Tolchard Evans

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 20, 1901, Died March 12, 1978

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1926 - 1948

Roles Represented in DAHR: composer

= Recordings are available for online listening.
= Recordings were issued from this master. No recordings issued from other masters.

Recordings (Results 1-25 of 26 records)

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 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  
Brunswick E20805-E20806 10-in. 11/24/1926 Barcelona Castilians Jazz/dance band composer  
Brunswick C499-C500 10-in. 7/19/1926 Barcelona Eddie Dunstedter Organ solo 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 0B956 10-in. 6/1/1931 Lady of Spain Tino Folgar Male vocal solo, with violin, cello, and piano composer  
Gramophone 0B5988 10-in. 5/7/1934 Homeward Jack Jackson Orchestra Jazz/dance band, with male vocal solo composer  
(Results 1-25 of 26 records)


Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Evans, Tolchard," accessed May 18, 2022,

Evans, Tolchard. (2022). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved May 18, 2022, from

"Evans, Tolchard." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2022. Web. 18 May 2022.

DAHR Persistent Identifier


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