Tony Hiller, 91, songwriter and creator of Eurovision’s Brotherhood of Man
Tony Hiller, the creator of Eurovision-winning band Brotherhood of Man, has died aged 91.
The writer and producer helped the British pop group achieve worldwide success in the 1970s and wrote 1,500 songs.
One of his biggest achievements was helping to pen Save Your Kisses For Me, which led Brotherhood of Man to victory in the 1976 Eurovision Song Contest in the Netherlands.
Hiller died of cancer on August 26. His cremation was held at Golders Green, London, on August 30.
He is survived by his second wife Leigh, as well as a son and a daughter from his first marriage.
Hiller was born in London in the late 1920s and he and his brother Irving became a song-anddance duo, playing the variety halls as the Hiller Brothers, as well as making the occasional record.
They both joined the British subsidiary of an American music publisher, Mills Music, but Irving did not care for song plugging and went on to open nightclubs in Manchester. On the other hand, Tony revelled in finding the right song for the right performer and in encouraging new talent such as rock and roll singer Marty Wilde.
Hiller had the young Reg Dwight, later to become Elton John, working for him as an office boy before his talent was discovered.
Although Hiller had been involved with Eurovision since 1962, his compositions had never got further than the British heats before 1976.
Hiller was managing a Brotherhood of Man at the time of the win and Save Your Kisses For Me went on to be a number one single.
In 1980 Hiller produced a fine album, Yesterday, Today And Tomorrow, for American singer Johnnie Ray, who was almost deaf at the time, and went on to produce Rush Of Love, an album by Amy Winehouse’s father, Mitch, in 2010.
For years Hiller was the go-to man for football singles and was happy to pen tunes for teams other than his beloved Chelsea.