Ted Heath and his Music...
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Ted Heath and his Music... the 1950s
This is not a complete discography. It concentrates on recording sessions during the 1950s when the band included jazz musicians, some of course who played on into the 1960s and 1970s. Among the musicians were Jack Parnell, Tommy Whittle, Eddie Blair, Keith Christie, Bob Efford, Stan Tracey and others. At their best the Heath band were a swing band in the style of Tommy Dorsey and Glenn Miller. They also played a bit of dance music, a bit of jazz and other more popular music that is of little interest to the jazz lover. Heath biography...

Ted Heath and his Music - January 2nd, 1950 (Decca)
Bobby Pratt, Stan Roderick, Stan Reynolds, Ronnie Hughes (tp), Jackie Armstrong, Maurice Pratt, Jack Bentley, Jimmy Coombes (tb), Les Gilbert, Reg Owen, (as), Tommy Whitttle, Henry Mackenzie (ts), Dave Shand (bs), Frank Horrox (p), Sammy Stokes (b), Jack Parnell (d).
Cuban Crescendo/Rumanian Roundabout*/Leave It To Me.
(*Hep CD - Ted Heath "Listen to my Music vol 4 1949/50")

February 8th, 1950 (Decca)
Personnel as January 2nd.
Sixty Seconds Got Together/Blue Skies March*/Sidewalks Of Cuba*/My Silent Love/I'm In The Mood For Love.
(*Hep CD - Ted Heath "Listen to my Music vol 4 1949/50")

April 3rd, 1950 (Decca)
Personnel as January 2nd.
Rag Mop/Didn't We/Go To Sleep/Beautiful Lovable.

May 25th, 1950 (Decca)
Personnel as January 2nd.
Birmingham Bounce (vcl JP)/Button Up Your Overcoat.

Summer, 1950 (Decca)
Personnel as January 2nd.
This Is The Time/Gone, Gone Gone.

September 19th, 1950 (Decca)
Personnel as January 2nd.
Colonel Bogey/My Very Good Friend The Milkman.

October, 1950 (Decca)
Personnel as January 2nd.
Goodnight Irene/Sam's Song/Mona Lisa/Nevertheless/Theme For Cleopatra/Mirage.>

Late, 1950 (Decca)
Personnel as January 2nd.
Ramona/The Lady Is A Tramp/Avalon/Poor Little Rich Girl/Young And Healthy/In A Little Spanish Town/Thanks For The Memory/Singing In The Rain.

November, 1950 (Decca)
Personnel as January 2nd.
Sweet And Lovely.

After an unchanged personnel throughout 1950 the following year saw personnel changes and considerably less recording work than 1950...
Ted Heath and his Music - January, 1951 to Spring 1951 (Decca)
Bobby Pratt, Stan Roderick, Duncan Campbell, Ronnie Hughes (tp), Jackie Armstrong, Maurice Pratt, Jimmy Coombes, Wally Smith (tb), Les Gilbert, Roy Willox, (as), Tommy Whitttle, Henry Mackenzie (ts), George Hunter (bs), Frank Horrox (p), Sammy Stokes (b), Jack Parnell (d).
Take A Letter Miss Smith/She's A Lady/Saxophone Mambo/London Fog/Paris Mist/Lord Of The Flies/Gone Gone Gone/El Albanico/Can't We Talk It Over/The King's Horses/Trumpet Voluntary/Allentown Jail/I Wish I Knew.

By the time of the recording sessions in October 1951, Jack Parnell had left the band. Ronnie Verrell and John Hawksworth began their long associations with Ted Heath. The music now had little jazz content and although Tommy Whittle remained in the ranks he was the only genuine remaining jazz musician.
Ted Heath and his Music - October, November and December 1951 (Decca)
Bobby Pratt, Stan Roderick, Duncan Campbell, Ronnie Hughes (tp), Jackie Armstrong, Bill Geldard, Jimmy Coombes, Wally Smith (tb), Les Gilbert, Roy Willox, (as), Tommy Whitttle, Henry Mackenzie (ts), George Hunter (bs), Frank Horrox (p), John Hawksworth (b), Ronnie Verrell (d).
I'm Gonna Wash That Man/A Wonderful Guy/Some Enchanted Evening/This Nearly Was Mine/ A Kiss In The Dark/The Entry Of The Gladiators/Turkey In The Straw/Limehouse Blues/Lullaby Of Broadway/Undecided/Body And Soul/Dinah Boogie.

Ted Heath and his Music - January, 1952 (Decca)
Bobby Pratt, Stan Roderick, Duncan Campbell, Ronnie Hughes (tp), Jackie Armstrong, J. Wilson, Jimmy Coombes, Wally Smith (tb), Les Gilbert, Roy Willox, (as), Tommy Whitttle, Henry Mackenzie (ts), George Hunter (bs), Frank Horrox (p), John Hawksworth (b), Ronnie Verrell (d).
Casey Jones/It's All Over But The Memories/It's All In The Game/Hawaiian Mambo.

