Tony Hatch

born on 30/6/1939 in Pinner, Middlesex, England, United Kingdom

Tony Hatch

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Tony Hatch
Birth name Anthony Peter Hatch
Also known as Fred Nightingale, Mark Anthony
Born June 30 1939
Origin Pinner, Middlesex
Occupation(s) Composer, songwriter, pianist, music arranger, producer
Instrument(s) Keyboards
Years active 1960spresent

Tony Hatch (born 30 June 1939) is an English composer, songwriter, pianist, music arranger, and producer.[1][2]

Early life and early career

He was born Anthony Peter Hatch in Pinner, North London. Encouraged by his musical abilities, his mother also a pianist enrolled him in the London Choir School in Wansunt Road, Bexley, Kent when he was ten. Instead of continuing at the Royal Academy of Music, he left school in 1955 and found a job with Robert Mellin Music in London's Tin Pan Alley.[3]

Before long, he was writing songs and making a name for himself within the recording industry, joining The Rank Organisation's new diskery, Top Rank Records; there he worked for the once and future Decca Records A&R man Dick Rowe. When National Service called him away from his chosen profession, he managed to become involved with the band of the Coldstream Guards. On his return in 1959, Hatch began his own recording career with a cover version of Russ Conway's piano instrumental "Side Saddle". In 1960, Garry Mills' (Nat Gonella's nephew) recording of Hatch's composition Look For A Star, featured in the hit film Circus of Horrors, became a Top Ten hit in the UK for Top Rank. Four versions of the song charted simultaneously in the United States, including Mills' original and a version by "Gary Miles" (a recording alias of future member of The Crickets, Buzz Cason) Top Rank, despite some worldwide success with artists such as Jack Scott and The Fireballs, ultimately was done in by a quirky distribution arrangement with EMI. A swift succession of events ensued through 1961-Top Rank was sold to EMI, briefly operated as a subsidiary, with hits by John Leyton, and shuttered, with its artist roster transferred to other EMI labels. Hatch moved on to a part-time job with Pye Records, where he assisted his new mentor, Alan A. Freeman, with the recording of "Sailor", a #1 hit for Petula Clark.

Hatch continued to write songs for Pye artists, sometimes under the pseudonym "Mark Anthony". In 1963, Philadelphia teen idol Bobby Rydell hit the charts with "Forget Him" written and produced by Hatch, who went on to produce, arrange and write for other American stars such as Keely Smith, Connie Francis and Pat Boone. In 1964 he wrote (under the pseudonym of "Fred Nightingale") the Searchers' hit "Sugar and Spice".

Collaboration with Petula Clark

After "Valentino", the first Tony Hatch composition to be recorded by Petula Clark, he became her regular producer. They collaborated on a series of French language recordings for Vogue Records. (Clark, whose husband was French and who spoke the language fluently, had a successful career throughout Europe.) Hatch became one of her regular songwriting partners, in addition to supplying English lyrics for songs she had composed with French lyricists.

In 1964, Hatch made his first trip to New York City in search of new material for Clark. The visit inspired him to write "Downtown", originally with The Drifters in mind. When Clark heard the still unfinished tune, she told him that if he could write lyrics to match the quality of the music, she would record the song as her next single. Its release transformed her into a huge international star, topping charts globally early in 1965, and introducing her to the US market. The year also yielded the remarkable series of hits "I Know A Place", "You'd Better Come Home", and "Round Every Corner" for Clark. She and Hatch wrote "You're The One", which became a major hit for The Vogues. Tony Hatch and Petula Clark became established as the British equivalent of Burt Bacharach and Dionne Warwick.

1965 marked the release of his first album, The Downtown Sound of Tony Hatch, featuring instrumental versions of some of his most famous songs, along with new compositions.

The song "Call Me", written for and recorded by Petula Clark in 1965, was recorded by Chris Montez late in the year. Released in November 1965, Montez's version entered the US Easy Listening Top 40 in Billboard that December, entering the US Billboard Hot 100 in January 1966; that March "Call Me" peaked on the Easy Listening chart at #2 and on the Hot 100 at #22.

