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The 6th Robert Farnon CD from Vocalion finally restores two classic LPs to the catalogue

ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA

Presenting Robert Farnon

1 Yes! We Have No Bananas (Silver, Cohn), 2 Always (Irving Berlin), 3 Blue Skies (Irving Berlin), 4 In The Blue Of The Evening (Alec Wilder), 5 When I Grow Too Old To Dream (Romberg, Hammerstein II), 6 Don’t Blame Me (McHugh, Fields), 7 To A Wild Rose (Edward MacDowell), 8 Dawn To Dusk (Alec Wilder), 9 Laura (Raksin, Mercer).

Flirtation Walk

10 Would You Like To Take A Walk? (Warren, Dixon, Rose), 11 Reflections In The Water (Loeb, Webster), 12 It’s Always You (Heusen, Burke), 13 Two Little Girls In Blue (Graham), 14 Sweet And Lovely (Arnheim, Tobias, Lemare), 15 So Do I (Burke, Johnston), 16 Flirtation Walk (Dixon, Wrubel), 17 By A Waterfall (Kahal, Fain), 18 Can I Forget You (Hammerstein, Kern), 19 It’s Easy To Remember (Rodgers, Hart), 20 Flirtation Waltz (Heywood, Sarony), 21 Down By The River (Rodgers, Hart), 22 My Foolish Heart (Young, Washington), 23 I Love A Lassie (Lauder, Grafton).

"Presenting Robert Farnon" was originally on Decca LK4067, released in September 1953; "Flirtation Walk", Decca LK4083, was released in October 1954.

Now available on CD: Vocalion CDLK4118

The cover of this new CD is featured on the front page of the December 2001 issue of Journal Into Melody.

"Presenting Robert Farnon" was recorded in January and February 1950, but Decca did not release it as a complete album until September 1953. Although intentionally conceived as an LP (Robert Farnon confirmed this in a recent interview), it is interesting to recall that the sessions actually took place before Decca released the first long-playing records in Britain in June 1950. However these modern recording miracles had been launched in the USA some months earlier, so Decca had some clues as to their likely attraction to the general public.

But did they get cold feet? Why was there such a long delay? Perhaps wishing to recoup some of their costs, all of the tracks (except for the two longer Alec Wilder pieces) were put out on 78s in Britain and/or the USA, so they were familiar to Farnon’s admirers long before the vinyl eventually appeared. Were sales disappointing? 12" LPs were expensive in the 1950s, and a year later (in November 1954) seven of the tracks suddenly appeared on a 10" LP with the same title. This didn’t happen again to a Farnon album, although several of his LPs were issued in 4-track sections when 45 rpm Extended-Play records appeared on the scene.

The album was produced by Tutti (Toots) Camarata, the American musical director who was one of the founders of London Records in the USA. He first attracted attention in Britain when he was engaged for the expensive Technicolor musical "London Town" starring Sid Field and the Ted Heath Orchestra. The film flopped, but Camarata continued to work for a while in Britain, making LPs under his own name and also producing others, such as this Farnon album.

The two Alec Wilder works were Camarata’s choice, with the rest of the album featuring what might be termed Farnon’s standard repertoire at the time - the kind of top-quality popular music heard regularly in his BBC radio and, later, television programmes.

On 3 January 1950 the first sessions took place at London’s Kingsway Hall (both LPs on this CD were recorded in this famous venue), featuring the Robert Farnon Strings: Always, When I Grow Too Old To Dream, To A Wild Rose and Laura. Without exception they illustrate Farnon’s mastery of string writing. Farnon once confided that one of his early ambitions was to hear a large string orchestra play his arrangement of Laura.

The next sessions for the album took place on 27 January 1950, with the full orchestra assembled for the two Alec Wilder compositions. Farnon remembers that he used Wilder’s original scores, making only minor alterations to suit the special requirements of his orchestra. In The Blue Of The Evening featured Frank Reidy on clarinet. In later years Reidy performed on many Farnon sessions, and eventually became the ‘fixer’, hiring the other musicians for the orchestra.

In Dawn To Dusk (known in the USA as Rhapsody For Piano And Orchestra) Farnon chose fellow Canadian Denny Vaughan for the solo piano part. Vaughan was a talented musician who also possessed a fine singing voice. Like Farnon, he was brought from his homeland to Britain during the war, and appeared in numerous broadcasts. After the war he worked with Geraldo, before eventually returning to progress his career in radio and television in North America. (Readers are reminded that Murray Ginsberg’s fine tribute to Denny Vaughan appeared in our June 2001 issue).

Alec Wilder has been described as an urbane, well-read, intelligent and rather poetic individual. His work was highly regarded by his peers, and he wrote a book about popular music which is almost regarded as a ‘bible’ by many in the music business, while others strongly disagree with some of his findings. He came into contact with the young Frank Sinatra, who did him the honour of conducting several of his works in December 1945, which were released by Columbia Records in the USA. Wilder’s best-known tunes include I’ll Be Around and Who Can I Turn To.

The full orchestra returned to Kingsway Hall on 3 February 1950 for three numbers showcasing Farnon’s affinity with orchestral jazz: Yes! We Have No Bananas, Blue Skies and Don’t Blame Me. Each scintillating score includes a feature for Dave Goldberg, the legendary guitar player. He was a member of the Ted Heath Band in the early 1950s, and went with them on an American tour. His undoubted talent was recognised, and he decided to stay there for a while. For some reason he chose to use the surname ‘Gilbert’ (rather than Goldberg) and the US release of Don’t Blame Me credits ‘Dave Gilbert’ as the guitar soloist with the Robert Farnon Orchestra. Sadly this genius became disenchanted with the way in which the popular music business was going, and he died at an early age from a drugs overdose.

