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.
No apologies for the lack of posts recently! It dawned on me that this blog was meant to chart the progress of the concert and seeing as that’s happened, I reckon I’m allowed to not post anything!
Still, things in many ways are continuing with the concert. We’ve been very busy preparing both a video and an audio version of the concert and I’m happy to say that the DVD video version has been signed off at this end. It looks fantastic. Sadly, without a considerable investment, it won’t be available for anyone to see.
These things are very expensive. Musicians need paying. Song rights need paying for. Disc manufacture needs paying for. This all amounts to many thousands of pounds, with no suggestion that we’d ever sell enough to make it pay. Essentially we need a wealthy benefactor to pay for it all, so if anyone has any bright ideas, please, please get in touch!
In the meantime, we’ve prepared a seven minute promo trailer, which has been beautifully compiled by Roger Keech. I’m delighted with it, it gives a real flavour of the concert. I hope you like it. Feel free to share it, link to it, comment on it, like it, blog it, tweet it, post it to Facebook, do what the hell you like with it really!
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!
So tomorrow is concert day, but today was exhibition day. To be honest, I don’t know anything about how to put an exhibition together so I pretty much put a load of stuff in some cabinets and then ate a Greggs sausage roll.
The picture above is of one of the cabinets which I filled full of various bits of Hylton ephemera, rare and unseen pictures, newspaper articles, gramophone records, press cuttings books, programmes, that sort of thing.
There’s plenty more there too: (more…)
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…)
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…
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.
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 http://www.alexmendham.com
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.
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…)