This post follows on from

At the Florida you could dine well, drink Egyptian coffee, have your palm read by one of the waiters or have a portrait drawn by an artist who moved from table to table. You could also hear and dance to some of the best bands and acts of the day. Here is a selection, mostly from the later period, but starting with Layton and Johnson from 1926.

Liverpool-born Tommy Kinsman was in residence 1929-1930. He also played Ciro’s (where Elvira was a member) and The Ritz. Later he played at Fischer’s restaurant and made broadcasts for Radio Luxembourg. He kept a high-society following through to the 1950s – his band being known as “The Debs’ Delight Orchestra”.


There are no Snakehip Johnson recordings from the Old Florida era but this 1940 recording, in the modern “Swing” style features the musicians who played at the Florida (and enlivened after-hours sessions at the Nest and the Shim-Sham)

Personnel Dave Wilkins, Leslie ‘Jiver’ Hutchinson, Jack Cosker (tp), Freddie Butt (tb), Carl Barriteau , Bertie King (cl,as), George Roberts, Dave ‘Baba’ Williams (as,ts), Errol Barrow (p), Joe Deniz (g), Ernie Stevens (b), Tommy Wilson (d), Don Johnson, Pat O’Regan (vcl)

Adelaide Hall with Duke Ellington 1927 – the Jazz fans among the Bright Young People couldn’t get enough of this

This 1932 recording was popular in England and remained part of her act for many years

Adelaide as she would have sounded at the Florida

and again, this time with Fela Sowande

And finally the hot fusion sounds of Felix Mendelsohn