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Jack (and wife Ennis Parkes) Hylton

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Category: Music - Popular
Reference No: 7194
Status: Available
Price: £10.00
  Jack (and wife Ennis Parkes) Hylton

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English pianist, band leader and impresario.

Hylton began as a pianist in a double act with Tommy Handley (as 'The Singing Mill Boy'). During the Great War he became a musical director of the band of the 20th Hussars and the Director of the Army Entertainment Division.

After the war he formed his own band and from 1923 he began a prolific career recording the new style of jazz-derived American dance music from 1923. He sold three millions records in 1929 alone.

Well-established by the mid-1920's, Hylton's band went on sixteen tours of Europe between 1927 and 1938 and became the first British orchestra to broadcast to the U.S.

His signature tune was "The Soldiers In The Park" (more commonly known as "Oh Listen To The Band").

After the Second World War, Hylton became a very successful impresario, discovering new stars and managing radio, film and theatre productions of everything from ballets to circuses. His productions dominated the London theatres with such productions as The Merry Widow, Kiss Me, Kate and Kismet.

When Associated Rediffusion won the  London weekday franchise for the newly established commercial television network in 1954, Hylton founded Jack Hylton Television Productions Ltd to produce a range of light entertainment programming exclusively for that company.

Hylton helped to develop the careers of many famous performers, including Shirley Bassey, Maurice Chevalier, Morecambe and Wise, Tony Hancock, Arthur Askey, the Crazy Gang, George Formby and Liberace.

In 1913 Hylton met Ennis Parkes (1894-1957). Born on the Isle of Man, she began her career at the age of seven and worked with seaside parties in Rhyl, singing, dancing and playing the piano, where she met Hylton. They later married, probably in the early 1920’s and remained married, despite having split up in the 1930s and despite Hylton fathering two children by a mistress, until her death in 1957.

This is a fine vintage album page (6.25" x 4.75"), signed in ink by Jack Hylton and also by his wife, Ennis Parkes Hylton (who has added the date, 29th May 1931). Some album adhesion remains to the reverse, not affecting the front which is in good condition. RARE.