TEDDY BROWN the world's greatest xylophonist

died 30th April 1946, Birmingham, England

this page first published by John Wright, 4 Jan 2001
last update 6 Feb 2007vintage@jabw.demon.co.uk

I have been to Wolverhampton library and copied out several reports and obituaries. Teddy died in the early hours of Tuesday 30th April 1946 after a performance at Wolverhampton Hippodrome.

The fullest obituary report was published in the Wolverhampton Express & Star of 30th April:


Teddy Brown, the 24-stone xylophonist who played at Wolverhampton Hippodrome last night died in Birmingham shortly after 5 o'clock this morning. He was staying at the Queen's Hotel Birmingham with his wife. Teddy Brown arrived at Wolverhampton Hippodrome yesterday and complained of feeling unwell when seen by Mr Gibson the theatre manager. Mr Gibson told an E&S reporter today that the artist was wishing to avoid his climbing the stairs to the dressing room and a special room was made up for him to the side of the stage where he stayed throughout the performance.
"He told me that he had a bit of a twitch in his heart" said Mr Gibson "and he had to sit down for a time during his act. He had told the band during the houses before that he had been bad for a time".
"At 5am today Mrs Brown called for the hall porter at the Queen's Hotel, Mr H Shipton, for help as her husband had been taken ill. He called for the doctor and when they went to their room they could see that he was dead then", Mr Gibson told a press association reporter.
In the Wolverhampton show 'Road To Laughter' which opened last night, Teddy Brown was billed as the World's Greatest Xylophonist. He will be remembered as the holder for all long-distance records for xylophone play. As a xylophonist he was exceptional because he operated a six- octave instrument, two more than usual.
Born in New York City he went on the variety stage at nine and was a member of New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra for four years before going to England as a xylophonist and band leader. He claimed that it was the Duke Of Windsor who suggested he should come to England. With his solo xylophone act he had many BBC engagements in addition to his stage appearances in London and the provinces.
He could play practically every instrument in the orchestra. His special regard for the xylophone was because he said he had raised it from obscurity and proved that it recorded better than the violin. Teddy Brown's real name was Abraham Himmelbrand.
His home was at Xylophone House, Sea Road, Littlehampton, Sussex. His place will be taken in the Hippodrome bill by Adelaide hall, the singer of popular songs, who has often appeared at the theatre.

Teddy Brown page
Teddy Brown's own band
Teddy Brown with other bands
Teddy Brown solo recordings
Teddy Brown in Littlehampton

Steve Lederman's website is devoted to the great Xylophone players
and other mallet men and percussionists

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