"Flirtation Walk" was recorded in April 1954 and released in Britain the following October. The titles nearly all come from American films and shows of the 1930s and 1940s, the ‘baby’ of the set being My Foolish Heart, first heard in 1950 in the Susan Hayward film of the same name. One other number stands out for its surprise inclusion on the LP: I Love A Lassie, co-composed by the Scottish comedian Sir Harry Lauder, who made it world-famous. It provides the perfect lesson for aspiring arrangers, showing the way in which Farnon can give a bright new treatment to a well-known piece which almost defies being scored for a ‘serious’ orchestra (the other obvious example on this CD is Yes! We Have No Bananas).

The title tune Flirtation Walk contains one of the maestro’s musical jokes, which he has only recently publicly admitted. It was actually noticed around ten years ago by American musician Jeff Sultanof while working on a reconstruction of the score for a possible performance. It is Farnon’s one and only brush with atonal music, and occurs at around 1 min 10 secs and lasts for just 15 seconds. It is a short bridge at the end of the first chorus, and sounds like a lapse into one of the extreme jazz styles that were emerging at that time. Farnon greatly admired (and had once met) Bela Bartók; when asked why this was his only example of atonal music he explained: "It is really a kind of mathematical music - not quite my scene. I prefer to leave such matters in the hands of the experts like Bartók."

As a young arranger, Farnon’s wicked sense of humour often delighted fellow musicians. There is a story of a new score he did for Geraldo, which contained a terrible chord - obviously unmusical and completely wrong. When the musicians protested that they couldn’t play it, Geraldo sternly told them: "If Bob Farnon’s written it, it must be right, and you must play it!" Fortunately he was let in on the joke before the work was actually broadcast.

The two albums featured on this CD are prime examples of Robert Farnon’s undoubted talent in being able to transform often simple tunes into minor light orchestral masterpieces. Each and every one of these melodies has been carefully crafted to provide a wealth of beautiful sounds, bringing fresh rewards for the attentive listener at each successive hearing.

The American releases of these albums were packaged in different LP covers, and these are reproduced in full colour on the back page of the CD booklet:

"Presenting Robert Farnon" London LL812; "Flirtation Walk" London LL1053.

Robert Farnon completed the first movement of "The Mountbatten Suite" earlier this year, and as the December issue of Journal Into Melody closed for press the first performance was scheduled to take place on 18 October in Portsmouth. RFS members who attended our London meetings in the early 1990’s may well have had the pleasure of speaking to Sir Vivian Dunn. This distinguished ‘Man of Military Music’ was also a great lover of light music, and his LPs conducting the Orchestra of the Light Music Society are still regarded as being the definitive performances of many of the works included on those fondly recalled EMI albums from 30 years ago.

Sir Vivian died on 3 April 1995 aged 86. At the time he had been working on a "Mountbatten Suite", and had already completed the second and third movements, which he called Broadlands and Man of Action. For some reason he decided that he would compose the first movement last - it was to be called Man of Destiny. Sadly he never finished his work.

Early in 2000, Sir Vivian’s son Paddy (also a welcome visitor to our London meetings) decided to try and see if his father’s suite could be completed, and he asked Robert Farnon if he would be willing to compose the first movement.

Bob and Sir Vivian had known each other during World War II (both had conducted orchestras for the entertainment of the armed forces), and had remained friends ever since. Indeed the strength of Sir Vivian’s admiration for his work was such that Robert Farnon’s music became firmly established in the repertoire of the Royal Yacht orchestra during most state and private occasions during the post war years of Vivian Dunn’s appointment as Director of Music until 1954 and, it is understood, that tradition continued uninterrupted until HMY Britannia was de-commissioned some 45 years later. One of the light music works conducted by Sir Vivian for EMI was Robert Farnon’s A La Claire Fontaine.

In the biography of Sir Vivian Dunn Fiddler on the March, there are several references to Bob and their long friendship. On page 238 Bob completes a warm tribute by saying: "It was a special privilege to have known such a great man who became, not only a personal friend, but a great hero." The book also contains a summary of the relevance and importance of the "Mountbatten Suite".

Paddy had first sought the approval of Countess Mountbatten, who was delighted at the thought of Bob being approached. Her husband, Lord Brabourne, apparently knew Robert Farnon’s wife Patricia very well, from their days in films together.

Bob agreed to the commission in July 2000, and his completed score was delivered to Paddy Dunn in May - the delay mainly due to the move from ‘La Falaise’. (Bob jokingly told Paddy that he could have finished the work sooner, but he had mislaid his copy of his treasured Lloyd Webber chord chart during the house move!)

The Principal Director of Music, Royal Marines, Lt. Col. Richard Waterer, has been arranging to have the complete score and parts copied and printed, and as we went to press we learned that Man of Destiny’s first public performance would occur in Portsmouth on 18 October at St. Mary’s Church, Fratton, played by the orchestra of the Royal Band - the new title, by Royal Command, of what was the Royal Yacht Band. The reason for this somewhat strange location is that is where the Royal Marines School of Music currently holds its monthly winter concerts, a tradition introduced by Sir Vivian when the School was located at Deal. It is also hoped that the work will be recorded for commercial release, possibly by a symphony orchestra.

Both Robert Farnon and Paddy Dunn are keen that RFS members should have the opportunity to see Bob’s original pencil sketches for the first movement, Man of Destiny, and these are reproduced in the December 2001 issue of Journal Into Melody.

