Tito Burns

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Tito Burns
Tito Burns02.jpg
Background information
Birth name Nathan Bernstein
Born (1921-02-07)7 February 1921
London, England
Died 23 August 2010(2010-08-23) (aged 89)
London, England
Genres jazz, be-bop
Occupation(s) Bandleader, musician, talent manager

Tito Burns (born Nathan Bernstein, 7 February 1921 – 23 August 2010[1]) was a British musician and impresario, who was active in both jazz and rock and roll.


Born in London,[1] Burns was an accomplished accordionist, whose group, the Tito Burns Septet, featured on the BBC's Accordion Club radio series. In 1947, they are thought to have been the first band to perform the new jazz idiom bebop on BBC Radio.[2] When the show ended, the band went on tour and recorded a number of sides with various line-ups, including the pianist and trumpeter Dennis Rose and saxophonist Johnny Dankworth also double bassist, Joe Mudele (Muddle) . In 1949, they were recording as a septet, but went back to being a sextet shortly afterwards.[3]

By 1955, the orchestra had disbanded, and Burns's career took a turn to the emerging phenomenon of rock and roll. In 1959, he replaced Franklyn Boyd as manager for Cliff Richard,[4] and he soon gathered an impressive list of clients, including The Searchers, whom he gave over to Brian Epstein.[5] Among the new talents he discovered was singer Dusty Springfield.[6] As an impresario, he first brought Cliff Richard to tailor Dougie Millings for a stage costume. The resulting outfit, with its unique style, was later emulated by other key performers of the time, and Millings went on to make costumes for The Kinks, The Rolling Stones, The Who, and especially The Beatles.

Burns appeared in D. A. Pennebaker's 1965 film Dont Look Back which documented Bob Dylan's first UK tour, which Burns promoted.

Later in his career, Burns left managing bands to become Head of Variety Programming at the then start-up London Weekend Television.[5]

Throughout his career he promoted concert tours for many US entertainers in Europe including Simon and Garfunkel, Tony Bennett, and Victor Borge.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Burns married his longtime girlfriend and singer, Terry Devon, in 1948. They had two daughters, Lynda ("Lil"), and Sharon.


Tito Burns died at home on 23 August 2010, of complications from prostate cancer, at the age of 89.[2]


  1. ^ a b c Thedeadrockstarsclub.com - accessed September 2010
  2. ^ a b John Fordham Obituary: Tito Burns, The Guardian, 3 September 2010.
  3. ^ Tito Burns …
  4. ^ "Franklyn Boyd", The Independent, 23 May 2007
  5. ^ a b The Searchers Official Website.
  6. ^ Douglas Martin "Dougie Millings, the Tailor for the Beatles", New York Times, 8 October 2001