Dan Hartman

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Dan Hartman
Birth name Daniel Earl Hartman
Born (1950-12-08)December 8, 1950
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, US

March 22, 1994(1994-03-22) (aged 43)
Westport, Connecticut, US

Occupation(s) Singer, songwriter, guitarist, keyboardist, record producer
Years active 1963–1994
Labels Blue Sky, MCA
Associated acts Edgar Winter Group, 3V, KC & the Sunshine Band

Daniel Earl "Dan" Hartman (December 8, 1950 – March 22, 1994) was an American musician, singer, songwriter and record producer, best known for such songs as: "Free Ride" with The Edgar Winter Group and the solo hits, "Instant Replay" "I Can Dream About You", "We Are The Young", "Second Nature". These were his most successful U.S. singles, with "I Can Dream About You" being the most successful, from the 1984 film "Streets Of Fire".[2]


Born in Pennsylvania's capital, Harrisburg, Hartman joined his first band The Legends at the age of 13. His brother Dave was also a member of the band. He played keyboards and wrote much of the band's music, but despite the release of a number of recordings, none turned out to be hits. He subsequently spent a period of time backing the Johnny Winter Band and then joined the Edgar Winter Group where he played bass, wrote or co-wrote many of their songs and sang on three of their albums. He wrote and sang the band's second biggest pop hit "Free Ride" in 1972. The ballad "Autumn" on Edgar's LP "They Only Come Out At Night" was a regional radio hit in New England. Upon launching a solo career in 1976, he released a promotional album which had, as its full title, Who Is Dan Hartman and Why Is Everyone Saying Wonderful Things About Him?. It was a compilation disc including songs from Johnny Winter and the Edgar Winter Group. His second release, Images, was his first true album and featured ex-Edgar Winter Group members Edgar Winter, Ronnie Montrose and Rick Derringer and guests Clarence Clemons and Randy Brecker.

From October 21 until November 5, 1977 blues legend Muddy Waters used Hartman's Studio in Westport, Connecticut. Hartman ran the recording board for the sessions, produced by Johnny Winter, which created the album I'm Ready.

In late 1978, Hartman reached No. 1 on the Dance Charts with the disco single, "Instant Replay," which crossed over to No. 29 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979 and also reached the Top 10 on the UK charts. Musicians Hartman worked with on the associated album included Vinnie Vincent and G. E. Smith. This was followed by his second chart topper, 1979's "Relight My Fire," which featured friend Loleatta Holloway on vocals. This song later became the theme for the NBC talk show Tomorrow and in 1993 became a hit single for British boy band Take That featuring Lulu. There was also a cover version of "Instant Replay" recorded by the British duo Yell!, a top 10 hit in January 1990.

He was back on the charts again with the Top 10 single "I Can Dream About You," which was featured on his new album of the same name I Can Dream About You as well as the Streets of Fire soundtrack in 1984. The tune reached No. 6 on the U.S. charts, and (on re-release in 1985) No. 12 in the UK. Hartman was featured as a barman in one of the two videos that were released for the single, which received heavy rotation on MTV. In the movie Streets of Fire, the single "I Can Dream About You" was actually sung by Winston Ford, whose vocals were convincingly lip-synched by a group led by black actor Stoney Jackson, and included among its members future actor/director Robert Townsend. Also in 1985, the song "Talking To The Wall" was featured on the Original Motion Picture Soundtrack Perfect starring Jamie Lee Curtis and John Travolta.

In 1984, Hartman also performed "Heart of the Beat" under the band name 3V with Charlie Midnight for the soundtrack of Breakin', directed by Joel Silberg and, in 1985, scored a third Number 1 single on the Dance Music charts, "We Are the Young." The single "Second Nature" also charted during this period. In 1986 his following studio album White Boy was unreleased by MCA, and Hartman returned to writing and producing for others. In 1988, he co-wrote the song "Why Should I Worry?" with Charlie Midnight, for the Walt Disney Animation Studios film Oliver and Company. His other film contribution was the song "Waiting to See You", which was used in the film Ruthless People and its accompanying soundtrack album.

During the next decade he worked as a songwriter and producer, and collaborated with such artists as Tina Turner, Dusty Springfield, Joe Cocker, Bonnie Tyler, Paul Young, James Brown, Nona Hendryx, Holly Johnson, Living in a Box, the Plasmatics and Steve Winwood. Hartman produced and co-wrote "Living in America", a No. 4 hit for James Brown which appeared on the soundtrack of 1985's Rocky IV. The song was the last of Brown's 44 hit recordings to appear on the Billboard Top 40 charts. The track also appeared on the Hartman produced album Gravity.