Robert Farnon will be featured on a new CD in the Naxos Historical ‘British Light Music’ series. This will include both Decca and Chappell recordings, and the titles selected are: Jumping Bean, A Star Is Born, Portrait of a Flirt, Journey Into Melody, Willie the Whistler, Melody Fair, Canadian Caravan, Ottawa Heights, Mountain Grandeur, Gateway to the West, Huckle-Buckle, How Beautiful is Night, State Occasion, Taj Mahal, High Street, Sophistication Waltz, Manhattan Playboy, String Time, In a Calm, Peanut Polka. Readers will recognise that all of these tracks are available on other CDs, but Naxos is widely distributed around the world so it is good that Bob’s music will now receive strong exposure. The CD is expected in January 2002, and the catalogue number will be Naxos 8110849.

Richard Jenkinson was formerly principal cellist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has recently recorded a new CD of British works for the cello, and one of the tracks is Song of Scandia by Robert Farnon. In our March issue of Journal Into Melody we hope to have further information regarding the release of this CD. We understand that Richard has expressed the wish to continue the association with Robert Farnon, and Bob may compose a piece specially for him. In fact he has recently re-scored Pictures In The Fire for cello and piano, and Bob feels that it works wonderfully for this combination of instruments.

As we have reported previously, in recent months Robert Farnon has been working on a collection of new arrangements and compositions, concentrating on strings, harp and flute. As we go to press (early in October), Bob is just putting the finishing touches to the last of them, and the CD was scheduled to be recorded on 8 November at the Angel Studios, Islington, with the Royal Philharmonic Strings conducted by Jack Parnell.The titles are: Romancing the Phoenix, Little Did I Know, Coeur Brisé, For Eileen, Lady Barbara, She is Fair to be Uncompared, *En Bateau, *Laura, How Beautiful is Night, Peacehaven, For "C.K.", A Violin Miniature, Intermezzo for Harp, Occasion to Reminisce, *The Touch of your Lips and To a Young Lady. All are Robert Farnon compositions, except titles marked*.

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Three Farnon Tributes to Great Songwriters reappear at last on CD

ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA Victor Schertzinger, Hoagy Carmichael and Vincent Youmans Suites

Victor Schertzinger
1 The Fleet’s In*, 2 Dream Lover*, 3 Sand In My Shoes. 4 Marcheta, 5 One Night Of Love, 6 Kiss The Boys Goodbye*, 7 Love Passes By BONUS TRACK, 8 Tangerine BONUS TRACK

Hoagy Carmichael
9 My Resistance Is Low*, 10 Stardust, 11 Little Old Lady, 12 Georgia On My Mind, 13 One Morning In May, 14 Lazybones*

Vincent Youmans
15 Hallelujah**, 16 Tea For Two, 17 Sometimes I’m Happy, 18 Without A Song, 19 Great Day**, 20 Orchids In The Moonlight, 21 More Than You Know, 22 Time On My Hands, 23 The Carioca BONUS TRACK

* with The Johnston Singers ** with The George Mitchell Choir

VOCALION CDLK4137 Recording History:

"Victor Schertzinger Suite" Decca LK4055 released March 1953
"Hoagy Carmichael Suite" Decca LK4055 released March 1953
"Music of Vincent Youmans" Decca LF1052 released September 1951
Love Passes By BONUS TRACK not on original LP - London L 1240 (78)
Tangerine BONUS TRACK not on original LP - London L1242 (78)
The Carioca BONUS TRACK not on original LP - Decca F9185 (78)

