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Hippisley-Cox, Charles: British Dance Band Collection
A collection of approximately 12,000 shellac 78 RPM and vinyl records containing at least 17,000 audio recordings of British Dance Band music from the 1910s to the1940s. The collection has been assembled by Charles Hippisley-Cox, a Senior Lecturer in Architectural Studies at the University of Huddersfield, who first started collecting the recordings in the early 1970s. The main focus of the collection is British recordings of dance band music from the inter-war period (the "Golden Age" of the British dance bands is widely believed to have been between 1928 and 1935), however there are some early examples of ragtime recordings from the 1910s and many recordings that were released throughout the 1940s. The vast majority of the records in the collection were commercially published 10-inch 78 rpm shellac discs with an A-side and B-side that both contain one track of up to three minutes, however there are also many rare and unreleased recordings that were never commercially distributed, and records that were made of other materials such as vinyl, card, glass, celluloid, aluminium and casein.


The collection is arranged by the name of the band or surname of the band leader that created the recording. This is the original order in which Charles Hippisley-Cox arranged and accessed the collection. The collection includes the recordingss of many famous dance band leaders such as Bert Ambrose, Roy Fox, Jack Hylton and Debroy Somers, and many famous dance bands such as the Savoy Orpheans, the Savoy Havana Band and the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra, but there are also thousands of recordings of less well-known bands.

To ensure the long-term preservation of these audio recordings the full collection has been digitised to current audio archival standards and access to the audio recordings is provided by these digital surrogates (copies), the physical records are accessible for researchers to consult alongside the digital audio.

The collection also includes a copy of the discography British Dance Bands On Record, 1911 To 1945, by Brian Rust and Sandy Forbes. This discography contains information about many of the recordings within this collection.

Disclaimer: These primary historical recordings reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. Some of the music of this period, including that composed by black, Asian and minority ethnic composers, features words, phrases, and "dialect" portrayals that can be considered offensive and demeaning. The University of Huddersfield and the collector do not endorse the views expressed in these collections, but is presenting this aspect of UK history in order to enable hidden narratives to be uncovered and to strengthen the coverage of under-represented or unheard/disregarded voices.

  • BDB/L2

    Dance band recordings led by Arthur Lally Series

    1929-1932
    British dance band music recordings held on 78 RPM shellac and vinyl records. These records are part of the Charles Hippisley-Cox British Dance Band Collection that comprises c10,000 records of British dance band music.
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  • BDB/L3

    Dance band recordings led by Brian Lawrence Series

    1934-1940
    British dance band music recordings held on 78 RPM shellac and vinyl records. These records are part of the Charles Hippisley-Cox British Dance Band Collection that comprises c10,000 records of British dance band music.
    View contents
  • BDB/L4

    Dance band recordings led by Harry Leader Series

    1933-1941
    British dance band music recordings held on 78 RPM shellac and vinyl records. These records are part of the Charles Hippisley-Cox British Dance Band Collection that comprises c10,000 records of British dance band music.
    View contents
  • BDB/L5

    Dance band recordings led by Jack Leon Series

    nd (1910s-1940s)
    British dance band music recordings held on 78 RPM shellac and vinyl records. These records are part of the Charles Hippisley-Cox British Dance Band Collection that comprises c10,000 records of British dance band music.
    View contents
  • BDB/L6

    Dance band recordings led by Louis Levy Series

    1934-1939
    British dance band music recordings held on 78 RPM shellac and vinyl records. These records are part of the Charles Hippisley-Cox British Dance Band Collection that comprises c10,000 records of British dance band music.
    View contents
  • BDB/L7

    Dance band recordings led by Syd Lipton Series

    1931-1940
    British dance band music recordings held on 78 RPM shellac and vinyl records. These records are part of the Charles Hippisley-Cox British Dance Band Collection that comprises c10,000 records of British dance band music.
    View contents
  • BDB/L8

    Dance band recordings by London Dance Orchestra Series

    nd (1910s-1940s)
    British dance band music recordings held on 78 RPM shellac and vinyl records. These records are part of the Charles Hippisley-Cox British Dance Band Collection that comprises c10,000 records of British dance band music.
    View contents
  • BDB/L9

    Dance band recordings led by Mario "Harp" Lorenzi Series

    nd (1910s-1940s)
    British dance band music recordings held on 78 RPM shellac and vinyl records. These records are part of the Charles Hippisley-Cox British Dance Band Collection that comprises c10,000 records of British dance band music.
    View contents
  • BDB/L10

    Dance band recordings led by Joe Loss Series

    1933-1943
    British dance band music recordings held on 78 RPM shellac and vinyl records. These records are part of the Charles Hippisley-Cox British Dance Band Collection that comprises c10,000 records of British dance band music.
    View contents
  • BDB/M1

    Dance band recordings led by Percival Mackey Series

    1925-1943
    British dance band music recordings held on 78 RPM shellac and vinyl records. These records are part of the Charles Hippisley-Cox British Dance Band Collection that comprises c10,000 records of British dance band music.
    View contents