Andy McDevitt, jazz clarinet and sax player, dance band musician, of the 1930's - 1940's
this page first published by John Wright, 22 April 2002
last updated 5 May email@example.com
|I'm always delighted to hear from family of our great musicians and I was most interested to hear from Carolyn Dee, daughter of Andy McDevitt. As well as the RAF Dance Orchestra Andy worked with Bert Ambrose, Sydney Kyte, Roy Fox, Geraldo and Lew Stone. Andy also recorded with British jazz outfits assembled by the likes of Benny Carter, Johnny Claes and Tiny Winters.
This web page has started up rather short of detail regarding Andy McDevitt's career so I hope that readers will be able to make some contributions.
The jazz and dance band discographies and the Who's Who Of British Jazz (Chilton) combine to give the following career steps:
1934:Worked for Louis Freeman in Scotland (and on liner California), then did summer season with Slim Grossman in Bournemouth
I expect I can locate one or more of the jazz group recordings featuring Andy Mcdevitt and should be able to identify his solo breaks for this web page.
|Andy Mcdevitt is third from the right, back row|
|the five Squaddies are:|
Harry Lewis, George Chisholm, Jock Cummings, Andy McDevitt, Tommy McQuater
|Carolyn has offered some information on Andy's post-WWII career.
"At some point after leaving the Squadronaires Andy joined the BBC Variety Orchestra. I believe this orchestra was involved in such programes as "Round the Horne" and "Beyond our Ken" starring Kenneth Horne and Kenneth Williams among others. The orchestra also had regular musical programmes and on one of these broadcasts my father performed "Clarinet a la King" which was highly
acclaimed throughout the music world. I have the original, and I think the only copy, of this on 78rpm. The Variety Orchestra later became the New Radio Orchestra and he remained in the orchestra, as far as I know, for some years."
Carolyn added: "As far as Andy McDevitt's early life goes I know very little. One thing I remember him telling me is that he used to shave matchsticks to a point so that he could listen to and study records at all hours of the day and night without disturbing anybody. When at a young age I showed an interest in classical music, he presented me with a copy of Ravel's Daphnis and Chloe, rather heavy going for a small child but it did not deter my interest in the least. I have no idea as to how or where Andy was trained in music, I have very few photographs and only a copy of "Something in the Air". This is a 33rpm but I have been able to order a CD from an American website".
Carolyn adds: "As a child, I sang with the Stargazers on a Mars "Spangles" jingle, and also with Dave King on a Christmas record around 1957 called "Shake Me I Rattle" both of which I have on 78rpm. I have been unable to find any other trace of the latter; the "A" side was "Chances Are".
I am grateful to Carolyn Dee, Andrew Williams (for Who's Who) and Ray Pallett for their support in starting up this web page.
There is an active discussion group where you can talk about Andy McDevitt and other musicians of the 1920's-1940's:
or check out the group site first at http://www.yahoogroups.com/group/british-dance-bands/
E-mail John Wright me if you want to contribute information or scanned photographs to this page
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