I remember his mid-day show (1 PM weekdays) from Hammersmith Palais with singer Ross McManus very well....
Today's DMB Life of the Day....
Loss, Joshua Alexander [Joe] (1909-1990), bandleader, was born on 22 June 1909 in Spitalfields, London, the youngest of the family of two sons and two daughters of Israel Loss, of Russian origin, a cabinet-maker who had an office furnishing business, and his wife, Ada Loss. His mother and father were first cousins. Israel Loss recognized his son's musical talents and started him with violin lessons at the age of seven. It was hoped that he might become a concert violinist, and, after education at the Jewish Free School, Spitalfields, he studied at the Trinity College of Music and the London College of Music.
Loss's interests lay in lighter fields and, after playing in cinemas during silent films and in various bands, at the end of 1930 he formed his own first band to play at the Astoria Ballroom (then known as the Astoria Danse Salon) in Charing Cross Road, becoming, at the age of twenty-one, the youngest bandleader in the West End of London. Under the name of Joe Loss and his Harlem Band, his musicians first played as the number two unit, Joe Loss leading on violin, with three saxophones, trumpet, piano, and drums. Later they added a special tango section, which featured two accordions and two violins. Occasionally they deputized for the Percival Mackey band at the Kit-Kat Club, and, when Mackey left to go into vaudeville at the beginning of 1932, Joe Loss took over to initiate a new 'popular price' policy, playing for daily tea, dinner, and supper dances, supported by and often combining with Fred Spedbury's Coney Islanders. He returned to the Astoria in 1934 to become the number one band and remained there until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939.
During this period Loss began to record for the Regal-Zonophone label and his first really big hit came with a recording made in July 1939 of 'Begin the Beguine', with Chick Henderson (who was killed by shrapnel in 1944) as vocalist. During the war years Joe Loss toured the country and after D-day (6 June 1944) played to the forces at various venues in Europe. His was to become the most prestigious society dance orchestra in the country, its qualities based on his love of a strong rhythm. From 1939 it played a regular engagement at Buckingham Palace and later at the weddings of Princess Margaret, Princess Anne, and Princess Alexandra. After the war there were residencies at the Hammersmith Palais, the Villa Marina in the Isle of Man, and Green's Playhouse, Glasgow, and there were frequent trips on the liner Queen Elizabeth II. The band was now always at least eighteen strong, usually with three vocalists-his singers, at various times, including Monte Rey, Howard Jones, Ross McManus, and Rose Brennan. Vera Lynn was among those given encouragement in the early stages of an illustrious career. In 1970, when Loss left Hammersmith, the band, in the face of economic demands, became smaller.
Loss's recording career was a busy one. In 1940 he had a second big hit with 'In the Mood', which became his signature tune, and many others followed. Despite the emergence of pop, he continued to record his swinging strict-tempo music, and in the 1970s had two albums which sold a million copies-Joe Loss Plays Glenn Miller and Joe Loss Plays the Big Band Greats. He continued to record with EMI until the end of his career, and became a well-known name on radio and television, notably with the long-running Come Dancing series.
Loss was a great supporter of such charities as the Variety Artists' Federation Sunshine Coach Fund. He was appointed OBE in 1978 and LVO in 1984. He was awarded the queen's silver jubilee medal in 1978 and became a freeman of the City of London in 1979. Posthumously, he was made a fellow of the City University when his wife, who continued to run the Joe Loss Agency, started in the 1930s, presented the library with his collection of big-band scores.
Loss's generosity, kindness, and courtesy, and his dislike of star treatment, made him one of the best-liked figures in the world of popular music. He was 5 feet 8 inches in height, with a trim figure, and sleek black hair, which tumbled over his face when he was conducting in his typically energetic way. He was always well dressed, in later years in a white silk suit, and usually had a broad, friendly smile. Away from the relentless hard work of sixty years as a bandleader, celebrated by a Variety Club luncheon in 1989, he was a devoted family man. In 1938 he married Mildred Blanch Rose, daughter of a Latvian from Riga, Barnet Rosenberg (who later changed his name to Rose), master tailor. They had a son and a daughter and were delighted to have grandchildren who followed in Loss's musical footsteps. Loss, who lived latterly at 89 North Gate, Prince Albert Road, London, died in a London hospital on 6 June 1990.