Discover New Music

Last.fm is a music discovery service that gives you personalised recommendations based on the music you play.

Start your Last.fm profile Close window

Humphrey Lyttelton

Tags

Everyone’s tags

More tags

Biography

Humphrey Richard Adeane Lyttelton (23 May 1921—25 April 2008), also known as ‘Humph’, was a well-known British jazz musician and broadcaster, and chairman of the BBC radio programme I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s Lyttelton was prominent in the British revival of traditional jazz forms from New Orleans, recording with Sidney Bechet in 1949. To do so he had to break with the Musicians’ Union restrictive practices which forbade working with jazz musicians from the USA. In 1956, he had his only hit, with the Joe Meek-produced recording of “Bad Penny Blues”, which was in the UK Singles Chart for six weeks. As the trad movement (not quite the same thing as revivalism) developed, Lyttelton moved to a mainstream approach favoured by American musicians such as trumpeter Buck Clayton; they recorded together in the early 1960s and Clayton considered himself and Lyttelton to be brothers.

By now his repertoire had expanded, not only including lesser known Ellington pieces, but even The Champ from Dizzy Gillespie’s band book. The Lyttelton band – he saw himself primarily as a leader – helped develop the careers of many now prominent British musicians, including Tony Coe and Alan Barnes.

In 2001, Lyttelton and his band added trad jazz elements to the experimental Radiohead song “Life in a Glasshouse” on the Amnesiac album.

Videos

Top Albums

Listening Trend

10,197listeners all time
62,014scrobbles all time
Recent listeners trend:

Start scrobbling and track your listening history

Last.fm users scrobble the music they play in iTunes, Spotify, Rdio and over 200 other music players.

Create a Last.fm profile

Shoutbox

Leave a comment. Log in to Last.fm or sign up.
  • luckystoned

    cool X

    19 Mar 2013 Reply
  • Rockmetteller

    Happy 90th birthday, Humph. x

    23 May 2011 Reply
  • murielsartre

    Aw, Humph. :( I'm sad you're gone.

    17 Mar 2009 Reply
  • Webbski

    Only just learned of your passing, Humph, as I was in Italy when it happened. Loved your playing and dry humour, which made 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' what it was. You have left us an unrepayable debt.

    14 Jun 2008 Reply
  • leilah

    Thanks for it all, Humph.

    8 May 2008 Reply
  • Asmogriff

    RIP.

    29 Apr 2008 Reply
  • IanB022

    Thanks for the memories

    26 Apr 2008 Reply
  • foster_UK

    See you on the other side, legend.

    26 Apr 2008 Reply
  • tom_dissonance

    good night mate, sleep well x

    26 Apr 2008 Reply
  • DJDump

    Samantha is off to sample some beers and whiskies at the Radio 2 party. She says she expects to enjoy having a pint and a stiff Johnny Walker chaser.

    5 Jun 2007 Reply

Listening Now

Top Listeners