- Mike Hurst (producer)
Mike Hurst Birth name Michael John Longhurst Pickworth Born 19 September 1941
Kilburn, London, England
Occupations Musician, record producer Years active 1960s–present Associated acts Cat Stevens, The Springfields, Showaddywaddy Website mikehurst.co.uk
A singer, songwriter and guitarist from the age of 13, Mike Hurst was encouraged by rock singer Eddie Cochran after auditioning for Jack Good's television show Oh Boy!. but in 1960, after failing to secure a recording contract, Hurst moved away from music and began to work in insurance. Later, though, after his mother answered an advertisement in The Stage, on his behalf, for a singer for a pop/folk group, Hurst won an audition. He joined Dusty and Tom Springfield in The Springfields in February 1962.
After entering the British charts with the hit "Breakaway" they scored a hit single in the US with "Silver Threads and Golden Needles", becoming the first UK vocal group to make the US Top 20. UK chart success continued in 1963 with "Island of Dreams" and "Say I Won't Be There". They were voted the top British group by readers of the NME in 1962. The Springfields' final performance was in Sunday Night at the London Palladium, the biggest television programme of the day, where they were presented with a trophy by compere Bruce Forsyth.
The group disbanded in October 1963. In 1964, Hurst formed a band called the Methods, featuring Jimmy Page and then Albert Lee on guitar as well as Tony Ashton on keyboards. After leaving the band Hurst began producing for Andrew Oldham (Tony Rivers and the Castaways) and Mickie Most. In September 1965 he oversaw Marc Bolan's first recording session, at Decca when he recorded "The Wizard".
In 1965 he discovered singer-songwriter Cat Stevens performing at Hammersmith College, had him signed to the new Deram record label (an imprint of Decca) and produced his first five hit singles including "Matthew and Son" and "I'm Gonna Get Me A Gun". During this time he also produced hit singles for P. P. Arnold ("The First Cut Is the Deepest"), The Move ("Curly"), Manfred Mann ("Mighty Quinn"), Spencer Davis Group ("Time Seller") and Colin Blunstone.
In 1970 and 1971 he recorded two albums for Capitol Records, utilising sidesmen such as Tony Ashton, B. J. Cole, Clem Cattini, Ian Paice, Jon Lord, Rod Argent and Nicky Hopkins. In 1973 he formed his own production company, Solid Gold, and wrote and produced for the band Fancy, achieving US chart success with the singles "Touch Me" and a cover of The Troggs "Wild Thing". The same year he signed Showaddywaddy to Bell Records and produced a string of UK hit singles for them. These included "Under the Moon of Love", "Three Steps to Heaven" and "When".
Following his success with Showaddywaddy, he produced Modern Priscilla, a disco album for Cilla Black, started managing Shakin' Stevens in 1978, and produced his first hit "Hot Dog" in 1978. he formed a vocal group with Mary Hopkin called Sundance and toured with Dr Hook. In 1984 he became head of Lamborghini Records, famous for discovering Samantha Fox.
Recent work includes production for Belle & Sebastian (2002), and his son's band, Jonas and Plunkett (2007). He also runs rock schools for youngsters through his Rockmaster company, and also lectures at schools throughout the country.
- ^ "Songwriter/Composer: HURST PICKWORTH MICHAEL JOHN". BMI Repertoire. Broadcast Music Incorporate. http://repertoire.bmi.com/writer.asp?blnWriter=True&blnPublisher=True&blnArtist=True&page=1&fromrow=1&torow=25&querytype=WriterID&keyid=164474&keyname=HURST%20PICKWORTH%20MICHAEL%20JOHN&CAE=46705088&Affiliation=PRS. Retrieved 2008-11-09.
- ^ a b SPRINGFIELDS, The : MusicWeb Encyclopaedia of Popular Music[dead link]
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