Having taught himself the trumpet at school, Lyttelton became a professional musician, leading his own eight-piece band, which recorded a hit single, " Bad Penny Blues ", in Lyttelton was also a cartoonist, collaborating on the long-running Flook series in the Daily Mailand a calligrapher and president of The Society for Italic Handwriting. Lyttelton was born at Eton Collegethen in Buckinghamshirewhere his father, George William Lyttelton second son of the 8th Viscount Cobhamwas a house master.
He was a cousin of the 10th Viscount Cobham and a great-nephew of the politician and sportsman Alfred Lytteltonthe first man to represent England at both football and cricket, both of whom also attended Eton.
At Eton, Lyttelton fagged for Lord Carrington and formed his love of jazz. He was inspired by the trumpeters Louis Armstrong who subsequently referred to Lyttelton as "that cat in England who swings his ass off"  and Nat Gonella.
He taught himself the instrument, and formed a quartet at the school in that included the future journalist Ludovic Kennedy on drums. After leaving school, Lyttelton spent some time at the Port Talbot steel plate works in South Walesan experience which led to his becoming what he termed a " romantic socialist ".
After being called up for war service, he was commissioned in the Grenadier Guards as a second lieutenant on 29 November alongside future politician Mark Bonham Carter and saw action at SalernoItalyduring Operation Avalanchewhen he came ashore with his Light Eyes - Various - Envizagae (DVDr, MP3) in one hand, and his trumpet in the other. On VE Day8 MayLyttelton joined in the celebrations by playing his trumpet from a wheelbarrowinadvertently giving his first broadcast performance; the BBC recording still survives.
Inhe joined the Daily Mail as a cartoonistwhere he remained until He was one of the collaborators with Wally Fawkes on the long-running cartoon strip Flook. Lyttelton received a grant for further study.
He went to Camberwell School of Art, where he met Wally Fawkesa fellow jazz enthusiast and clarinet-player, also known as the cartoonist "Trog". InFawkes helped him to get a job with the Daily Mail writing the words for FlookFawkes's comic strip.
They had both joined the George Webb Dixielanders in Webb was an important catalyst in the British postwar jazz boom. In the late s and early s Lyttelton was prominent in the British revival of traditional jazz forms from New Orleans, recording with Sidney Bechet in To do so he had to break with the Musicians' Union restrictive practices which forbade working with jazz musicians from the United States.
Over time, Lyttelton gradually shifted to a more mainstream approach favoured by American musicians such as trumpeter Buck Clayton.
By he had begun to add saxophonists to the lineup. On one occasion in that year, the development did not meet with the approval of his fans. Occasionally, with the help of Eddie Harveyhe assembled a big band for BBC broadcasts and records. RævJäger - Clansman XIII (File) recorded with Lyttelton in the early s and toured with the band on numerous occasions.
Clayton considered himself and Just Squeeze Me - Humphrey Lyttelton And His Band - Heres Humph! to be brothers. By now his repertoire Just Squeeze Me - Humphrey Lyttelton And His Band - Heres Humph!
expanded, including not only lesser known Duke Ellington pieces, but even "The Champ" from Dizzy Gillespie 's band book. InLyttelton formed Calligraph Records, which reissued some of his old recordings, all future recordings by his band, and recordings by band members.
FromLyttelton's favoured line up was an eight—piece band with three saxophones, alto, tenor and baritone although this was reduced to seven occasionally to save Just Squeeze Me - Humphrey Lyttelton And His Band - Heres Humph!. But he would sometimes add the baritone again for broadcasts and recordings. The band maintained a busy schedule, frequently performing sold-out shows across the country.
Performances occasionally included a guest singer, or a collaboration with another band. During the s the band toured with Helen Shapiro in a series of Humph and Helen concerts. Lyttelton had a long established professional relationship with UK singer Elkie Brooks. After working together in the early s they rekindled their working partnership in early with a series of sold-out and well-received concert performances.
In latethey played on the track "Life in a Glasshouse" on Radiohead's album Amnesiacreleased the following year. Lyttelton introduced American Just Squeeze Me - Humphrey Lyttelton And His Band - Heres Humph! Stacey Kent to British audiences.
