Hayley Oliver

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Hayley Oliver
Hayley oliver home 2.png
Background information
Birth name Hayley Claire Oliver
Born (1976-04-24) 24 April 1976 (age 41)
Origin London, England
Genres Country
Occupation(s) Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1987–present
Labels Self-released
Associated acts The Hayley Oliver Band


Hayley Oliver discography at MusicBrainz

Hayley Claire Oliver (born 24 April 1976) is a British country music singer. She has released two solo albums and one band project. She has received favourable reviews[citation needed] in UK country music publications and airplay around the world on local country radio, nationally on BBC Radio 2 and across the local BBC country network.


The youngest of five girls, Oliver was born in South London. Oliver's musical influences growing up were in the country world, listening to Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Tammy Wynette and traditional country music that her parents played. At the age of eleven, she was nominated to sing solo at the Royal Albert Hall, and this led to her making her first record (Saint of the Orphans), and subsequent television appearances on The Wide Awake Club and Going Live. Oliver had vocal coach training from age twelve for a few years and to this day continues to keep up with her vocal excercises. Her success at such an early age made her want to have a career in music, but first she had to finish her education. She studied at Linden Lodge School, the Royal National College for the Blind in Hereford for four years where she took diplomas in business administration. She then studied at the University of Glamorgan, gaining a BA honours degree in business studies.

In 2002, Oliver entered and won the Joe Pasquale's Curtain Call talent showcase, which has led to many other concert appearances since.[1]

In 2006, Oliver released her first self-produced album, Two Hearts. Drawing favourable reviews it led to her winning the Evy of Canada Award for Best New Artist 2007. Later, she worked with Nashville writers and producers on new material, which resulted in her second solo album, I Can Still Dream, released in October 2009.

In recent years,[when?] Oliver has performed regularly with various artists and bands. In 2005, she met the lead guitarist Lee Ellis which led her to form her own band. This project evolved with the release in 2010 of Naturally. Recorded in two days at Ten21 studios in Kent, this album captures and showcases the band's live sound.

Musical career[edit]

Two Hearts[edit]

Oliver's self-produced first album, released in 2006. It includes some of her favourite classic country songs as well as the title track "Two Hearts Dancing As One", written by two of UK's finest country music writers, Sue Bennett and Lorna Flowers.

I Can Still Dream[edit]

In 2009, Oliver's released I Can Still Dream, her second self-produced solo album. This is a collection of original songs. Album demos were sent to Tennessee followed by editing, mixing and mastering in Maidstone, Kent. In February 2010, this album produced chart topping positions on the Country Hotdisc Charts with the release of the single "Another Lonely Night". It stayed at #1 for six weeks on the British & Irish Independent Chart and was #1 on the main Top 40 Chart.[2] On 7 February 2010, Oliver was made the Sunday Spotlight artist on BBC Radio 2 when her song "Be Love" was featured.[3] Maverick magazine described it as "An authentic country sound from a fresh and breezy British artist".[4]


In 2010, The Hayley Oliver Band released this cover songs project. Lee Ellis brought in two friends from the band Rare Breed, which was formed in the 1990s, comprising Nigel Nesbitt and Wayne Lee (the son of the guitarist Albert Lee). Together they performed with Albert Lee and supported him on various occasions across the country, with Rare Breed. With bass guitar and keyboards in place, Ellis then brought in another friend, Scott Gladman, on acoustic guitar and finally Julian McLaren (Marianne Faithful/Sean Maguire) on drums. Oliver needed to showcase her talents on the live circuit, and with two albums recorded she needed a way to get the music across to her wide and varied audience. The band first came together in February 2009 and began to rehearse for their first gig at the Viking Rooms on 18 April 2009. They have continued with the live performances and recorded their first album, Naturally with Hayley. This album has produced two chart-topping positions on the Country Hotdisc Charts with the release of the singles "Tell Me Why", written by Karla Bonoff, which was a hit for Wynonna Judd, and "I'm A Little Bluer Than That", written by Irene Kelley and Mark Irwin which was recorded by Kelley on her CD Simple Path. This song also appeared on the CD Drive by the country singer Alan Jackson.

