20th century Big Band leader who released more than 100 albums and sold more than 20 million during his four-decade career. The Ted Heath Band was the most popular post-war band in Britain and lasted for 55 years, finally ending in 2000.
He learned to play the trombone and tenor horn as a child. His first professional gig was with the American band Southern Syncopation Orchestra while they were touring Europe.
He was on tour with Nat King Cole when Cole was attacked at a stop in Birmingham, Alabama, by white segregationists.
His father was the leader of the Wandsworth Town Brass Band. He married his second wife Moira Tracey in the 1930s and had four sons with her: Robert, Raymond, Nick, and Tim.
His song "I Want to Be Happy" was featured in the 1999 film "Entrapment," which starred Catherine Zeta Jones .