JOE LOSS (1909-1990)

Joshua Alexander “Joe” Loss LVO OBE (22 June 1909 – 6 June 1990) was a British dance band leader and musician who founded his own eponymous orchestra.

The Joe Loss Orchestra was one of the most successful acts of the big band era in the 1940s, with hits including “In the Mood”. In 1961 they had a hit with “Wheels—Cha Cha”, a version of the String-A-Longs’ hit “Wheels”. Other hits included David Rose’s “The Stripper” in 1958, “Sucu Sucu”, “Must Be Madison”, “The Theme from Maigret” and “March of the Mods (The Finnjenka Dance)” of 1964.

In April 1951 Elizabeth Batey, vocalist with Joe Loss, fell and broke her jaw. Joe was badly in need of a replacement and remembered hearing Rose Brennan on radio during a visit to Ireland. Within days he had located her and, before a week was out, she was in Manchester rehearsing with the band. She stayed with Loss for fifteen years, before giving up show-business in the mid 1960s. She wrote many of the songs she recorded with Joe Loss under the name Marella, and co-wrote songs with John Harris. Her co-vocalists with the orchestra from 1955 were Ross MacManus (father of Elvis Costello) and Larry Gretton.

The Joe Loss Orchestra carries on under the musical direction of Todd Miller, who was a vocalist with the band for 19 years before Loss’s death. In 1989 Joe Loss became too ill to travel and in 1990 he entrusted the leadership to his longest serving band member, trombonist and player manager of many decades, Sam Watmough and to Todd. The orchestra has been in constant operation since 1930 and in 2015 it celebrated its 85th anniversary.

Specialist dance band radio stations continue to play his records. Joe Loss also features regularly on the Manx Radio programme Sweet & Swing, presented by Howard Caine.

Recordings by Joe Loss you can hear at Instrumentals Forever:

(We’re Gonna) Rock Around The Clock
12th Street Rag
A Banda
A Man Without Love
A String Of Pearls
Al Di La
American Patrol
April In Portugal
Beg Steal Or Borrow
Begin The Beguine
Belle Of The Ball
Birdge Over Troubled Water
Blue Skies
Bugle Call Rag
Can’t Help Falling In Love
Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You
Carnival from ”Black Orpheus”
Compadre Pedro Juan
Do You Know The Way To San José
Everything’s Coming Up Roses
Everything’s Comng Up Roses
For All We Know
Girl Talk
Green Eyes
Guitar Tango
Hey Jude
I Left My Heart In San Francisco
I’d Like To Teach The
If You Love Me
In The Mood
Jersey Bounce
La Cumparsita
Lily The Pink
Little Brown Jug
Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes)
Love Is Blue
March Of The Mods (Finnjenka Dance)
Match Of The Day
Moonlight Cocktail
Moonlight Serenade
Music To Watch Girls By
My Cherie Amour
My Guy’s Come Back
My Star
Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da
Oh My Papa
Olé Guapa
On The Street Where You Live
Panama Poppa
Pennsylvania 6-5000
Puppet On A String
Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head
Roses From The South
‘s Wonderful
Shake Rattle & Roll
Solamente Una Vez
Something Tells Me
Sometime Somewhere
Spanish Gypsy Dance
St Louis Blues
Stranger On The Shore
Sugar Blues
Sugar Sugar
Sunrise Sunset
Swingin’ Samba
Swingin’ Samba
Tango 68
Tango d’Amore
Tea For Two
The Champ
The Charleston
The Entertainer
The Happy Trumpeter
The Last Waltz
The Legend Of Xanadu
The March Of The Matadors
The March Of The Toreadors
The Shadow Of Your Smile
The Song from ”Moulin Rouge”
The Stripper
The Village Band
Theme From ”A Summer Place”
This Guy’s In Love With You
This is Life
This is My Song
Tuxedo Junction
Twistin’ In The Mood
Wand’rin’ Star
Y Viva España
Yester-Me Yester-You Yesterday
Zorba’s Dance