THE music world is mourning Greg Lake, whose talent took him from playing Poole youth clubs to some of the biggest concerts in the world.

The singer and musician – who grew up in a prefab home in Oakdale – went on to be a part of rock giants King Crimson and Emerson Lake & Palmer.

His 1975 number two hit I Believe In Father Christmas remains a perennial seasonal favourite.

His manager, Stewart Young, said Lake had died on Wednesday.

He wrote: "I lost my best friend to a long and stubborn battle with cancer.

"Greg Lake will stay in my heart forever, as he has always been.”

As a boy, Greg Lake lived in Dale Valley Road, Oakdale. His father worked for Hamworthy Engineering and Greg went to Poole’s Henry Harbin School.

He had guitar lessons with Dan Strike in Westbourne and got to know another student, Robert Fripp of  Wimborne.

He recalled in 2006: “I remember playing village halls, dance halls, all kinds of funny little venues that gave me the chance to build up and practise.”

He added: “When I was playing in youth clubs in Poole I had a repertoire of 200 songs I could play from memory. That’ a marvellous education, because every one of them was a hit.”

In 1969, Fripp invited him to be bass player for his new band King Crimson. They supported the Rolling Stones in front of an estimated half a million people in Hyde Park.

The following year, he joined Emerson Lake and Palmer, who performed to a crowd of 600,000 at the Isle of Wight festival of 1970. They played Bournemouth’s Winter Gardens later that year and again on Lake’s 25th birthday in 1972, with 40 of his family and close friends in the audience.

At their peak, ELP had 140 staff and their own doctor. “I suppose it was a kind of rolling madhouse but I’d still say that with ELP everything was done with the best of intentions,” Lake told the Echo’s Jeremy Miles in 2006.

“We wanted to put on a show that was great.”

In 1977, Lake bought Stanbridge Mill near Wimborne from Lord Shaftesbury for a reported £70,000 – a price he could reputedly meet from the proceeds of three performances.

He played the Winter Gardens as a solo artist in 1981 and played the BIC with a reformed ELP in 1992.

In 2006, he told the Echo that “acquisition of material wealth is really a very fleeting pleasure”.

“It’s one of those strange things , but when you can pretty much buy any car you want, buy any house you want, do anything you want, you pretty soon discover that you actually don’t want any of it,” he said.

“By and large the things that mean something in life are the love of your family, the sun shining and peace of mind – the fact you can sleep at night because you haven’t done someone down. These are the important thing.”