Tony Hatch (born Anthony Peter Hatch, 30 June 1939, Pinner, Middlesex, England) is an English composer, songwriter, pianist, music arranger, and producer.
The British Bacharach, they called him. It is an epithet he surely deserves. Like his great American contemporary, Tony Hatch was also a recording artist in his own right, as well as a highly skilled arranger, conductor, musician and record producer. Bacharach might have had Dionne Warwick but Tony Hatch had Petula Clark. Together they were a perfect team, ruling the world of international pop music for many years with a series of million-selling singles and albums.
'Downtown', 'Call Me', 'Joanna', 'Sugar And Spice', 'I Know A Place', 'Where Are You Now (My Love)', 'You're The One', 'Forget Him', 'Don't Sleep In The Subway' . . . There is no prize for knowing that what links these great titles is that each and every one was written by Tony Hatch, the subject of this brief career summary and a likely contender for Britain's top pop composer of the 1960s. A more complete list of his hit songs would fill several paragraphs such as this. Furthermore, the addition of the unforgettable themes for such TV shows as 'Crossroads', 'Sportsnight', 'Man Alive', 'Neighbours' and 'Emmerdale Farm' make Tony Hatch one of the most broadcast composers this country has ever known.
After reaching the UK Top 50 under his own name in 1962 with the light orchestral piece, "Out Of This World", Hatch emerged as a respected songwriter, arranger, and producer of immensely popular hit records. He began taking piano lessons at the age of four, and when he was 10, joined the choir of All Souls Church, Langham Place, in London. While in his teens he worked for a firm of music publishers, before taking a job as assistant producer Top Rank Records. During his National Service in the Army, Hatch was a staff arranger with the Band of the Coldstream Guards, and continued to work part time as a freelance producer with Pye Records and Top Rank. For the latter label he wrote (under the nom de plume of Mark Anthony) and produced Gary Mills' recording of "Look for A Star", which was a UK and US hit.
After his release from the Forces, Hatch joined Pye on a full time basis, and soon had his own roster of artists which included the Brook Brothers, the Viscounts, Emile Ford, the Alexandra Brothers, and the Dagenham Girl Pipers. He also co-wrote and produced several of comedian Benny Hill's popular novelty numbers.
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 1963, Hatch introduced the Searchers to Pye, and, after producing their first hit, "Sweets For My Sweet", wrote (under yet another nom de plume, Fred Nightingale) their follow up, "Sugar And Spice".
The following year brought "Downtown", the first of many numbers of his which became popular for Petula Clark. It boosted her career in the UK and US, and gained her a Grammy Award. She won another one in 1965 for her version of Hatch's "I Know A Place". Hatch wrote most of the other chart successes for Clark with Jackie Trent, including "I Couldn't Live Without Your Love", "The Other Man's Grass Is Always Greener', Colour My World", and "Don't Sleep In The Subway". The duo also wrote the dramatic ballad, "Where Are You Now (My Love)", which Trent took to the top of the UK chart in 1965 after it had featured in an episode of the Inspector Rose television series, It's Dark Outside.
Here's "Sugar And Spice" from above 1965 album
In 1967, to mark their wedding day, Pye released Hatch and Trent's version of "The Two Of Us". It was the beginning of the couple's highly successful secondary career in cabaret and concerts, although they still continued to write songs, one of which, the lovely ballad "Joanna", was successful for Scott Walker in 1968. In 1972, Hatch composed the music for George Cukor's film Travels With My Aunt, and a year later collaborated with Trent on the score for the West End musical The Card, starring Jim Dale and Marti Webb. Among the songs were the lovely "Opposite Your Smile" and "I Could Be The One".
In the 70s, after Hatch had spent some time as a member (an acerbic member) of the panel for the New Faces television talent show, he and Trent lived in Southern Ireland for several years in an effort to escape the high rate of taxes in England. Their next move was to Australia, where they have subsequently continued to spend most of each year. In 1985 they wrote the theme song for a new television series, Neighbours, which has since become a favourite in the UK. Hatch's other, highly lucrative, small screen signature tunes have been for UK television programmes such as Crossroads, Man Alive, Sportsnight, Hadleigh, Mr. & Mrs., and Emmerdale Farm. Hatch produced the spectacular annual Carols In The Park which attracts over 100,000 people to one of Sydney's largest parks.
In 1992, Hatch and Trent added the BASCA Award For Services To British Music to their several Ivor Novello Awards, and two years later were in London to supervise a revival of their 1973 show, The Card. In 1995, they announced that their marriage was over. Hatch was then based in Minorca, while Trent returned to England to resume her solo career.
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. He married Maggie in London on 7 May 2005.
Hatch performed at the Hackney Empire on 9 September 2012, for a Grand Order of Water rats evening - 'The Golden Years of Variety'. At the piano he played the theme tunes of Emmerdale Farm, Neighbours, and Crossroads and encouraged a sing - along to "Downtown".
On 13 June 2013, Hatch was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame, at a ceremony held at the New York marriott Marquis. He was accompanied by his wife, Maggie. (Info various mainly NME)