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William Alan Hawkshaw born 27 March is a British composer and performer, particularly of themes for movies and television programmes. Hawkshaw worked extensively for the KPM production music company in the s and s, composing and recording many stock tracks that have been used extensively in film and TV. In , he was awarded a doctorate for his contributions to the music industry. As such, he is the composer of a number of familiar theme tunes including Channel 4 News , Grange Hill and Countdown. Born in Leeds , Hawkshaw worked as a printer for several years before becoming a professional musician, first joining the pop group The Crescendos. In the early s, he was a member of rock and roll group Emile Ford and the Checkmates. He also formed the Mohawks band and Rumplestiltskin with some session musicians. At that time, Hawkshaw was an exponent of the Hammond organ , heard in the Mohawks' music, and also on the UK recording of the musical Hair.
In a long and distinguished career spanning well over forty years, Alan Hawkshaw has always been at the top of his profession as one of the most in-demand studio musicians, owing to his virtuosic and sensitive technique on a variety of keyboard instruments, but most notably on the piano and Hammond organ. As a composer, Alan Hawkshaw has written the music for more than 35 films and countless television programmes. During the golden era of the British session musician - Alan's keyboard artistry featured on a staggering amount of recordings. You may not be familiar with Alan Hawkshaw but he has one of those names that you've read on countless album covers or single labels as arranger, writer or keyboard player and this is not surprising as Alan has played on approximately 7, recording sessions! Alan has also enjoyed a fruitful association with the doyen of science fiction writers, Arthur C. Clarke, composing for successive series of Arthur C.