Nat Temple Page

Nat Temple

Lives Remembered: The Times, June 19, 2008

Anthony Hacking ,QC, writes:
As captain of dancing at Lincoln College, Oxford, in 1962 my principal task was to organise, with my committee, the Summer Imp Ball. We decided to have the main dancing in a marquee to be erected in the Chapel Quad. Someone wisely suggested that we needed live music. So I wrote to Nat Temple (obituary, June 13) asking him if he would be prepared to bring his band and provide the music. To my surprise, he agreed to do so kindly, for a very modest fee. We carefully chose what we thought was soft, romantic, ultra-something lighting. Nat struck up. Unfortunately, and potentially disastrously, as the lights dimmed, everybody’s teeth, particularly those with false teeth, began to glow eerily in the dark, creating a somewhat surreal atmosphere. However, such was the quality and professionalism of Nat and his band that no one seemed to mind, although everyone was soon dancing cheek to cheek. Afterwards, he wrote a charming letter thanking us for inviting him; but it was he and his band who had saved us.

Stan Armstrong writes:
I danced to Nat Temple several times in the 1950s. My father was secretary of the social club of Shenley Hospital and booked all the great bands of the time. On one occasion he introduced me to Nat and then went off to deal with something else. Nat said to me: “There are some gorgeous birds here; do any of them do a turn?” I was barely 20, so all I could answer was a noncommittal: “So I am reliably informed.”

Roberta Moore writes:
Some ten years ago I was lining up a band for our ruby wedding anniversary party in the Pump Room, Bath, and called Nat Temple. I said: “I want everyone to dance all night.” He replied: “Darling, if they don’t dance, you don’t pay!” So I took him on.
Well, with the band's great repertoire of swing and golden oldies, plus Nat’s witty repartee, we all danced and laughed the night away. At 2am, as he wanted the cash, Nat Temple said: “So everything’s all right then, darling!” He had well earned every penny, and our great affection and respect.

Tony Winder writes:
The Oxford College ball committees booked big name performers and filled the smoky corners from the home front, generally folk, skiffle and traditional jazz which were the thing in summer 1957, as I played desperately keen but pretty rough jazz clarinet, and on the side finished my first year in medicine.
At one ball Nat Temple (obituary, June 13) was the big name, known to us from records and the Bernard Braden shows, and in our own glory hole we could hear the band romping away, with his clarinet riding over the top. In our break we hurried along to listen and admire and were knocked out by how friendly he and the band were; they even came down to listen to our playing later on.
A fine musician and clarinet player, a real gent and a very, very nice man.