Songwriter Michael Hazlewood, best known for hits “(All I Need Is) The Air That I Breathe” and “It Never Rains In Southern California” (both written with Albert Hammond), died of a heart attack in his sleep on May 6 while vacationing in Florence, Italy. He was 59.
With hundreds of works in his portfolio, Hazlewood’s recorded songs included Rita Coolidge’s “Southern Lady,” the Pipkins’ “Gimmie Dat Ding” and Leapy Lee’s “Little Arrows” as well as collaborations with such songwriters as Harry Nilsson, Van Dyke Parks and T. Bone Burnette.
Born in England, Hazlewood wrote his signature hit “It Never Rains In Southern California” under the gray skies of Crawley. That success indeed brought him to sunny Southern California, where he pursued songwriting, musical theater and visual arts. A dual citizen, he resided in Santa Monica, Calif. at the time of his death.
He is survived by his father, two brothers and a sister as well as his adoptive American thespian family the Van Pattens.