Tony Hiller, 91, song­writer and cre­ator of Eurovision’s Brother­hood of Man

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - FAMILY ANNOUNCEMENTS -

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.

Tony Hiller with Brother­hood of Man at the 1976 Eurovision Song Con­test.

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