26 May

Dateline December 2012

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"THE GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC"

is currently being broadcast each Saturday evening at 20:00 GMT on Radio Six International, with a repeat the following Sunday morning. The programmes are compiled and introduced by David Ades, and feature music from the Guild series of Light Music CDs.

Radio Six International can be heard throughout the world via the internet: www.radiosix.com

The Guild "Golden Age of Light Music" series of CDs celebrated its 100th release in November 2012. For details of the latest collections, please visit the ‘Light Music CDs’ pages of this website, or visit guildmusic.com

Early in August we were in touch with Sam Jackson, Managing Editor of the UK classical music station Classic fm. Naturally the subject of the amount of Light Music played on national radio stations cropped up, and it was encouraging to hear Sam make these comments: "We're big fans of Light Music here, and we love to champion it on-air. There's always at least one Light Music piece on Alan Titchmarsh's Saturday programme (9am-midday) each week, and it forms a regular part of the rest of our output, too." John Brunning’s early evening ‘Drive’ programme presented several tracks from Iain Sutherland’s new CD "In London Town". We know that a number of RFS members get in touch with various radio stations from time to time. Unless they get some kind of feed-back from listeners, the presenters do not know if their audience enjoys what they are playing. It is not a bad idea to occasionally contact them to say "thank-you for playing light music!" Indeed Classic fm did do light music fans proud on Monday 17 September. The previous evening John Wilson conducted the Northern Sinfonia in a concert at the Sage, Gateshead, and Classic fm devoted two hours to it from 8:00pm onwards. Among the familiar works conducted by John were Calling All Workers, Summer Days Suite, Knightsbridge and By The Sleepy Lagoon (Eric Coates), Jumping Bean (Robert Farnon),Sketch Of A Dandy and London Landmarks Suite (Haydn Wood), Nell Gwyn Overture (Edward German), Dusk (Armstrong Gibbs), The Yeoman Of The Guard Overture (Sullivan), Devil’s Galop(Charles Williams) Coronation Scot (Vivian Ellis and Rouge et Noir (Fred Hartley).

The high cost of printing and distributing appreciation society magazines has taken its toll on yet another long established music society. The Spring 2012 issue (received in August) of ‘Pro Musica Sana’, the Miklos Rozsa Society publication which first appeared in 1972, is the last to appear in printed form. Like some others, its future existence will now concentrate on its internet website –www.miklosrozsa.org We are sure that John Fitzpatrick (in the USA) and Alan Hamer (in London) will continue to keep music lovers fully informed about this great composer, whose standing remains as high as ever among admirers of film music.

For those vintage film/documentary lovers amongst us, and we know there are quite a few, the British Council has put 80 of their films on line here :

http://film.britishcouncil.org/british-council-film-collection

Most of them date from wartime and there is some wonderful footage of London and the countryside more generally (some in colour) in many of these films. Some of the soundtrack music will appeal to light music lovers, and the quirkier topics include the origins of the English language, how the British Justice system works, etc. The film "Colour In Clay" has music by Jack Beaver; others feature music by William Alwyn, Richard Addinsell, Ralph Vaughan Williams etc.

Surfing members might also like to visit:http://landofllostcontent.blogspot.fr/search/label/Robert%20Farnon

(Thanks to Nigel Burlinson for this information).

An essential piece of information from Tony Clayden: Did you know that Brian Kay was the lowest ’frog’ on Paul McCartney’s recording of We All Stand Together [The Frogs’ Chorus ] ?

 

Norman Jackson is a big fan of the Scarborough Spa Orchestra. He tells us that the versatility of the players is amazing, and their library of ‘our kind of music’ is immense. As an example, Norman has sent us just one day’s programme of music performed by the orchestra (musical director Paul Laidlaw). Among over 30 pieces during two shows (at 11:00 am and 7:45 pm) the wide choice of music included Barnacle Bill (Ashworth Hope), Mam’selle Mannequin (Percy Fletcher), Vanity Fair(Anthony Collins), Devil’s Galop (Charles Williams, Jumping Bean (Robert Farnon), Blithlely Along(Paul Fenoulhet), The Girl From Corsica (Trevor Duncan), Penny Whistle Song (Leroy Anderson),Sailing By (Ronald Binge),Samum (Carl Robrecht) and the march Oxford Street (Eric Coates). Some years ago the orchestra was threatened with closure, but thousands of members of the public (Including Norman and his wife) joined forces to protest – and were successful at Keeping it alive. With a repertoire like this, perhaps we should all make a pilgrimage to Scarborough next summer!