Robert Farnon is generally regarded as the greatest living composer of Light Orchestral music in the world. He is also revered as an arranger of quality popular songs, having influenced most of the top writers on both sides of the Atlantic during the second half of the 20th century. In his long recording career he has been responsible for brilliant orchestrations of melodies crafted by the finest songwriters of the last century, and the latest release in Vocalion’s landmark series of Decca reissues concentrates on three fascinating men.
Victor Schertzinger was born on 8 April 1880 in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania, USA; he died aged 61 in Hollywood, California, on 26 October 1941. As a child he was a gifted violinist, and during his formative years he toured as a concert soloist and studied music in Europe. In 1913 his song "Marcheta" was published, and three years later he moved to Hollywood where an early commission involved composing a special score for Thomas Ince’s "Civilization". Very soon he also started directing films, and managed to combine this new career successfully with his songwriting. The arrival of talkies resulted in Schertzinger contributing complete scores and individual songs to many top musicals, including the title song for "One Night Of Love" (1934); "Dream Lover" from the Jeanette MacDonald hit "The Love Parade" (1929); and "Sand In My Shoes" and the title song from "Kiss The Boys Goodbye" (1941). Two of his biggest hits reached cinema screens shortly after his death, with lyrics by Johnny Mercer - "Tangerine" and the title song from "The Fleet’s In". As a film director his credits included numerous dramatic features, but he is probably remembered best for his musicals, especially the first of the ‘Road’ movies starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in "The Road To Singapore".
Hoagy Carmichael had a successful career as a composer, pianist, singer and actor. He was born Hoagland Howard Carmichael on 22 November 1899 at Bloomington, Indiana, USA, and died aged 82 on 27 December 1981 at Palm Springs, California. Largely self-taught, he grew up in a poor rural community, but his future career in the music business seemed pre-destined when he became friendly with the legendary Bix Beiderbecke, for whom he co-composed "Riverboat Shuffle". Based in New York in 1929 (the year when "Stardust" was published, although it had been composed two years earlier), Carmichael formed close relationships with many jazz musicians later to become famous, especially Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman and Glenn Miller. For his songs Carmichael occasionally wrote both words and music, but he often collaborated with the best lyric writers, notably Johnny Mercer ("Lazybones"), Mitchell Parish ("Stardust" & "One Morning In May"), and Frank Loesser ("Little Old Lady"). "My Resistance Is Low" came from a 1951 film "The Las Vegas Story". Althought "Stardust" is reckoned to be the most recorded popular tune of all time, "Georgia On My Mind" (lyrics by Stuart Gorrell) has proved to be one of Carmichael’s most enduring successes, with each new generation of performers seeming to ‘rediscover’ this great standard.
Vincent Youmans was a leading composer and producer for stage productions during the 1920s and 1930s, but his career was cut short by a long battle against tuberculosis. Vincent Miller Youmans was born on 27 September 1898 at New York USA; he died aged 47 at Denver, Colorado on 45 April 1946. He served with the US Navy during the first World War, and co-produced musicals for the entertainment of his colleagues. Later he worked as a song plugger, and was a rehearsal pianist for the influential composer Victor Herbert. Youmans’ first Broadway score was "Two Little Girls In Blue" (1921) which opened a long and successful association with the theatre. From this period came "Tea For Two" (reputedly written almost as a joke for "No No Nanette" - 1927); "Hallelujah!" and "Sometimes I’m Happy" (from "Hit The Deck" - 1927, later filmed by MGM in 1955); "Without A Song", "More Than You Know" and the title song (from "Great Day" - 1929); and "Time On My Hands" (from the 1930 musical "Smiles"). Like many of his contemporaries, he was attracted to Hollywood, but his only major original score was for "Flying Down To Rio" (1933), the movie which launched the legendary screen partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. Two of the big hits from this film were "The Carioca" and "Orchids In The Moonlight". By comparison with many of his contemporaries, his song catalogue is small, and he rarely used the same collaborator. But the quality of his music survives, and he was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.
These three talented songwriters all received the special Robert Farnon treatment, when the maestro honoured their contributions to the popular music scene of fifty years ago. Through his masterly arrangements, Farnon has preserved each of these melodies for later generations to enjoy, without knowing the stars or shows with whom they were originally associated. To be able to survive in isolation, as they undoubtedly do, is ample testament to their quality.
The front cover of this CD booklet reproduces the British and American LP sleeves for the Hoagy Carmichael / Victor Schertzinger 12" album. Vincent Youmans occupied a 10" LP, and it was released at a time when LP covers in Britain were not individually designed. Therefore we see the standard Decca design for their ‘popular’ releases, merely carrying basic details of the music and orchestra in the overprinting. The back of the sleeve simply told purchasers that the record had to be played with a special pick-up, and should be cleaned with a barely damp cloth. Record companies quickly discovered the sales potential of attractive designs on their LP covers, so examples of early releases such as this are definitely in the ‘historical’ category.
The recordings on the Hoagy Carmichael and Victor Schertzinger Suites (including the two ‘bonus’ tracks not included in the original albums, but released as singles only in the USA) were recorded at the Kingsway Hall, London during May and June 1952. The Victor Youmans tracks were recorded in February 1951, with the exception of the ‘bonus’ track "The Carioca", which was recorded on 18 May 1949.

David Ades  

 

Dedicated to taking Light Music seriously

JOHN WILSON

"Frankly, he gives a damn" was the headline chosen by Clive Davis for his interview with John Wilson, printed in the London Times on 9 January. He was quoting Clark Gable’s famous line from "Gone With The Wind", one of the scores being revitalised for the Royal Festival Hall concert of Hollywood Film Music on 19 January.

Valuable publicity such as this is essential if concert halls are to be filled, but the day is fast approaching when it will be John Wilson’s name alone that is all that will be required. Because this young man (he is still only 29) has already built up an enviable reputation for his records and concert appearances.

Davis reminded Times readers that John has emerged as a champion of Light Music since graduating from the Royal College of Music, where he was awarded the much-coveted Tagore Gold Medal. Apart from his recordings (which include the acclaimed ASV series on Eric Coates), he orchestrated Sir Richard Rodney Bennett’s score for the BBC adaptation of "Gormenghast", which led to the Orchestral Jazz CD with Bennett for Vocalion in 2000 (CDSA6800). A second, highly-praised CD (also for Vocalion) involved re-recording many of Angela Morley’s classic scores ("Soft Lights and Sweet Music" – CDSA 6803).

We are proud that John is a member of the Robert Farnon Society. During the past five years we have enjoyed meeting him at our London recitals and at various concerts, and his infectious enthusiasm for his music has impressed us greatly. Clive Davis picked up on it, recognising that John’s "great passion is his orchestra, which also performs swing-flavoured arrangements from the pen of Nelson Riddle, Robert Farnon, Billy May and other arrangers who tend to be lumped together as ‘easy listening’ …. which is, of course, back in vogue."

According to Davis, John’s greatest concern is that he finds himself working in a cultural no-man’s-land. "We haven’t really got a Pops culture in this country, the way they do in America" he says. "Light music here is always treated as a poor relation. It’s usually played very badly, when what it needs is a virtuoso orchestra … it needs to be performed by musicians who can make the notes spring off the page. If you do it well, you realise these pieces really can stand the test of time. You have to pin people back in their seats, make them judge with their ears rather than their preconceptions."

The great day of the concert finally arrived: Saturday 19 January 2002. At the Royal Festival Hall many RFS members were spotted among the enthusiastic near-capacity audience, and it was a treat for sore eyes to see such a large symphony-size orchestra waiting to perform. Seated behind the orchestra were the 100 members of the Crouch End Festival Chorus.

John Wilson entered to sustained applause and cheers, and then opened the concert with the magnificent 20th Century Fox Fanfare (with CinemaScope extension – as they used to say!) leading into Alfred Newman’s Street Scene as it was heard at the opening of the film "How to Marry a Millionaire". From 1939 to 1960 Newman (1901-1970) was head of the music department at 20th Century Fox, and it is no exaggeration to say that it was his influence which contributed greatly to the high standards of the music in many of the major Hollywood films of the middle years of the last century.

