Well, I did a little interview last week for the Lancaster University TV station, which the interviewer Chris Osborn has just sent me. I can’t quite bear to watch it today, but it should give you a little insight into what I’m thinking and what I’m hoping to achieve by all this work I’ve been doing recently.
Sorry I look so rough, it was a last minute to grab an opportunity and record it whilst I was busy doing other things!
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…)
Well, amongst the never ending score writing which seems to be burdening my life at the moment, today I’ve come up with a real treasure.
It’s a version of “Cheek To Cheek” which the band never recorded. All seemed normal until I realised that the vocal part of the song had no instrumentation and included a vocal in seven parts! This is a real rarity. I’m not aware of any other arrangements in the archive within which all the instruments stop and singing starts in quite so many parts.
It is, of course, quite hard to imagine how it would sound played by the full size band and that many singers. So, if anyone fancies working on it and recording it, we’ll publicise it and stick it on the website.
There we go. That’s all I’ve got to say. The picture above might go some way to helping you understand how hard it is to make the old scores into new all singing all dancing computerised scores. That is, suffice to say, a little bit hard to read!
Well, folks, as I alluded to in my last post, sometimes life is more important than the internet and that’s the way things have panned out for me over the last few weeks. I won’t bore you with the details, but I’m back onto thinking about matters Hyltonian. Just as well, really, given how soon the concert is.
So, whilst all that is going on, I’ve been commissioned to transcribe another load of arrangements for Lancaster University Music Society, and the deadline has rather crept up on me.
This week has been spent working on a different style of arrangement and it’s thrown up a few interesting things. The picture above is of an arrangement of “The Man I Love”, which, it transpires, was never recorded by the band. It’s clearly been used, so I assume it was used for some concerts. We don’t have a date, or very much information at all, other than the fact it was arranged by Leighton Lucas. (more…)
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.
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 http://www.jackhylton.com 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!
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: