Art Heatlie

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Art Heatlie (b.1926 – d.2003) was a composer, conductor, music arranger and record producer.

Also credited (at least once) as Art Heatly.


Born Arthur Meloustan Heatlie in Pretoria on 19 December 1926. His father was Noble Heatlie who, at the time of his marriage to Justine Thomas, was a farmer in the Worcester area. In 1949 Art married Coral Burness, but the couple were divorced in 1954. At the time of his first marriage his profession was given as clerk and when he married Gillian Dixon, the daughter of African Film Productions cameraman Frank Dixon in 1956, he was a salesman. However, at some stage his life underwent a drastic transformation when he launched his musical career.

Initially he played the saxophone in Roy Martin’s band and then started his own orchestra. He became the musical director at Trutone Records, was responsible for the production of countless LPs and singles by other musicians and also produced many records of his own. In addition he was a musical arranger and composed the scores of several feature films, television programmes and documentaries, notably for Elmo de Witt and Franz Marx. According to one source, by 1971 his productions at Trutone had sold 65,000 LP’s and 130,000 singles. He died at Plettenberg Bay on 10 March 2003 and Gillian Heatlie died there in 2006.

(Trivia: (1) His unusual second name was also the name of the farm near Ceres where his uncle Arthur Heatlie lived. (2) Rugby player and Springbok captain Barry “Fairy” Heatlie was another uncle. He is usually credited with giving the Springbok team its trademark national colours.)



1969 – Dirkie (Jamie Uys), 1971 – Freddie’s in Love (Manie van Rensburg), 1972 – Kaptein Caprivi (Albie Venter), 1973 – Aanslag op Kariba (Ivan Hall), 1973 – Môre, Môre (Elmo de Witt), 1974 – Kwikstertjie (Elmo de Witt), 1975 – Liefste Veertjie (Elmo de Witt), 1975 – Ter Wille van Christine (Elmo de Witt), 1977 – Seuns van die Wolke (Franz Marx), 1983 – The Riverman (Ivan Hall), 1987 – Liewe Hemel, Genis! (William Egan), 1990 – Agter Elke Man (Franz Marx).


1981 – Ntunzini-Spa (TV series) (Stephan Bouwer), 1982 – A Settler’s Tale (TV series) (Elmo de Witt), 1982 – Country Lovers (TV drama) (Manie van Rensburg), 1982 – Verspeelde Lente (TV series) (Manie van Rensburg), 1983 – The Riverman (TV series) (Ivan Hall), 1985 – The American Connection (TV movie) (Ray Berwick), 1985 – Agter elke Man – 1st series (TV series) (Franz Marx et al), 1986 – Moord op die Lug (TV series) (Malinda Nel), 1986 – Web of Persuasion (TV drama) (Franz Marx), 1987 – Koos Kluitjies (TV series) (Malinda Nel), 1988 – Huisjakker (TV series) (Stephan Bouwer), 1988 – Agter elke Man – 2nd series (TV series) (Franz Marx et al, 1990 – Adam (TV movie) (Franz Marx).


1969 – Natal (Vernon Whitten), 1970 – The Peace Game / Vrede in Ons Tyd (John da Silva), 1973 – On the Third Day (John da Silva), 1977 – South Africa: Jewel of a Continent (John da Silva), 1980 – Visions of the Wind (Reinhold Thaumüller), 1980 – Coastal Cape (Lee Marcus).


In 1967 he was the music director of the JODS production of Cole Porter’s Kiss Me, Kate at the Civic Theatre.


Le Roux, André I. & Fourie, Lilla – Filmverlede: geskiedenis van die Suid-Afrikaanse speelfilm (1982)

Rand Daily Mail (various issues)

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