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War Years

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Top Artists

  • J C Higginbotham
    Band leader Higginbotham was known for his declamatory style on trombone.
  • Jack Buchanan
    Jack Buchanan (1891-1957) was an aristocratic-looking British gentleman and when he appeared dressed in top hat and tails, he was the last person you would expect to sing and dance to perfection. He and Fred Astaire worked together in the 1953 Hollywood musical 'The Band Wagon'. He is still very popular today, the epitome of the debonair, man-about-town.
  • Jack Harris
    American bandleader Jack Harris was resident in the UK from 1927 to 1940. An interesting, ahead-of-its-time arrangement of I Double Dare You with Joanne Andrews is one of Jack's fine sides cut between 1937 and 1939.
  • Jack Hylton
    Jack Hylton built up a tremendous following in the late 1920s and early 30s as Europe's greatest show band. One, Two, Button Your Shoe from the film Pennies From Heaven features the marvellous vocal quintet The Swingtette, a group Hylton had discovered in Kansas City.
  • Jack Jackson
    Jack Jackson had been a kingpin on trumpet in the bands of  Hylton and Payne before he led his own small team in to play at the Dorchester in 1933.
  • Jack Payne
    Jack Payne was Director of Dance Music at the BBC and employed the cream of British musicians in his band. Tiger Rag was something of a test piece, calling for skilled musicianship.
  • Jack Teagarden
    Jack Teagarden (1905-64), a Texan, was the most celebrated jazz trombonist of his day but a reluctant band leader, with little appetite for business.
  • Jack Buchanan
    The debonair Jack Buchanan sings three songs from three different British musical films released between 1932 and 1935, on our CD Age Of Style.
  • James P Johnson
    James P Johnson (1894-1955), known unflatteringly as 'The Brute', was the doyen of Harlem's piano professors. Aside from the captivating Snowy Morning Blues recorded in 1927, Johnson wrote 'The Charleston' and 'Old Fashioned Love'.
  • Jay Wilbur
    Jay Wilbur & His Band was a fine group of musicians who existed principally in the confines of the recording studios for the Rex and Decca labels during the Thirties and Forties. Jay Wilbur, never one for the bright lights, was the driving force, as studio manager, behind some thousands of recording sessions.
  • Jean Sablon
    Jean Sablon, the charismatic French singer, was a performer in music halls, cabarets and theatres. His association with the jazz guitar genius Django Reinhardt produced some excellent music. Sablon was influential in bringing Swing to France.
  • Jelly Roll Morton
    Ferdinand 'Jelly Roll' Morton (1890-1941), was truly colourful character from New Orleans. Self-styled as 'The Originator of Jazz, Stomps and Blues' music,
  • Jessie Matthews
     Two of Jessie Matthews' best recordings were issued back to back in 1932. Not from any show or film, the songs were By The Fireside and One More Kiss.
  • Jimmie Lunceford
    Jimmie Lunceford created one of the greatest of black swing bands in the USA during the Thirties and Forties.
  • Jimmie Noone
    Clarinetist Jimmie Noone was from New Orleans. His recording of I Know That You Know was made with a group of New York musicians including the guitarist Teddy Bunn.
  • Jimmy Dorsey
    1935 marked the beginning of the well-known rift between Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey. Until then they had been joint leaders of the Dorsey Brothers' Orchestra. Jimmy was left in sole charge of the band while Tommy went off to start one of his own.
  • Jimmy Durante
    Jimmy Durante was nicknamed ‘Schnozzle’ because of his large nose. Durante’s extrovert personality livened up a number of films in the 30s and 40s, including ‘This Time For Keeps’ in which he revealed in song that it was he who found the famous ‘lost chord’ by sitting on the piano keyboard!
  • Jo Stafford
    The cool-sounding vocalist Jo Stafford emerged from the ranks of the big bands. Her later career was spent in radio with her husband Paul Weston as her accompanist and arranger.
  • Joe Loss
     Surely the record for longevity as an active bandleader is held, perhaps forever, by Joe Loss. He wielded the baton for almost sixty years, from 1930 until June 1990.
  • Joe Sullivan
    Joe Sullivan was known for his associations with Bud Freeman and Bob Crosby. Little Rock Getaway was his best known solo, and demonstrates his debt to Hines and Waller.
  • Joe Turner
    Joe Turner (1907-90) travelled to Europe as Adelaide Hall's jazz accompanist, stayed on and became popular, appearing at top clubs in Paris until his death.
  • Joe Venuti
    Joe Venuti was a reputed improviser but attracted notoriety for his pitiless practical joking. His famous Blue Four session included Adrian Rollini, one of the few who could make the unwieldy bass saxophone sound like a proper jazz instrument.
  • John Kirby
    John Kirby called his six-piece music group ‘the biggest little swing band in the land,’ and it became a fixture in the clubs of New York’s ‘Swing Street’ (52nd St.)
  • Johnny Dodds
    The New Orleans clarinettist Johnny Dodds was a modest, dignified man, a contemporary of Armstrong's and a key participant in the famous Hot Five sessions.  There's a passionate intensity to his blues playing, still evident on 29th And Dearborn, made late in his career (in 1938). 
  • Johnny Hamps Kentucky Serenaders
    The obscure American leader Johnny Hamp recorded the Black Bottom in 1926, celebrating another rather louche dance style.
  • Johnny Hodges
    It was impossible to mistake Johnny Hodges - 'the Lily Pons of the saxophone,' according to the modernist John Coltrane - for anyone else.  A peerless stylist, he adorned the Duke Ellington saxophone section for several decades.
  • Johnny Mercer
    Johnny Mercer's witty lyric for his own GI Jive paints a cheerful picture of service life, couched in 'jive' talk, a popular form of slang made famous by Cab Calloway. Mercer always had a flair for the telling phrase and went on to write the words for a host of songs, including the immortal Moon River.
  • Josephine Baker
    On 2nd October 1925 an all-black show called 'La Revue Negre' opened at the Theatre des Champs-Elysees to almost instant acclaim, mainly due to the antics of a stunning nineteen-year-old dancer from St. Louis, Missouri, called Josephine Baker (1906-1975). Her blend of rubber-legged athleticism, heart-stopping beauty and hilarious face-pulling completely floored the audience.
  • Judy Garland
    Remembered for her role as Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, this popular actress was also a talented singer with a string of hits from the American Songbook.
  • June Hutton
    Born in Chicago, in the late 1930s, June joined the band of her older half-sister, Ina Ray Hutton singing under the name of Elaine Merritt.

Top Artists - Overview

Spanning three decades rich in musical talent, the range of vintage music CDs from Past Perfect brings together an astounding collection of the most famous tunes performed by the greatest performers of the 1920s, 30s and 40s.

With so many great names from this golden era the choice can be somewhat overwhelming, which is why you can search for nostalgic music CDs and classic compilations featuring your favourite artist.

Each recording is packed with a selection of fantastic songs, all expertly remastered for an original, yet superb quality audio experience.

Whether you are looking for a sensational collection of tunes from Glenn Miller and his world famous orchestra or the dulcet lyrics of Bing Crosby and Cole Porter, finding your favourite artists from yesteryear is easy!