Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music

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HUTCHINSON, Leslie 'Hutch'

(b 1900, Grenada; d 18 Aug. '69, Hampstead, London) Pianist, singer; velvet voice and polished piano style made him UK's favourite cabaret artist for decades. To NYC to study law '16 but music took over; to Paris to study piano c'24; formed dance band, specialized in Cole Porter's songs with the composer's blessing and help. Worked at Bricktop's famous cabarets in Paris; opened in Rodgers and Hart revue One Damn Thing After Another '27 in London; also This Year Of Grace (NoČl Coward), Good News, Porter's Wake Up And Dream, Cochran's 1930 Revue; meanwhile broadcasting, recording for Parlophone and appearing in top restaurants and hotels. Entertained troops during WWII; appeared in revue again: Happidrome '42 was an adaptation of a BBC radio show; Seventy Years Of Song '43 at the Royal Albert Hall was for War Relief Fund. Retired late '40s, came back '53 and remained popular in clubs, TV. Appeared in Kenya '67 as his health worsened. His name was in the news early '80s as books were published about Lord and Lady Mountbatten, end of Empire etc (perennially popular subject in UK); he may have been one of her lovers.