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Famous Like Me > Composer > H > Tony Hatch

Profile of Tony Hatch on Famous Like Me

Name: Tony Hatch  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 30th June 1939
Place of Birth: Pinner, Middlesex, England, UK
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Tony Hatch (born 30 June 1939 or 1940) is a British composer, songwriter, pianist, producer, and arranger.

He was born Anthony Peter Hatch. Encouraged by his musical abilities, his mother — also a pianist — enrolled him in the London Choir School in 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.

Before long, he was writing songs and making a name for himself within the recording industry. 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 he found a part-time job with Pye Records, where he assisted his new mentor, Alan Freeman, with the recording of "Sailor," a #1 hit for Petula Clark.

In 1959, Hatch began his own recording career with a cover version of Russ Conway's piano instrumental "Side Saddle". In 1960, Garry Mills' 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. Four versions of the song charted simultaneously in the United States.

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.

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 words 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.

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. 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. 1965 also 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.

Petula Clark's run of hits continued with "My Love," "A Sign Of The Times", "Who Am I?", "Color My World", and "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love", inspired by the married Hatch's ongoing affair with Jackie Trent, who had become a frequent songwriting collaborator. Hatch also wrote Clark's 1967 hits "Don't Sleep In The Subway" and "The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener".

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 The Doctors, Codename, Back to the Land, The Champions, Hadleigh and Who-Dun-It established Hatch as an undisputed leader in the world of television theme songs.

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 Irish television.

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. He 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.

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.

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Tony Hatch