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Let the Music Tell the Story

Thanks to having a father that played saxophone in the band, Allan Singleton-Wood was just 2 years old the first time he picked up a baton and conducted a big band. That was just the beginning of a lifelong love of music.

At the age of 18, Allan dropped out of law school at London University and began his career in music.  He played piano with many British big bands in the ‘50s, including the Ken Mackintosh Orchestra.  During his time spent in the Royal Air Force, he was Entertainments Officer and Music Director of the HQMC Orchestra. He was named the Forces Pianist by the BBC and starred in the famous “Forces Show” which featured many big stars of the day like Bob Hope, Stanley Holloway and Diana Dors. After leaving the RAF, Allan went on to start the first broadcasting big band in Wales, the “BBC Welsh Dance Orchestra”. His first television series, “Swing For Your Supper” was a big success and was followed up by the show “Swing High”.

In the early ‘60’s the budgets for big bands were being curtailed with the growing popularity of Rock and Roll, so Allan decided it was time to move on to another career and joined the Welsh ”Western Mail” in advertising sales. From there he became General Manager of the business magazine, “Voice of Welsh Industry”. In 1965, he moved to London as the General Manager of “Voice of British Industry”, and after a year there became a marketing executive at the “Sun” and Sunday newspaper “News of the World”.

Throughout Allan’s years in London, music was always calling and remained his “other” career. During this time - aside from his day job -  Allan played nightly with a trio at “The Thatched Barn”, the famous Elstree Film Studio nightclub where stars of the day like Bette Davis and Roger Moore were regulars.

In 1968,  Allan moved to Toronto to work for Maclean-Hunter Publishing where he would work throughout most of his business career in roles such as Director of Advertising Sales at the Financial Post, Media Research Director of the Financial Post, Director of Research for Macleans, Chatelaine, Miss Chatelaine and the Financial Post,  and ultimately the Publisher of the Financial Post and “Small Business” magazines.

As in London, music was still beckoning and remained Allan’s second career. He played with the Moxey Whitney Orchestra at the Royal York, and when Moxey retired took over as the Music Director at the Royal York, handling all music and entertainment bookings.

At this point in his life, managing two successful careers began to take its toll, and  Allan became convinced that he needed to give up his ‘moonlighting’. His career in publishing now became his focus.

After briefly leaving Maclean Hunter in the early ‘80s to join Canadian Business Media as Vice President of Publishing, he returned to act as General Manager of Maclean Hunter’s Sentry Publications.

After retiring from Maclean Hunter in 1992, Allan created the Canadian Information Productivity Awards (CIPA), which awarded companies for their innovative use of information technology in their business. Over the course of nearly a decade it became one of the most important IT events in the world.

In 2004 Allan retired to Victoria, B.C., and with free time on his hands for the first time in a long while, he picked back up on his music career.  He formed the “Allan Singleton-Wood Orchestra” and recorded his album “Golden Oldies”.

Allan now resides in Calgary, Alberta and at the age of 88 has just produced this new Album, “Full Circle”, which includes  piano classics, old standards and jazz.


Note from the artist:

Through my early years working as a musician in Britain, through my careers in advertising, research, publishing and  information technology…music has always been my underlying passion. In my retirement years I have found myself returning to my ‘first love’ - music. I hope you enjoy this compilation of some of my favourite songs that cover a wide range of years and genres.  At the age of 87, I have come “Full Circle”.

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