PAUL Stone has been a musician for as long as he can remember.

Growing up in Birkenshaw, with an Irish background, he was always surrounded by music.

“Since the age of six, I’ve been up on stage playing violin, piano, guitar or drums,” he says.

“Anything you can make a noise from, I’ve had a go with.”

He remembers his grandmother playing the piano at every family gathering. “And there were Irish jigs on the violin,” he adds.

A lifetime of musical achievements has led him to perform, earlier this year, with his Leeds-based, 12-piece ensemble The Modern Big Band at the UK premier of La La Land, and now he has penned a song to inspire the riders of this year’s Tour de Yorkshire.

‘You’ll Never Ride Alone’ was written and recorded by Paul, who will be performing it to an orchestral backing track, at the start and finish lines of each stage of the race.

“There is a nice lyric in the second verse,” he says, “‘Hear the old man say hello, just watch his eyes and know, the smile is not for show’, which says that we are genuine, warm people.”

The official tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire approached Paul, a former pupil of Batley Grammar School and later Heckmondwike Grammar, who was delighted to be involved.

“It is really exciting. I gigged in Skipton, at the Tour de France, and really enjoyed it. It was great seeing how the crowd reacted to the race, I think what we achieved as a county was phenomenal.”

Paul studied at Leeds College of Music, where he specialised in singing, before leaving for the USA and Nashville, where he performed with his friend John King, as an acoustic duo.

On a shoestring budget he learned from some of the world’s finest songwriters. His early pop career saw a string of managers and support slots with major artists.

In recent years Paul’s love for big band and swing was captured on tape with a self-funded record entitled ‘Reprise Of Swing’, performed with The Modern Big Band.

The album was well-received, being played on BBC Radio Two, Jazz FM, BBC Radio Leeds and various other stations across the country.

Earlier this year the band played at the Phoenix Artist Club in London, at the UK premiere of the hit film La La Land.

They also played at the UK premiere of the film ‘Whiplash’. Paul recently received praise from global hit songwriter Diane Warren.

He divides his time between his music career and the building trade, in which he heads his own company.