Ronnie inspired by sound of the Underground

An award-winning songwriter has released a musical tribute to a voice which has been a familiar sound on London’s Underground for decades.

Ronnie Harwood has been performing and writing music since the 1960s and won the Ivor Novello award for penning the 1981 Shakin’ Stevens hit You Drive Me Crazy – which reached number two in the UK charts.

Ronnie Harwood

Ronnie Harwood

Earlier this year Ronnie teamed up with blues singer Fast Freddie, the frontman of Fast Freddie’s Fingertips, to write and record Mind The Gap.

The song was inspired by the tale of Oswald Laurence, the voice behind the “mind the gap” London Underground warning message.

After his death, his widow Margaret McCollum would visit Embankment station just to hear his voice.

One day she found another voice was being used.

She wrote to London Transport asking them to bring Oswald’s voice back and they agreed.

Ronnie said: “We sent Margaret a copy of the song and she loved it and said she was looking forward to the possibility of it being released.”

Ronnie, who is originally from Highbury, north London, has lived in Wellingborough for about eight years with wife Janet.

He said he and Fast Freddie met last year, and Mind The Gap was their first major collaboration.

He added: “He’s a Spurs fan and I’m an Arsenal fan but we get on well together.

“Apart from this song we’re also working on a tongue-in-cheek one about golf.

“The song’s been doing well on Youtube and we’ve had some good feedback. People can also buy it on iTunes.”

Ronnie said in recent years he has been concentrating on writing songs for advertising campaigns, rather than for the charts.

Another of his songs, You Make Me Happy, performed by Sophie Madeleine, was used in an international advertising campaign by a pet retailer.

Watch the video on YouTube.