February, 1952 (Decca)
As January except Lad Busby (tb) and Dave Shand (bs) replace J.Wilson and George Hunter.
Obsession/Hawaiian War Chant/Somewhere In The Moonlight/Come What May.

March/Spring, 1952 (Decca)
As January except Lad Busby (tb) replaces J.Wilson.
Blacksmith Blues/Grand Central Station/The Black Bottom/L'heure Bleu/I Want to Be Happy/Raminay/Oakie Boogie/Blackpool Bounce/Meet Me On The Corner/Botch-a-me/Early Autumn.

Ted Heath and his Music - April 12th, 1953 (the 89th Palladium Sunday concert - Decca/London)
Bobby Pratt, Duncan Campbell, Stan Reynolds, Ronnie Hughes (tp), Don Lusher, Jack Bentley, Jackie Armstrong, Wally Smith (tb), Les Gilbert, Roy Willox, (as), Danny Moss, Tommy Whitttle (ts), George Hunter (bs), Frank Horrox (p), John Hawksworth (b), Ronnie Verrell (d).
Night Train/The Hawk Talks/The Champ/Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me/Eloquence/Pick Yourself Up/Blues For Moderns/Fourth Dimension/Etrospect/Dark Eyes/Solitude/I Got It Bad/Rhapsody For Drums.

These were the final recordings that Tommy Whittle made with Ted Heath and his departure meant that none of the jazzmen who started out with Heath in the 1940s remained. Trumpet player Eddie Blair joined the band in 1954 after playing with the Johnny Dankworth Seven but it was not until 1955 that another top modern jazz musician came into the band. Don Rendell replaced Danny Moss and was recorded on his first appearance with the band at the final swing session at the London Palladium. Don had a very short stay with the band and recorded very few other titles with the band and by January 1956 had been replaced by Red Price...

Ted Heath and his Music - Recorded at Carnegie Hall, New York, USA. May 1st, 1956 (Decca LK4165)
Bobby Pratt, Duncan Campbell, Bert Ezzard, Eddie Blair (tp), Wally Smith, Don Lusher, Jimmy Coombes, Ric Kennedy (tb), Les Gilbert (as), Ronnie Chamberlain (as,sop), Henry Mackenzie (cl,ts), Red Price (ts), Ken Kiddier (bs), Frank Horrox (p), John Hawksworth (b), Ronnie Verrell (d).
Listen To My Music (theme)*/King's Cross Climax*#/Memories Of You*/RJ Boogie*/Perdido*/Autumn In New York*/Carioca*/Just One Of Those Things*/Lullaby In Rhythm*/Stonehenge*/Procession*/I Remember You*/Hawaiian War Chant*.
(*Vocalion CD - Ted Heath First American Tour & Carnegie Hall)
(#Giant Steps 2CD set - Soho After Dark 'London's '50s Modern Jazz Scene')

Ted Heath and his Music - 1956 (First American Tour - Decca LK4167)
Bobby Pratt, Duncan Campbell, Bert Ezzard, Eddie Blair (tp), Wally Smith, Don Lusher, Jimmy Coombes, Ric Kennedy (tb), Les Gilbert (as), Ronnie Chamberlain (as,sop), Henry Mackenzie (cl,ts), Red Price (ts), Ken Kiddier (bs), Frank Horrox (p), John Hawksworth (b), Ronnie Verrell (d).
On The Alamo*/Way Down Yonder In New Orleans*/Stars Fell On Alabama*/you're In Kentucky*/Georgia On My Mind*/Charleston*/Carolina In The Morning*/I'm Coming, Virginia*/Beautiful Ohio*/St Louis Blues*/Louisville Lou*/Lullaby Of Broadway*.
(*Vocalion CD - Ted Heath First American Tour & Carnegie Hall)

Trombone player Keith Christie joined the band at the very end of 1956, replacing Ric Kennedy for a few dates and then becoming a regular in 1957. Stan Tracey also joined the band during 1957 playing vibes as well as piano. Few of the Heath records of this time had much to do with jazz but one that is of interest to jazz lovers is "Our Kind Of Jazz", details below...
Ted Heath and his Music - End of December, 1957 and early January, 1958 (Our kind of jazz - Decca)
Bobby Pratt, Bert Ezzard, Duncan Campbell, Eddie Blair (tp), Wally Smith, Don Lusher, Jimmy Coombes, Keith Christie (tb), Les Gilbert (as), Ronnie Chamberlain (as,sop), Red Price (ts), Henry Mackenzie (cl,ts), Ken Kiddier (bs), Stan Tracey (p,vib), John Hawksworth (b), Ronnie Verrell (d). Arrangements by Ron Roullier, Ken Moule and Johnny Keating.
I'll Remember April*/Sometimes I'm Happy*/Just You Just Me*/Taboo*/Ringside Suite*/Bakerloo Non Stop (unissued).
Add: Don Rendell, Ronnie Scott, Tommy Whittle (ts).
Four Fours*.
Add: Kenny Baker, Stan Roderick, Ronnie Hughes, Jo Hunter (tp).
Stompin' At The Savoy*.
Add: Roy Willox (sop), George Hunter (as), Ronnnie Ross (bs).
Waterloo Bridge*.
Add: Ladd Busby, Harry Roche, Jackie Armstrong, Maurice Pratt (tb).
Out Of Nowhere*.
(*Vocalion CD - Ted Heath "Our kind of jazz / Spotlight on sidemen")

