hylton

Some nice old words…

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When I say I’ve been threatening to write my Hylton book for many years, I’m not joking. I’ve talked about it on and off for almost twenty years. One of those years was 2010, when I was writing a different blog and decided to write a synopsis of the book.

I found that post today, by accident and rather liked what I’d written, so if anyone ever asks about Jack Hylton, you could do worse than to read them this:

The story of Jack Hylton is that of one of the Great Britons. A classic rags to riches tale of the son of a mill worker who ended his days as a wealthy, well regarded, well loved theatrical impresario, dividing his time between his sold out theatres in London’s West End and his villa in the south of France. (more…)

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Book News!

Well, it’s done. I signed off on my brand new Jack Hylton biography this evening and one solitary copy is currently being prepared. Once I have it in my grubby hands (in a couple of weeks), then I shall report back and be excited.

To be honest I’m rather excited anyway and utterly relieved that it’s done and very soon there’ll be a house full of them, ready for you to buy. Please buy it. I know it’s expensive, but it’s big and really good! (I hope!)

Anyway, that’s enough Jack Hylton for me for one day. Back to the arranging tomorrow.

Ultra-Rare TV Documentary

I’m so excited to be able to share this with you. I’ve been sat on a mysterious video tape for some years and finally I’ve managed to get it transferred. I didn’t know what it was and it was constantly at the bottom of the list of things to do.

Last night I eventually made the audio and the video fit together and now we have what I think is the only copy (certainly there aren’t many) of the TWW television documentary, broadcast in 1967 about Hylton’s life.

It’s unique, it’s fascinating and it is full of stuff you’ve only ever seen before on that programme, if you were lucky enough to catch it almost fifty years ago. I’m delighted to be able to offer it to you for free and for your enjoyment. Please comment on it, please share it, and please come to the concert in January!

October Update

Is it really a month since I’ve updated this? That’s not good and I apologise, but to be honest I’ve been working really hard. When I get a moment I’ll be posting around fifteen new scores which I’ve been working on, and also re-jigging the page to make it more friendly.

Things have rather been scuppered by the burglars taking my laptop, which has meant I’m learning to do this sort of thing on my iPad. Apologies for typos!

In the meantime, things are coming along nicely with the concert. The band is booked, singers are booked, special guests are booked and plans are afoot for book launch, exhibition, pre-concert talk, video, recordings, all sorts of things which will all hopefully come together over the next couple of months. There’s also lots of new recordings which I’d love to share with you, as well as a few curiosities with the arrangements, with sections which are or aren’t on the original recordings. All exciting stuff (if you’re nerdy like me!)

So there. I’m off to put in an insurance claim for my laptop and hopefully there’ll be more updates soon, as soon as I can work out how to edit the official website on my iPad!

V&A Archive

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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…)

Happy Feet

Thought I’d share the rather extraordinary remix of Hylton’s version of Happy Feet. It was commissioned by Baz Lurmann for his album Something For Everybody. It’s remixed by Paul Mac and mixed by Blam, and whilst I’m not that old, and know lots about lots of different kinds of music, I don’t know what that means!

Anyway, I kind of like it, and I suspect somehow or other, I’ll use it in the concert next year. In the meantime, open you ears and your mind, and don’t just dismiss it as being rubbish! It’s ace!