Savoy Havana Band
The band was formed by the American saxophonist Bert Ralton in 1921. Originally there were six players including Ralton. It was later increased to ten players. From 1924 it was led by the English violinist Reginald Batten. Both the Savoy Havana Band and their colleagues the Savoy Orpheans were under the management of Wilfred de Mornys.
Among the players was a young American saxophonist, Rudy Vallée, whose attempts to become a vocalist were discouraged by his fellow-players. Another member of the ensemble was the pianist Billy Mayerl.
The owner of the Savoy Hotel, Rupert D'Oyly Carte, called the original Savoy Havana Band and the Savoy Orpheans "probably the best-known bands in Europe." When de Morny's contractual arrangement with the Savoy Hotel company ended on 31 December 1927, the band went on tour, and disbanded in 1930.
They appeared in the 1930 film After Many Years.
- Rust, Brian, "The Savoy Havana at the Savoy Hotel, London": sleeve notes to disc 2 of World Record Club LP set SH165/6, issued 1971
- The Times 29 March 1924, p. 20.
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