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Cotton, William Edward [Billy] (1899–1969), bandleader and radio and television broadcaster, was born on 27 May 1899 at 31 New Tothill Street, Westminster, London, the youngest of the ten children of Joseph Cotton, a water turncock, and his wife, Susan Harmer. He was educated at ...

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William Edward Cotton (1899–1969) by Yousuf Karsh Karsh / Camera Press, London

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Henry Robert Hall (1898–1989) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Hall, Henry Robert (1898–1989), dance-bandleader and radio broadcaster, was born on 2 May 1898 at 23 Bonar Road, Peckham, London, the eldest son in the family of three sons and three daughters of Henry Robert Hall, blacksmith, and his wife, Kate Ellen Smith...

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Kenrick Reginald Hijmans Johnson (1914–1941) by unknown photographer, c. 1940 photographer unknown / Val Wilmer Collection

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Johnson, Kenrick Reginald Hijmans [Ken] [called Ken Snakehips Johnson] (1914–1941), dancer and bandleader, was born on 10 September 1914 at 193 Wellington Street, Georgetown, British Guiana, the first of two surviving sons and eldest of six children of Dr Reginald Fitzherbert Johnson...

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Victor Marlborough Silvester (1900–1978) by unknown photographer © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Silvester, Victor Marlborough (1900–1978), ballroom dancer and bandleader, was born on 25 February 1900 at the vicarage of St John's Church, Wembley, the second of six children and younger son of the Revd John William Potts Silvester and his wife, Katherine (née...