Established in 1969, the Henry Hadaway Organisation, branded “HHO” (founded by Henry Hadaway, MBE) boasts international success across many divisions of the music business. Surviving over 48 years in the industry, HHO is one of the longest running UK independents.
Originating as a promotion and management agency, HHO sponsored and produced gigs throughout the seventies via its sub-agencies “Satril Management” and “Big Ear Promotions”, offering up famous rock names including David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Wishbone Ash to name a few, hosted at famous London venues including the London Palladium, the former Mean Fiddler, The Marquee and The Lyceum. HHO was notably responsible for coining the prestigious “Sunday Rock at the Lyceum”. Other shows featured important artists from the Motown label including The Four Tops, Marv Johnson, Jimmy Ruffin and Edwin Starr.
HHO was an innovator throughout the independent record label sector during the seventies and eighties, having founded a number of significant labels including Satril Records and Crash Records. While the Satril Management agency looked after a variety of named acts, HHO became much more involved in the recording side of the business during the early seventies. In 1973, Satril Records was founded, and in the following year signed a three-year licensing/distribution deal with Pye Records. Satril Records in particular achieved great success on the recording front, with such acts as The Sandpipers, who charted with “Hang On Sloopy”, Kenny Lynch, who had a best-seller with “Half The Day's Gone And We Haven't Earned a Penny”, Godiego, who were smash hits in the Japanese market (sales of over 32 million units), and Connie Francis. Satril was the first label of its time to promote the burgeoning disco genre, and the label's identity had over 25 different territories during the seventies – an achievement that outstripped other indie label contemporaries of the time like Chrysalis, Virgin and Island.
During the seventies, HHO established Satril Studios (a recording studio in Finchley) that was regularly used by such top indsutry names as producers including Biddu and Steve Levine, and acts including Marvin Gaye and Kenny Lynch amongst the many others that came to record, produce and feature in sessions. Henry Hadaway himself produced records for artists including Burnt Oak (better known as Mr. Big), The Sandpipers, The Rockin' Berries and the great Frankie Vaughan. His most renowned production to date however is “The Birdie Song” (performed by The Tweets) which sold over 1.6 million copies in the UK alone, and is rated one of the all-time best sellers.
HHO's success has fundamentally been accredited to an international outlook; while similar organisations operated within their domestic markets, HHO functioned across many overseas territories, opening offices in Cleveland, Ohio, Nashville, and later on Sydney, Australia, and also established a firm footing in the Asian and Far East markets.
Throughout the eighties, HHO continued to promote rock gigs in Europe, including a prestigious festival in Malta (December 1989) on the occasion of the historic summit between Presidents George Bush and Mikael Gorbachev. Working closely with the first Maltese prime minister Dom Mintoff, HHO staged “Give Peace A Chance”, a concert to promote world peace with international pop names like Chris de Burgh, Leo Sayer, Sinitta, Aimii Stewart and Aswad.
In the later part of the eighties, building on the basis of the Satril and Crash audio libraries, HHO began to acquire additional audio and visual catalogues, quickly leveraging itself as one of the largest rights holders/licensors in the world. Through a deal with Florida based impresario Mike Winters, HHO became responsible for the catalogues of the Church Street Station and Rock ‘N' Roll Palace music TV, video and record series, which attracted such superstar names as Tammy Wynette, Merle Haggard, George Jones and Jerry Lee Lewis to name a few. HHO continued to expand it's catalogue during this time with the acquisition of further multimedia catalogues to expand the HHO master rights offering.
By the late eighties, HHO had recognised a growing popular demand for budget CD products. Leveraging their position as one of the few independent owners of audio copyrights, HHO moved into the back-catalogue CD market, offering re-issues of popular titles from the catalogue. This market was rapidly expanding, and during the early nineties HHO launched the “Javelin” sub-division which handled wholesale distribution of optical disc media. Subsequently, HHO moved into magazine publishing and cover mount production, partnering with Replay (the first popular music CD-cover mounted magazine), Exposed, and Jazz on CD. Other services offer included manufacturing facilities for third party independent music and media companies like Delta Leisure, Not Now Music, and Go Entertain. In the later part of the nineties, HHO had also launched Gemini Vision which was a niche video label (distributed by Sony UK) specialising in audio-visual, special interest and documentary genres, with some HHO owned titles being exploited for television broadcast.
Over the years, HHO has been a continued annual presence at the MIDEM music market in the south of France, for which various awards have been received personally from Reed Midem for contributions to the industry over the years, and to the convention itself.
In more recent times, HHO has branched further into visual media, producing and distributing DVDs and programmes tailored for TV including the prestigious Peter Green documentary “Man Of The World”, shown on BBC and Sky Arts.
To read more about HHO’s director Henry Hadaway and his achievements, you can visit his personal website here.