With this third chart #1 from three releases, the band has now become the most successful British act ever to appear on Hotdisc. No other UK act has managed three number ones in the main Top 40.[2]

The Hayley Oliver Band have been invited to go to Nashville in November.[when?] They will be representing the UK, taking part in a WSM Radio event, which is putting on an international show of six country acts at the Loveless Café on 9 November 2010. The show will be broadcast live in HD via the Internet.[5]

Since then, Oliver and the band have released Arbinger Grove with guest appearances by Albert Lee, Gerry Hogan and John Permenter. The album was critically acclaimed as being of international standard, but conflicting commitments had caused some original band members to leave and, after the band's hugely successful show at the 2014 Kolding Festival in Denmark, Oliver decided to leave and pursue a slightly different path, including a more "rootsty" Americana approach, rather than the full-on sound that was the trademark of the "H.O.B.". The "unplugged" approach proved a huge success as a theatre show. In 2015, Hayley and her new band played the main stage at the Americana International Festival, and have started taking bookings in various forms.

Oliver's current band (2014- )[edit]

  • Harley Dave: electric, acoustic and baritone guitars
  • Shaun Murray: electric, acoustic and Spanish guitars and mandolin.
  • Chris Dunn: bass guitar
  • Sue Lusk: drums

"Hayley Oliver Band" (2010 - 2014)[edit]

  • Hayley Oliver: lead vocal
  • Lee Ellis: lead guitars, vocals
  • Nigel Nesbitt: bass guitars, vocals
  • Wayne Lee: keyboards, vocals
  • Scott Gladman: rhythm guitars
  • Julian McLaren: drums


Year Single details Peak positions
UK Country HotDisc
2010 Another Lonely Night
  • From Album: I Can Still Dream
2010 Tell Me Why
  • From Album: Naturally
2010 I'm A Little Bluer Than That
  • From Album: Naturally
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
HotDisc is a compilation disc sent out to media and DJs in the UK and Europe

Music videos[edit]

Year Video Director
2010 "Tell Me Why"
2010 "I'm A Little Bluer Than That"
2010 98.6 Degrees And Falling
2011 Heartless


  • Evy of Canada Award, for best new artist in 2007
  • The Hayley Oliver Band was nominated in the British Country Music Awards which take place on 10 October 2010
  • The Hayley Oliver Band won two awards at the British Country Music Awards at Lakeside Frimley 2010, the Horizon award for the best British Newcomer and the Hotdisc award for "I'm a Little Bluer Than That", which topped the charts for seven weeks, their four singles to date have been at the top of the charts for a total of 19 weeks from January 2010 to October 2010. They were also invited to play at two venues in Nashville in November 2010


  • "Hayley Oliver is a definite find! You won't be disappointed." David Allan (Country music journalist, broadcaster, former BBC Radio 2 presenter)[6]
  • "She has got an absolutely lovely voice" – Aled Jones (TV & BBC Radio 2 presenter)[3]
  • "What a great voice there and a very great talent that's Hayley Oliver." – BBC Radio Suffolk
  • "Lovely UK talent, one of the best we've had for many years."- BBC Radio Shropshire
  • "Pure Country" - BBC Radio Cambridgeshire
  • "One of the most exciting country music talents to emerge in the UK for many years. A rare combination of a great talent, great voice and great person." - Colin Gordon-Farleigh, CEO Sheer Joy Music


  1. ^ Hayley Oliver Welcome
  2. ^ a b Hotdisc Charts Retrieved 18 May 2010
  3. ^ a b Hayley Oliver spotlight: Aled Jones Good Morning Sunday,BBC Radio 2: 7 February 2010: retrieved from http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qpk88 on 27 July 2010
  4. ^ Maverick, February 2010
  5. ^ CMR Nashville: News update on 16 July 2010: retrieved from http://cmrnashville.com/news-details.php?id=9187 on 27 July 2010
  6. ^ See Article published in Country Music People, January 2010

External links[edit]