Spike Hughes

Born 19 October 1908. Died 2 February 1987.

Biography

Patrick Cairns "Spike" Hughes (19 October 1908 – 2 February 1987) was a British jazz musician, composer and music journalist. He was the son of Irish composer, writer and song collector Herbert Hughes and great grandson of the sculptor Samuel Peploe Wood. Hughes was a multi-dimensional musician, playing the double bass, composing operatic scores, arranging jazz recordings and writing books on topics ranging from gardening to Toscanini's music.

Hughes' small recording group was one of the earliest artists signed to Decca Records in England, spanning the period from 1930 to 1933, including over 30 sessions. Originally billed as Spike Hughes and his Decca-Dents, he reportedly did not like the name and after three sessions was changed either "his Dance Orchestra" or "his Three Blind Mice" for smaller sessions. His recording career culminated in his visit to New York City where he arranged three historic recording sessions involving members of Benny Carter's and Luis Russell's orchestras with Coleman Hawkins and Henry "Red" Allen from Fletcher Henderson's band. These fourteen sides were mostly Hughes' own compositions. Though most were not released in the U.S. at the time, they have become known as classic jazz masterworks, and are still available on CD.

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