26 May

Dateline June 2012

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If you haven’t done so already, do make a point of visiting our President’s new websitewww.davidfarnon.com (there is a direct link from the home page of our own site). Before you do anything else, click on ‘Credits’ at the top of the page. You will be amazed at the number of times David’s music has been used all over the world. He now devotes himself exclusively to composition, and one of his latest projects is an Operatic Love Duet, for Soprano, Tenor and Orchestra.

During the compilation of Guild ‘Golden Age of Light Music’ CDs, David Ades and Alan Bunting take great care in trying to identify the composers and – where possible – the arrangers. Often emails go back and forth before decisions are finally made, and a recent message from Alan to David illustrates the problems they encounter! "While preparing the updated Composer listings I noticed that we had a discrepancy regarding the composer of Spanish Gypsy Dance. We have him as Mariano Marquina and Pasqual Marquina. After some thorough checking I discovered, much to my surprise, that his correct name is Pascual Marquina Narro. While I think we can regard Pascual and Pasqual as more or less the same thing, I had always believed his surname was Marquina as indeed it is on all the record labels I have seen. But Wikepedia and numerous scans of sheet music on the WEB clearly say Narro is his last name. However, ASCAP lists him as Pascual Narro Marquina and I found one entry which says the piece is ‘composed by Pascual Marquina Narro as Pascual Narro-Marquina’! No wonder getting things right is so difficult - if anyone asks me who wrote it I shall continue to answer simply ‘Marquina’!" Another problem that Alan didn’t mention is that it is not unusual for names of composers to be omitted entirely on American records. An added complication is variations in spelling. Titles with Gypsy can also appear as Gipsy, but that’s another matter!

André Leon has commissioned David Ades to provide 24 one-hour programmes for UK LightRadio. Twelve will feature recordings from "The Golden Age of Light Music" using the Guild CDs. The other twelve are in a series called "Journey Into Melody" which covers light music from many different sources. As we go to press, two of the "Journey Into Melody" programmes have already been broadcast on Radio Six International on Sunday afternoons. Other ‘friends of the RFS’ who have also been heard at this time (in syndicated UK Light Radio productions) include Brian Kay, Philip Farlow and Brian Reynolds. Radio Six International is available world-wide via the internet. Its programmes are also taken by numerous small local stations in the UK, USA and even New Zealand.

Andrew Lamb has recently published a bicentenary biography of William Vincent Wallace (1812-65), world traveller, virtuoso pianist and violinist, and composer of the once highly popular British operasMaritana and Lurline. The 237 pages of "William Vincent Wallace – Composer, Virtuoso and Adventurer" include 30 illustrations, and this paperback volume is available from usual retailers for £30. [ISBN 978 0 9524149 7 1]. It can also be purchased for £20 post-free (UK) direct from the author at 1 Squirrel Wood, West Byfleet, KT14 6PE, United Kingdom Tel. (+44) (0)1932 342566. e-mail: Your sterling cheque should be payable to ‘Andrew Lamb’. This is just the latest in an impressive list of titles from the same author, which include biographies on Henry Russell, Harry Fragson, Leslie Stuart and the Offenbach Family.

The Winter 2012 edition of "Freedom Today", the quarterly magazine of The Freedom Association, included an edited version of Alan Bunting’s article on Sound Copyright, which was published inJournal Into Melody last December. "Freedom Today" circulates among the major ‘shakers and movers’ in the British establishment, and it is to be hoped that the JIM article will alert them to the downside of the European Union’s directive. It is probably too late to expect a change of heart, although the proposals do not become legally binding until all EU states have ratified them; at the time of writing this has not yet happened.

There will be a swinging evening of jazz with the Nicola Farnon Trio on Wednesday 11 July at St Marys Church, Elsworthy Road, Primrose Hill, London NW3 3DJ. Featuring Nicola on piano and double bass, Piero Tucci on piano & teno sax and Phil Johnson on drums. This is a rare chance to hear Nicola (Robert Farnon's niece) in London. Tickets are £5 (£4 concessions) and can be obtained by email on , by ringing Celyn on 020 722 3238 or at the door on the night. Licensed bar.

It seems that Tony Bennett still has an endless supply of energy, for which his countless fans are eternally grateful. This year he is undertaking what would be a punishing schedule of performances for any singer, let alone one in his eighties. After tours in Australia and Europe he will be at several prestigious venues in the UK this summer, notably Symphony Hall, Birmingham – 24 June; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow – 25 June; Liverpool Empire – 27 June; the Royal Albert Hall in London on 30 June and 1 July; and the Palace Theatre, Manchester, on 3 July. Thanks to Mark Fox for keeping us informed.

André Leon missed our May London meeting this year, because he flew back to his original home in Johannesburg on 26 April. He writes: "During the time away I'll be celebrating my 50th Year in Broadcasting. It was in 1962 that the Natal Mercury in Durban wrote a half-page column In The Mood for Mood Music. ‘The Idler’ wrote the article about my unusual hobby of collecting signature tunes! (Now 50 years on I'm letting them know what's happened in-between!). The article led to an offer from a radio production Company, Herrick Merrill Radio Productions. They made programmes for SABC's National Commercial Service.... ‘Springbok Radio’. A year later I joined LM Radio, then on to the SABC in Johannesburg. I came to England in 1969 and found that the BBC was not exactly waiting for me!! But I've managed to make a few useful contributions since, and found good luck at Invicta Radio, Capital and later Classic fM! A few years at Decca Records, Carlin Music and Boosey & Hawkes and the rest (in a nutshell) is History! How nice, also to be involved with the Robert Farnon Society. And hopefully a future place will be found also for.... UKLightRadio! Where I'll be concentrating in early July to make more programmes. Next schedules via Radio Six International is now planned for August (Autumn season)." André Leon returns to London on 21 June.

We are sorry to learn that two more long-established music appreciation societies have recently closed down. The Dick Haymes and Glenn Miller societies have joined a growing list, indicating that younger music lovers are now seemingly unaware of the great musical heritage that is in danger of being neglected in future. Happily there are exceptions, and our friends in the Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby societies are still going strong. It is particularly sad that the Glenn Miller Society has closed down, because the Robert Farnon (Appreciation) Society had strong links with them back in the 1950s, through people like the late Geoffrey Butcher who was a walking encyclopaedia on Miller’s music.

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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.