Melly was one of Britain's greatest jazz stars and Chilton and his band, The Feetwarmers, were the resident Christmas act at Ronnie Scott's club in Soho for more than 30 years. They also had their own prime-time BBC series called Good Time George.
Chilton is also known as a writer and won a Grammy Award in 1983 for his album notes on Bunny Berigan (along with Richard M Sudhalter). Chilton was runner-up for a further Grammy in 2000 for his work on Lester Young. In the same year he won the British Jazz Award for 'Writer of the Year'.
Chilton was also a songwriter and composer and one of his songs, Give Her a Little Drop More, was used in the 1985 film St Elmo's Fire, where it was sung by some of the Hollywood Brat Pack, including Demi Moore and Rob Lowe.
Chilton was born in London on 16 July 1932 (his father was a music hall comedian and tap-dancer) and after doing national service in the RAF (1950–1952) he formed his own jazz band, playing at Butlins in Skegness with a troupe that included comedian Dave Allen. He also worked for the Daily Telegraph in the late Fifties, as an assistant to the editor.
He worked in Bruce Turner's Jump Band from 1958-1963. A movie of their exploits called Living Jazz was made in 1961 by director Jack Gold, who went on to make The Naked Civil Servant. Chilton later appeared in Alex Welsh's Big Band. He played piano on some pop recordings in the Sixties, and was publicity manager for The Swinging Blue Jeans during their Hippie Hippie Shake days. Chilton also recorded The Song of a Road, one of the radio ballads of folk singers Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger for the BBC.
In the late Sixties he played for Mike Daniels' Big Band before forming his own Swing Kings band, which backed some leading American jazz men who toured Britain, including Buck Clayton, Ben Webster, Bill Coleman and Charlie Shavers.
Chilton, who suffered from Parkinson's disease in his later years, continued to play trumpet with the clarinetist Fawkes in London following Melly's death in 2007. Chilton also played occasional guest spots, including with Kenny Davern.