BORN in Bolton in 1924, Alyn Ainsworth was educated at Canon Slade Grammar School on a scholarship, but never completed his education there because, at the age of 14, his talent as a singer was recognised by Herman Darewski, who signed him up to tour with his dance band as a boy soprano. When his voice broke he learnt to play the guitar and played in local dance bands whilst working as hat salesman before moving to Bolton Parks Department and later working as a golf professional.

It was with the BBC Northern Dance Orchestra that he finally found fame, working as the in-house arranger for the BBC’s then in-house big band. Their reputation as one of the top bands in the UK was in no small amount due to his hard work, and high standard

In 1956, he announced during Sunday Night at the London Palladium his engagement to Teddie Beverley of the Beverley Sisters, but they could not marry immediately and, in 1957, he announced that the engagement was cancelled.

It was around this time that this photograph was taken showing Alyn and his guitarist Dennis Newey, of Bury, meeting American bandleader Count Basie during the legendary jazz musician’s first UK tour. The photograph is dated Saturday, November 9, 1957.

Born on August 21, 1904, in Red Bank, New Jersey, Basie played vaudeville before eventually forming his own big band and helping to define the era of swing with hits like One O’Clock Jump and Blue Skies. In 1958, Basie became the first African-American male recipient of a Grammy Award. One of jazz music’s all-time greats, he won many other Grammys throughout his career and worked with artists, including Joe Williams and Ella Fitzgerald. Basie died in Florida on April 26, 1984.

In 1960, Alyn left the BBC and was signed up by Granada TV as the presenter of Spot The Tune. As a freelance musician, he frequently conducted TV shows for the BBC and ITV and wrote the arrangement to Shirley Bassey’s hit record Big Spender and 1976 Eurovision winner Save Your Kisses For Me by Brotherhood of Man .

Alyn died in London in 1990 aged 66.