Erich Wolfgang Korngold (1897-1957) was one of several European composers who made their home in Hollywood during the 1930s, and his score for The Sea Hawk proved his mastery in scoring for adventure movies.

The classic David Raksin (b. 1912) Laura made a nice contrast, leading into what many in the audience regarded as the concert’s high spot – the Conrad Salinger arrangements for MGM musicals.

The baritone Richard Morrison made an all-too-brief appearance singing the Howard Keel role from "Kismet" – Night of my Nights, ably assisted by the choir. The classic Central Park scene from "Band Wagon" brought us the beautiful Arthur Schwartz melody Dancing in the Dark; even without seeing Fred Astaire, this arrangement still hits the spot.

The sparkling main title and fountain scene from "Gigi" led into two Gene Kelly numbers, most ably sung by Gary Williams – Singin’ in the Rain and Heather on the Hill. Then to close part one, a real ‘tour de force’ from orchestra, choir and Gary Williams performing the Fred Astaire classic from "Ziegfeld Follies" – Harry Warren’s This Heart of Mine. In his introduction John Wilson hinted that it may have been Conrad Salinger at his most self-indulgent, but what a wonderful number all the same. Everyone involved was simply magnificent!

During the interval you could sense that all of us were on a ‘high’ as you walked around this great concert hall.

Just as the first part opened with probably the most famous film fanfare of them all, so the second began with one that could have been almost equally well-known, if Warner Bros. had decided to use it for more of their movies. Composed by Max Steiner (1888-1971) it was the natural introduction for his memorable score for that Bette Davis weepie "Now Voyager".

Then came the main work of the evening, a new symphonic suite, arranged and reconstructed by John Wilson, based on the various themes by Max Steiner for "Gone With The Wind". It opened to the David O. Selznik fanfare, then launched into the familiar Tara theme. But very soon the audience realised that Steiner had written a considerable amount of music for this epic, some of it based on the melodies associated with the days of slavery in the deep south. John Wilson has done a major service to film historians by restoring this music as an important work in its own right.

To conclude this wonderful evening, the orchestra excelled themselves in The Ride of the Cossacks from "Taras Bulba" by Franz Waxman (1906-1967). When it finished the applause and cheering was deafening; I didn’t time it, but John Wilson returned to the podium three times to acknowledge the appreciation of us all. The audience would have loved more, but possibly anything else would have been an anti-climax after the Waxman fireworks. In any case, I have it on good authority that John had been working until the small hours the previous night finishing the scores for the concert. He must have been thinking of his bed!

But on such occasions the body’s adrenalin kicks in, and shortly afterwards a queue of well over 100 people had formed near the Farringdon Records area where John was signing copies of his latest CD, and anything else that his fans put in front of him! He deserved all the congratulations that were heaped on him, and can be justifiably proud of everything that he achieved on that memorable January evening in London.

What are the lasting impressions? First and foremost the delight at seeing so many young musicians in the orchestra, and the fact that they seemed to be enjoying themselves so much. Then the singers, especially Gary Williams who could not be faulted in his recreations – he must have worked very hard on them. And one cannot forget the wonderful sound of the chorus, creating that gorgeous curtain of sound enveloping orchestra and singers as they used to do, until the sheer cost presumably meant that the studios eventually decided to dispense with them in such numbers.

The audience also deserve a mention, not only since they were so enthusiastic, but because it has to be said that it cheered the hearts of those of us who can remember this music from the first time round, to see so many younger people enjoying it as well. The future of quality popular music may not be as gloomy as some doom-laden critics would have us believe.

As for John Wilson himself, it was a treat to observe his rapport with his orchestra. He coaxed them to give of their best, and rewarded them with a beaming smile when they inevitably did. John’s passion for the music permeated the entire proceedings, and he had players and audience in the palm of his hand. It takes a very special person to be able to achieve that.

Now that this triumph is behind him, what are John Wilson’s plans for the future? Let’s return to his Times interview. Clive Davis told us that he plans to continue his excavation work on the great Hollywood musicals. He has High Society in his sights, not to mention Singin’ In The Rain and Gigi. "When I left college, I made the decision that I wanted to be a re-creative rather than a creative artist," he explains. "I’m not one of those film music nerds who listen only to soundtracks. I listen to ‘proper’ music too. These great scores deserve to be reconstituted as concert music in their own right."

David Ades

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The 6th Robert Farnon CD from Vocalion finally restores two classic LPs to the catalogue

ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA

Presenting Robert Farnon

1 Yes! We Have No Bananas (Silver, Cohn), 2 Always (Irving Berlin), 3 Blue Skies (Irving Berlin), 4 In The Blue Of The Evening (Alec Wilder), 5 When I Grow Too Old To Dream (Romberg, Hammerstein II), 6 Don’t Blame Me (McHugh, Fields), 7 To A Wild Rose (Edward MacDowell), 8 Dawn To Dusk (Alec Wilder), 9 Laura (Raksin, Mercer).

Flirtation Walk

10 Would You Like To Take A Walk? (Warren, Dixon, Rose), 11 Reflections In The Water (Loeb, Webster), 12 It’s Always You (Heusen, Burke), 13 Two Little Girls In Blue (Graham), 14 Sweet And Lovely (Arnheim, Tobias, Lemare), 15 So Do I (Burke, Johnston), 16 Flirtation Walk (Dixon, Wrubel), 17 By A Waterfall (Kahal, Fain), 18 Can I Forget You (Hammerstein, Kern), 19 It’s Easy To Remember (Rodgers, Hart), 20 Flirtation Waltz (Heywood, Sarony), 21 Down By The River (Rodgers, Hart), 22 My Foolish Heart (Young, Washington), 23 I Love A Lassie (Lauder, Grafton).