Lyttelton's last band featured, apart from himself on trumpet and clarinet: Ray Wordsworth on trombone; Jimmy Hastings on alto sax, clarinet and flute; Jo Fooks on tenor saxophone and flute; Rob Fowler on tenor sax, baritone sax and clarinet; Ted Beament on piano; John Rees-Jones on double bass and Adrian Macintosh on drums. Trumpet on the other tracks was played by Tony Fisher. He made some recordings as a vocalist. The band continues to give concerts performing his music.
The trumpet part is played by Tony Fisher with occasional guest spots by singer Sue Richardson and ex—Lytteltonians such as Karen Sharp. From until AprilLyttelton presented The Best of Jazz on BBC Radio 2a programme that featured his idiosyncratic mix of recordings from all periods of the music's history, including current material. In he chose to cut his commitment to two quarterly seasons per year, in order to spend more time on other projects.
The show was originally devised as a comedic antidote to traditional BBC panel games both radio and televisionwhich had come to be seen as dull and formulaic, and in keeping with the staid middle-class "Auntie Beeb" image. Lyttelton continued in this role until shortly before he died, and was known for both his deadpandisgruntled, and occasionally bewildered style of chairmanship, and for his near-the-knuckle doubles entendres and innuendo which, despite always being open to an innocent interpretation, was, according to William Rushton"the filthiest thing on radio".
The programme's success had considerable influence on the manner in which comedy was presented on radio, and Lyttelton's persona was a significant part of that success: he was a straight man surrounded by mayhem. At the time of his death, Lyttelton was the oldest active panel game host in the UK, being two and a half years older than his closest rival, Nicholas Parsons.
As well as his other activities, Lyttelton was a keen calligrapher and President of The Society for Italic Handwriting. This label, founded in the early s, not only issues his own albums and those of associates, but also re-issues on CD his analogue recordings for the Parlophone label in the s. He is reported to have turned down a knighthood in Lyttelton was married twice. They had one daughter, Henrietta born Infollowing his divorce, he married Elizabeth Jill Richardson —with whom he had two sons and a daughter, Stephen born and David bornand Georgina born Despite his celebrity, he was intensely private.
He designed Tengo La Voz - Nortec Collective - Tijuana Sessions Vol. 3 house in Arkley, Hertfordshire, with blank walls on the outside and the windows opening onto an internal courtyard.
He hated using the telephone and kept his number ex-directory, changing it if anybody else discovered it. Given his dislike of the telephone, he communicated by post, including letters hiring and firing members of his band. He twice refused state honours which were offered to him. One occasion was inand in he declined the knighthood offered by Downing Street: his son Stephen later wrote that "Accepting it was never an option but he still felt sick to the stomach. He kept it from all of us, especially my mother who would have exerted a lot of pressure on him to accept, seeing it as recognition for all his work.
Rob Brydon and others were asked to deputise for Lyttelton during the tour shows, but Lyttelton postponed his operation and managed to perform on all but the last night. A further email on 21 April reported that the BBC were "unclear precisely how long Humph's recovery period will be" but Lyttelton was "otherwise fine and in very good spirits".
Lyttelton died peacefully following his surgery on 25 April with his family around him. After his death, the controller of Radio 4, Mark Damazersaid: "He's just a colossally good broadcaster and possessed of this fantastic sense of timing. So go and find " Bad Penny Blues ", and celebrate his life with some hot jazz.
Lyttelton is survived by his four children: a daughter from his first marriage to Pat Braithwaite, and two sons and a daughter from his second marriage to Jill Richardson. Richardson, to whom he had been married sincepredeceased him in The event was organised and hosted by his son Stephen Lyttelton, who is also the founder and Chairman of "The Humph Trust", an organisation set up after his death to support young up and coming jazz musicians and to provide sponsorship and support.
It was formerly named The Southampton Arms. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the gunpowder plotter, see Humphrey Littleton. The Speelgoedmannetje - Drs.
P - Per Pont & Slee Met Drs. P. Retrieved 28 April The London Gazette Supplement. This Is Hampshire. The Times. Retrieved 17 March The Independent.
Retrieved 31 October BBC News. Retrieved 25 April Bauer Media Just Squeeze Me - Humphrey Lyttelton And His Band - Heres Humph!. Archived from the original on 24 November Retrieved 27 March Archived from the original on 8 August Retrieved 30 July Calligraph Records. Archived from the original on 16 April Retrieved 7 May Retrieved 20 July Retrieved 26 April The Observer.
Dead Air Space. Archived from the original on 2 May Retrieved 30 April Random House. It Just Occurred to Me? Pavilion Books. Archived from the original on 23 June
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