In 1988 he was appointed to the board of the National Organisation of Rights In Music (NORM) for three years and then was elected as chairman for two years.

In 1999 he produced the feature film Heel Against The Head – that made it to number two on the SA box office – written by and starring Bill Flynn and Paul Slabolepszy for which Terry wrote the film score and many songs contained in the movie.

At the end of 2001, David Cassidy embarked on a hugely successful UK tour where he recorded Daydreamer on his new album which peaked at Number 5 in the Music Week album charts and sold over 200 000 copies.

Dempsey was the music publisher in the spectacular African stage musical UMOJA – The Spirit of Togetherness – which received a 5-star rating in South Africa and opened to rave reviews at the Shaftesbury Theatre in London’s West End in November 2001.

The Dempsey family has requested privacy during this incredibly difficult time and would like all media queries to be directed through our point of contact below.

Funeral arrangements will be communicated in due time.

Thank you for your understanding.


Media contact

Mike Sharman



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