"Presenting Robert Farnon" was originally on Decca LK4067, released in September 1953; "Flirtation Walk", Decca LK4083, was released in October 1954.

Now available on CD: Vocalion CDLK4118

The cover of this new CD is featured on the front page of the December 2001 issue of Journal Into Melody.

"Presenting Robert Farnon" was recorded in January and February 1950, but Decca did not release it as a complete album until September 1953. Although intentionally conceived as an LP (Robert Farnon confirmed this in a recent interview), it is interesting to recall that the sessions actually took place before Decca released the first long-playing records in Britain in June 1950. However these modern recording miracles had been launched in the USA some months earlier, so Decca had some clues as to their likely attraction to the general public.

But did they get cold feet? Why was there such a long delay? Perhaps wishing to recoup some of their costs, all of the tracks (except for the two longer Alec Wilder pieces) were put out on 78s in Britain and/or the USA, so they were familiar to Farnon’s admirers long before the vinyl eventually appeared. Were sales disappointing? 12" LPs were expensive in the 1950s, and a year later (in November 1954) seven of the tracks suddenly appeared on a 10" LP with the same title. This didn’t happen again to a Farnon album, although several of his LPs were issued in 4-track sections when 45 rpm Extended-Play records appeared on the scene.

The album was produced by Tutti (Toots) Camarata, the American musical director who was one of the founders of London Records in the USA. He first attracted attention in Britain when he was engaged for the expensive Technicolor musical "London Town" starring Sid Field and the Ted Heath Orchestra. The film flopped, but Camarata continued to work for a while in Britain, making LPs under his own name and also producing others, such as this Farnon album.

The two Alec Wilder works were Camarata’s choice, with the rest of the album featuring what might be termed Farnon’s standard repertoire at the time - the kind of top-quality popular music heard regularly in his BBC radio and, later, television programmes.

On 3 January 1950 the first sessions took place at London’s Kingsway Hall (both LPs on this CD were recorded in this famous venue), featuring the Robert Farnon Strings: Always, When I Grow Too Old To Dream, To A Wild Rose and Laura. Without exception they illustrate Farnon’s mastery of string writing. Farnon once confided that one of his early ambitions was to hear a large string orchestra play his arrangement of Laura.

The next sessions for the album took place on 27 January 1950, with the full orchestra assembled for the two Alec Wilder compositions. Farnon remembers that he used Wilder’s original scores, making only minor alterations to suit the special requirements of his orchestra. In The Blue Of The Evening featured Frank Reidy on clarinet. In later years Reidy performed on many Farnon sessions, and eventually became the ‘fixer’, hiring the other musicians for the orchestra.

In Dawn To Dusk (known in the USA as Rhapsody For Piano And Orchestra) Farnon chose fellow Canadian Denny Vaughan for the solo piano part. Vaughan was a talented musician who also possessed a fine singing voice. Like Farnon, he was brought from his homeland to Britain during the war, and appeared in numerous broadcasts. After the war he worked with Geraldo, before eventually returning to progress his career in radio and television in North America. (Readers are reminded that Murray Ginsberg’s fine tribute to Denny Vaughan appeared in our June 2001 issue).

Alec Wilder has been described as an urbane, well-read, intelligent and rather poetic individual. His work was highly regarded by his peers, and he wrote a book about popular music which is almost regarded as a ‘bible’ by many in the music business, while others strongly disagree with some of his findings. He came into contact with the young Frank Sinatra, who did him the honour of conducting several of his works in December 1945, which were released by Columbia Records in the USA. Wilder’s best-known tunes include I’ll Be Around and Who Can I Turn To.

The full orchestra returned to Kingsway Hall on 3 February 1950 for three numbers showcasing Farnon’s affinity with orchestral jazz: Yes! We Have No Bananas, Blue Skies and Don’t Blame Me. Each scintillating score includes a feature for Dave Goldberg, the legendary guitar player. He was a member of the Ted Heath Band in the early 1950s, and went with them on an American tour. His undoubted talent was recognised, and he decided to stay there for a while. For some reason he chose to use the surname ‘Gilbert’ (rather than Goldberg) and the US release of Don’t Blame Me credits ‘Dave Gilbert’ as the guitar soloist with the Robert Farnon Orchestra. Sadly this genius became disenchanted with the way in which the popular music business was going, and he died at an early age from a drugs overdose.

"Flirtation Walk" was recorded in April 1954 and released in Britain the following October. The titles nearly all come from American films and shows of the 1930s and 1940s, the ‘baby’ of the set being My Foolish Heart, first heard in 1950 in the Susan Hayward film of the same name. One other number stands out for its surprise inclusion on the LP: I Love A Lassie, co-composed by the Scottish comedian Sir Harry Lauder, who made it world-famous. It provides the perfect lesson for aspiring arrangers, showing the way in which Farnon can give a bright new treatment to a well-known piece which almost defies being scored for a ‘serious’ orchestra (the other obvious example on this CD is Yes! We Have No Bananas).

The title tune Flirtation Walk contains one of the maestro’s musical jokes, which he has only recently publicly admitted. It was actually noticed around ten years ago by American musician Jeff Sultanof while working on a reconstruction of the score for a possible performance. It is Farnon’s one and only brush with atonal music, and occurs at around 1 min 10 secs and lasts for just 15 seconds. It is a short bridge at the end of the first chorus, and sounds like a lapse into one of the extreme jazz styles that were emerging at that time. Farnon greatly admired (and had once met) Bela Bartók; when asked why this was his only example of atonal music he explained: "It is really a kind of mathematical music - not quite my scene. I prefer to leave such matters in the hands of the experts like Bartók."

