Benjamin Baruch Ambrose (11 September 1896 – 11 June 1971), known professionally as Ambrose or Bert Ambrose, was an English bandleader and violinist. Ambrose became the leader of a highly acclaimed British dance band, Bert Ambrose & His Orchestra, in the 1930s.
Ambrose was born in Warsaw in 1896 whilst it was part of Russia. At some time after, the family moved to London. They were Jewish; his father being a 'Dealer in rags' in the 1911 UK Census where Ambrose was named as 'Barnett' (a "Violin musician student"). He began playing the violin while young, and travelled to New York with his aunt. He began playing professionally, first for Emil Coleman at New York's Reisenweber's restaurant, then in the Palais Royal's big band. After making a success of a stint as bandleader, at the age of twenty he was asked to put together and lead his own fifteen-piece band. After a dispute with his employer, he moved his band to another venue, where they enjoyed considerable popularity.
Whilst at the Palais Royal, on 5 June 1918, he registered for the Draft (Local Board Division 169, City of NY NY, 144 St Nicholas Ave; Registration 232). He gave: date of birth 11 Sept 1896; place of birth Warsaw, Russia; nationality Russian; father's birthplace Grietza, Russia; place of employment Palais Royal 48 St & Broadway; nearest relative Mrs Becky Ambrose, Mother, 56 "Blaksley" St London England. He signed Bert Ambrose. The registrar recorded: medium height; medium build; brown hair; brown eyes; no physical disability that would render him exempt.
In 1922, he returned to London, where he was engaged by the Embassy Club to form a seven-piece band. Ambrose stayed at the Embassy for two years, before walking out on his employer to take up a much more lucrative job in New York. After a year there, besieged by continual pleas to return from his ex-employer in London, in 1925 he was finally persuaded to go back by a cable from the Prince of Wales: "The Embassy needs you. Come back—Edward".
This time Ambrose stayed at the Embassy Club until 1927. The club had a policy of not allowing radio broadcasts from its premises, however, and this was a major drawback for an ambitious bandleader, largely because the fame gained by radio work helped a band to gain recording contracts (Ambrose's band had been recorded by Columbia Records in 1923, but nothing had come of this). He therefore accepted an offer by the May Fair hotel, with a contract that included broadcasting.
Sam Browne (1898 – 1972) was an English dance band singer, who became one of the most popular British dance band vocalists of the 1930s. He is remembered for singing with Jack Hylton and with Ambrose and his Orchestra, at the Mayfair Hotel and Embassy Club, with whom he made many recordings from 1930 to 1942, and for his duets and variety performances with the singer, Elsie Carlisle.
Born in London, England, Sam Browne's first recording was made with the Jack Hylton band on 23 August 1928, "That's My Weakness Now", issued on HMV B5520. The band at that time included Jack Jackson (trumpet), Lew Davis and Leo Vauchant (trombone), Chappie D'Amato, E.O. Pogson, Billy Ternent (reeds) and Hugo Rignold (vn).
Over approximately a year and a half, Browne made over 100 records with Hylton, including sessions in Berlin and Milan, and was to return to the studios with the Hylton band between 1938 and 1940.