jack hylton biography

Why this is such a big deal…

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Outside the Jack Hylton Music Rooms

 

As we’ve got closer to tomorrow’s concert, I’ve had a number of conversations with people, many of whom didn’t really know what I was doing or why I was doing it. It’s funny but when you express these things out loud they seem to have more resonance.

As is well documented on these pages, I started my interest in Hylton during my music degree at Lancaster University, which began in 1992. By the end of my three years, it was clear I was going to investigate the man a little further. Once that process began, there was always ongoing conversations about putting on a show doing Hylton music. Of course at that stage there was no detail in there, but the idea of me presenting a show with a band playing Hylton music from the Hylton archive and doing it at the university was set literally twenty years ago. (more…)

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Preparation, preparation, preparation

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I realise I ought to be telling you about what’s going on with plans for this week’s big concert/ book launch/ CD launch/ exhibition launch/ everything else, but ironically I’m so busy doing things that I can’t seem to find time to do anything!

So, the script is written, the exhibition exhibits are being packed up, the books are boxed and ready to go, as are the CDs and now all I really need to do is pack up my suits and my baton, and learn all the music! There are more seats being released and it looks like there’ll be plenty of people there. There’s so much to do on Wednesday and Thursday and so many people to look out for that things will be pretty mental but once it’s all done and dusted, I’ll tell you all about it, and be able to report back with photos, video and hopefully lots of lovely stories about meeting and talking to lots of lovely people.

If you’re coming to see it and you’ve been reading this, please do introduce yourself. I’m sorry in advance for not having enough time to talk to everyone, but I’ll do my best to get round you all, especially if you buy a copy of my book!

Once the concert is over, everything will be released and start to be available first from the shop on the official Hylton website http://www.jackhylton.com and soon after in some of the usual online places. For now the book and CD won’t be available in your regular book shops, but you can still get it easily enough from the website.

Right, I better get back to my preparation. More soon…

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…)

Real Life Book In Real Life!

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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.

https://www.liveatlica.org/whats-on/the-band-that-jack-built

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…)

Exciting concert ticket details!

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

https://www.liveatlica.org/whats-on/the-band-that-jack-built

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.

An Update

Cabaret Follies at the Queen's Hall Roof, Hylton picture on the right hand side.

Cabaret Follies at the Queen’s Hall Roof, Hylton picture on the right hand side.

Well, I’m off overseas for a week and hoping to have a little spare time in-between imparting my knowledge to the next generation of performers, to make some progress with the Hylton biography.

In fact, there’s already progress as the book, which doesn’t exist yet, has an ISBN number, which, apparently, is a good thing for writing a book. I also have a template, have written the title and written the first chapter heading. Yes, I know it’s like being at school and writing the title of the essay at the top of the page and thinking that it’s enough to have a break. Quite frankly it’s not enough and all the time spent on the book is time not spent arranging music for the concert. (more…)