Hawksworth initially trained as a pianist, but also played double bass for Britain's leading big band the Ted Heath Orchestra during the early 1950s and through the 1960s. During this time he became one of the most popular jazz bassists in the UK, winning many polls and was often featured as a soloist on Heath concerts and recordings. He is probably best known, however, for his short compositions for television. These include Salute to Thames (the famous identity tune for Thames Television) and also the theme tunes for the 1960s pop music show Thank Your Lucky Stars and the 1970s series Roobarb, Man About the House and George and Mildred. He also contributed some of the incidental music used in the 1967 Spider-Man cartoon (although originating from the United States, Spider-Man had most of its incidental music supplied by Irish composers, such as Phil Coulter, who was Londonderry in Northern Ireland, and British including Syd Dale, Alan Hawkshaw, David Lindup, Bill Martin and Johnny Pearson.) In addition to his television themes, he also worked on films, including the scores to The Naked World of Harrison Marks (1967), The Penthouse (1967), and Zeta One (1970).
"Er Indoors", one of his compositions, saw frequent use in the Nickelodeon TV Series SpongeBob SquarePants, in which it was generally associated with Avid Spongebob fan Patchy the Pirate.
Hawksworth has also written many pieces of stock music for the De Wolfe Music library. He also provided the hypnotic musical soundtrack to Geoffrey Jones' classic British Transport Film "Snow" (1963).
This article lacks ISBNs for the books listed in it. (January 2015)
- "Johnny Hawksworth".
- Metronome, Volume 73, p. 15 (1957).
- Kif Bowden-Smith. "Thames Television". Transdiffusion. Archived from the original on 18 July 2010. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
- Jon E. Lewis, Penny Stempel, Cult TV: the essential critical guide, 2nd edition, Pavilion Books, 1996.
- Kristopher Spencer, Film and television scores, 1950-1979: a critical survey by genre, McFarland & Company, 2008, p. 42.
- "Snow (1963)". Screenonline. British Film Institute. Retrieved 30 January 2010.
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