As a young arranger, Farnon’s wicked sense of humour often delighted fellow musicians. There is a story of a new score he did for Geraldo, which contained a terrible chord - obviously unmusical and completely wrong. When the musicians protested that they couldn’t play it, Geraldo sternly told them: "If Bob Farnon’s written it, it must be right, and you must play it!" Fortunately he was let in on the joke before the work was actually broadcast.

The two albums featured on this CD are prime examples of Robert Farnon’s undoubted talent in being able to transform often simple tunes into minor light orchestral masterpieces. Each and every one of these melodies has been carefully crafted to provide a wealth of beautiful sounds, bringing fresh rewards for the attentive listener at each successive hearing.

The American releases of these albums were packaged in different LP covers, and these are reproduced in full colour on the back page of the CD booklet:

"Presenting Robert Farnon" London LL812; "Flirtation Walk" London LL1053.

Robert Farnon completed the first movement of "The Mountbatten Suite" earlier this year, and as the December issue of Journal Into Melody closed for press the first performance was scheduled to take place on 18 October in Portsmouth. RFS members who attended our London meetings in the early 1990’s may well have had the pleasure of speaking to Sir Vivian Dunn. This distinguished ‘Man of Military Music’ was also a great lover of light music, and his LPs conducting the Orchestra of the Light Music Society are still regarded as being the definitive performances of many of the works included on those fondly recalled EMI albums from 30 years ago.

Sir Vivian died on 3 April 1995 aged 86. At the time he had been working on a "Mountbatten Suite", and had already completed the second and third movements, which he called Broadlands and Man of Action. For some reason he decided that he would compose the first movement last - it was to be called Man of Destiny. Sadly he never finished his work.

Early in 2000, Sir Vivian’s son Paddy (also a welcome visitor to our London meetings) decided to try and see if his father’s suite could be completed, and he asked Robert Farnon if he would be willing to compose the first movement.

Bob and Sir Vivian had known each other during World War II (both had conducted orchestras for the entertainment of the armed forces), and had remained friends ever since. Indeed the strength of Sir Vivian’s admiration for his work was such that Robert Farnon’s music became firmly established in the repertoire of the Royal Yacht orchestra during most state and private occasions during the post war years of Vivian Dunn’s appointment as Director of Music until 1954 and, it is understood, that tradition continued uninterrupted until HMY Britannia was de-commissioned some 45 years later. One of the light music works conducted by Sir Vivian for EMI was Robert Farnon’s A La Claire Fontaine.

In the biography of Sir Vivian Dunn Fiddler on the March, there are several references to Bob and their long friendship. On page 238 Bob completes a warm tribute by saying: "It was a special privilege to have known such a great man who became, not only a personal friend, but a great hero." The book also contains a summary of the relevance and importance of the "Mountbatten Suite".

Paddy had first sought the approval of Countess Mountbatten, who was delighted at the thought of Bob being approached. Her husband, Lord Brabourne, apparently knew Robert Farnon’s wife Patricia very well, from their days in films together.

Bob agreed to the commission in July 2000, and his completed score was delivered to Paddy Dunn in May - the delay mainly due to the move from ‘La Falaise’. (Bob jokingly told Paddy that he could have finished the work sooner, but he had mislaid his copy of his treasured Lloyd Webber chord chart during the house move!)

The Principal Director of Music, Royal Marines, Lt. Col. Richard Waterer, has been arranging to have the complete score and parts copied and printed, and as we went to press we learned that Man of Destiny’s first public performance would occur in Portsmouth on 18 October at St. Mary’s Church, Fratton, played by the orchestra of the Royal Band - the new title, by Royal Command, of what was the Royal Yacht Band. The reason for this somewhat strange location is that is where the Royal Marines School of Music currently holds its monthly winter concerts, a tradition introduced by Sir Vivian when the School was located at Deal. It is also hoped that the work will be recorded for commercial release, possibly by a symphony orchestra.

Both Robert Farnon and Paddy Dunn are keen that RFS members should have the opportunity to see Bob’s original pencil sketches for the first movement, Man of Destiny, and these are reproduced in the December 2001 issue of Journal Into Melody.

Robert Farnon will be featured on a new CD in the Naxos Historical ‘British Light Music’ series. This will include both Decca and Chappell recordings, and the titles selected are: Jumping Bean, A Star Is Born, Portrait of a Flirt, Journey Into Melody, Willie the Whistler, Melody Fair, Canadian Caravan, Ottawa Heights, Mountain Grandeur, Gateway to the West, Huckle-Buckle, How Beautiful is Night, State Occasion, Taj Mahal, High Street, Sophistication Waltz, Manhattan Playboy, String Time, In a Calm, Peanut Polka. Readers will recognise that all of these tracks are available on other CDs, but Naxos is widely distributed around the world so it is good that Bob’s music will now receive strong exposure. The CD is expected in January 2002, and the catalogue number will be Naxos 8110849.

Richard Jenkinson was formerly principal cellist with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has recently recorded a new CD of British works for the cello, and one of the tracks is Song of Scandia by Robert Farnon. In our March issue of Journal Into Melody we hope to have further information regarding the release of this CD. We understand that Richard has expressed the wish to continue the association with Robert Farnon, and Bob may compose a piece specially for him. In fact he has recently re-scored Pictures In The Fire for cello and piano, and Bob feels that it works wonderfully for this combination of instruments.

As we have reported previously, in recent months Robert Farnon has been working on a collection of new arrangements and compositions, concentrating on strings, harp and flute. As we go to press (early in October), Bob is just putting the finishing touches to the last of them, and the CD was scheduled to be recorded on 8 November at the Angel Studios, Islington, with the Royal Philharmonic Strings conducted by Jack Parnell.The titles are: Romancing the Phoenix, Little Did I Know, Coeur Brisé, For Eileen, Lady Barbara, She is Fair to be Uncompared, *En Bateau, *Laura, How Beautiful is Night, Peacehaven, For "C.K.", A Violin Miniature, Intermezzo for Harp, Occasion to Reminisce, *The Touch of your Lips and To a Young Lady. All are Robert Farnon compositions, except titles marked*.

