record producer, talent scout, and songwriter
, whose heyday
was in the 1960s
. He had old school
sensibilities, but, unlike a Mitch "I Hate Rock and Roll" Miller, he was able to adapt and thrive in the pop
marketplace of the day.
He was the head of A&R at Pye Records, once one of the big-four UK labels. One of the bands he found for Pye was a beat group called The Searchers; they would progress beyond beat-hood, and create a distinctive sound, driven by a 12-string guitar, that was to become important in the early days of folk-rock. The melodic guitars were Hatch's idea; you could say that he's the father of all jangly bands.
For Petula Clark, he co-wrote (with Jackie Trent) and produced such classic pop confections as "Don't Sleep in the Subway" (darling / don't stand in the pouring rain), "Downtown", and "Sign of the Times", among others; the songs still get recycled for latter-day uses, whether in AIDS fund-raising CDs or TV commercials. The sound of "Swinging London" still swings. These productions are no mere oldies.
When Davy Jones and the Lower Third signed with Pye, after getting the boot from Parlophone, Hatch got the assignment of producing them. It resulted in three flop 45s, but they weren't bad. Jones (renamed David Bowie, to avoid confusion with the other Davy Jones), the former blueshead singer/saxophonist, got the Petula Treatment, and adapted well to the new, poppy environment; it served him well when his subsequent solo recordings (for Deram) cast him in the role of the poor man's Anthony Newley.