Tito Burns

Tito Burns, the renowned agent, accordionist and bandleader died from cancer on 23 August 2010, aged 89.

Born Nathan Bernstein in the East End, the son of Polish immigrants began playing with Don Marino Barreto’s Rumba Band at the age of 17. It was during this time he picked up the nickname Tito, as he was the youngest member of the band.

Burns served as a gunner in the RAF during WWII before going on to success at the BBC with the radio show, Accordion Club. The bandleader married his female vocalist, Terry (Teresa) Devon in 1948.

Following this, Burns moved into management and was involved with a long list of stars including Cliff Richard, Dusty Springfield, Simon and Garfunkel, Dionne Warwick and Cat Stevens. As a promoter, Burns put on gigs and tours by The Beatles, Bob Dylan and Jimi Hendrix. In 1977 he created and produced the first Brit Awards.

Retiring in 1976, Burns continued to book international stars for appearances in Britain, including Sacha Distel and Tony Bennett, and represented Victor Borge until his death in 2000.

Burns leaves behind his wife Teresa Devon and two daughters.