british dance bands

New Radio Interview

Here’s a little thing I did a few days ago for BBC Radio Cumbria, with the lovely Anne Hopper. It features a couple of exclusive clips of the recent show.


Real Life Book In Real Life!


Well there we go. I’ve spent enough time talking about it but now it exists in real life. In fact, after nearly twenty years of speculating about it, I’ve finally made a Jack Hylton biography happen, and there it is, in my hand.

In fact, at the moment I’m taking it everywhere I go at the moment, but I think that’s OK! As it happens, this one is unique. I spotted a couple of glaring errors, so I corrected them and revised the project and now I have a room full of them being printed and sent out to me. Hey, guess what you’re getting for Christmas….?

Please come to the concert where I shall sell this for the first time, and sign it, and probably give you a little bit of a discount. If you’re nice.

Alex Mendham and His Orchestra


Well, you have these bright ideas, and you’re never sure whether you should bother. As you’ll be aware, I’ve recently made all my score writing work available on the Jack Hylton website, for people to download, print off, and play. For free. Sounds daft, but nobody would pay a ‘fair’ price anyway, so I may as well spread the love, I was doing it anyway!

I wasn’t really sure whether there was any point to it, or whether anyone would be bothered enough to try them out. Of course then there’s the worry about whether they would work!

Worry no longer. The rather splendid Alex Mendham and his rather splendid orchestra have performed Life Begins At Oxford Circus. Not only that, they video’d it!

Here you go. Thanks Alex, hope the arrangement was OK for you all.

Find the band @AMOrchestra

New Sheet Music


As the preparations for the concert continue apace (we’ve worked out a set list and everything) I’ve started making available the sheet music for free PDF download. There’s around twenty tunes there so far, so please take a look.

Just go to and click on ‘sheet music’. It’s free, which is nice, but if you want to contribute to the costs of undertaking such a mammoth task, then feel free to give me money!

I’ve also started a service whereby I’ll print and bind the arrangements for you and post them, for a small cost. It’s relatively cheap for what you’re getting, but I don’t mind if you just download them!

Anyway, please visit the site, download the sheet music and let me know how it all sounds!

Concert information here:

Please buy tickets, we’d love to see you there!

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.

Hylton the politician

Daily Mirror, February 1954

Daily Mirror, February 1954

I’ve spent another long day in Lancaster today, mostly researching the book, but also having meetings about the concert, which is coming along nicely. It’s a few weeks away from being ‘official’ and quite a long way off having received funding, but it’s all happening and everyone is on board and agreeing with everything. I can’t wait to be able to tell you that tickets are on sale and a publisher has been found. Neither of those exist at the moment!

My hours in the archive were spent (for no particular reason) in the first half of the 1950’s and turned up loads of really interesting stuff for the book. It’s fairly well known that for a time Hylton was thinking of standing as a Labour MP for Bolton, but this article gives this in Hylton’s own words. It’s fascinating! It’s also only a few pages later in the press cuttings book that reports filter through that he’s not going to stand anymore because he’s too busy with all his shows!

Plenty of other stuff is being held back of course – no point me telling you everything about Hylton – I want you to buy the book! Click on the image to see a larger version.