Wilde World: Tony Allen

Kim Wilde’s first records were written and produced by her father and brother, Marty and Ricky. The three of them have had a great influence on the music world, as this regular series ‘Wilde World’ shows.

Tony Allen was born as John William Hodkinson in Leigh, Lancashire on December 29, 1942. He was discovered by Larry Parnes and initially performed as Johnny Goode. In 1961 he recorded his debut single ‘When love comes to call’ as Tony Allen. The next single, ‘There is always a first time’ (1962), included a B-side called ‘I wanted everything’ – a song written by Marty Wilde and Mike Hawker. And another single called ‘(In the) Fools hall of fame’ also included a B-side written by this duo, entitled ‘My heart is free’. You can listen to that song below.

In the late 1960s, he became a founding member of the pioneering British jazz-rock band If, appearing on their first five albums. When the band’s first line-up broke up, in 1972-3, he joined Darryl Way’s band Wolf, appearing on their 1974 album ‘Night music’. In 1975 he became a founding member of the band Rogue. Hodkinson passed away on June 9, 2013.

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