Around 1968 Hardy began Hagood Hardy Productions, specializing in commercial jingles for companies such as Kelloggs, General Motors, London Life, and Canadian Pacific. He also began to concentrate on composing and recording music for TV, radio, and films, starting in the early 1970s. He returned to public notice almost immediately when he revised and recorded 'The Homecoming,' originally composed in 1972 as a Salada Tea jingle. Released by Hardy on his own Isis Records label as a single in 1975, and subsequently by Attic, it became an international hit. Its success brought Hardy Juno awards as composer and instrumental artist of 1975; he also was named instrumental artist of the year (1976) by Billboard magazine. Hardy received a Juno as instrumental artist of 1976, and was given the Wm Harold Moon Award from BMI Canada (SOCAN) in 1977. 'The Homecoming' was followed by "Love Theme from 'Missouri Breaks,'" a moderate hit in Canada. Sales of his LP The Homecoming exceeded 200,000 copies in Canada.
Hardy's 'The Homecoming' was the object of the first music plagiarism legal case in Canada, Gondos v. Hardy and Toth. The unsuccessful suit, which alleged copyright infringement, was brought in November 1980, and was dismissed with costs in July 1982. Despite being vindicated, Hardy found his composing career was temporarily interrupted. He ceased jingle writing in 1983.
Hardy also wrote scores for the feature films Second Wind (1975), Rituals (1976), and Klondike Fever (1979), and for many Canadian and US TV productions, most notably CBC-TV's 'Anne of Green Gables' in 1985 (bringing the composer a Gemini award for best musical score) and its sequel in 1987. Hardy's other TV credits include the movies An American Christmas Carol (ABC, 1979), Anatomy of a Seduction (CBS, 1979), Portrait of an Escort (CBS, 1981), Forbidden Love (CBS, 1982), and Liberace (CBS, 1988). He also wrote scores for The Silent Sky, (his first score, the independently produced TV series 'The Amateur Naturalist' (1983), 'Durrell in Russia' (1985, 'The Wizard of Oz' (1987), and 'Road to Avonlea' (1989-90), and for ABC's 'Passion and Paradise' (1989).
In 1976 Hardy began to appear in concerts across Canada either at the head of a small ensemble or as a soloist with symphony orchestras in programs of his best-known jingles and film music. During the 1980s and 1990s he continued to record, and performed on occasion in Toronto clubs with a jazz group and in 1990 introduced a hard-bop sextet on record (Morocco) and in concert. He composed 'In My Heart,' which premiered in Halifax, for the Canada 125 celebrations in 1992. The following year, he established the Elora Fireside Jazz series in Elora, Ont. Also in 1993 with his quartet, he recorded Between Friends, later released by Avalon in 1996.
Hardy held positions on numerous boards such as the SOCAN Foundation; was honorary chairman of the Canadian Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in 1984; and was a UNICEF ambassador, among other charitable commitments. In 1995, he ran unsuccessfully as the Liberal candidate in the Ontario provincial electoral district of York South. In 1992 he was named to the Order of Canada, and in 1996 he received the Toronto Arts Foundation's Lifetime Achievement Award. The SOCAN Hagood Hardy Jazz/Instrumental Music Award was renamed in his honour in 1997.
Writing in Ottawa Today's Seniors, Gord Atkinson described Hardy's contribution thus: 'Hagood Hardy's music was distinctive and easily recognizable; his piano and vibraphone styles were unique. As a composer he contributed beautiful melodies that became important additions to the Canadian musical landscape.'
Author Betty Nygaard King
Stop 33. 1967. CTL CTLS-1096/GRT 9211
Hagood Hardy and the Montage. 1970. CBC LM-81
Hagood Hardy and the Montage. 1972. CTL CTLS-0155/GRT 9230-1012
The Homecoming. 1975. CTL CTLS-5191/Attic LAT-1003
Maybe Tomorrow. 1976. Attic LAT-1011
Tell Me My Name. (1977). Attic LAT-1034
Reflections. (1978). Attic LAT-1052
Hagood Hardy Collection. (1979). Attic LAT 1073
As Time Goes By. (1980). Attic LAT-1097
The Christmas Album. (1980). Attic LAT-1098
Love Me Closer. (1982). Attic LAT-1116
Chasing a Dream. (1983). Duke Street DSR-31000
Night Magic. (1985). Duke Street DSR-31014
Hagood Hardy. (1986). Duke Street DSR-3130
All My Best. (1988). Duke Street DSMD-31052
All My Best, vol 2. (1989) Duke Street DSMD-31063
Morocco. Hardy piano and vibraphone, Lukiwski trombone, Stuart alto and tenor saxophone, Williamson piano, Crawford guitar, Homme double-bass, Elmes drums. 1989. Sack CD-2-2018
Other jazz albums as sideman to Cliff McKay and, 1961-7 in the USA, to Herbie Mann (At the Village Gate, Atlantic SD-1380; Right Now, Atlantic SD-1384; Returns to the Village Gate, Atlantic SD-1407; Brazil Bossa Nova and Blues, U Artists UAJ-14009), George Shearing (Here and Now, Cap T-2372), and Joe Pass (Simplicity, World Pacific S2-1865)
Batten, Jack. 'Hagood's homecoming,' The Canadian, 13 Mar 1976
'Hagood Hardy's next step is stab at U.S. market,' MSc, 294, Mar-Apr 1977
Irwin, Dan. 'Hanging out with Hagood,' Goodlife, Jan 1986
Batten, Jack. On Trial. (Markham, Ont, 1989)
Chapman, Geoff. 'Hagood's cooking,' Toronto Star, 5 Sep 1996
Atkinson, Gord. 'A Canadian musician for all seasons.' Ottawa Today's Seniors, July 1997
'Hagood Hardy's music touched millions, mourners told,' Ottawa Citizen, 5 Jan 1997
Links to Other Sites
Reflections of an International Musician
Hagood Hardy delivers a speech about his life and very successful musical career. From the Empire Club.
Listen to brief clips from Hagood Hardy's album "My Song". From artistsdirect.com.
Hagood Hardy - Anne of Green Gables
Listen to an audio clip from the score for the iconic Canadian television series "Anne of Green Gables". Composed by Hagood Hardy. From YouTube.