THE BILL HUNT HISTORY:
Born May 23, 1947, Birmingham, England.
He was The Electric Light Orchestra's horn player and keyboarder from spring 1971 to July 1972. He attended Wingwood Brothers Comprehensive School and Birmingham School of Music where he learnt to play piano, harpsichord, tuba, french horn and hunting horn on a graduate course.
Bill played in a progressive rock quartet, called Hannibal, who released one album in 1970 entitled "Hannibal" on which he played hammond organ and french horn.
In the late 1960s, Roy Wood — guitarist, vocalist and songwriter of The Move — had an idea to form a new band that would use violins, cellos, string basses, horns and woodwinds to give their music a classical sound, taking rock music in the direction "that The Beatles had left off". Jeff Lynne, frontman of fellow Birmingham group The Idle Race, was excited by the concept. In January 1970, when Carl Wayne left The Move, Jeff Lynne accepted Roy Wood's second invitation to join the band on the condition that they focus their energy on the new project.
On 12 July 1970, when Roy Wood added multiple cellos to a Jeff Lynne-penned song intended to be a The Move B-side, the new concept became a reality and "10538 Overture" became the first Electric Light Orchestra song. To help finance the fledgling band, two more The Move albums were released during the lengthy The Electric Light Orchestra recordings. The resulting debut album The Electric Light Orchestra was released in 1971. (It was released in the United States in 1972 as No Answer, the name being chosen because a record company secretary had tried to ring the UK company and get the name of the album – since they were unable to contact them they left a note saying "No Answer") "10538 Overture" became a UK top-ten hit.
Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan were the founding members of The Electric Light Orchestra. They were joined by Bill Hunt (horns, keyboards) and Steve Woolam (violin) on the debut album.
The Electric Light Orchestra's debut concert took place on 16 April 1972 at The Greyhound Pub in Croydon, UK, with a line-up of Roy Wood, Jeff Lynne, Bev Bevan, Bill Hunt, Wilfred Gibson (violin), Hugh McDowell (cello), Mike Edwards (cello), Andy Craig (cello) and Richard Tandy (bass). However, tensions soon surfaced between Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne due to problems with management. During the recordings for the band's second LP, Roy Wood left the band taking cellist Hugh McDowell and horn/keyboard player Hunt with him to form Wizzard. Despite predictions from the music press that the band would fold without Roy Wood, who had been the driving force behind the creation of The Electric Light Orchestra, Jeff Lynne stepped up to lead the band, with Bev Bevan remaining on drums, joined by Wilfred Gibson on violin, Richard Tandy now playing the Moog synthesiser in place of Hunt, Mike de Albuquerque on bass and vocals, and Mike Edwards and Colin Walker on cellos.
The new line-up performed at the 1972 Reading Festival. Barcus Berry instrument pick-ups, now sported by the band's string trio, allowed them to have proper amplification on stage for their instruments, which had previously been all but drowned out by all the sound of the other electrified instruments. The band released their second album, ELO 2 in 1973, which produced their first US chart single, a hugely elaborate version of the Chuck Berry classic "Roll Over Beethoven". The Electric Light Orchestra also made their first appearance on American Bandstand show. During the recording of the third album, Wilfred Gibson was let go after a dispute over money, Mik Kaminski joined as violinist, and Colin Walker left since touring was keeping him away from his family too much, while remaining cellist Mike Edwards finished the cello parts. The resulting album, On the Third Day, was released in late 1973, with the American version featuring the popular single "Showdown". Hugh McDowell who had left the band the previous year returned for the subsequent American Tour in support of the album.
After leaving The Electric Light Orchestra he helped Roy Wood to form Wizzard. In this formation Bill had the opportunity to show all his talents. Apart from his usual instruments he could be heard on trumpet, flugel horn, tenor horn, bugle, euphonium, little glass trumpet and backing vocals. He was also responsible for the brass arrangements together with Roy Wood. He had composed the most adventurous Wizzard track "The Carlsberg Special" which Madness could have easily performed because it was an early form of Ska. At the end of his Wizzard days he was only the piano player so he dropped out of the band in October 1973 to become a music teacher.
In 1989 Bill returned to the music business with the single "Crying In The Rain" (a cover version of The Everly Brothers hit) by Blessings In Disguise featuring Noddy Holder and Dave Hill, to name the band's full name.
One year later Bill Hunt became more and more involved with Slade as their song contributor, with the first result being two Dave Hill / Bill Hunt compositions called "Red Hot" and "Lay Your Love On The Line" which were recorded by Slade and used as B-sides for their two singles lifted from their 1991 album "Wall Of Hits". When Noddy Holder left the group, they changed their name into Slade II, recording the Bill Hunt / Dave Hill composition "Hold On To Love" as their first single.
Further Bill Hunt compositions went on limited release in Belgium for the singles "Black And White World" and "Who´s To Blame".
Slade II then recorded their first album entitled "Keep On Rockin!" on which Bill Hunt co-composed eight out of the eleven songs included.