Ted Heath And His Music

  • Real Name: Edward Heath
  • Birth Date: March 30th, 1900
  • Birth Place: Wandsworth, London
  • The Ted Heath Orchestra, or Ted Heath & His Music as they were usually referred to on record, were arguably the greatest of all the British big bands that followed the style of the great American big bands. Certainly, the Heath orchestra was one of the few from Britain that could compare with the best from the USA.

    Ted Heath learned to play several instruments while still a child, but settled on the trombone while still in his teens. He began playing on a semi-professional basis in order to supplement the family income. After gaining sufficient experience to become fully professional he played trombone with a number of orchestras during the 1920s and 1930s. These included some of the best British orchestras of the day including those of Jack Hylton, Bert Ambrose and Geraldo. Then in 1944, he managed to gather round him sufficient musicians with whom he could exploit his own passion for big band swing jazz. In its turn the Heath orchestra became host to many musicians who would later form their own units and go on to become famous in their own right. These included Ken Baker, Johnny Dankworth, Jack Parnell and Stanley Black- but there were many others. The Ted Heath orchestra were also supported by several vocalists that went on to stardom- those most familiar to record buyers would probably be Dickie Valentine, Lita Roza, and Dennis Lotis.

    The EP illustrated (Decca STO.1043) is well titled, although it was issued at the time of the band's most successful period in the popular music chart during 1958. They had made their mark early in that year with their great interpretation of 'Swingin' Shepherd Blues' which came close to the top spot despite stiff competition from competent rivals.

    "Hits I Missed" included 'High Noon' (a success for Frankie Laine), 'Three Coins In The Fountain' (Four Aces) (Frank Sinatra), 'Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing' (Four Aces) and 'Secret Love' (Doris Day). Ted Heath had not put any of these songs down on 45-rpm until the release of this EP.

    Unlike many of its contemporaries the Heath band managed to strike a balance between commercialism and their preferred style, and their records sold well on both sides of the Atlantic.Their musical appeal grew to its greatest during the 1950s when dance halls were still thriving, but they maintained their top billing status well into the 1960s despite the ever changing patterns of popular music. The Heath band drew good material from Television and even 'rock and roll'- using anything that could sustain its 'big band' treatment.

    The Ted Heath Band's fortunes on record faded somewhat by the end of the 1960s, but by that time their music had become regarded as a national institution. So strong was its identity and appeal, that it even managed to continue under the same name, but new leadership, despite the death of its founder in 1969.

    1950s & 1960s 45rpm UK Discography

    • Listings include UK 45 singles releases only.
    • Collector's Items (on 45) are shown In Red
    • Some 78 rpm releases are shown in Green.

    Decca F9983 1953 Vanessa #11
    Decca F10093 1953 Hot Toddy #6
    Decca F10176 1953 Dragnet #9
    Decca F10200 1954 Lullaby Of Birdland/ Seven Eleven  
    Decca F10222 1954 The Creep/ Slim Jim - Creep  
    Decca F10246 1954 Skin Deep/ Walking Shoes #9
    Decca F10269  1954 Bell Bottom Blues/ Make Love To Me  
    Decca F10272 1954 Holiday For Strings/ Viva Verrell  
    Decca F10273 1954 Fascinating Rhythm/ Lush Slide  
    Decca F10401 1954 Papa Loves Mambo/ Mambo In The Moonlight  
    Decca F10425 1955 Dig Deep/ Asia Minor  
    Decca F10447 1955 In The Mood / Peg O' My Heart  
    Decca F10477 1955 Late Night Final/ Haitian Ritual  
    Decca F10540 1955 Bell Bell Boogie/ Amethyst  
    Decca F10590 1955 Barber Shop Jump/ Look For The Silver Lining  
    Decca F10624 1955 Cloudburst/ Malaguena  
    Decca F10683 1956 The Man With The Golden Arm/ Paris By Night  
    Decca F10746 1956 The Faithful Hussar/ Siboney #18
    Decca F10701 1956 Rock And Roll Waltz/ Rock Around The Island  
    Decca F10713 1956 Kings Cross Climax/ Trouble With Harry  
    Decca F10777 1956 The Fool Of The Year/ Autumn Concerto  
    Decca F10783 1956 Canadian Sunset/ Oriental Holiday  
    Decca F10827 1957 Armen's Theme/ Baby Doll  
    Decca F10856  1957 Madagascar/ Jungle Drums  
    Decca F10887 1957 Calypso Melody/ Calypso Italiano  
    Decca F10913 1957 Shish Kebab/ Headin' North  
    Decca F10953 1957 Cool For Cats/ Song Of India  
    Decca F11000 1958 Swingin' Shepherd Blues/ Raunchy #3
    Decca F11003 1958 Tequila/ Little Serenade #21
    Decca F11025 1958 Tom Hark/ Cha Cha Baby #24
    Decca F11048 1958 The Army Game/ Strolling With The Blues  
    Decca F11063 1958 More Than Ever/ Volare March  
    Decca F11085 1958 Topay/ The Hora  
    Decca F11093  1958 Cha Cha Black Sheep/ My Curly Headed Baby  
    Decca F11111 1959 Peter Gunn/ Sermonette  
    Decca F11155 1959 Jazzboat/ Mahjong  
    Decca F11179 1959 Swinging Ghosts/ Indian Love Call  
    Decca F11232 1960 Madison Time/ Madison Time (Pt.2)  
    Decca F11252 1960 Oliver/ Reviewing The Situation  
    Decca F11312 1961 Ruby Duby Du/ Midnight Lace  
    Decca F11351 1961 The Luxembourg Tune/ Holiday In Naples  
    Decca F11392 1961 Sucu Sucu/ Charmaine Cha Cha #36
    Decca F11410 1961 Tonight/ Capuccina  
    Decca F11453 1962 Theme from 'Ben Casey'/ Blue Bird  
    Decca F11556 1962 Theme from 'The Gospel'/ Skate 'n' Chips  
    Decca F11589 1963 The Beat Way/ Voice Of The Guns  
    Decca F11727 1963 Wigwam/ Mairi's Wedding  
    Decca F11765 1963 Telegoon Song/ The Eton Boating Song  
    Decca F11787 1963 March Of The Victors/ Country Waltz  
    Decca F11945 1964 Saturday Night Beat/ The Carpetbaggers  
    Decca F12057 1965 Bambay Duck/ A Spoonful Of Sugar  
    Decca F12133 1965 Sidewinder/ Hit And Miss  
    Decca F12745 1968 Love Is Blue/ Cherokee  

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