Ted Heath (bandleader)

Ted Heath (bandleader)

Infobox musical artist |
Name = Ted Heath

Img_capt =
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = Non_vocal_instrumentalist.
Birth_name = Edward George Heath.
Alias = "Ted"
Born = birth date|1902|3|30|mf=y Wandsworth, South London, England
Died = death date and age|1969|11|18|1902|3|30|mf=y
London, England
Origin =
Instrument = Trombone.
Genre = Easy Listening, Instrumental, Jazz, Big band.
Occupation = Orchestra leader, Composer.
Years_active = 1916-1969.
Label = Decca, and London.
Associated_acts =

George Edward 'Ted' Heath (30 March, 1902 – 18 November, 1969) was the most famous English bandleader of the 40s, 50s and early 60s.

Heath was born at 76 Atheldene Avenue, Wandsworth, South London; he started playing the trombone at the age of fourteen, and his early career involved stints with Bert Firman, Jack Hylton, Ambrose, Sid Lipton, and Geraldo.

His own first orchestra was brought together in 1944 for BBC broadcasts; in 1946 they played for "London Town", a British musical film.On Thursday 20th February1947 he performed at Kings Hall Belle Vue Ted Heath and his Music The film was an unmitigated disaster, but Heath's career took off, including many hit records ("Swingin' Shepherd Blues" being his biggest success, reaching number three in the charts in 1958), regular work for the BBC, and especially a series – started in 1945 – of Sunday-night concerts at the London Palladium. He and his band were featured in the film "Dance Hall" in 1950. During the 1950s his orchestra frequently performed at the Hammersmith Palais de Dance and The Orchid Ballroom in Purley, Surrey. From 1956 Heath and his orchestra were regular and popular visitors to the United States.

The orchestra was on the cusp between dance music and jazz; not only did Heath employ many of the big-name British jazz-musicians at various times, but his staff arranger for a time was Tadd Dameron, and his programmes of straight dance music were supplemented by projects such as his recording of Fats Waller's "London Suite". Heath (in common with many other bandleaders at the time) allowed no unrehearsed improvising, however, and the orchestra was known for its note-perfect perfectionism.

His huge worldwide success lasted for about fifteen years, touring the United States on several occasions with outstanding success -- a ten minute standing ovation at The Carnegie Hall, New York in front of a stellar audience in 1956 a memorable moment, ended only by the popularity of rock and roll and the advent of The Beatles. The orchestra was disbanded in 1964 when Heath's health started faltering, though there have been many reunions of various of the musicians involved until the final concert in 2000.

Heath's sons Nick Heath and Tim Heath continued the musical and entertainment tradition in the family becoming highly successful artiste managers in 1970's and subsequently forming their own record label Rialto and various music publishing companies and other entertainment entities and Heath's grandson, James Heath, maintains the theme ; his company Burning Vision Entertainment produces music videos.


*Ian Carr, Digby Fairweather, & Brian Priestley "Jazz: The Rough Guide" 2nd edition. ISBN 1-85828-528-3

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