5 February 1931, Croydon, Surrey, England. Howard learned to play the saxophone at school and, after playing semi-professionally for several years, became a full-time professional musician in 1959. Two years later he followed Lou Preager as the resident leader at Londons prestigious Lyceum Ballroom and, during the next few years, fronted bands at most of Londons major dance venues. During the 60s he led his own band on popular UK radio shows such Easy Beat and Saturday Club and, through the years, has become a familiar name in BBC Radios music programmes. He also formed and led the Capital Radio Big Band, and features in concerts, sometimes accompanying visiting star vocalists and musicians from the USA.