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Global Fascinations and Sophistications

Kyte and Lipton


Colleagues sometimes look askance at me when I say I love Nostalgia, or 'Middle of the Road', as it is popularly known, but during my early 20s, ballroom dancing became a Saturday Night passion at the Star Hotel, Maidstone in Kent. 'The Two Syds' -- Kyte and Lipton, were current favourites from a pre-war galaxy of performers that grew up from the 1920s and lasted to the early 60s when the Beatles and other pop groups put an unsympathetic end to all the soft shoe shuffle. These band leaders all had sophisticated talents, and featured the finest vocalists at a time when Britain needed revitalising, facing another World War, and afterwards, during the slow process of recovering from it.

The Two Syds (c) 2000 Vocalion

Kyte, a student of violin, viola and piano at the Royal Academy of Music and a favourite of the Duke of Windsor, had The Three Jinx at Ciros, and There's nothing too good for my baby really sets the feet tapping [listen -- track 2, 1:49-2:45].

Lipton, nine years younger, played in Billy Cotton's Band, then literally took over the enormous ballroom at the Grosvenor House Hotel where his line-up included Nat Gonella, Ted Heath, Frank Weir, Freddy Gardner, Cyril Grantham, Bill McGuffie, Sam Browne, Al Bowlly (killed tragically in the blitz), and his own daughter Celia. Suave sounds emanate from both groups, but the styles are certainly their own.


Copyright © 27 December 2000 Bill Newman, Edgware, UK







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