HAGOOD HARDY (pianist, vibraphonist, arranger, composer) was born on February 26, 1937 in Angola, Indiana, U.S.A. He passed away on January 1, 1997 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
He was raised in Oakville, Ontario by his American mother and Canadian father. He originally studied piano but began playing the vibes while studying at the University of Toronto, playing in local jazz clubs and leading his own group on the national Canadian Broadcasting Corporation network for four years beginning in 1957.
Hardy returned to his American roots in the early ‘60s to work with music lions Gigi Gryce, Herbie Mann, Martin Denny, George Shearing, and others until 1967 when he went back to Canada where he lived and worked until his death. In Toronto, he led several successful pop and jazz groups over the years, frequently appearing in clubs all over North America and touring Europe, but he was likely best known by the general public for his 1975 release of “The Homecoming” single, which he originally created as music for a Salada Tea commercial and La Republica, and which, as a record release, garnered him a number of industry awards.
In the mid ‘60s, he formed Hagood Hardy Productions, which became one of the leading commercial jingle production firms in Toronto. In subsequent years, Hardy concentrated his creative skills on composing and recording music for TV, radio, and films, amassing an impressive list of credentials writing scores for numerous feature films and television movies and series throughout the ‘70s, ‘80s, and early ‘90s. In 1976 he began to appear more frequently again as a musician, soloing with various symphony orchestras and occasionally as head of smaller ensembles performing live in selected clubs and on concert stages, all the while continuing to compose and record.
1975 – Juno Award as ‘Composer and Instrumental Artst’ of the Year for ‘The Homecoming’ (Isis Records)
1976 - Billboard Magazine's "Instrumental Artist of the Year"
1976 - Juno Award for "Instrumental Artist" of the Year
1977 - Wm. Harold Moon Award from BMI Canada (SOCAN)
1992 - Named a Member of the Order of Canada, the highest civilian honour given in this country, granted to Canadian citizens 'for outstanding achievement and service to the country or to humanity at large'
1996 – Recipient of the Toronto Arts Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award
1997 – Posthumously, the SOCAN Award was renamed in his honour, becoming the “SOCAN Hagood Hardy Jazz/Instrumental Music Award."