It all began innocently enough when NME was a wee nipper of a jazz paper. The results appeared in the February 27th edition of the paper, while the Poll Winners Party took place on April 19th at the Royal Albert Hall.

We breathlessly reported back a week later (April 24th): “The band have never played better…the vocalists have never sung better…Everybody was at the peak of his or her form, keyed up to pull something out of the bag.”

NME artist David Kemp designed special gilt metal crowns for the five winners. These were handed out by US film stars Scott Brady and Mary Castle.

Dance Band
Ted Heath And His Music

Female Vocalist
Lita Roza

Outstanding Musician
Ronnie Scott

Small Band
Johnny Dankworth Seven

Male Vocalist
Dickie Valentine