Acrobat Music

Ted Heath, legendary British big band leader, died on 18th November 1969

Ted Heath, legendary British big band leader, died on 18th November 1969
We are a day late with this reference, because of a clash of anniversaries with a rather different bandleader, Cab Calloway, but it's good to acknowledge one of the great British bandleaders alongside the many American luminaries we have on catalogue. Ted Heath was born in London in March 1902, and learnt to play the trombone, making a good living in the 20s and 30s playing with the emerging big-name dance bands of Ambrose, Jack Hylton, Bert Firman and Geraldo. By the end of the war he had put together his own band to do a series of BBC broadcasts, and he became a popular attraction at venues like the Hammersmith Palais entertaining audiences enjoying the euphoria of the post-war years while coping with austerity of the times. He recorded successfully, and established a worldwide reputation, even performing highly acclaimed concerts in the USA, including at Carnegie Hall in 1956. His biggest hit came with "Swinging Shepherd Blues" in 1958. He successfully spanned the divide of formal dance band music and some of the best British jazz musicians started out in Heath's band, and he hired the great Tadd Dameron as arranger. However, he never allowed improvised solos, and the band's performances were legendarily note perfect. His success was somewhat dented with the arrival of rock 'n' roll and The Beatles, and he disbanded his outfit in 1964 when his health began to fail. He died in 1969 at the age of 67. Acrobat has on catalogue a 2-CD set of his best-known recordings - for details click here. 
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