A popular bandleader and composer from the 30s through to the 70s, Winstone worked as a clerk at the Gas Light and Coke Company in Westminster, and played the piano in his spare time, before leaving to become a full time musician. After leading his first band at the Spanish Club in Cavendish Square, London in 1935, he learned to play the accordion, and eventually founded an accordion school. He became an accomplished arranger for the instrument, and formed his renowned Accordion Quintet and Swing Quartet. The latter outfit consisted of himself on accordion, with string bass, vibraphone, guitar and vocalist Julie Dawn (b.
Juliana Rosalba Maria Theresa Mostosi, 2 August 1920, England, d. 18 May 2000, London, England). During World War II he led the Eric Winstone Dance Orchestra and toured throughout Europe entertaining the troops. After the war his highly popular stage show played theatres and ballrooms, and was resident at Butlin's Holiday Camps in the summer for more than 20 years. Among the musicians associated with his various line-ups were Ralph Dollimore, Alan Moorhouse, Roy Marsh, Frank Deniz, Norman Payne, Bill Shakespeare, Ernie Shear, Ronnie Priest, Jimmy Skidmore, Kenny Graham, Pat Dodd, Carl Barriteau, Freddy Gardner, Harry Bence, and many more, along with vocalists Alan Kane, Michael Holliday, Elizabeth Batey and Marion Williams.
For some years Winstone was the musical director for Southern Television, and ran an entertainment agency for a time. He presented a childrens programme on Radio Luxembourg, and published a number of books for children. Eric Winstone's best-remembered compositions include the atmospheric "Stage Coach" (his signature tune), "Oasis", "Bottle Party", "Mirage", and "Pony Express". He also wrote music for films. Read more on Last.fm. User-contributed text is available under the Creative Commons By-SA License; additional terms may apply..
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