Sydney Edmund Tolchard Evans (20 September 1901 - 12 March 1978) was a British songwriter, composer, pianist and bandleader, whose works were popular from the 1920s to the 1960s.
He was born in West Kilburn, London, the son of Edmund George Evans and his wife Maud, née Tolchard. The family later moved to Willesden, where Evans lived for the rest of his life. He started playing piano at the age of six, and studied orchestration and conducting with a view to becoming a classical musician, but in 1919 joined the staff of the Lawrence Wright popular music publishing company. In 1924, he left to work as a pianist for silent films and dance bands, before establishing his own band at the Queen's Hotel, Westcliff-on-Sea, later moving to the Palace Hotel, Southend, where he stayed through most of the 1930s.
He also achieved success as a songwriter, with his song "Barcelona" (1926) becoming an international hit. With lyricists Stanley Damerell and Robert Hargreaves, he formed the Cecil Lennox song publishing company, which published one of their most successful collaborations, "Lady of Spain" (co-credited to "Erell Reaves", a pseudonym for Damerell and Hargreaves), in 1931. Using an unfamiliar paso doble rhythm, it was turned down by several bands before being made successful by Jack Payne. He achieved further success as a songwriter with "Let's All Sing like the Birdies Sing" (1932), co-written with Damerell, Hargreaves, and Harry Tilsley, and successfully recorded by Henry Hall; "Faith" and "If (They Made Me a King)" (1934); "The Song of the Trees" and "There's a Lovely Lake in London" (1935); "I Hear Your Voice" (1942); and "Sailor, Who are You Dreaming of Tonight?" (1944). At one time, four of his songs were being used by major London dance bands as signature tunes.
He was often featured on BBC radio, notably with his "Tuneful Twenties" series from 1949 on. In 1951, his career was boosted when Perry Como's version of "If" sold over a million copies. Evans spent some time in the US, and the following year Eddie Fisher's recording of "Lady of Spain" also became a best-seller. His songs also continued to be successful in Britain, with "Ev'rywhere" winning an Ivor Novello Award in 1955, and David Whitfield having UK hits with "My September Love" (1956) and "I'll Find You" (1957). His own recording of "The Singing Piano" (1959) was used as a signature tune at Butlins holiday camps. He also appeared on British television. In 1973 he won an Ivor Novello Award for outstanding services to British music.
He married Phyllis Elizabeth Mayhead in 1931; they had two sons. He died in London in 1978, aged 76.
Birth and Death Data: Born September 20th, 1901, Died March 12th, 1978
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1926 - 1948
Roles Represented in DAHR: composer
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BVE-35749||10-in.||7/7/1926||Barcelona||Orquesta Internacional||Orchestra, with female-male vocal duet||composer|
|Victor||BVE-35780||10-in.||7/16/1926||Barcelona||International Novelty Orchestra||Orchestra, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Victor||BVE-35936||10-in.||7/23/1926||Barcelona||Giuseppe de Laurentiis||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Victor||BVE-36442||10-in.||10/3/1926||Barcelona||Jesse Crawford||Pipe organ solo||composer|
|Victor||BS-07412||10-in.||3/1/1937||Lady of Spain||Vernon Geyer||Organ solo||composer|
|Victor||D8VB-4033||10-in.||11/19/1948||Lady of Spain||Al Bowlly ; Ray Noble Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo and vocal trio||composer|
|Columbia||W142363||10-in.||7/1/1926||Barcelona||Fred Rich Hotel Astor Orchestra ; Lewis James||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Columbia||W142365||10-in.||7/2/1926||Barcelona||Alan Moran ; Fred Rich ; Ray Stillwell||Piano duet, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Columbia||142389||10-in.||7/13/1926||Barcelona||The Harmonizers||Male vocal quartet, with piano||composer|
|Columbia||142455||10-in.||7/16/1926||Barcelona||Broadway Bellhops||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Columbia||W142510||10-in.||8/5/1926||Barcelona||The Singing Sophomores||Male vocal quartet, with piano||composer|
|Columbia||W151806||10-in.||9/23/1931||Lady of Spain||The Rondoliers and Piano Pals||Male vocal quartet, with 2 pianos||composer|
|OKeh||74224||10-in.||7/13/1926||Barcelona||Melody Sheiks||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Brunswick||C499-C500||10-in.||7/19/1926||Barcelona||Eddie Dunstedter||Organ solo||composer|
|Brunswick||E3520-E3522||10-in.||7/23/1926||Barcelona||Tuxedo Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Brunswick||E19933-E19936||10-in.||7/26/1926||Barcelona||Ben Selvin and his Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Brunswick||E19959-E19961||10-in.||7/28/1926||Barcelona||The Merrymakers||Male vocal quartet, with piano||composer|
|Edison||11100||10-in.||7/15/1926||Barcelona||Palais D'Or Orchestra ; B. A. Rolfe||Jazz/dance band||composer|
|Edison||11143||10-in.||8/3/1926||Barcelona||National Male Quartet||Male vocal quartet, with orchestra||composer|
|Gramophone||0EA622||10-in.||9/28/1934||Faith||Peggy Cochrane ; Jack Jackson Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with female vocal solo||composer|
|Gramophone||0B683||10-in.||3/26/1931||Lady of Spain||Al Bowlly ; New Mayfair Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Gramophone||0B950||10-in.||5/29/1931||Lights of Paris||New Mayfair Dance Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Gramophone||0B5988||10-in.||5/7/1934||Homeward||Jack Jackson Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
|Gramophone||0B7449||10-in.||On or before 7/18/1934||Lady of Madrid||Al Bowlly ; Ray Noble Orchestra||Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo||composer|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Evans, Tolchard," accessed August 5, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108806.
Evans, Tolchard. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved August 5, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108806.
"Evans, Tolchard." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 5 August 2021.
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