Tony was born in North London. While his friends were listening to the sounds of the Rolling Stones and Cream, Eric Clapton and others, Tony discovered his father’s collection of 78s.
He was captivated by the music of Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Bob Crosby, Count Basie and other great bands of the 1920s, ‘30s and ‘40s. He then heard Louis Armstrong’s ‘Potato Head Blues’ and still regards him, along with Bing Crosby, as the most influential musician/singer in 20th century popular music. But he does like Sinatra as well!
Passion for Comedy
He studied at the University of East Anglia in Norwich, where he indulged his passion for comedy – writing, directing and performing in revues.
After graduating, he became a social worker, but entertainment and music beckoned and there followed a five year tenure fronting the tea-dance band at London’s Waldorf Hotel. In1991, he was offered the job as male vocalist with the Syd Lawrence Orchestra and there he remained for ten years – touring the UK and Europe, appearing on TV and radio and performing in venues including London’s Barbican and the Royal Albert Hall.
Since leaving the orchestra, he has produced highly successful theatre shows including ‘THE SINATRA YEARS’, ‘A GLIMPSE OF STOCKING’ and more recently ‘SWING THAT MUSIC’ and ‘SHAKE THAT THING!’ with his Tuxedo Jazz Orchestra. He has sung on several Radio 2 shows including ‘Friday Night Is Music Night’ and has had his CDs played by Clair Teal, David Jacobs, Desmond Carrington and Russell Davies.
In New York, Tony has been invited on a number of occasions to perform with Grammy award-winning Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks and has appeared at the iconic Birdland with the Louis Armstrong Eternity Band.
Tony has an extensive knowledge of the great American and British Songbooks and their interpreters and brings this to all his concerts when he includes many fascinating anecdotes about the songwriters and performers of this glorious musical era.
Every year, Tony hosts a number of Festivals of Big Band Swing, Hot Jazz, Cabaret and Dance.
Tony presents an occasional Radio Show ‘Magic Moments’ on the UK 1940s Radio Station.