For some years Philip Scowcroft’s book "British Light Music" has been out of print. Originally published in 1997 by Thames Publishing, it remains sought-after by light music aficionados and music students alike. The good news is that another publisher is interested in making it available once again. Dance Books Ltd (Southwell House, Isington Road, Binstead, Hampshire, GU34 4PH) are planning to issue a facsimile edition of the original, but Philip will be allowed to make a few amendments and there is likely to be a new cover. He would have preferred to undertake a complete update, and add many more composers, but this is not possible, no doubt for financial reasons. The new edition is likely to cost in the region of £12.50 and we will let you know when it becomes available.

Volume 3 of the British Transport Films Collection contains the 1956 film ‘Making Tracks’. The music haunted me but no details were included in the credits. It seemed to be folk inspired but my guess that it might have been written by Vaughan Williams proved unfounded. I didn’t want to give up and recently discovered that it was taken from Gustav Holst’s Suites Number 1 and 2 which were based on English folk songs. Although first published in 1909 and 1911 respectively, they had just been recorded by Frederick Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble and it is their version which was used on the film. These, along with The Planets, and other pieces are available on the Decca double CD 480 2323. Howard Ripley

We love to tell you about our talented fellow members, and a new book is warmly recommended. "It Shouldn’t Happen To A Teacher" is written by David Franklin, a retired deputy headmaster who kept a diary of incredible but true stories. Written in a highly engaging style and with a cynical irony born of decades of dealing with children, parents and fellow teachers, he has produced a work of both charm and wit, yet full of pathos. Hundreds of anecdotes include losing pupils at Alton Towers and on the Underground in London, catching a band of petty thieves while the Queen was driving past, discovering two pupils sleeping in a school wheelie bin, trying not to laugh when a colleague dressed as a frogman tripped over his flippers in assembly, and many more. Illustrated with several brilliant cartoons by JIM’s own talented artist, Ken Wilkins, this hilarious book will bring a smile to the face of all who remember their school days with affection and makes an ideal stocking filler for both parents and grandparents. For reasons you will understand when you read the book, ‘David Franklin’ is a pen name, and we have been sworn to secrecy regarding his true identity! The book is a softback (160 pages) published by Bretwalda Books Ltd - ISBN 978-1-909099-15-9, price £7.99. As a special offer to RFS members, the author has asked Peter Worsley (of ‘This England’ and ‘Evergreen’ magazines) to handle sales for him at a special price of ONLY £6 (which includes UK p&p) or £11 for two books. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, act quickly (supplies are limited!) and send a cheque, payable to P.R. Worsley, direct to him at Karakorum, Sunnyfield Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6JE, England.

In the notes accompanying the first volume of ‘Great British Composers’ (GLCD5195) the true identity of the conductor ‘Eric Johnson’ was the subject of speculation. Reference was made to researches on the internet which pointed to the likelihood of ‘Johnson’ being Dr Kurt List, but thanks to further investigations by music academics, prompted by Guild’s CD, it appears that the recordings were not made in London, but in the Mozart-Saal of the Vienna Konzerthaus between May and July 1960 by the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. The conductor of the Eric Coates recordings was Josef Leo Gruber, a violinist with the Vienna Volksoper Orchestra. He conducted the Vienna State Opera Orchestra for several Westminster recordings, when this orchestra comprised musicians from its own members and also those of the Volksoper Orchestra. The recordings were produced by Kurt List, the Music Director for New York-based Westminster Records. Thanks to Andrew Lamb for this information.

The thorny subject of the raising of sound copyright from 50 to 70 years in the EU is continuing to concern many members, who realise that their hopes that more light music from the mid-1960s might be made available once more are likely to be dashed. Alan Bunting is in regular correspondence with the Intellectual Property Office regarding the UK’s response, and it seems that the Government plans to implement the legislation in the autumn of 2013. This means that recordings from 1963 onwards will no longer be available to independent record companies to reissue, unless they pay the large fees demanded by the major companies to license the material. But the preparatory work on the legislation is throwing up all kinds of problems regarding implementation, as we predicted in JIM. If similar difficulties over interpretation are being experienced by all the other EU countries which have this matter forced upon them, goodness only knows what the outcome will be. If Alan can make any sense of future developments, he promises to pass them on to us!

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About Geoff 123
Geoff Leonard was born in Bristol. He spent much of his working career in banking but became an independent record producer in the early nineties, specialising in the works of John Barry and British TV theme compilations.
He also wrote liner notes for many soundtrack albums, including those by John Barry, Roy Budd, Ron Grainer, Maurice Jarre and Johnny Harris. He co-wrote two biographies of John Barry in 1998 and 2008, and is currently working on a biography of singer, actor, producer Adam Faith.
He joined the Internet Movie Data-base (www.imdb.com) as a data-manager in 2001 and looked after biographies, composers and the music-department, amongst other tasks. He retired after nine years loyal service in order to continue writing.