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Joe Loss

(1909—1990) bandleader


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b. Joshua Alexander Loss, 22 June 1909, Spitalfields, London, England, d. 6 June 1990, London, England. One of the most popular band leaders in the UK over a period of many years, Loss was taught to play the violin with a view to pursuing a classical career. He won a scholarship to the Trinity College of Music, and later studied at the London School of Music before forming his own band at the age of 16, playing local halls and accompanying silent movies. In 1930 he moved into London’s Astoria Ballroom, and played at the Kit-Kat Club a year later. His band made its broadcasting debut in 1933, and, early in 1934, topped the variety bill at the Holborn Empire. Later that year, he returned to the Astoria for a long residency, and while there adopted ‘Let’s Dance At The Make Believe Ballroom’ as his first proper signature tune. Also in 1934, he started recording for the Regal Zonophone Records label, later part of EMI Records, and stayed with the company for over 50 years. A large part of the Loss band’s popularity during the 30s was due to the many featured vocalists including Paula Greene, Betty Dale, Adelaide Hall, Shirley Lenner, Elizabeth Batey, Marjorie Kingsley, Monte Rey (with his big hit ‘The Donkey Serenade’) and especially Chick Henderson, later killed while in the Royal Navy, who recorded the very popular ‘Begin The Beguine’.

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From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.


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