Petula Clark's run of hits continued with "My Love", "A Sign Of The Times", "Who Am I?", "Colour My World", and "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love". Hatch also wrote Clark's 1967 hits "Don't Sleep In The Subway" and "The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener".

Collaboration and life with Jackie Trent

In 1964, Hatch was hired to write his first television theme, for the soap opera Crossroads. It would become one of his best-known compositions, and have the distinction of being re-worked by Paul McCartney and Wings. When asked to write a song to be featured in the Inspector Rose series, It's Dark Outside, he supplied "Where Are You Now?", with lyrics and vocals by a recently acquired Pye artist, Jackie Trent. The song immediately clicked with the public and shot to #1 in the charts.

Though still married to his first wife, Hatch began an affair with Jackie Trent, who had become a frequent songwriting collaborator. This ongoing affair was the inspiration for the song "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love".

Hatch and Trent were married in 1966. Their duet, "The Two Of Us", topped the Australian charts and created a demand for concert and cabaret performances, and the duo earned the nickname, "Mr & Mrs Music". His compositions for Sportsnight, The Doctors, Codename, Back to the Land, The Champions, Hadleigh, Mr and Mrs and Whodunnit! established Hatch as an undisputed leader in the world of television theme songs.

The two also wrote the song "Joanna", a hit for Scott Walker. One of their more unusual collaborations was the song "We'll be with you" written for Stoke City Football Club in the club's successful run for the League Cup in 1972. The song is still sung by fans as the team run out on matchdays.

During the 1970s, Hatch and Trent diversified into musical theatre. Their first project, The Card, based on Arnold Bennett's novel, with book by Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, ran in London's West End with Jim Dale and Millicent Martin in the lead roles. (Coincidentally, Petula Clark had starred in the 1952 film version with Alec Guinness.) An original cast album was released in 1975. A rewritten version of the show, starring Peter Duncan and Hayley Mills, played the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre in the 1990s and spawned a new cast album. The second Hatch/Trent musical was Rock Nativity, with book and lyrics by David Wood. Initiated and produced by Cameron Mackintosh, it first played in Newcastle. An updated version of the show toured nationally in 1976 and was broadcast nationally by Scottish TV. A full-length concert version was recorded at the Cork Opera House for the Irish television state broadcaster RTE.

In 1972, he composed the original theme to Emmerdale Farm.

During the 1970s Hatch was also a regular panellist on the talent show New Faces where his blunt style of assessing the contestants has proved to be a forerunner of approaches to come in later, similar series.

After completing the music score to the movie Sweeney 2 in 1978, Hatch and Trent moved to Dublin, where they remained for four years, hosting their own TV series, Words And Music and It's A Musical World. Hatch continued to produce hit TV themes for series such as Seagull Island and Airline before moving to Australia in 1982. While there, the couple wrote one of their most famous compositions, the theme for the TV soap opera Neighbours. They separated in 1995, and divorced in 2002.

Other recent events

Hatch made a guest appearance on Graham Fellows's radio show, The Shuttleworths in 1994.

In 2003, a disco remix of the original recording of Downtown was released in Australia by The OUTpsiDER, with the blessing of both Hatch and Clark, and became a major hit. A souvenir CD box-set of six of Hatch's albums (four from the 60s and two from the 70s - including one with Jackie Trent), all in replicas of their original covers, was released in 2005.

In 2010 the song "Push A Little Button" written by Hatch, performed by his (then 15 year old) sister Ninette and released on the Pye Records label in 1966 was used as the soundtrack for a campaign by UK TV Licensing, promoting the availability of online methods of paying a UK TV licence (which funds the BBC).[4]

Family life

Hatch has two daughters from his first marriage to Jean, a son and daughter from his marriage to Trent, and now lives in Menorca, Spain with his third wife, Maggie.

See also

Category:Songs written by Tony Hatch


  4. TV Licensing presses button on new campaign. Marketing Week (18 Jan 2010). Retrieved on 2010-03-06.

External links

  • Official website
  • Spectropop: Tony Hatch
  • Tony Hatch at the Internet Movie Database
This page was last modified 18.10.2010 22:45:55

This article uses material from the article Tony Hatch from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.