Dance Band Encyclopaedia


Arthur Lousley

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May 25th, 1904, Hammersmith, London
March 31st, 1982, London 

The elder son of Wayland and Martha Lousley was born at no.79 Sulgrave Road, Hammersmith on the 25th May 1904. As a child he showed considerable ability as a cornet player and came second to Harry Mortimer in a competition in Leyton on June 2nd 1917 receiving a silver medal. At the age of 18 he played cornet at a concert in Victoria Hall Eating.

Then when he had just turned 20 he toured France and Germany playing trumpet with Bobby Hind's London Sonora Band. This was in early 1925, and the band made many recordings for the German Favorite label. Unfortunately, these are exceedingly rare and have not been re-issued anywhere to my knowledge.
Arthur agreed and signed a contract from August 31st.1925 to February 2nd.1926 to play lead trumpet for
Leslie Jeffries and his famous Rialto Orchestra The band played at the Marine Gardens Portobello and two of their specialities were Hard Hearted Hanna and Thatís all There Is.
The band  made numerous recordings for Vocalion records, issued mainly on Aco, but also on subsidiary labels such as Guardsman, Coliseum and Beltona (under various pseudonyms).

In mid-1926, Arthur joined the newly reformed New Princes' Toronto Band, now under banjoist Dave Caplan's leadership. The band went to Berlin in August 1926 and also recorded 56 sides for Deutsche Grammophon / Polydor. All these records are extremely rare today but a few have been reissued, notably recently on a CD published by the Canadian Antique Phonograph Society. The band used Charleston rhythms and a synchronised saxophone style.
The band returned to England in January 1927 and its core members including Arthur, Jack Collins, Laurie Day and Dave Caplan returned to the
New Princesí restaurant, Piccadilly under the leadership of Hal Swain. The band made some recordings for Regal at this time.

In the autumn of 1927, Arthur once again joined up with Leslie Jeffries who was playing at the Locarno. Then in the spring of 1928, he joined Tommy Kinsman's London Frivolities Band, who also recorded for British Homophone. He also played for Harry Collins and his Orchestra around this time (see photograph). Unfortunately, I know nothing about Collins or his band, but from the photo, the same trombone player is in both Collins and Kinsman's bands.

In the late 1920s, Arthur played with Sir Robert Peelís Harmony Band (later called the Staffordshire Jazz Band), where he was leader and arranger. It is almost certain that he is present on the 16 Sterno recordings made in 1930, especially as Arthur owned copies of some of these records.

Following this he signed an agreement to work for the Savoy Hotel Group at a minimum of £16.20 a week on June 26th, 1931. He worked for the Savoy throughout the 30s (in fact until September 13th, 1940) mainly with Al Collins and the Berkeley Hotel Orchestra, an accomplished group with some fine individualists such as Norman Payne (Jazz Trumpet), Pat Dodd (Piano) and Ronnie Gubertini (Drums). The band won the Jazz Jamboree competition at the Gaumont State Kilburn on the 26th March 1939. He also participated in numerous recording sessions with bands such as Jack Jackson and his Band at the Dorchester and Carroll Gibbons and The Savoy Hotel Orpheans. He said that he played a number of times for Carroll, generally as a stand-in at recording sessions, due to Arthur's skill at sight-reading. He was definitely on the November 4th 1937 recording session which includes "The Moon Got In My Eyes" which was used in the "Pennies From Heaven" Television series. Arthur's work for Jack Jackson was also as a stand-in, both at the hotel, and for record sessions.

In the late 1930ís Arthur became friendly with Mantovani and gave him rudimentary guidance on conducting.

On the 17th September 1941 Arthur joined the Royal Navy and was posted to the Isle of Man where after his naval duties he would play trumpet in the Palais de Dance, Strand Street, Douglas. He was discharged after the war on the 10th November 1945 and resumed his career as a musician working firstly for Harry Gerrardís Big Band (13 musicians) who played on the BBC, then as a dep for Geraldo. He played for a number of film orchestras, a regular band in Norwich and afterwards until early 1954 at the ĎCabaret Clubí, Beak Street, London.

Arthur finished his professional career as a musician and started work at Ultra Electronics, Acton on the 22nd March 1954 working on electronic sea rescue devices and intercoms for jet aircraft. He played on occasions lead trumpet for the Wembley Symphony Orchestra. He died in 1982 following a double stroke in Charing Cross Hospital on the 31st March 1982 and was cremated at Breakspear, Ruislip.

My thanks to Arthur's son, Ron Lousley, for the information and photographs.

Arthur Lousley

Bobbie Hind London Sonora Band.jpg (123923 bytes)
Bobbie Hind's London Sonora Band (Arthur is 2nd from left)

Leslie Jeffries Rialto Orch.jpg (146580 bytes)
Leslie Jeffries' Rialto Orchestra. (Arthur is  4th from left)

Dave Caplan's Toronto Band-2.jpg (147210 bytes)
Dave Caplan's Toronto Band (Arthur is 3rd from right)

New Princes TB - Dave Caplan.jpg (153552 bytes)
Dave Caplan's Toronto Band, (Arthur 3rd from right)

Tommy Kinsman London Frivolities Band.jpg (104532 bytes)
Tommy Kinsman's Band (Arthur 4th from left)

Arthur Lousley cartoon.jpg (27808 bytes)
Arthur Lousley caricature

Harry Collins and his Band.jpg (91886 bytes)
Harry Collins' Orch (Arthur is 4th from left)

Sir Robert Peel Harmony Band.jpg (141104 bytes)
Sir Robert Peel's Harmony Band. Arthur is 5th from left

Al Collins' Berkeley Hotel Orchestra. Arthur is front, right

Harry Gerrard & his Orch.jpg (97667 bytes)
Harry Gerrard and his Orch (Arthur is immediately to the right of the microphone)