Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen - Songs


Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen were a veteran English Dixieland jazz-styled band that became famous during the early 1960s. They are best known for the toe-tapping "Midnight In Moscow" (1962), a jazz instrumental remake of a popular Soviet-Russian song co-written in 1955 by composer Vasily Solovyov-Sedoi and poet Mikhail Matusovsky.

Born in Ilford, Essex, Kenny Ball (May 22, 1930 - March 7, 2013) began taking trumpet lessons at age 14 and soon after started playing semi-professionally in various local bands. He turned professional in 1953 and performed with Eric Delaney, Charlie Galbraith, Terry Lightfoot, and Sid Phillips before forming Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen in 1958. In addition to Ball, who served as bandleader, lead trumpeter, and vocalist, other original and early members included, at various times, Colin Bates (piano), John Bennett (trombone), John Benson (bass, bass guitar), Ron Bowden (drums), Andy Cooper (clarinet), Diz Disley (banjo), John Fenner (guitar, banjo), Dave Jones (clarinet), Hugh Ledigo (piano), Paddy Lightfoot (banjo), Johnny Parker (piano), Vic Pitt (bass, bass guitar), and Ron Weatherburn (piano), with many personnel changes over the years. As their popularity grew, Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen became one of the leading acts of Britain's "trad jazz" revival. Their first charting song came in 1961 in the U.K. with their Top 20 hit cover of Cole Porter's "Samantha."

Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen debuted in the U.S. in early 1962 with "Midnight In Moscow," which topped the Adult Contemporary chart, reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100, and soon after went gold. This smash, which also reached #2 in the U.K. and became their greatest hit worldwide, was followed by several other Dixieland jazz instrumental remakes including "March Of The Siamese Children" (1962, from "The King And I"), the Dimitri Tiomkin/Paul Francis Webster-penned "The Green Leaves Of Summer" (1962), the Al Hoffman/John Klenner-penned "Heartaches" (1963), and "From Russia With Love" (1964), the title theme to the 1963 James Bond movie. The group's hits continued on the U.K. charts through 1967 with their rendition of The Beatles' "When I'm Sixty-Four" (1967) as their final charting song.

After their commercial peak in the 1960s, Kenny Ball & His Jazzmen continued to record and perform actively to the early 2010s. Since Ball's passing in 2013, the band has continued to the present day with the same name under his son's direction.



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Kenny Ball And His Jazzmen

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