Henry Hadaway, a pioneer of UK independents in the international scene, is the head of one of the UK 's longest established independent music companies, the Henry Hadaway organisation (HHO) , founded in 1969 . HHO has established itself as a world leader in back-catalogue - both video and audio - and has also branched out into other areas of the entertainment industry, including book and magazine publishing and production.
The origins of HHO can be traced back to a chance meeting between Hadaway and a young aspiring musician in a Bayswater cafe back in the summer of 1969. Henry, who had studied and graduated as a structural engineer but, was working in the insurance industry at the time, was keen to move into a new, more invigorating area of business. He decided to take the plunge and manage such acts as Pavement and Burnt Oak (better known as Mr. Big) . That same year, Hadaway established the Satril Management Agency and Big Ear Promotions , in order to present both cabaret and rock events in the London area. Among his earlier triumphs were the now-legendary Sunday Rock At The Lyceum gigs, held at the famous Strand venue in London 's West End .
Among the bands booked on to those bills were Wishbone Ash , The Strawbs , Renaissance , Armada (whose members later joined or formed hit acts such as Curved Air and Stretch ) If, Mr Big, etc. Hadaway also promoted tours by leading Tamla Motown stars such as the Four Tops , Edwin Starr and Mary Johnson , in addition to booking then up-and-coming acts such as David Bowie and Iggy Pop , via Big Ear Promotions. He also put on shows at the famous Marquee Club in London 's Wardour Street . But it was during Hadaway's first visit to Midem in 1973 that he was bitten by the record label bug and decided to launch one of his own. While the Satril agency was looking after a variety of name acts, Henry became more involved in the recording side of the business, and so forming Satril Records seemed like the obvious thing to do. In 1974, Hadaway signed a three-year licensing deal with (the now defunct) Pye Records , and singles and albums bearing the Satril label were soon on release in 25 territories , becoming one of the first UK independents to attain a truly international profile . This was an important period for HHO. Unlike many of his contemporaries, who were more concerned about finding their next British hit, Hadaway kept a close eye on international markets.
In 1987, he recognised the huge opportunities that CD offered the reissue market and, before the major labels woke up to it, established himself as a key player on the international licensing stage by pioneering low-price releases.Since the mid-Eighties, The Henry Hadaway Organisation has been licensing rights from its catalogue to many of the new companies which sprang up to satisfy a growing demand for low-price product but owned few copyrights themselves and so were keen to license repertoire from one of the largest catalogue in independent ownership. Among the leading European companies availing themselves of Hadaway's hoard of hits were Music Collection International, Disky and Elap in Denmark.
Other companies based in the Far East, South America, the United States and Australia soon joined the queue forming at HHO's door. In 1989 Hadaway also bought the audio and video rights for the Church Street Station and Rock 'N' Roll Palace US catalogues which include such international names as Tammy Wynette, George Jones, Charlie Rich, Del Shannon, Bobby Vee and The Platters. These and other catalogues have all been exploited internationally through a variety of further licensing deals with companies in virtually every other country in the world.
Hadaway also launched the Gemini Vision video label in 1990, which was distributed by Sony UK and rapidly secured its own niche in the music, special interest and documentary areas, Certain titles were also exploited for television broadcast.
During the past 20 years, HHO has consolidated its success in the video and audio markets, while a move to the offices in West Hampstead saw Hadaway divest himself of his recording studio interests and enter new areas of business. One of these was magazine publishing. Once more a pioneer, Hadaway launched Replay, the first consumer mainstream music magazine to have a free CD with every issue, as well as Jazz On CD and Exposed. He also made a return concert promotion when, at the request of the Maltese Prime Minister Dom Mintoff, he staged a special pop concert starring Chris De Burgh, Leo Sayer, Asswad and Amy Stewart among other artists, for the presidential Bush/Gorbachev summit held on the Mediterranean islands in 1991.
Hadaway has also received many awards and honours as public recognition of his success and durability. One of the most valued was bestowed upon him at midem on its 30th anniversary in 1996 by the Mayor of Cannes and the Reed Midem Organisation. He was also honoured by Princess Margaret for best dance record of the year for the "Birdie Song".
Nineteen-ninety-nine marked Henry Hadaway's 30th year in the music business when he was honoured by all his contemporaries through a pullout in Music Week. He was also honoured at Midem by Xavier Roy, former head of Reed Midem.In 2005 Henry and HHO celebrated their 35 th year in the industry. A 13-page spread was dedicated to Henry in Midem Daily News to celebrate the occasion. Henry was also honoured by Paul Zilk of Reed Midem for his success. For the past 36 years Henry Hadaway has gone where others fear to tread, and his business instincts have rarely let him down. He himself admits: "HHO has had setbacks just like any other company, but it has established a very solid reputation for itself and has every reason to move forward into the new millennium with great confidence."
In February 2004 Hadaway celebrated the opening of HHO Multimedia Australasia with its offices based in Sydney . George Vassiliou, who was Hadaway's London office manager, as well as being responsible for licensing, is running the new outpost as Managing Director. George has set up a licensing and distribution operation in Australia with the collaboration of John Evans head of Rajon.
Rajon handles sales and marketing. Rajon/Sony BMG handles distribution of both audio and Audio-visual titles released by HHO Multimedia Australasia. HHO is in the process of recruiting local staff and the office is responsible for covering the entire Pacific Rim region. Henry himself will be commuting between London and Sydney on a regular basis. His next goal is to make HHO Australasia as successful as HHO UK.
Meanwhile HHO also launched its new Retro Multimedia DVD and CD operation at Midem 2004. Distributed by Pinnacle Vision, in the space of less than one year, Retro Multimedia has managed to release over 90 titles raging from special interest, documentaries to Music titles. Another new aspect of the Hadaway operation is HHO DVD licensing, which focuses on country and rock 'n' Roll music, as well as special-interest and documentary titles. A deal with a certain well known US company and various European companies saw the release of such titles as the secret KGB files series, lords of mafia series, as well as Classical concerts, reggae titles, Great Operas, Jazz concerts, ballets and many more titles.
On the audio side, HHO is marketing the blitz low-price CD label, which has an extensive catalogue of titles by Chuck Berry, Doris day, Jim reeves, Howard keel, Ben E king, Lightning Hopkins, Bo Diddley and many more."HHO is still the front runner in the licensing rights and we intend to retain that position," Hadaway says. "We are always buying copyrights and continuing to look for new ways of increasing the catalogue size."
2006 saw the formation of Bringins Multimedia and A-List Productions with the goal of producing high quality feature films, music videos, special interest documentaries and also offering multimedia consultancy and concept development to clients.'The Peter Green Story: Man of the World', released in 2007 by Bringins Multimedia, was the first project to come to fruision and gained plaudits from fans and critics alike. The feature length biography tells the story of the Fleetwood Mac legend's early success and subsequent spiral into schizophrenia. The following year A-List Productions continued this success, releasing many interesting lifestyle DVDs that proved to be very popular.
After 40 years in the music business, Henry Hadaway could be forgiven for thinking about retirement. It is the last thing on his mind, however - and he has always shunned any suitors for HHO's hand. "I have had a number of offers for the company over the years, but have always decided not to sell," he says. "Even now, I wouldn't consider selling HHO to anyone."
"I love the music and I enjoy the comradeship that exists within our industry. I've been lucky enough to work with some wonderful and talented people over the past 40 years, and I really do believe that HHO is part of a huge global family. The company has established a very solid reputation and I hope the situation will continue for many years to come."