Former Marmalade vocalist Dean Ford dead at 72

(Image credit: Ron Howard / Getty Images | Dean Ford (middle) with Marmalade)

Former Marmalade frontman Dean Ford has died at the age of 72.

Ford, aka Thomas McAleese, became the singer with Dean Ford And The Gaylords in the 60s, with the band subsequently changing their name to Marmalade.

He was with the Glasgow outfit between 1966 and 1975 and co-wrote the 1969 single Reflections Of My Life with guitarist Junior Campbell. 

With Ford on vocals, Marmalade also became the first Scottish band to hit the top spot on the UK singles chart with a cover of the Beatles’ Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da in 1968. After leaving Marmalade, Ford released a self-titled solo album in 1975 and also appeared on The Alan Parsons Project’s 1978 album Pyramid.

He later relocated to Los Angles where he worked as a limousine driver, and recently released his double solo album This Scottish Heart.

His co-writing partner Campbell paid tribute to his friend, saying: “Years ago, 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.”

Fernando Perdomo, who produced Ford’s 2017 album Feel My Heartbeat, added: Every vocal Dean did oozed with love and tenderness. I will miss his kindness and warmth. A joy to work with and an inspiration.” 

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