LISTEN to Big Band radio HERE via collectors recordings, electrical transcriptions and broadcasts via hotel ballrooms and other network radio remote locations from the 1930's and '40's...
Jack Hylton (2 July 1892, Great Lever, Bolton, Lancashire – 29 January 1965, London) was a British band leader and impresario. He was born John Greenhalgh Hilton in the Great Lever area of Bolton, Lancashire, the son of George Hilton, a cotton yarn twister. His father was an amateur singer at the local Labour Club and Jack learned piano to accompany him on the stage. Jack later sang to the customers when his father bought a pub in nearby Little Lever, becoming known as the "Singing Mill-Boy". He also performed as a relief pianist for various bands. His early career involved moving to London as a pianist in the 400 club and playing with the Stroud Haxton Band. During the first world war he moved to be a musical director of the band of the 20th Hussars and the Director of the Army Entertainment Division. After the war he went on to play with the Queen's Dance Orchestra where he wrote arrangements of popular songs and had them recorded under the label 'Directed by Jack Hylton'. He went on from here to form his own band, recording the new style of jazz derived American dance music under the Jack Hylton name from 1923. Hylton became a respected band leader with a busy schedule; his band had developed into an orchestra and toured America and Europe into the 1940s until it disbanded due to the war. He became a director and major shareholder of the new Decca record label.