b. c.1900, England, d. England. Padbury began playing clarinet as a child, later also playing alto and baritone saxophones. One of the leading dance band musicians of the 20s and early 30s, he worked and sometimes recorded with leaders such as Sidney Firman and with the BBC’s London Radio Dance Band, a group led for a while by Firman.
Tiring of being just a sideman, Padbury formed his own band in 1928 and quickly proved to be a popular attraction at Cosmo’s club, where Firman had also worked. Padbury’s dance band, and the small group from within the band, Jack Padbury’s Cosmo Six, had several dates for both Piccadilly Records and Edison Bell Records. Those with the small band had a jazz leaning and musicians such as trumpeter Bert Hargest, trombonist Cecil Smith and the leader himself were strong and fluent players. Bass saxophonist Harry Gold also played for a while with Padbury.
In the late 20s and early 30s, Padbury and his band toured the UK and also appeared in some short films. Among the band’s recordings are popular songs of the day, including ‘Didn’t I?’, ‘It’s A Million To One You’re In Love’, ‘I’m Away From The World’, ‘Today’s A Sunny Day For Me’, ‘My Kinda Love’ and ‘My Little Fella And Me’, as well as jazzier pieces such as ‘Cosmoitis’, ‘Alabama Mama’ and ‘Praying For Rain’. Reportedly, Padbury also recorded a version of Duke Ellington’s ‘It Don’t Mean A Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing)’.