About Eddie Carroll
The British Eddie Carroll learned piano as a child and began to play professionally at movie theaters in the Glasgow, Scotland area in the early '20s. Had the rating system been in effect back then, he would have no doubt been considered too young to attend the movies he was accompanying. By the time he was 17, Carroll had already formed and dismantled his own band as well as joining the group of Al Starita, whose last name was the closest this leader got to stardom. Sidney Bright, whose name also has certain connotations, took over this band, Carroll staying on before briefly joining Ernest Ritte in 1930. The pianist then relocated to London and began touring across the water in Belgium as one of two pianists in Hal Kemp's unusual big band. By the end of the year, he had jumped over to the Joel Kaye band, and in the following year became a member of the popular Ambrose Orchestra.
In 1932, the enterprising Carroll he worked with Maurice Winnick and Reg Purslove, then went to another group that utilized two pianos, the solid Lew Stone combo. For once this seemed to suit the musical needs of Carroll, as he stayed with Stone through 1934. Several reissues of this material have been released, including the 2002 Dinner and Dance. Carroll then became a member of Henry Hall's orchestra, as well as the accompanist for the popular vocalists Elsie Carlisle and Sam Browne. Later that year he put together his own group to work an extended stint at the Empress Rooms in London. In 1936, he was the musical director on the RMS Queen Mary, led his own bands through the end of the decade, and freelanced with artists such as Nat Gonella, Spike Hughes, and Ray Noble.
With the outbreak of the second World War, Carroll became an officer in the British Army, serving from 1941 through 1945. Rest and relaxation was the order of the day after serving the order of the empire; he got his group a choice gig in the summer holiday spot Toquay in southwest England. Much of the second half of the '40s was again spent back in London with a residency at Quaglino's. In the early '50s, his group toured throughout Europe and India. Other musical events in the '50s included a return to the piano duet format, this time without an orchestra but with plenty of suspects as part of the Agatha Christie play Spiders Web. Before his retirement in 1967, Carroll moved to the seashore, where he led groups at various hotels and resorts, specializing in nostalgic dance music. ~ Eugene Chadbourne, Rovi