The entrance to the quiet grown up place at the V&A archive in Kensington.
Regular readers will know about the Jack Hylton Archive at Lancaster University, and many will know how much time I’ve spent there researching both the upcoming book, Jack Hylton – The Definitive Biography and the upcoming concert, The Band That Jack Built.
Fewer will realise that there’s also a Jack Hylton Archive at the V&A Museum, stored at it’s Kensington Olympia home at Blythe House. To be honest, nobody can quite work out why it’s there. It does have a slightly more theatrical leaning than the more band-based archive in Lancaster, but I suspect that essentially there was a mistake somewhere along the line and nobody is either around anymore or has enough information or will to do anything about it.
As it happens, the twenty three boxes of archive material at the V&A are just as well looked after and protected as the zillion boxes in Lancaster. I suspected I wouldn’t have to worry too much about the information there, and I was right. I mean, unless you want a box full of box office receipts from a couple of months of one random show of which Jack Hylton was producer. I’m pretty much fanatical about him, but that box was given very short shrift. (more…)
It’s funny what you turn up if you look hard enough. Here’s a tiny glimpse of the Hylton band in 1938, in colour. This, I suspect, is unique. It’s on YouTube and everything – so easy to find, yet clearly I’d not found it until today. Anyway, it’s brief, it’s silent and it’s not great quality, but it’s a zillion times better than anything (i.e. nothing) I’ve ever seen before…
Meanwhile, in book news, the upcoming Jack Hylton biography is nearly finished. There’s a bit of titivating to do, a visit to the mysterious V&A archive this week (which I shall report back about) and then a couple of proof reads and we’re ready to go.
I think the first chance to buy the book will be on January 29th at the concert, then of course it’ll be available here, on the official Hylton website and in due course on Amazon and other beloved online sites. There’ll probably be a Kindle version too, but of course I’d rather you bought the real thing!
Anyway, for now, it’s all about the concert. The material is coming together, the show style is coming together and everyone is pretty excited by it, it’s fair to say.