Five For Friday: Alan Hawkshaw

Production music, also called library music or stock music, is music that’s available for use in films, TV, radio, and other media projects. The composers and performers sell their music to production music libraries, and the libraries in turn license the music to the end users. It works well for media creators who are on a limited budget rather than hiring someone to write the music or licensing a popular tune. A content creator could buy a set of records from a music library and use whatever music from them that suited their project.

As we got into the ’90’s, the music libraries were issued on CD rather than vinyl records, making the vinyl LP’s redundant. Many owners of the records would sell them to thrift shops and used record stores. This created demand with record collectors, who saw the records, bought them, and added them to their personal collections. In short, production music became a popular genre.

There’s a lot more to say on the subject, but we’ll say it later….

One composer of production music is Alan Hawkshaw. In addition to writing production music for the KPM music library in the UK, he played keyboards for Hank Marvin & The Shadows, Olivia Newton-John, Cliff Richard, and Donna Summer. He’s the composer of the song "Studio 69", also known as "Blarney’s Stoned," which was used as the theme song for the BBC TV show Dave Allen At Large. Here are five more of his songs from the KPM library; you might have heard them just about anywhere…

  1. Gingerbread
  2. Mermaid
  3. Girl In A Sportscar
  4. A Man Alone
  5. Sheer Elegance

We’ll take a look at some of the other production music composers in the coming weeks. That’s Five For Friday for September 24, 2021.

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