Jack Hylton

Jack Hylton

Jack Hylton (2 July 1892 – 29 January 1965) was an English pianist, composer, band leader and impresario.

Hylton rose to prominence during the British dance band era, being referred as the "British King of Jazz" and "The Ambassador of British Dance Music" by the musical press, not only because of his popularity which extended throughout the world, but also for his use of unusually large ensembles for the time and his polished arrangements. He mostly retired from the music industry after 1940, becoming a successful theatrical businessman until his death.

Even though he was not professionally trained for business, he brought his band to success even at a time when the Great Depression hit hard during the 1930s. His good reputation allowed him to make contacts with famous jazz artists of the time, and he was credited for bringing Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and others to Britain and Europe in the 1930s.

The second half of the 1920s marked Hylton's highest point of prominence. After recovering from a near-fatal car accident – which took place on 20 January 1927, on the way to the HMV studios at Hayes, Middlesex[4] – he made the first in a string of "continental tours" that lasted until 1930. The orchestra's line-up also included some of the most skilled musicians of the time. "Regular" players included saxophonists Billy Ternent (who was also the band's main arranger and co-leader), Edward Owen (E.O.) "Poggy" Pogson and Noel "Chappie" d'Amato, trumpeter/cornetist Jack Jackson, trombonist Lew Davis, violinists Hugo Rignold and Harry Berly, pianist/arranger Peter Yorke, and (from 1928) singer Sam Browne. The orchestra was often augmented with members of other Hylton-controlled bands, especially for 12-inch "concert arrangements". According to the Daily Herald of 7 June 1930, between four and five million records sold in 1929 (out of 50 million sold overall) were made by Hylton, although three million has been suggested as likely a more accurate figure.

By the time the Depression started biting in 1930, Hylton downsized his band and began performing in Europe less frequently; that same year, however, Maurice Chevalier recorded with Hylton, who also made the first record of "Body and Soul" and Pat O'Malley replaced Browne as vocalist. In 1930 they recorded Amy, Wonderful Amy, a song about Amy Johnson.[6] Hylton also became a director and major shareholder of the new Decca record label, switching from HMV in late 1931. The following year he was decorated by the French government, recorded with Paul Robeson, and made the first transatlantic entertainment broadcast with Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. In late 1933, Hylton left Decca after refusing to take a pay cut, not making records until 1935 when he rejoined HMV. He spent 1934 touring Europe again, and adopted "The Soldiers in the Park" (more commonly known as "Oh Listen to the Band") as his signature tune. In 1935 he appeared in his first feature film, the musical comedy She Shall Have Music, which starred June Clyde and Claude Dampier.

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This Is The Rhythm For Me
Anything Goes
Limehouse Blues

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