Nat Temple: Clarinettist and bandleader
Friday 13 June 2008
Although Nat Temple went on playing clarinet in his own bands up until the Nineties, it is for his radio work in the Forties and Fifties that he is best remembered. During that time, he and his band appeared on innumerable comedy shows, his amiable and modest personality making him suited to being the fall guy for a variety of comedians. His clarinet playing, melodic and with an easy appeal, was much influenced by that of Benny Goodman.
Temple had played in Sam Costa's band in 1929, but like several British jazz musicians he had really begun his career with the orchestra of the clarinettist Harry Roy, which he stayed with from 1931 until 1940. Roy's band was wrongly assumed to be a jazz band because it had had a hit with its recording of "Tiger Rag" in 1933. Temple was under no illusions, however, recalling the band's residency at the Mayfair in London:
The Mayfair was very posh indeed. We played sotto voce because in those days people insisted on that so that they could carry on talking while they were dancing past the band without having to raise their voices. That was essential. You must play quietly. The clientele were the aristocracy. You didn't take much notice of whether they were dukes or earls, they were just there with their funny evening dress.
All the demanding clarinet parts in the band were taken by Temple, but Harry Roy used cheerfully to take credit for them, including Temple's virtuoso performance on Gershwin's "Rhapsody In Blue". "As a player, Harry was terrible," Temple said. "He was way out of touch with what had happened to the clarinet and the style of playing."
Leaving Roy in 1940, Temple joined the Grenadier Guards and played in military bands, including a tour of North Africa and Italy, throughout the Second World War. He formed his own band in 1947, giving a start to the career of a young vocalist, Frankie Vaughan. The band played summer residencies at holiday camps and seaside resorts and accompanied the visiting American Hoagy Carmichael.
Temple succeeded in getting broadcasts for the band, and these began a long association for him with the BBC. He struck up a friendship with the expatriate Canadian broadcaster Bernard Braden and when Braden began his radio series Breakfast with Braden for the BBC in 1950, he chose Temple's band to provide the music. Temple remained for Bedtime with Braden and subsequent variants on the series.
He continued to make regular appearances on radio and television and the band was used by Decca Records to accompany several of their singers. His extraordinary career continued into the Nineties but the band was by then cut down to a quintet. In 1993 Temple was given an award for services to music by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors.
Nathan Temple, clarinettist and bandleader: born London 18 July 1913; married (four daughters); died London 30 May 2008.
- 1 Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
- 2 Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
- 3 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 4 Have sex with your iPad thanks to the new sex toy no-one asked for
- 5 Average penis size revealed: Scientists attempt to find what is 'normal' to reassure concerned men
Bill Clinton portrait features Monica Lewinsky reference, artist admits
Delhi bus rapist blames dead victim for attack because 'girls are responsible for rape'
The 'sex selfie stick' lets you FaceTime the inside of a vagina
Kanye West gives guest lecture at Oxford University: 'If I, Kanye West, can remove my ego, I think there's hope for everyone'
'This is what Islam tells us to do': A rare glimpse inside a Saudi Arabian prison – where Isis terrorists are showered with perks and privileges
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Nearly 100,000 of Britain's poorest children go hungry after parents' benefits are cut
End of the licence fee: BBC to back radical overhaul of how it is funded
£18000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is a customer focu...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Business Development Executiv...
£45000 - £53000 per annum + bonus + benefits: Ashdown Group: Learning & Develo...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the UK's largest regional newspaper pub...