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Eric SCOTT (1997)

Eric Scott

Late 1950s - Eric and his wife, Hilary, becoming heavily involved with a country music programme from 7LA Launceston, Tasmania. The station had started making acetate disc and tape recordings of a few of the local Launceston amateur.

1960 - Hilary and Eric decided to Record one of the local acts and release a "proper" record on their own label.  The name Hadley was inspired by a small village called Monken Hadley near to where Eric was raised in England.

1961 - The first Hadley recording session took place at the 7LA auditorium in the Quadrant, Launceston. Two brothers, Bill and Ross Kettle recorded "Judy" (Jody) and their own composition "I Miss Holding You". The single was released on 1st December.

1962 - The next recording took place at the National Theatre, Launceston on 6th February, with Rocky Page becoming the second act to sign with the label. The band used was the Slim Dusty band, with Joy McKean on Bass, and Barry Thornton playing electric guitar. Yeldah Music publishing formed to look after original c/w compositions used on Hadley releases.

From December 1964 to the time Hadley left Tasmania, most of the recording sessions were undertaken outside of licenced hours at the cabaret room of the Hotel Tasmania.

During Hadley's time in Tasmania, the label had discovered the emerging talents of the Kettles, Rocky Page, Eddie Tapp and Johnny Heap. 1965 – Eddie Tapp signed with the Hadley label.

1965 - On the 20th June Dusty Rankin returned to the recording studio (his original recordings were on 78). He was joined in two duets with 16 year old Jean Stafford.

1966 - Eric headed off to Moree in New South Wales where he worked for six months with 2VM. No recording sessions while they were in Moree.

1966 - The next move was to Melbourne. Eric was employed by 3AW for 18 months.

New names were added to the label's roster - Michael Cooke from Tamworth, and Kevin and Joyce Durdin from Cobden, Victoria. Hadley used a hotel cabaret room (the Epping Hotel) for the Cooke and Durdin sessions, and recorded a Singing Kettles session at the home of Alan Hawking.

1968 - Eric & Hilary's next radio prompted move was to 2TM, Tamworth, in October.

The town had experienced musicians who had a deep background in country music. It had busy, promotional types, a pool of c/w singers with potential and enthusiasm, an active c/w club and a radio station with a specialist country music radio programme on a clear channel with a D.J. who was more than usually enthusiastic.

Late 1969, Eric suggested to 2TM's Max Ellis, John Minson and Kevin Knapp that Tamworth needed a name - an identity like Nashville's "Music City". Max came up with the now famous "Country Music Capital" (of Australia).  From then onwards, all records coming out of Tamworth, all of the radio programmes and much of the written publicity carried the Country Music Capital logo.

1970 - Eric and Hilary found that at last they were able to build a home for themselves, and Hadley Records was given its first proper recording situation. A studio (24 feet by 20 feet by 15 feet high), control room and store room were included in an area of seven squares added to the end of the house. An updating of the recording equipment was begun again, and record sales grew steadily.

Because the number of country musicians in Tamworth was so small, if specialist musicians were required for recordings, they would have to be brought from elsewhere.

Late in 1971, Hadley began raising the finance to purchase an 8 track Otari mastering recorder that used 1 inch wide recording tape. In Australia at the time, only leading studios in Sydney and Melbourne had such equipment, so the development was very much state of the art.

1972 - On 29th March, Hadley Records released its first national hit recording. Slim Newtons “Redback on the Toilet Seat” sold 96,000 copies in Australia and 4,000 copies in new Zealand, earning Slim three gold records.

1976 - Hadley Records decided to design and build, from the ground up, a brand new studio and offices at the site in Egret Place, Calala, Tamworth.

1977 - The complex was completed and opened with its first recording sessions in April.

1979 - Hadley purchased a computer, which was able to handle musician payment, royalties, accounting. Because operating programmes to suit the very specialised needs of a specialist record label were not available, Hadley created its own exclusive suite of software.

1980 – Golden Guitar Country Music Capital Award.

1981 the label upgraded the facilities to 24 track with the purchase of a microprocessor controlled Otari MTR90 machine (24 track on 2 inch tape).

1983 - In August and September Eric journeyed to the UK to investigate the practicalities of updating the Hadley studios to state of the art digital sound.

1984 - Hadley's new Sony digital equipment began operation in February 1984, and from that time, all Hadley product has been cut from digital masters.

During 1985, Hadley began to change the direction of it's house product away from a predominantly bush ballad catalogue, and diversify towards country gospel, bush band, instrumental and M.O.R. productions.

 1987 - Australasian Country Music Awards, Hadley Records was presented with a citation acknowledging its 25 years service to the Australian country music industry.

1987 - In December a MCI JH636 series automated mixing desk replaced the old house assembled mixer. Many of the highly specialised units on the old desk were incorporated into the MCI, resulting in a computer controlled mixing facility a stage further in development to that envisaged by the designers of the original MCI desk.

1989 saw the release of Hadley's first compact disc, an instrumental album by Norm Bodkin and Kenny Kitching. As with the transition from 78 rpm records to the microgroove, Australia's country music fans were amongst the last to accept the new technology.

2002 – On the 30th June, Hilary and Eric decided to vastly reduce their work load by closing down both the studio and the catalogue wholesale divisions, leaving only Hadley catalogue administration & leasing, and Yeldah Music Publishing operating.

 2005 - After producing Australian country music since 1961 the production rights to most of the Hadley records Catalogue were sold.

Eric became very involved with the Australian Country Music Foundation and Hall of Fame, initially as the archivist and computer programmer. In 2009 he expanded his involvement when he was elected President of the organisation.