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Saturday, 19 August, 2000, 16:11 GMT 17:11 UK
Oldest swinger launches pop career
Mick Jagger
Move over young 'un: Mick Jagger among Reg's fans
Watch out Billie Piper - the oldest swinger in town has launched his pop career and is setting his sights on a top 40 hit.

Partially-sighted 73-year-old Reg Cooper releases his debut single Beautiful Day from a forthcoming album next week.

"It's the first time I have seriously made an album," Mr Cooper told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

He believes the older end of the record buying public could boost sales of the single.

I'm not looking for any fame or fortune because that can be a bind

Reg Cooper
"There's a big hole in the market at the moment for people of my age who like music that they can listen to," Mr Cooper said.

"They can't get it, they are starved to death for it and there's millions of them out there waiting for it."

The cover of the CD features a picture of Mr Cooper sitting on an electric buggy outside his Nottingham home wearing a flat cap and thick-rimmed glasses.

The charity Age Concern is helping to market the record, distributing the single to its branches up and down the country.

Gordon Lishman, director general of Age Concern, said it was very important that people like Mr Cooper challenged the stereotypes of pensioners.

Rolling Stones

"There are many older people who have dreams and ideas that they would like to follow but are a bit nervous. Age Concern's message is go for it," he told Today.

Mr Cooper says early feedback on his record is already good.

"I went for an eye test a month or so ago," he said. "I gave the young lady a copy and she said she thought it was absolutely lovely and she was about 27."

Mr Cooper can already list fellow rock wrinklies The Rolling Stones among his admirers.

In the early 1960s they caught one of his sets and were impressed. But Mr Cooper did not realise who his admirers were.

"When they'd gone, the fellow said: 'You know who you were talking to don't you' and I said 'no'. When he told me I just said 'I don't believe that, I just don't believe it."

Mr Cooper says he is not interested in fame and fortune.

"I hope it doesn't become a pressure because money, I'm not striving for. I can live on my pension," Mr Cooper said.

"I'm not looking for any fame or fortune because that can be a bind. People get to know your telephone number and you're sitting down to your dinner and they are ringing you up."

Top of the Pops producer Lee Lodge said Mr Cooper could break into the charts.

"There's always that wild card that surprises everyone," he said. "Perhaps that's going to be him."

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26 Feb 00 | Entertainment
Wrinklies keep on rocking
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