Steve Hogarth was born in Kendal, Cumbria, on 14th May 1959, (sharing a birthday with Eric Morecambe, David Byrne, Cate Blanchett and Jack Bruce) - the son of a sailor and a medical secretary.
At an early age his father left the merchant navy and moved the family to his native Doncaster and young Steve grew up there on a council estate in a suburb called Intake and, later, Wheatley Hills.
William Appleby (who at the time ran BBC radio's “Singing together” programme for children) selected young Mr Hogarth for his prestigious choir.
'We used to rehearse at night in the empty girl's grammar school. Mr A used to sit at the upright piano and afterwards, he'd give you a chocolate from his box of Terry's All Gold. After a few months, the chocolates stopped being handed round and at that point I lost
interest and stopped going. I suppose that's as near as I came to any kind of formal training as a singer. Then my voice broke and I had to start again..'
Steve passed the ‘Eleven Plus’ exam and was admitted to Danum Grammar School -the technical school of the two Doncaster Grammars where he was to emerge with just one A level in Physics. After seeing Deep Purpleat Sheffield City Hall at the age of 17,
he decided “nothing is better than doing that!” and began teaching himself to play the piano. One finger.. then two.. etc.
He went to Trent Polytechnic in Nottingham to study a degree in Electrical Engineering but confesses to spending rather too much time in the art's building playing the grand piano in the Bonnington lecture theatre. During the third year of the degree “sandwich course” in which he had become a design engineer working for a Doncaster wire-drawing company, he began gigging in earnest in semi-pro band Harlowplaying the pubs and working-men's clubs around Doncaster, Leeds and as far north as Carlisle ('where we once inadvertently emptied a nightclub with poisonous gas - that was long before the diary...').
Steve never finished his degree Harlow having been offered a singles deal by an independent offshoot of United Artists.
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