The jazz man who led the VE Day joy in London

Jazz trumpeter and broadcaster Humphrey Lyttleton, known affectionately as 'Humph' in jazz circles, was revealed as the 'unknown trumpeter' leading celebrations in the Mall on VE Day 1945.

Humphrey Lyttleton, known affectionately as 'Humph' in jazz circles, was an English jazz trumpeter and broadcaster. After the War he joined the George Webb Dixielanders and was a leading figure in the British ‘trad jazz’ movement playing a revivalist sound akin to the New Orleans pioneers. The legendary Louis Armstrong, son of New Orleans, once said of Humph, "that cat in England who swings his ass off."

Humph is also known for being the chair in the hugely popular BBC comedy radio series ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t Got a Clue’ as well as BBC Radio 2’s ‘The Best Of Jazz’. He died in 2007.

The Mirror recently reminded us of a story that will delight his fans years after his passing. With VE Day commemorations passing the 70th anniversary just recently, we were reminded that Humphrey Lyttleton was revealed as the ‘unknown trumpeter’ leading VE Day celebrations in The Mall with a rousing rendition of ‘Roll Out The Barrel’ from a large crowd in full voice behind him.

Humph was a serviceman and he took advantage of his musicality to stoke the joy as the Second World War finally came to an end. Read the article here and listen to the BBC commentary from Howard Marshall, featuring Humph.

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