About The Site
I first discovered Jack Hylton when I arrived at Lancaster University as an undergraduate, in the Jack Hylton Music Rooms. When I said I was interested in jazz, I was told that Hylton was himself a jazz musician and had been the leader of a band.
In my second year of study, my interest increased, I became aware of the Jack Hylton Archive at Lancaster University and was informed that despite it being a very substantial and informative archive (perhaps the only one of it's kind for dance music), it was stored in a small cupboard, in boxes, in a residential block of the University. It became clear to me, when I discovered that no books had been written on the man, that the possibilities for research were vast and I began to express an interest in some kind of study on Hylton. It was only when I started that I realised the scale of the project, realising not only how successful Hylton had been and how little had been published on him, but quite how much material was in the archive. The most difficult task would not be how to gather the evidence, but how to narrow it down to an appropriate size.
It came as something of a surprise to find people who were fanatical about Hylton's music, almost sixty years after his last recording and it was equally surprising, and refreshing, to come across so many people who were willing to talk to me, and willing to help with old newspaper articles, lost publications, recordings, pictures and anecdotal evidence.The study and therefore the website began to take shape simply as an overview of Jack Hylton covering his life and music. I also wanted to describe something abouth the man and his private life.
Many people have generously given their time to make this what it is. Immense thanks must go to Professor Denis McCaldin, from the Music Department at Lancaster University, who has been encouraging me on this for around five years, since I originally had the idea; his help, ideas and constant encouragement have not diminished since then. Stella Birchall is equally thanked, not least in her capacity as my first link Professor McCaldin. Jack Hylton's son Jack Jnr. has also been an invaluable help, available at any time and more than willing to answer the most banal of questions regarding his father. He's a constant encouragement. Through him, I contacted Lady Beverley McKay and Jackie Ramos, both of whom are thanked for their reminiscences.
Peter Wallace, despite working in Brazil, suggested a number of possible leads on the net, almost all of which were helpful. Chris Hayes, a former Melody Maker journalist was gracious in his reply, despite being very ill. Through him, I contacted Alasdair Fenton, to whom I owe a huge debt. Alasdair is perhaps my biggest source of information, and surely the world expert on Hylton. Thanks must also go to the late Billy Munn (who remembered 1931 vividly), Avril Dankworth (for her kind words and the article written by her late husband Les Carew), Marion Freyther (who very kindly translated everything I asked, free of charge), Steve Race OBE (for enthusiasm and the contact of Avril Dankworth), Malcolm Drew (for his information on Hylton's early career, and photograph), Dr. Stephen Walsh, at the University of Wales, Cardiff (for his ideas on Stravinsky and Mavra), Ken Jones (the former archivist at Loughton Library in Essex, who was always ready to inform me of any new Hylton material arriving at the National Jazz Archive), and to Brian Rust and Pam Logan, who both answered my queries kindly and swiftly. As an addition since I started the website, Dennis Pereyra must be thanked for the work he put into the discography and the music archive, an integral part of the site. Thanks Dennis!
About The Author
I’m Pete Faint. I’m a pianist, a musical director, a producer, an arranger, a composer, a company director, a teacher, a studio engineer, a blogger, a miserablist. Here's my biog:
Pete Faint is a keyboard player, musical director and vocal coach, based in Manchester. He studied at Lancaster University, gaining BMus (Hons) and MPhil degrees in music, before embarking on a career as a musician. He has worked consistently for almost twenty years in a variety of settings, and as well as performing he runs his own production company and recording studio which has produced a number of one nighter theatre shows and dozens of albums in a variety of genres. He was also company director and musical supervisor for Veritas Entertainment Ltd. for a number of years.
As Musical Supervisor; “Viva Voce” (UK Tours & RCL Cruises), “Stars Of The Opera” (UK Tours), “Rat Pack Live!” (UK Tours), “Rat Pack Swingin’ At The Sands” (RCL Cruises), “The Andelini Sisters” (Corporate Events), Preston Charter Theatre Pantomime (2009-2014), “The Greatest Kids Singalong” (UK Tour), “Well Swung” (Bolton Octagon 2008), “One Night Of Dirty Dancing” (UK Tours)
As Musical Director; “Stars Of The Opera” (UK Tours), “Rat Pack Live!” (UK Tours), “Bloodbath The Musical” (Edinburgh Fringe Festival), Qdos Pantomimes (2000-2010), FFE Pantomimes (2012-2014), “Jonathan Wilkes Live At The Globe” (2013), “An Evening With Mark Halliday & Friends” (Leicester Square Theatre Residency, 2013), “Tony As Robbie” (Tribute Show, Various UK Corporate & Theatre Dates), “Girls Night” (UK Tours), Joe Longthorne (UK Tours, Summer Seasons, Australian Tour, Corporate Events, Live DVDs, Studio Album production, etc.), “The Well Swung Big Band” (Corporate Events), “The Northern Swing Orchestra” (Corporate Events), “The Lucy Ward Quartet” (Various Corporate Dates & two albums), “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (Chorley Little Theatre), Jonathan Wilkes (Various Corporate Events & Theatre Dates 2008-2014)
As Keyboard Player; “Rewind All Star Band” (UK Festivals), “Panto’s On Strike” (UK Tours), Jack Jones (UK Tours), Gary Wilmot (UK Tour), Matt Monro Jnr. (UK Tours), Rick Astley (Various Worldwide Dates), Joseph (Assistant MD UK Tour), Elvis On Tour with Lee ‘Memphis’ King (UK Tours), Halle Orchestra (Various Dates), Ulster Orchestra
As Deputy Keyboard Player; “Here & Now” (UK Festivals), Tony Christie, Brendan Cole, Jaki Graham, The Pasadena Roof Orchestra, UK Tours of “The Sound Of Music”, “Chicago”, “The King And I”, “9 To 5”, “Hairspray”
As Vocal Coach; Peel Entertainment, UCLan, The Hammond School, Tring Park School, Academy Of Sound & Music, Arden School Of Theatre, ALRA, Liverpool Theatre School & College, Wilkes Academy
Other Projects; Original music for “Tossers - More Balls Than Most” (Edinburgh Fringe Festival, 2006), Vocal Warmups albums (iTunes), Lecturer in Musical Theatre (UCLan 2011-2012), ongoing research into Jack Hylton (including official website and TV consultancy), Arranger for Cheltenham Everyman Theatre Christmas Show (2004-2009)