EDWARD WHITE (1910 - 1994)
Teddy White, as he came to be known, was born in London and received no formal musical education other than some violin lessons when he was ten. Self-taught, he nevertheless made his impressive way into the music profession, first as a violinist in a trio, but most notably as a performer in dance bands from 1930 onwards. Adept also on saxophone and clarinet, he played in the Palais Band at Streatham Locarno, later with Lou Preager at Romano’s in the West End, and then with the Ambrose Octet. This was an ideal environment for Teddy to develop his skills as an arranger and composer.
Then came the war, and White joined the Royal Air Force, soon put into service as a musician with the Felix King Group. He was also much involved in broadcasting from Bristol and playing and arranging in light entertainment shows whenever these did not conflict with his RAF duties.
It was to Bristol that Teddy returned after the war, directing his own ballroom orchestra at the Grand Spa Hotel. Throughout this period composition assumed steadily more importance as a natural adjunct to arranging. Compositions first heard in those wartime shows, including Caprice for Strings and Runaway Rocking Horse, would eventually become standard light music successes. Inevitably, London called and White became very busy with commissions for BBC Television and finding a ready outlet in the flourishing market for ‘mood music’.