After growing up in the industrial town of Bolton, Lancashire in England, the daughter of Annie and George, Annie developed into a singer songwriter with credits worthy of some of the most well known entertainers in the world. To backtrack a little, her working class roots were to give her a foundation that would serve her well later in life. She would travel the world and be introduced to many situations and nationalities far away from her homeland. A career in music was to be the biggest gift that would be bestowed on her. Her father was an amateur comedian/singer (with a beautiful tenor voice) and her mother a gentle quiet woman had once been a nurse while aspiring to be an acrobatic dancer. Both had encouraged Annie in whatever they saw her drawn to, this was pretty special in the days when most families wanted and needed their children to go out to work and bring money and food home to the table. This, after all was a working class family. Clearly a strong devotion to the upbringing and the consideration of her own life needs were to help Annie on her path forward within the realms of creativity.
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Annie has two brothers, both gifted in their own way. Keith is a very gifted artist and made his name for himself in Canada where he worked as a graphic designer, designing packaging for some well known products, that later became household names. He really should have pursued a career in comedy as his personality is very funny and infectious. He has been a Hare Krsna devotee for many years now and uses his talents within the structure of that religion.
Michael, also a singer with a very powerful melodic voice was signed up by Brian Epstein in the 60’s and was fortunate enough to be included in several of the infamous Beatles Xmas Shows. At this time Annie would hear her brother practicing at home not realizing that one day she too would be singing professionally. A ballet dancer, nurse and later a dress designer were the only careers on her mind, the latter being the only one that she actually pursued with enthusiasm after attending art school in Cornwall in the late 60’s.
In the early 70’s Annie was to find out that not only did she have a talent for dress design but that also she had a hidden talent for singing which was discovered after her sister in law (also a singer) heard her singing along with the music at the end of a TV show in the UK called ‘The Saint'. This encouragement led her to her first singing position at the ‘Showboat in the Strand’ (a cabaret style dinner theater). After six months here she went for an audition in Surrey with a rather unusual band called Renaissance. Annie’s unique style of singing captured the members of the band and she was immediately offered the job as lead singer, from that moment on her life would never be the same. This was the beginning of a whole new life for Annie. From that point on she would start her musical adventures that took her across most of the world, and which brought her to such wonderful venues as The Royal Albert Hall in London and Carnegie Hall in New York, performing with The Royal Philharmonic and The New York Philharmonic Orchestras, respectively. The music that was created within the band was surely something that became very unique and that would stand the test of time. During the period with the band Annie was to record her first solo Album.
In 1977 'Annie In Wonderland' was created, produced, performed and recorded by The Move and ELO founder member Roy Wood. This was a turning point in Annie’s career as Roy opened up new avenues and styles of singing that Annie had not tried before. This album is a joy.
Her second solo album in 1985, presented light classical pieces put to words by lyricist Betty Thatcher and with music arranged and conducted by Louis Clark. This has to be one of the highlights of Annie’s career. She recorded with The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with whom she had already performed and recorded with back in the Renaissance days, and so to do her own project with them was a very special achievement. The album was entitled ‘Still Life’.
In 1987 Renaissance disbanded and in the following year Annie started to make plans to form her own band and return to North America. Two of the members from that initial band are still performing with Annie, Rave Tesar on keyboards and Joe Goldberger on Drums and Percussion, David Biglin also Keyboard/Guitar player joined in 1992. They have accompanied her to Japan, Brazil and countless shows in the U.S.
In 1989, a record deal was secured with EPIC Records This album was simply entitled Annie Haslam, and this was to be her stepping stone to another major life change. The Album was licensed to Virgin Records in Japan which led to a tour of several major Japanese cities with The Annie Haslam Band.
Soon after this very successful trip, Annie moved to North America where she is still residing. In 1992 she started writing songs with record producer Tony Visconti, but was diagnosed with breast cancer soon after they started recording demos. This did not deter her, in fact the music that was written and recorded during this period was instrumental in getting her through all the uncomfortable experiences that came with the chemotherapy and radiation. Music played a big part in the recovery process. During Annie's recuperation, a record deal was secured in Japan for ‘Blessing in Disguise’. This CD, containing nine songs co-written by Annie captures many of the emotions that she had lived through. 'Blessing in Disguise' came out in the U.S and Canada in 1995 and has just been released in England on HTD Records and in Europe on Transatlantic Records.
Back in control of her health Annie became involved in a YES tribute CD where she was to record 'Turn of the Century’, which led to Annie and Steve Howe writing material for an album together. Although the album is unfinished at this time, blending the melodic style of Steve’s incredible guitar playing with Annie’s ethereal five octave voice makes this project very unique. Their association was to take a strange twist in 1995. After being so moved by a programme on orphans in Bosnia, Annie had been compelled to call ‘Inside Edition’ (a TV news magazine show in the states). A connection was made that would lead to Annie organizing a benefit concert in New York in aid of these unfortunate children in Sarajevo. The concert was put together with the help of 20th Century Guitar Magazine who later did a wonderful spread in their magazine to record the evening’s events. It was a huge success and was held at the Irving Plaza with such names as Justin Hayward, Gary Brooker, Roy Wood, Cheap Trick, Steve Howe, Phoebe Snow, Steve Holley, Ian McDonald, Tony Visconti, Joy Askew, Maggie Ryder, Ian Lloyd, David Biglin with Al Franken as the host of the evening. This was a night to remember which hopefully one day will be made into a CD.
In 1997, Annie was invited to perform in Brazil where she recorded a ‘Live’ CD called ‘Live’ Under Brazilian Skies'. This CD is available in the U.S and Canada on One Way Records, in England on HTD Records, Europe on Transatlantic Records and will be released in Japan in the summer on Mercury Records.
A long awaited Xmas CD is being recorded for release this year after many requests from fans. They have been faithfully attending the Xmas shows that she and her band have been performing for the past 4 years and will be duly rewarded.
Annie's new CD 'The Dawn of Ananda' features new songs with Michael Dunford, Larry Fast, Rave Tesar, Tony Visconti and David Biglin. Annie continues to enthrall people all over the world with her very own magnificent talent..........her voice. This new CD showcases the warm healing qualities in her voice and the words are equally enchanting.
In her own words she says:
“I have only touched the tip of the Iceberg, there is much to do yet. Surviving breast cancer became another milestone in my life, awakening my senses to my reality and showing me the true meaning of what I am here to do”.....
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