Noel ‘Chappie’ D’Amato ~ 1897-1976
Noel “Chappie” D’Amato 1897-1976 will be remembered by Jazz enthusiasts as a brilliant Guitar Player, heard with many Bands before the War. He also played Reeds and was a Vocalist for Jack Hylton.
Jack Hylton’s Band, 1930-31–
Front row: L-R Chappie D’Amato, Johnny Raitz, unknown, Jack Hylton, ‘Poggy’ Pogson, behind Jack Hylton is Billy Ternent, and behind him is Billy Munn, behind Johnny Raitz is Pat O’Malley (Tenor Guitar- Gibson TGI)
Jack Hylton (Bolton’s Paul Whiteman) led a travelling big band that already included a Guitarist, Noel “Chappie” d’Amato, who played a number of instruments. According to all of the account, Hylton wanted to hire Django to play in that Main Travelling Band. It is possible that since Hylton also had Secondary Bands — like “farm league” Bands that travelled around the UK’s Dance Halls — he was a major European Agent and may have envisioned having Django play in one of those Bands and work his way up through the Ranks. Within a night or so of being hired by Hylton, a fire in Django‘s Caravan ended that opportunity and damn near terminated outright his newly established career as a Musician.
Chappie D’Amato was also deemed a very average Band Guitarist. He played a variety of Instruments competently including Saxophones but not exceptionally well. He subsequently became better known as a Compere & Broadcaster. He was, of course, the Compere of the 1938 “Melody Maker” Cambridge Theatre Concert where the Hot Club Quintet topped the Bill with the Mills Brothers on its 1st Visit to the UK.
Compere of the Show is Chappie D’Amato , well known for his Hill-billy Songs and Burlesques of Italian Singing.
On 1st August 1933, Jack Jackson opened at the Dorchester Hotel with his own Band. With him were some old friends from the Hylton days, ‘Poggy Pogson’ and Chappie D’Amato, along with a host of other top flight Musicians including Multi-instrumentalist and Ace Arranger Stanley Andrews. He became immensely popular with the smart set at the Dorchester and the band always set a good Dancing Tempo as may be heard on his Recordings. In December 1939 his moved to Rector’s Club, then to the May Fair Hotel in March 1940.
Jack Jacksons Orchestra Personnel 1934: Noel “Chappie” D’Amato (Guitar, Alto Saxophone); Stan Andrews (violin, alto saxophone); Colly Eisner (violin); E O Pogson (flute, clarinet, alto saxophone); Allan Warner (clarinet, oboe, tenor saxophone); Freddy Mann, Harry MacFarlane, Jack Jackson (trumpet); Tony Thorpe, Eric Tann (trombone); Harry Rubens (piano); Percy Hampton (drums).
Chappie D’Amato and his Dance Orchestra – From Hatchett’s Restaurant. Piccadilly, London. c.1947-49