Friday, 31 October 2008

Themologists: Tony Hatch

Some People Are On The Telly loves theme music. That's why we have our own Blip Stream dedicated to the best music the tube has to offer. In our our occasional series we take a look at the work of the top themologists and celebrate their genius. Let's begin with Tony Hatch:

Pinner's favorite son, Tony Hatch is probably better known for the songs he wrote for female vocalist Petula Clarke. The pair released a string of hits including the memorable Downtown.

Hatch's first TV theme of note was for British soap opera Crossroads. The daily tales of ordinary folk at the Crossroads Motel was introduced by Hatch's unmistakable and beautifully simple piano melody which became synonymous with half an hour of total boredom once the tune came to an end:

The theme was famously cover by Paul McCartney & Wings on their album Venus And Mars... and was often used for the end credits for the programme. Hatch went on to compose many classic themes: Sportsnight, with its highly energised news theme on speed style that screamed "Exciting sport right now!" Other themes include Mrs & Mrs, The Champions and Hadleigh. However, as a soap opera them composer he has few rival's. Say what you like about the programme itself, but almost everyone with a television knows the theme to Neighbours and Emmerdale right? The former was written with his one time lover Jackie Trent with whom Hatch enjoyed a successful partnership both in and out of the studio. The latter piece is a particular favourite of mine. At least the original version is when it was called Emmerdale Farm before they drooped the Farm and the oboe for that matter:

These themes are sat firmly in our collective consciousness. Sadly, like many of the Themologists we will cover on this Blog, the music will endure far longer than the names behind them. Almost everyone you meet will recognise the tunes featured on this page. Few however, will know who is responsible for them. We'll finish on perhaps a lesser know piece by Tony Hatch.

The documentary series Man Alive was a long running current affairs programme on the BBC which began in the sixties and continued into the eighties. Check out the Wikipedia page for more information on the programme itself. I don't really remember too much of the show but the them tune is terribly familiar and an absolute belter in my opinion. Next time you're walking in the metropolis, pop this in your ears and enjoy the city. Take it away Maestro:


Tony Hatch Official Site.


Castro 31 October 2008 at 09:02  

My strongest recollection of Mr Hatch is that of surly judge on 70s talent show New Faces (qv: . He could always be relied upon to be hard on some dipstick who thought they could sing, dance or anything, when all the other judges loved the soon-to-be-forgotten wannabe.

Top themester though, as blog points out.

Chris O 31 October 2008 at 09:24  

I always had a thing for the Wings version of the Crossroads theme. I suppose it's 'cos they always played it after one of the characters had died, thereby accentuating the drama of the closing scene.

Hatch was definitely a master of the genre - no mistake. I think his key skill was making memorable - nay, hummable tunes. Wonderful stuff.

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