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Episode 2

Episode 2 of 5

Brian Matthew celebrates the golden age of British dance bands. In this episode, Brian looks at Roy Fox, the 'Whispering Cornettist'.

Brian Matthew celebrates the golden age of British dance bands, when some of the biggest and most glamorous stars on the pop scene were bandleaders.

This week's bandleader in the spotlight is the Californian emigre Roy Fox who came to Britain in 1930 as "The Whispering Cornettist" and put together one of the sharpest bands on the scene. With a dapper manner and a past that included affairs with the likes of Jean Harlow, Fox brought to the role of bandleader a sophisticated elegance unmatched by any others.

Writer Tony Staveacre has scoured the BBC's sound archive and interviewed many musicians and friends to assemble this vivid portrait of an era Robert Graves called "The Long Garden Party". The series includes contributions from Ambrose and Roy Fox; band members; experts like Russell Davies, as well as Brian Matthew himself, who personally knew many of the figures in this remarkable story.

We also hear the music created by these men and the "bands that mattered". Music to which a whole generation danced in the great houses and palaces, prestigious hotels, swanky night-clubs, ballrooms and - by listening live nightly on the BBC - in private homes.

30 minutes

Last on

Fri 27 Nov 2009 19:00

Music Played

  • Al Bowlly with Ray Noble & The New Mayfair Dance Orchestra

    "Roll Up The Carpet"

    • Ray Noble: The HMV Sessions 1930-34 Volume 4.
    • Vocalion (CDEA 6043).
  • Roy Fox

    "Whispering"

    • Rise ‘n’ Shine.
    • Vocalion (CDEA6003).
  • Paul Whiteman’s Rhythm Boys

    "Rhythm King"

    • Chronological Bing Crosby Volume 5.
    • Jonzo (JZCD 5).
  • Roy Fox

    "Tiptoe Through The Tulips"

    • From 78 rpm single.
    • Brunswick (8323).
  • Roy Fox

    "Love For Sale"

    • The Decca Years Volume 2 “Over On The Sunny Side”.
    • Vocalion (CDEA 6029).
  • Roy Fox

    "Swaller Tail Coat"

    • From 78 rpm single.
    • Decca (3987).
  • Roy Fox & His Band

    "Out Of Nowhere"

    • Whispering.
    • ASV Living Era (CD AJA 5352).
  • Roy Fox & His Band

    "Whispering"

    • Whispering.
    • ASV Living Era (CD AJA 5352).
  • Roy Fox & His Band

    "How'm I Doin'?"

    • Whispering.
    • ASV Living Era (CD AJA 5352).
  • Roy Fox & His Band

    "I Cover The Waterfront"

    • The Decca Years Volume 3 “Lullaby Of The Leaves”.
    • Vocalion (CDEA 6117).
  • Roy Fox and His Orchestra

    "I'll String Along With You"

    • Writing A Letter to You:.
    • Pegasus (PGN CD 844).
  • Roy Fox & His Band

    "Stop, You're Breaking My Heart"

    • Whispering.
    • ASV Living Era (CD AJA 5352).
  • Roy Fox & His Band

    "I Let A Song Go Out Of My Heart"

    • Whispering.
    • ASV Living Era (CD AJA 5352).

Broadcast