Jazz Professional               

Ted Heath and his Music
Carnegie Hall Programme with June Christy and the Four Freshmen  

Bobbie Britton, Ted Heath, Dennis Lotis and Dickie Valentine in the '50s

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The Ted Heath band was the most famous British band of the post World War Two era.

 Its reputation was international with tours by the band across the United States, to Australia and New Zealand and to the major cities in Europe.

For four decades after the band became less active in the 60ís the past members appeared in almost every session orchestra such as Peter Knight, Ronnie Hazlehurst, Jack Parnellís ATV Band, Alyn Ainsworth and Harry Rabinowitz and many, many more.

Even today it is almost impossible to look at a television or a recording orchestra without seeing some ex Ted Heath members. There are 1,600 tracks of Ted and the Ted Heath band in the BBC Recorded Music Library—surely a record for any band.

Tommy Sampson, Ken Mackintosh, Johnny Keating, Max Harris, Don Lusher, Bill Geldard

From 1965 1969, Ted was too ill to work and the band was led by Ralph Dollimore and Stan Reynolds. Ted died in 1969 and for a time, apart for recording sessions the band finished.

A few attempts were made to revive the band with little success but in January 1976, Thames Television produced an hour long tribute to what had been Britainís most successful band and Moira Heath, Tedís widow, chose Don Lusher to front it, which he continued to do for the concerts that followed.

On the bandís 50th Anniversary in 1995, Moira Heath wanted to finish the band but the fans and the band members persuaded her to let it continue.

In the summer of 1999, Moira finally decided to finish the band at the end of the year 2000, fifty-five years after it first began. She wanted it to finish while it was still a good band, playing well. She would rather it go out with a sense of triumph rather than with a whimper.

Moira died on January 24th 2000.  Don and the band were very sorry indeed that she was not to be with them on the final tour and for the final concert at the Royal Festival Hall on December 4th.

Copyright © 2000 Jazz Professional. All Rights Reserved.

1945 personnel: L-R standing - Harry Roche, Lad Busby, Harry Letham, Dave Goldberg, Jimmy Coombes, Ted, Jack Parnell, Reg Owen, Les Gilbert, Johnny Gray, Norman Stenfalt, Ronnie Scott, Stan Roderick, Alan Franks. Squatting - Dave Shand, Charlie Short, Kenny Baker, Jack Bentley