Justin Hayward is best known as the main singer, guitarist and composer with The Moody Blues.
Having played with local bands in the Swindon area since the age of 13, Hayward’s professional career began in 1964 when he joined Marty Wilde and his wife, Joyce, in the Wilde Three. While still only 17, and against Wilde’s advice, Hayward signed a publishing contract with the skiffle artist and record producer, Lonnie Donegan. This was a move that Hayward would go on to regret as it meant that the songwriter’s and composer’s rights to all the songs he wrote up until 1974 would forever be owned by Donegan’s Tyler Music.
Hayward joined the Moody Blues in late 1966, replacing the departing vocalist, Denny Laine. Bassist John Lodge replaced Clint Warwick at the same time.
The integration of Hayward and Lodge into the Moody Blues sparked greater commercial success and recognition for the band, transforming them from a mainly covers band into one of the biggest selling acts of all-time. Their album sales from 1978 to date (2006) are in excess of 60 million. The exact figures for the bands’ album sales from 1967 to 1978 have been contested in court as record company and accountants’ figures differ considerably.
The 1967 album “Days of Future Passed”, one of the first and most influential albums of its genre, spawned the Hayward-penned singles “Tuesday Afternoon” and the classic “Nights in White Satin” that went on to sell in excess of 2 million copies.