27 May

My Dream Is Yours

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My Dream Is Yours

1 I’m Falling In Love With Someone (from "Naughty Marietta") (Victor Herbert, arr. Percy Faith)
Columbia CS 8007 1958
2 My Dream Is Yours (Ralph Blane; Harry Warren)
RCA LPM 1732 1958
3 Dreamtime (The Melba Waltz) (Mischa Spoliansky)
Decca F 10174 1953
4 You Go To My Head (J. Fred Coots, arr. Frank Cordell)
HMV CSD 1251 1958
5 Sleepy Time Gal (Angel Lorenzo; Richard Whiting; Joseph Adlan; Raymond Egan, arr. Matty Matlock)
Capitol ST 1223 1959
6 Amber (Jean McKenna)
Cadence 1320 1954
7 If I Could Be With You (James P. Johnson; Henry Creamer, arr. Paul Weston)
Capitol ST 1192 1959
8 Stardust (Hoagy Carmichael, arr. Robert Farnon)
Decca LK 4055 1953
9 Speak To Me (Louis Gaste)
Decca DL 8066 1954
10 She’s My Lovely (Vivian Ellis)
Music For Pleasure MFP 1017 1962
11 Joan (Walter Scharf)
Jubilee JLP 1033 1957
12 Yours (Quiereme Mucho) (Gonzalo Roig)
HMV DLP 1127 1956
13 La Femme (Maddy Russell; Jack Seagal)
Coral CRL 57007 1953
14 Everything I Have Is Yours (Burton Lane; Harold Adamson, arr. Brian Fahey)
MGM SE 4033 1962
15 Where Or When (Richard Rodgers; Lorenz Hart, arr. Robert Farnon)
Decca LK 4086 1955
16 Emberglow (Edward Leonard, real names Len Stevens and Edward Holmes)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (‘Melodi Light Orchestra conducted by Ole Jensen’ on disc label)
Chappell C 488 1954
17 Somebody Loves Me (George Gershwin, arr. Wally Stott)
Philips BBR 8004 1954
18 You’ve Done Something To My Heart (Noel Gay, real name Reginald Armitage)
Music For Pleasure MFP 1017 1962
19 Bright Star (Robert J. Hafner)
Challenge 59077 1960
20 Adrift (Murray Newman, arr. Bruce Campbell)
BRUCE CAMPBELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA (‘Coronet Orchestra’ on disc label)
MGM E 3167 1955
21 Here Am I (Jerome Kern; Oscar Hammerstein II)
Warner Bros W 1294 1959
22 Now And Forever (Oscar Straus)
Nixa LPY 160 1955
23 Café Pousse (Earle H. Hagen, Herbert Spencer)
Label "X" LXA 1003 1955
24 Deep In A Dream (Jimmy Van Heusen; Eddie Delange, arr. Reg Owen)
RCA LPM 1907 1960
25 They Say It’s Wonderful (from "Annie Get Your Gun") (Irving Berlin, arr. Peter Yorke)
Decca DL 8240 1954

Stereo: tracks 1, 4, 5, 7 & 14; rest in mono.

This collection could have been called "Music for Dreamy Romantics" because that is probably an accurate description of most, if not all, of the music. There are times when all of us just want to relax and allow pleasant, tuneful and relaxing melodies to soothe away the cares of the day: to use the current parlance – to ‘chill out’. Hopefully the orchestras of light music masters such as Percy Faith, Robert Farnon, David Rose, Mantovani, Paul Weston and George Melachrino will apply their usual magic. But some new names to the ‘Guild family of conductors’ can be spotted this time, and it seems only fair that they should receive a special welcome.

The first newcomer, in order of appearance, is New Yorker Archibald ‘Archie’ Martin Bleyer (1909-1989), who enjoyed a successful career in the US prior to World War II as a young songwriter, arranger and bandleader. From 1946 to 1953 he worked with Arthur Godfrey on his radio and TV shows, and was widely credited with having been an important element in their success. From 1952 to 1964 Bleyer managed his own Cadence label, which enjoyed big hits from the Everly Brothers, The Chordettes, Johnny Tillotson and Andy Williams, as well as several instrumental successes by Bleyer himself, such as Amber. Changing tastes in pop music during the 1960s were not to Archie Bleyer’s liking, and after he sold Cadence to Andy Williams (who formed Barnaby Records to manage the catalogue) he was content to take a back seat in the music business. He retired to his wife’s hometown, Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where he died aged 79.

