Sydney Lipton (b. 4 January 1904*, London, England, d. 19 July 1995, Florida, USA) was a popular and stylish dance band leader.
Born Sydney John Lipton, he learned to play the violin as a child, and at the early age of seven commenced studying under James Matthews and Sascha Lassersohn. An unfortunate accident deprived him of the full use of his index finger and thereby the intended career as a concert artist became impossible. In his early teens he was a member of cinema ensembles accompanying silent films and early in his career he called himself Sydney Raymond. His interest in dance band music led him to work in the 20s with Murray Hedges and Billy Cotton, before forming his own band in the early 30s.
Sydney and his Band appeared at the Empress Rooms, Kensington from Sep 1931 – May 1932. Also that year his first recordings were made, and from then, until 1941, Sydney Lipton and His Orchestra were resident at the Grosvenor House in London, from where they broadcasted regularly. In the early days Lipton’s signature tune was ‘I’ll See You In My Dreams’, but in later years he used two others, ‘Just Dance And Leave The Music To Me’ and ‘Sweet Harmony’. The band made prolific recordings primarily for Decca and Columbia, but also for Regal Zonophone. Sydney was well known for his smooth polished style.
After service as a Captain in the Royal Artillery and the Royal Signals during World War II, Lipton returned to the Grosvenor House, and continued to purvey his particular brand of sophisticated dance music until 1967. He then formed his own successful entertainment agency, as well as serving as musical director for various prestige venues and cruise ships.
Top sidemen who played in his bands over the years included Ted Heath, Harry Hayes, Bill McGuffie, Freddy Gardner, George Evans, Max Goldberg, Billy Munn and many more, along with vocalists including Anona Wynn, Primrose Hayes, Les Allen, Chips Chippindall, and his daughter, Celia Lipton.(Info edited from All Music Guide, The Encyclopaedia of Popular Music and The Oxford Companion to Popular Music) *NB A few sources wrongly give birth dates as 4 January 1906 and14 December 1905.