Jack Hylton Archive

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 336 Jack Hylton Archive
  • Dates of Creation
      20th Century
  • Name of Creator
  • Language of Material
  • Physical Description
      Band Parts 930 cubic metres; Press Cuttings 120 volumes; Photo Albums 40; Programmes 3,500; Scripts 430; 78rpm Records 200
      Orchestra/Band Parts; Presscuttings; Photos; Programmes; Scripts; Records; Diaries; Administration; Flyers; Posters; Set Designs.

Scope and Content

Contains band arrangements of popular music from 1920-1940. There are volumes of press cuttings with details of Jack Hylton Band performances, theatre productions, personal cuttings and articles on stars that he represented. There are loose photographs of stars, productions and links to Jack Hylton's career. There are programmes of both Jack Hylton productions and those he may have attended. There are original 78rpm records of his band. The collection also includes miscellaneous items relating to Jack Hylton.

Administrative / Biographical History

Jack Hylton was born in Great Lever, Bolton on 2nd July 1892. He came from a working class background and, as a boy, would accompany his father on the piano when he sang in clubs. He also performed at an early age as the 'Singing-Mill-Boy'

After the First World War, he went on to play witth the Queen's Dance Orchestra where he wrote arrangements of popular songs. The band started recording under Jack Hylton's name in 1923. Jack became a respected bandleader and was in great demand, so much so that he had to provide bands simultaneously in various locations under his own name. In the 1920s the band developed into an orchestra and had a busy schedule. It toured America and Europe and continuied until the 1940s when the orchestra disbanded due to members being called up for war service.

At this point Jack Hylton's career was already moving towards that of an impresario discovering new stars and managing radio, film and theatre productions from Ballets to Circuses. His productions dominated the London theatres with such productions as 'The Merry Widow', 'Kiss Me Kate' and 'Kismet'.

Some of the stars he managed, appeared in his productions or discovered were Shirley Bassey, Maurice Chevalier, Ernie Wise, Eric Morecambe, Arthur Askey, The Crazy Gang, George Formby, Diana Dors, Thora Hird, Noele Gordon and Sid James.

Jack Later went on to work in TV as the Advisor of Light Entertainment for the new ITV channel. He worked in this role until 1959 and was producing stage productions at the same time. Here he was able to promote his stage discoveries on the television as TV stars. He was instrumental in organising various Royal Command Performances and continued supporting theatre productions until his final stage production 'Camelot' in 1965.


Band parts are listed alphabetically by title, however only half the band parts have been sorted and listed so far. The scripts are listed by title. The 78rpm records are also listed by title. The programmes are currently being listed under their production title. The cuttings have a general production title or year per volume. The photos are unsorted, however some have been grouped by production title.

Conditions Governing Access

Items in the collection may be consulted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the controlled environment and restrictions of the Library's Rare Book Archive.

Acquisition Information

Deposited by Lady MacKay (widow of Jack Hylton) and his family.


Description compiled by Liz Fawcett and Helen Clish.

Other Finding Aids

Listings available from http://libweb.lancs.ac.uk/hylton with contact details.

Conditions Governing Use

COPIES FOR PRIVATE STUDY: Subject to copyright conditions imposed by owners and protecting the documents, the library can supply, at charge, photocopies or digital copies.

PUBLICATION: A reader wishing to publish material in the collection should contact the Curator of Rare Books in writing. The reader is responsible for obtaining permission to publish from the copyright owner.

Personal Names