A live recording at the Kingsway Hall in London was the first time a stereophonic recording session had been held in Britain. A lot of good big band jazz was recorded, Stan Tracey on vibes and piano was heavily featured, as was Keith Christie...
At this time Tracey was one of the young lions of British modern jazz having played in the bands of Tony Crombie, Ronnie Scott, Kenny Graham and Laurie Morgan and with that kind of background brought a different kind of piano playing to the Heath band. His playing was spiky, angular and percussive totally unlike the smooth elegance of Frank Horrox. Tracey once said: That's why I enjoyed playing in the band .... It was like pissing in a big patch of virgin snow, I enjoyed turning it around from something square cut and Ivy League into something different ... I had no influences on vibes and played them from 1955 for five or six years. It was like playing tuned drums to me. I'm a percussive piano player, so it was nice to use sticks on a keyboard and play them like drums...

Ted Heath and his Music - June 26th, and July 3rd and 17th 1958 (Ted Heath swings in Hi-Stereo - Decca)
Bobby Pratt, Bert Ezzard, Duncan Campbell, Eddie Blair (tp), Wally Smith, Don Lusher, Jimmy Coombes, Keith Christie (tb), Les Gilbert (as), Ronnie Chamberlain (as,sop), Bob Efford (ts), Henry Mackenzie (cl,ts), Ken Kiddier (bs), Stan Tracey (p,vib), John Hawksworth (b), Ronnie Verrell (d). Arrangements by Ron Roullier, Ken Moule and Johnny Keating.
C Jam Blues*/Three For The blues*/My Funny Valentine*/I Like To Recognise The Tune*/Love Me Or leave Me*/Ja-Da*/Bloomsie*/Big Ben*/Sophisticated Lady*/Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams*/Over The Rainbow*.
(*Vocalion CD - Ted Heath "My very good friends the bandleaders / Swings in Hi-stereo")

In the late 1950s the Heath band made a lot of albums, most of them with little interest for jazz collectors. There was some ghastly records with Max Bygraves, old English music, hits from the classics, big band dixie, latin dance music etc. Stan Tracey began to be replaced by Derek Warne, but the band did make one more swing/jazz album that featured Tracey...
Ted Heath and his Music - February to April, 1959 (My very good friends the bandleaders - Decca)
Bobby Pratt, Bert Ezzard, Duncan Campbell, Eddie Blair (tp), Wally Smith, Don Lusher, Keith Christie, Ken Goldie (tb), Les Gilbert (as), Ronnie Chamberlain (as,sop), Bob Efford (ts), Henry Mackenzie (cl,ts), Ken Kiddier (bs), Stan Tracey (p), Ike Isaacs (g), John Hawksworth (b), Ronnie Verrell (d).
Sing, Sing, Sing*/When It's Sleepy Time Down South*/Sorta Crazy*/One O'clock Jump*/I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm*/Cherokee*/Intermission Riff*/Tuxedo Junction*/Apple Honey*/Take The A'Train*/Dragnet*/Night Train*.
(*Vocalion CD - Ted Heath "My very good friends the bandleaders / Swings in Hi-stereo")

Ted Heath and his Music - July, 1959 (Ted Heath in concert - Decca)
Bobby Pratt, Bert Ezzard, Duncan Campbell, Eddie Blair (tp), Don Lusher, Wally Smith, Keith Christie, Ken Goldie (tb), Les Gilbert (as), Ronnie Chamberlain (as,sop), Bob Efford (ts), Henry Mackenzie (cl,ts), Ken Kiddier (bs), Stan Tracey (p,vib), Ike Isaacs (g), John Hawksworth (b), Ronnie Verrell (d).
Wailin Boat*/Bag's Groove*/Doodlin'*/Exactly Like You*/Baby Blue*/Perdido*/Woody'n You*/Round About Midnight*/Beaulieu Festival Suite (Hunting Scene, Vintage Veterans/Beauliey Abbey/Montague Manner)*.
(*Vocalion CD - "Beaulieu Jazz Festival / 21st Anniversary album")

Records from the 1940s...
Records from the 1960s and '70s...

My initial effort at a Ted Heath discography lacked many details that were included in Max Gray's superb discography covering the entire Ted Heath recording career. Anybody needing information from 1950 onwards could do no better than consult his work. I freely acknowledge the help I have received from it... Max Gray discography...


This page was last updated during September, 2015.
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