In 1989 he released his last studio album New Green Clear Blue, an instrumental new age-styled album. In 1991, Hartman recorded (That's Your) Consciousness for the soundtrack to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze. In 1994, the album Keep the Fire Burnin' was posthumously released - a compilation featuring remixes of earlier hits and previously unreleased material. The album spawned two singles; "Keep the Fire Burnin'" - a duet featuring Halloway - and "The Love in Your Eyes".


Hartman died at his Westport, Connecticut home of an AIDS-related brain tumor. His remains were cremated. At the time of his death, his music was enjoying a revival of sorts: A cover version of "Relight My Fire" became a British number-one hit for Take That and Lulu. Sales of Hartman's solo recordings, group efforts, production, songwriting and compilation inclusions exceed 50 million records worldwide.

Hartman's version of "Free Ride" was featured in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie the year after his death. In 2006, 12 years after his death, "I Can Dream About You" was featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories and "Relight My Fire" was also featured in the video game Grand Theft Auto: The Ballad of Gay Tony.

Personal life[edit]

Hartman was never married and had no children. At the time of his death, both parents, a brother, and a sister were all still alive. He kept his HIV status a secret, even after friend and sometime collaborator Holly Johnson, formerly of the band Frankie Goes to Hollywood, announced his own HIV status in 1991.[3][4][5]




Year Song U.S. Hot 100[6] U.S. R&B[7] U.S. A.C.[8] U.S. Dance[9] UK Singles Chart[10] Australian Singles Chart Album
1976 "High Sign" - - - - - - Images
1977 "Lighthouse" - - - - - -
1978 "Instant Replay" 29 44 - 1 8 6 Instant Replay
"Chocolate Box" - - - - - -
1979 "Time and Space" - - - - - -
"This Is It" 91 - - - 17 -
"Hands Down" - - - 26 - - Relight My Fire
"Boogie All Summer" - - - - - - non-album single
1980 "Vertigo"/"Relight My Fire" 105 - - 1 - - Relight My Fire
1981 "It Hurts to Be in Love" 72 - - 48 - - It Hurts to Be in Love
"Heaven in Your Arms" 86 - - - - -
"All I Need" 110[11] - 41 - - -
1984 "I Can Dream About You" 1 6 60 7 8 12 3 I Can Dream About You
"We Are the Young" 25 58 - 1 - -
"Name of the Game" - - - - - -
1985 "Second Nature" 39 - 19 40 66 -
"Get Outta Town" - - - - 99 - Fletch (soundtrack)
1986 "Waiting to See You" - - - - - - Ruthless People (soundtrack)
1988 "The Love You Take" (with Denise Lopez) - - - - - - Scrooged (soundtrack)
1994 "Keep the Fire Burnin'" (with Loleatta Holloway) - - - - 49 - Keep the Fire Burnin'
"The Love in Your Eyes" - - - - - -
  • 1 Also on the soundtrack for Streets of Fire
  • 2 1985 re-release; originally peaked at No. 78


See also[edit]


  1. ^ www.danhartman.com
  2. ^ "Dan Hartman Dies; Songwriter Was 43". The New York Times. April 7, 1994. Retrieved 2012-01-22. 
  3. ^ "Dan Hartman (I) Biography". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  4. ^ Tribute from Tom Robinson Retrieved 10-19-2013.
  5. ^ Tribute from Holly Johnson Retrieved 10-19-2013.
  6. ^ Whitburn, Joel. Top Pop Singles 1955-2002. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research Books, 2003, p. 304
  7. ^ Whitburn, Joel. Top R&B Singles 1942-1995. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research Books, 1996, p. 184.
  8. ^ Whitburn, Joel. Top Adult Contemporary 1961-2001. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research Books, 2002, p. 112.
  9. ^ Whitburn, Joel. Hot Dance/Disco 1974-2003. Menomonee Falls, WI; Record Research Books, 2004, p. 118.
  10. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 245. ISBN 1-904994-10-5. 
  11. ^ Bubbling Under - Singles and Albums - 1998 Edition: Joel Whitburn: 9780898201284: Amazon.com: Books
  12. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco 1974-2003. Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin: Record Research. p. 118. ISBN 0-89820-156-X. 

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