Jack Jackson was born in Horsley, Derbyshire in 1906 and the son of a brass bandsman and conductor. He started playing cornet when he was 11 years old then later when he attended the Royal Academy of Music he was taught to play the trumpet by John Solomon. When he was 16 he was playing violin and cello in a local dance band and aged 19 he was spotted by Bert Ralton and joined his Havana Band. The orchestra were incredibly popular in the US, UK and Australia and travelled extensively including an ill fated tour of South Africa in 1926 and 1927. Ralton died in an accidental shooting and although the band continued Jack left soon after their return to the UK.
He went freelance for a time before joining Bert Ambrose to play swing. Jack was a fine soloist and occasionally would sing "scat." He made several recordings before joining Jack Hylton's band.
In 1929 he was considered hot property and joined the Howard Jacobs band and stayed for two years before teaming up with Jack Payne at the BBC. Jack Jackson enjoyed his time and assisted with many comedy aspects of the bands performance.
After a quarrel with Jack Payne in 1933, he left to form his own orchestra. The new line up consisted of Poggy Pogson, Chappie D'Amato, Stanley Andrews among others and they were able to secure residency at the Dorchester Hotel. and became a firm favourite. The Jack Jackson Orchestra made a number of recordings, some of which featured blues legend, Alberta Hunter. Despite her background many of the works were straight pop for the time. Following the orchestras stay at the Dorchester, the group toured theatres, ballrooms and hotels until disbanding in 1947.
During the war years Jack worked between the Ministry of Information where he drew cartoons and as a band booker at Foster's Agency. After the War he formed a new outfit and played at Churchill's opposite Edmundo Ross. Keen to further his career he gave up bandwork and tried acting before accepting a job to compere the BBC’s big-band series called "Band Parade". Jack fitted in well and was given his own late-night record show called "Record Round Up" in 1948. Jack Jackson became a very popular figure in radio and regularly broadcast for Decca on Radio Luxembourg. Jack Jackson developed a most unique microphone style which included punctuating records with comedy clips, and using quick cutting of pre-recorded tapes to humorous effect. This was to be a major influence on younger DJs including: Kenny Everett and Noel Edmonds.
In 1962 Jack Jackson relocated to Tenerife where he built an elaborate recording studio. There he recorded his radio shows and flew them to London for broadcasting. Although he returned to London in 1973 Jack was seriously ill with a bronchial complaint associated with playing the trumpet. He made a remarkable recovery and presented a new radio program in 1975, "The Jack Jackson Show" which he continued with until 1977 when illness forced him to retire. Jack Jackson died a year later.
Jack Jackson: Rhythm and Radio Fun Remembered BBC Radio 4
Worth a listen
Syd Roy's Crichton Lyricals (The Lyircals)
She Don't Wanna
Jack Jackson and his Orchestra
Red Sails in the Sunset
Stars Fell on Alabama
Two Cigarettes in the Dark
My Very Good Friend the Milkman
Jack Jackson The Radio Academy