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Al Bowlly

The most popular vocalist in Britain during the 1930s, Al Bowlly showcased a range of material unsurpassed by any contemporary other than Bing Crosby. He was also a true international recording artist: born in Mozambique to Greek and Lebanese parents, he was raised in Johannesburg, but gained his musical experience singing for a dance band led by Jimmy Liquime in India and Singapore during the mid-'20s. Just one year after his 1927 debut recording date in Berlin, Bowlly arrived in London for the first time, as part of Fred Elizalde's orchestra. That year, "If I Had You" became one of the first popular songs by an English jazz band to become renowned in America as well, and Bowlly had gone out on his own by the dawn of the '30s. During the next three years, he recorded over 500 songs and appeared with orchestras led by Ray Noble and Lew Stone. A visit to New York in 1934 with Noble resulted in more success; he appeared at the head of an orchestra handpicked for him and Noble by Glenn Miller (the band included Claude Thornhill, Charlie Spivak, and Bud Freeman, among others).

During the mid-'30s, such songs as "Blue Moon," "Easy to Love," "I've Got You Under My Skin," and "My Melancholy Baby" were sizable American successes -- so much so that Bowlly gained his own radio series on NBC and traveled to Hollywood to film The Big Broadcast of 1936, which also starred one of his biggest competitors, Bing Crosby. He was back in England that same year, appearing with his own band, the Radio City Rhythm Makers, as well as the orchestras of Sydney Lipton, Geraldo and Ken Johnson. Partnered with Jimmy Messini, Bowlly also branched out onto the London stage during the early '40s with an act called Radio Stars with Two Guitars. It was his last venture before his death in 1941, the victim of a German bomb exploded outside his apartment. Fifty years after his death, a British musical named Melancholy Baby toured the country with much success. ~ John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Thank you Mr Bowlly -have two of your LP's and a CD
I love you, Al Bowlly. Your music is Heaven in my ears. I'm going to rape you when I die!!!!!!! Dreamboy
DREAMY!
rickcugini
AL BOWLLY! The greatest and first pop singer ever! Screenplay in the works. www.AlBowlly . c o m
kiriyama1000
This is really Ray Noble's biography, still he did do all of work with Al Bowlly.
merlinsmom29
i smell orangina, menthol cigs and my grandmother' s pond cold cream as she sat listening to his records...hi s melodic warble wafting thru the back window of her bedroom and mixing with the scents that made her one of my favorite memories.
jojo7m86
his voice always reminds me of Amelie
You have no idea how wonderful this man is when he puts his magic at work and as for Al Bowlly, His velvet voice will carry you back in time to the 1930's and you'll never be the same again, Thank heaven they combined these two men, It's complete magic.
Headed "Al Bowlly," but entirely about Ray Noble, perhaps this biographical entry needs a different heading.
Al Bowlly, Wow! I get off on this guy's singing like you would not believe. Music from the 1930's (79 years) ago. Thank goodness we were able to keep this wonderful singer's music alive. You can actually see him perform (in video) on U Tube. Catch it.....
One of the bests songs ever made.

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