It is surprising that it has taken 109 Guild collections before Max Jaffa appears with his orchestra, although the mellow tones of his violin will have been heard on numerous occasions as a session player with many of the top post-war light orchestras. He was classically trained at London’s Guildhall School of Music where his honours included the Gold Medal and Principal’s Prize. His early career found him playing for silent films and in 1929 he formed his own salon orchestra which enjoyed a five-year residency at the Piccadilly Hotel. During World War II he became a pilot in RAF Bomber Command, and when peace returned he joined the Mantovani Orchestra, eventually becoming its leader. During the 1950s he formed The Max Jaffa Trio, which included cellist Reginald Kilbey and pianist Jack Byfield. They were part of the British music scene for over 30 years. From 1959 to 1986 Jaffa spent each summer at Scarborough, conducting the Yorkshire seaside resort’s famous Spa Orchestra. He was awarded the OBE for services to music in 1982, and retired in 1990, just a year before he died at the age of 79. She’s My Lovely and You’ve Done Something To My Heart are good examples of the tuneful arrangements that reflected his mastery of his instrument, and the way in which he allowed it to interweave with the full orchestra.

Walter Scharf (1910-2003) who conducts his own composition Joan, has only appeared once on a previous Guild CD (playing Victor Young’s Travellin’ Light – GLCD5114) so he almost qualifies as a ‘newcomer’. Born in New York, for most of his professional life he concentrated his career in the film world, having arrived in Hollywood in 1933 (his early commissions were for Al Jolson at 20th Century Fox, and Bing Crosby at Paramount) where he continued to work until the 1980s. Some notable films included "Holiday Inn" (in 1942 he orchestrated the original version of Irving Berlin’s White Christmas), "Hans Christian Anderson" (1952) and Barbra Streisand’s "Funny Girl" in 1968. He also worked on three Elvis Presley movies, and collaborated with lyricist Don Black on songs for Michael Jackson. In later years he was much in demand from US Television, with series including "Ben Casey", "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." and "Mission Impossible".

The American violinist and bandleader Carl Cotner (1916-1986) seems to have spent much of his career in Country and Western music circles. As a ‘country fiddler’ he worked with bandleader Clayton McMichen, then in 1937 joined Gene Autry for his "Melody Ranch" radio shows, and became musical director for some of the singing cowboy’s films. He stayed with Autry when "Melody Ranch" transferred to television, and also worked on early TV series like "The Range Rider" and "Buffalo Bill Jr." – both in 1951. Perhaps Bright Star finds him outside his usual comfort zone?

The other new-to-Guild orchestra this time is that of Parisian Armand Bernard (1895-1965). He was known in his native France during the 1940s and 1950s, and he seems to have made a speciality of waltz music. Although not a prolific recording artist, he made several 78s and some early LPs mainly for the Pacific label, but also for some other companies. Now And Forever was written by the Viennese composer Oscar Straus (1870-1954) whose prolific output included popular operettas such as "The Chocolate Soldier" and "A Waltz Dream". Bernard’s orchestra features an electronic organ in the line-up, something that a number of conductors were tempted to use around that time – probably to produce a fuller, richer sound, without the need to employ too many extra musicians.

Our opening track is provided by Percy Faith (1908-1976) who hardly needs any introduction to Guild ‘regulars’. Born in Toronto, Canada, in 1940 he moved permanently to the USA where he quickly established himself through radio and recordings. From the 1950s onwards his fame spread internationally, due to the great success of his numerous long playing albums. I’m Falling In Love With Someone comes from his tribute to Victor Herbert (1859-1924).

The melody which gives this collection its title, My Dream Is Yours, features in a delightful arrangement played by John Clegg and his Orchestra. This is the third time he has been included on a Guild CD, but frustratingly it has not (yet) been possible to identify him, despite correspondence to musicians with this name (all unanswered) and references to light music experts.

Fortunately no mystery surrounds Annunzio Paolo Mantovani (1905-1980) who became the conductor of one of the most famous light orchestras in the world from the 1950s onwards. He provides his usual polished performance of Dreamtime (also known as The Melba Waltz) composed by Russian-born Mischa Spoliansky (1898-1985) for the British film ‘Melba’ (1953). He left the German film industry during the 1930s to work in Britain, and later the USA.

Frank Cordell (1918-1980) was a talented English composer, arranger and conductor, and it is his latter two talents that produce the sublime version of You Go To My Head chosen for this collection.

Paul Weston (born Paul Wetstein 1912-1996) was one of America’s top arrangers and conductors, whose orchestral collections such as "Music For Dreaming" and "Music For Memories" were to provide the springboard for many future albums. He provides two charming pieces for this CD: Sleepy Time Gal and If I Could Be With You.

Canadian-born Robert Farnon (1917-2005) also offers two superlative arrangements of standards by top American songwriters: Stardust (by Hoagy Carmichael) and Where Or When (Richard Rodgers).

