Al Bowlly

~ Person


Albert Allick Bowlly (7 January 1898 – 17 April 1941) was a Mozambican born South African singer, songwriter, composer and band leader, who became a popular jazz crooner during the British dance band era of the 1930s and later worked in the United States. He recorded more than 1,000 records between 1927 and 1941. His most popular songs include "Midnight, the Stars and You", "Goodnight, Sweetheart", "The Very Thought of You", "Guilty" and "Love Is The Sweetest Thing".

Born in Lourenço Marques in the then-Portuguese colony of Mozambique, Bowlly gained his musical experience singing for a dance band led by Edgar Adeler on a tour of South Africa, Rhodesia, India and Indonesia during the mid-1920s. He was then employed by Jimmy Liquime to perform in India, Calcutta, Singapore and the Raffles Hotel. In 1928, he arrived in the United Kingdom and briefly worked with Percival Mackey's band before being made redundant due to the 1930s depression. In 1930, he was spotted and signed to accompany Roy Fox's and Ray Noble's orchestras that November. The signing with Noble led to a successful association between the two that resulted in more than 500 records being produced over a four-year period.

In 1933, Bowlly began to collaborate with Lew Stone and had further success producing some of the most popular jazz records of the 1930s. A year later, Bowlly travelled abroad to New York which resulted in further success, and an introduction into the American charts. During the mid-1930s, Bowlly recorded "Blue Moon", "Easy to Love", "I've Got You Under My Skin" and "My Melancholy Baby" which were all sizable successes.

By 1938, Bowlly began to suffer problems with his throat and was forced to return to London. His absence from the United Kingdom had damaged his popularity with British audiences and he toured regional theatres and continued his recording career, performing with different orchestras in order to make a living. In 1940, he formed a double act with Jimmy Messene and took part in Radio Stars with Two Guitars, performing in theatres across London. His last recorded song was a duet with Messene of Irving Berlin's satirical song on Hitler, entitled "When That Man Is Dead and Gone". It was his last venture before his death in an air raid in April 1941.

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Year Title Artist RatingReleases
Al Bowlly With Ray Noble Al Bowlly with Ray Noble and His Orchestra 1
Ray Noble & Al Bowlly (Rathbone) Al Bowlly with Ray Noble and His Orchestra 1

Album + Compilation

Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1994 Love is the Sweetest Thing Al Bowlly 1
2001 Ray Noble - Midnight the Stars and You, in London 1930-34 Al Bowlly with Ray Noble and His Orchestra 1
2002 Say, Don't You Remember...? Al Bowlly 1
2007 Essential Collection Al Bowlly 1
Collection Rudy Vallee & Al Bowley 1
The Al Bowlly Collection Al Bowlly 1
The Dance Band Years Al Bowlly with Ray Noble and His Orchestra 1


Year Title Artist RatingReleases
1934 The Very Thought of You / Little Dutch Mill Al Bowlly with Ray Noble and His Orchestra 1

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