Lesley Allen: London 29, August 1902 - Toronto 25, June 1996)

Les Allen was a Canadian saxophonist and vocalist popular in Britain during the 1930’s.

Les Allen

Although Les Allen was born in London, his family moved to Canada when he was 3.  In 1924, he returned to England with a group of Canadian musicians as an alto-saxophonist and occasional vocalist.  He played and sang with the likes of Geraldo and Carroll Gibbons.

Between late 1929 to mid-1931 he recorded around 70 duets with Al Bowlly. They were released on various budget record labels as by: Honolulu Serenaders; Linn Milford & his Hawaiian Singers; Harry Hudson’s Melody Men; Paramount Rhythm Boys; Al Vocale & his Crooners; Hawaiian Quartet; Alfredo and his Band; Jay Wilbur and his Band; Ferrachini's Hawaiian Band; Waikiki Serenaders; Edgar Adeler's Hawaiian Players; The Blue Jays and Radio Melody Boys.

In 1932, he joined Henry Hall's BBC Dance Orchestra as a featured vocalist and had great success with 'The Sun Has Got His Hat On' and 'Auf Wiedersehen My Dear'. In 1935, he starred in the musical comedy ‘Heat Wave’. He then formed his own bands, the Les Allen Melody Four and Les Allen & His Canadian Bachelors.

During the war years he entertained Canadian troops. After the war he had his own BBC radio series in which he was billed as "Canada's golden voice of melody". He returning to Toronto in 1947 leaving the entertainment industry.

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