British Dance Band Discography

PhonotoneClassic is proud to host the British Dance Band discography online and completely free for you to enjoy.

This seminal work was written by Brian Rust and Sandy Forbes, and published in 1987. It remains the most complete record of popular dance music recorded in Britain between the years 1911 and 1945. Brian Rust had access to recording company ledgers and personal diaries that are in some cases, now lost. He also wrote to dozens of musicians who played in the UK in the 1920s and 30s, asking them to identify particular sessions and dates.

Though the book is by no means 100% accurate, it has become invaluable for British dance music collectors, and it is our privilege to host this discographical work online for you to download. The book went out of print after one run, and can now fetch hundreds of pounds on second-hand book websites.

We would like to thank certain people who have made this all possible. Firstly, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Nick Dellow, who sacrificed his copy of the book so it could be scanned and turned into a PDF which was searchable.

We would also like to thank Martin Cullingford, editor and publisher of the Gramophone magazine, who own the copyright to the book, for allowing us to place it online so that Brian and Sandy’s research can be enjoyed by all.

Finally, a thank-you to Brian Rust and Sandy Forbes for spending countless hours collecting this information, so that we are able to share it once more.

The very large PDF file is currently hosted on WeTransfer, and a link is provided here for download:

Please be patient with the download, since the book contains more than 400 pages.

Over the next few months, the hosting of the book will be migrated over to PhonotoneClassic’s own dedicated server space, where you will also be able to access sound and video recordings that might interest you. We will be announcing when this server migration is completed.

Arthur Rosebery
Billy Cotton
Debroy Somers
Fred Elizalde
Jack Hylton
Lou Abelardo
Ray Starita
Roy Fox