Dolf van der Linden (real name David Gysbert van der Linden, 1915-1999) was the leading figure on the light music scene in the Netherlands from the 1940s until the 1980s. As well as broadcasting frequently with his Metropole Orchestra, he made numerous recordings for the background music libraries of major music publishers. His commercial recordings (especially for the American market) were often labelled as ‘Daniel De Carlo’ or ‘Van Lynn’ - from which comes Speak To Me.

George Miltiades Melachrino (1909-1965) was one of the big names in British light music from the 1940s to the 1960s. He has already appeared on many Guild CDs, and his tasteful arrangements were usually either by himself or his right-hand man, arranger and pianist William Hill-Bowen (1918-1964). Sadly the LP label and sleeve give no clues as to which of them was responsible for Yours.

Sidney Torch, MBE (born Sidney Torchinsky 1908-1990) is well-known in Britain for his numerous Parlophone recordings, as well as his long tenure as conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in the "Friday Night Is Music Night" BBC radio programme. La Femme comes from a very rare LP he recorded in London for the American market, which was never originally released in Britain.

Everything I Have Is Yours brings us the combined talents of conductor Cyril Ornadel (1924-2011) and arranger Brian Fahey (1919-2007). From the late 1950s onwards this team made an acclaimed series of records with the "Starlight Symphony", aimed primarily at the American market.

Emberglow comes from the Chappell Recorded Music Library. The composers were Len Stevens (d. 1989) and Edward Holmes, the manager of the Library affectionately known as ‘Teddy’ to all the musicians who provided such a wealth of top class orchestral music that made Chappells the predominant providers of mood music for many years from the 1940s onwards.

Angela Morley (1924-2009) needs no introduction to Guild ‘regulars’. Somebody Loves Me was arranged while she was still known as ‘Wally Stott’, and the glorious string sound she creates reflects her experience of working with Robert Farnon. In her later career she left England for the USA where she worked on several big budget movies (one example is the "Star Wars" series assisting John Williams), and on TV shows such as "Dallas" and "Dynasty".

Bruce Campbell was one of several writers who also owed much to his association with Robert Farnon. He was a fellow Canadian, who actually came to Britain some years before Farnon, and played trombone with various top British bands during the 1930s. Campbell assisted Farnon on his post-war BBC radio shows, and eventually became a frequent contributor to various mood music libraries. Adrift comes from a rare LP that Campbell recorded anonymously in Britain for the American market.

The American orchestra leader Peter Dudley King (1914-1982) was also a successful songwriter and arranger, whose career embraced radio, television, recordings and films. Here Am I is one of the lesser-known works by Jerome Kern (1885-1945) from the 1929 show "Sweet Adeline".

In 1952 Earle Hagan (1919-2008), famous as the composer of the jazz standard Harlem Nocturne, formed a partnership with fellow arranger Herbert Winfield Spencer (1905-1992). Together, they launched the Spencer-Hagen Orchestra, which recorded albums for RCA and Liberty, and more significantly, they began writing music for television series. They ended their partnership in 1960. Café Pousse which they co-composed comes from an album for which the inspiration was various cocktails.

Reg Owen (born George Owen Smith, 1921-1978) took up the saxophone at fifteen, played in youth bands then completed his education at the Royal College of Music in London. Following RAF service, in which he played for the Bomber Command Band, he became arranger for the Ted Heath orchestra from 1945, moving on to work for other conductors including Cyril Stapleton. When he joined the PRS in 1954 he decided to change his name legally to "Reginald Owen." Regarded as one of England's leading orchestrators, Reg published his book "The Reg Owen Arranging Method" in 1956. He is regarded as a ‘one hit wonder’ thanks to his best-selling recording of Manhattan Spiritual in 1958. His own film scores date from 1957 and include "Murder Reported" (1958), "Very Important Person" (1961), "A Coming-Out Party" (1961) and "Payroll" (1962). He moved to Brussels in 1961, although he continued to arrange, compose and conduct albums all over Europe, including France, Germany and Italy before moving finally to Spain where he died in 1978. His contribution to this collection, Deep In A Dream, is another of those lovely half-forgotten melodies which surely deserves a better fate.

Londoner Peter Yorke (1902-1966) is a regular contributor to this series of CDs, as composer, arranger and conductor. After a grounding in British Dance Bands of the 1920s and 1930s, notably Jay Whidden (1928), Jack Hylton (1929-33) and Henry Hall (1932-33), he graduated to arranging for Louis Levy before eventually forming his own concert orchestra for recording and broadcasting. Irving Berlin wrote "they say that falling in love is wonderful" and it is to be hoped that these lyrics have been reflected throughout all the music on this CD. We may sometimes only dream of finding a true love, but for many fortunate people dreams can and do come true.

David Ades

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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.