Month: July 2014

Exciting concert ticket details!


Well, it would appear that this concert really is happening. Here, check out this link:

Please buy tickets to this most lovely thing, it’ll be weird to do it to an empty house. It’s January 29th, at Lancaster University, featuring Michael Law’s Piccadilly Dance Orchestra augmented with strings and conducted by me. There’ll be all sorts going on, there’s a pre-concert talk by me, and it’ll be the first chance to buy my Hylton book and CDs of rare Hylton material which has never been on CD before.

Tickets aren’t yet available to the general public (only to Live at LICA supporters – whatever that means) but as soon as they’re generally available I’ll let you know.

I think it’ll be fun. Then afterwards we’ll all have a little drink.

More details soon.


Sheet Music Project

darktownstrutters ball001

So, I’ve decided (with the help of Chris Osborn at Lancaster University) to start a very slow and very long term project of making available the scores from the Jack Hylton archive, in computerised form, which are downloadable in PDF format, nice and clear and for your use.

Not sure where this will take me, but the plan is to score them for dance band and modern big band. Also not sure how long it’ll take, I’m kind of busy, but the plan is sound I think. I’ve started with a great number from 1938, “Ya Got Something There”, which you can see on the Hylton website, here:

I’d love to hear your thoughts and ideas on this. Would love to eventually hear stories of people using this material for their own concerts. Wish me luck!

Lies, damned lies, and statistics

Irrelevant but great American newspaper ad from 1936

Irrelevant but great American newspaper ad from 1936

Well I’m a sucker for a fact, especially (when writing on this blog) when it’s to do with Jack Hylton. Here’s a very, very often quoted fact about Hylton. And when I mean often quoted, I must have read it in fifty different places, including my own website and Masters Thesis.

”┬áIn 1929 the band gave around 700 performances and travelled some 63,000 miles. Hylton records were selling at a rate of seven every minute, with a total for 1929 of 3,180,000.”

Great. I mean, it’s truly amazing and gives some idea of how big the band was back then. Sadly, it’s not only got no source (which was what I was trying to find) but isn’t true. Firstly, if you do the maths (which I think I’ve done) 3,180,000 records makes six every minute. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still a massive amount of records which pop stars these days can rarely achieve. The other bit is wrong though. Here, in a little snippet from my half written book, is the truth: (more…)