Denny Dennis

b. Ronald Dennis Pountain, 1 November 1913, Derby, England, d. 1 November 1993, Kirkby-in-Furness, Cumbria, England. Sometimes called ‘Britain’s Bing Crosby’ because of his similarity to the young Bing in the lower vocal register. Dennis sang and played drums in the amateur New Mayfair Dance Band when they won a Melody Maker contest, which brought him to London in 1933. His first record, with Jack Jackson, was Tommy Dorsey’s theme tune ‘I’m Getting Sentimental Over You’. Later that year he joined the Roy Fox Orchestra and stayed for nearly five years until the band split up, recording popular titles such as ‘Little Man You’ve Had A Busy Day’, ‘Let’s Face The Music And Dance’, ‘That Old Feeling’, ‘This Is Romance’, ‘Everything I Have Is Yours’ and ‘Home On The Range’. After a brief spell with Ambrose, he went freelance in 1938 and two years later was voted number 1 singer by Melody Maker. During World War II, RAF Corporal Denny Dennis broadcast with Jack Hylton, Ted Heath and Sidney Torch, and received offers from the USA to sing with Paul Whiteman and Benny Goodman, but was barred from accepting by the UK Ministry of Labour. In 1946 his typically smooth recording of the ballad ‘The Bluest Kind Of Blues’ written by Django Reinhardt and Spencer Williams, revived a lot of the previous interest in the USA. He finally crossed the Atlantic in 1948, and spent 12 months singing on radio and touring with Tommy Dorsey before returning to Britain to work with Vic Lewis, Frank Weir, and Sid Phillips with whom he recorded a surprisingly jumping version of ‘Goody Goody’. He retired to Cumbria in the 50s, but in the 80s still emerged to sing for the occasional benefit.

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