Lancaster University Library
For opening times telephone 01524 592517
Or see http://libweb.lancs.ac.uk/open.htm
The Jack Hylton archive contains memorabilia from the life and work of Jack Hylton. His career spanned the early 1920s up until his death in 1965. He was a successful bandleader setting trends within popular music of the time in the U.K. and expanding into the world of entertainment. Much of the archive has press cuttings from this period of his career and contains many references to famous stars.
The collection contains: Band Parts, Press Cuttings, Programmes, Photos, Scripts, Stage Designs, Flyers, Posters, Adverts, Recordings, and other memorabilia.
Jack Hylton was born in Bolton on 2nd July 1892. He came from a working class background and, as a boy, would accompany his father on the piano when he sang in clubs. He also performed at an early age as the "Singing Mill-Boy" and as a relief pianist for various bands.
His early career was as a relief pianist in the 400 club and with the Stroud Haxton Band. After the first world 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.
The band started recording under Jack Hylton's name in 1923. Jack became a respected band leader and was in great demand, so much so that he had to provide bands simultaneously in various locations under his own name. In the 1920s (Babyin' You 1926) the band developed into an orchestra and had a busy schedule. It toured America and Europe and continued until the 1940s when the orchestra disbanded due to members being called up for war service. Jack was also director of the DECCA record label. All Of Me (Decca Recording)
At this point Jack Hylton's career was already moving towards that of an impresario discovering new stars and managing radio, film and theatre productions from Ballets to Circuses. His productions dominated the London theatres with such productions as "The Merry Widow", "Kiss Me Kate" and "Kismet".
When I'm calling you (from the musical Rose Marie).
Some of the stars he managed, appeared in his productions or discovered were Shirley Bassey, Maurice Chevalier, Ernie Wise, Eric Morecambe, Arthur Askey, the Crazy Gang, George Formby, Diana Dors, Thora Hird, Liberace, Noel Gordon, Sid James, Rosalinda Neri to name but a few.
Run Rabbit Run. (A recording by Sid Buckman and Arthur Askey)
Jack later went on to work in TV as the Advisor of Light Entertainment for the new ITV channel. He worked in this role until 1959 and was producing stage productions at the same time. Here he was able to promote his stage discoveries on the television as TV stars. He was instrumental in organising various Royal Command Performances and continued supporting theatre productions until his final stage production "Camelot" in 1965.
If you are interested in other information regarding the Jack Hylton Collection or wish to consult some of the archive then please contact:
Liz Fawcett Telephone:01524-593346 or
Helen Clish Telephone: 01524-592544 or
Please see the Special collections home page for opening times.
page created by Liz Fawcett and updated on 18th October 2006