"Always try and write for yourself. Don't copy and don't follow. You are unique. There's only one of you. Try and put your individual signature on each song."
In a career that has won him many glittering prizes (an Oscar for his song Born Free, five Academy Award noninations, two Tony Awards plus three Tony nominations, Five Ivor Novello Awards, a Golden Globe and many platinum, gold and silver discs) he has worked with some of the world’s leading composers: Jule Styne, Henry Mancini, Quincy Jones, Elmer Bernstein, Marvin Hamlisch, Charles Aznavour, etc.
Don has written over a hundred songs for motion picture including The Italian Job, The Pink Panther Strikes Again, True Grit, Dances With Wolves, Out of Africa and a quintet of James Bond theme songs – Thunderball, Diamonds Are Forever, The Man With The Golden Gun, Surrender from Tomorrow Never Dies and The World is Not Enough.
Among his many popular songs are Michael Jackson’s Ben and Lulu’s To Sir With Love, both U.S. number one hits.
He is currently working on a musical to be produced in Shanghai and is also re-working the musical of Bar Mitzvah Boy, a musical he wrote with Jule Styne. He has just completed a musical version of The Count of Monte Cristo with French composer Michel Legrand which is scheduled to open in London later this year.
Don was awarded an OBE in the Queens Birthday Honours list and has just been awarded the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Arts by the City of London University. However, he says it is being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame that has outshone any previous accolade.