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Light Music CDs. Some highly recommended releases.

Light Music is ignored by most Record Stores and Radio Stations, yet it is enjoyed by millions of people around the world.

You may know it as Easy Listening or Concert Music ... or maybe Middle-of-the Road. Whatever you happen to call it, Light Music offers relaxing enjoyment at any time of the day or night, and we hope that you will return regularly to this page in the Robert Farnon Society website to keep fully informed on the latest releases.

Releases up to December 2014

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"Melodies on the move"
Melodies on the move - CHRCD1CHRCD 1
This CD features 24 light and easy instrumental recordings from the vaults of Mozart Edition library.

Proceeds from the sale of this CD go to support Chichester Hospital Radio. More information here.

1 MERRY-GO-ROUND WALTZ
Alan Perry The Perry/Gardner Orchestra conducted by Alan Perry 2:12
2 LOVELY LIPS
Hans Wolf-Kraus Jack Wolfe and his Music 2:35
3 ON THE SMOOTH SIDE
Frank Chacksfield Antony Wood and his Orchestra 2:25
4 EL REMENDADO
Maurice van de Valle Armand Bernard and his Orchestra 2:25
5 MISS ANNA Louis Rey Detlef Rath and his Orchestra 2:51
6 SAY IT WITH FLOWERS
Ralf Heninger Antony Wood and his Orchestra 3:22
7 HIGHLAND HOLIDAY
Ralf Heninger Antony Wood and his Orchestra 2:33
8 OFF THE CUFF
Paul Fenhoulet Walt Peters and his Orchestra 2:36
9 SANTIAGO DE CHILE
Rudolf Maluck Orchestra Tropicana conducted by Lou Whiteson 4:26
10 LITTLE CLAUDIA
Carlos Diernhammer Jack Wolfe and his Music 1:59
11 IRISH IMP
William Gardner Antony Wood and his Orchestra 1:59
12 PHILOMENA
Hans Wolf-Kraus / Lothar Nakat Jack Wolfe and his Music 2:31
13 ON TWO CHORDS
Armand Bernard Armand Bernard and his Orchestra 2:23
14 SERENADE FOR LOVERS
Ralf Heninger Detlef Rath and his Orchestra 2:15
15 ALPINE STROLL
Louis Rey Antony Wood and his Orchestra 2:45
16 STRANGER IN THE NIGHT
Peter Thomas Peter Thomas and his Band 2:23
17 FUNNY HONEY
Carlos Diernhammer Jack Wolfe and his Music 2:22
18 TWILIGHT DREAMS
Albert Delroy Walt Peters and his Orchestra 4:06
19 JACKY’S WALTZ
Hans Wolf-Kraus Jack Wolfe and his Music 1:39
20 MAKIN’ HAY
Richard Toeman Walt Peters and his Orchestra 3:19
21 GOING STEADY
Conny Augustin Orchestra Raphaele conducted by Peter Walden 2:32
22 SOFTLY SWAYING
Harry Essex Antony Wood and his Orchestra 3:00
23 BLUE BLAZER Ralf Heninger Werner Eisbrenner and his Orchestra 1:56
24 BOMBA
Luis Gomez Orchestra Tropicana conducted by Lou Whiteson 2:12

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IAIN SUTHERLAND CONCERT ORCHESTRA
“Orient Express” - 20 Light Classics Alto ALC 1250“Orient Express” - 20 Light Classics
Alto ALC 1250

1. Waltz
2. Cockles and Mussels
3. Tea for Two
4. The Skaters' Waltz
5. Swedish Rhapsody
6. Tango
7. A Star Is Born
8. Fado
9. La Calinda
10. Gymnopedie No. 1
11. Procession of the Sardar
12. Automne
13. Praeludium
14. The Holy Boy
15. Tango: Jealousy
16. Humoresque
17. Czardas
18. Imtermezzo: Im Chambre Separée
19. Espana
20. Overture: Susannah's Secret

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GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5215
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5215 "Song of the West"Song Of The West

1 Gateway To The West (Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM SE 3804 1960

2 "Bonanza" – Theme from the TV series (David Rose)
NELSON RIDDLE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Capitol ST 1869 1962

3 El Rancho Grande (My Ranch) (Silvano R Ramos, arr. Percy Faith)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CS 8038 1957

4 Oklahoma! (Richard Rodgers)
THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
RCA LSP 2513 1962

5 Prairie Sail Car (from "Around The World In Eighty Days") (Victor Young)
THE CINEMA SOUND STAGE ORCHESTRA
Stereo Fidelity SF-2800 1958

6 Ranch House Party (from "Portrait Of A Frontier Town") (Don Gillis)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by STANFORD ROBINSON
Boosey & Hawkes O 2128 1948

7 Prairie Sunset (Ernest Tomlinson)
BOSWORTH ORCHESTRA
Bosworth BCV 1376 1962

8 Sioux War Dance (Ray Martin)
RAY MARTIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Columbia DB 2882 1951

9 Colorado Trail (Traditional, arr. Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM SE 3804 1960

10 Overland To Oregon – Suite (Trevor Duncan, real name Leonard Charles Trebilco)
Unidentified Orchestra
Impress IA 222 & 223 1960

11 Stampede (Herbert Leonard Stevens)
NEW CENTURY ORCHESTRA Conducted by SIDNEY TORCH
Francis, Day & Hunter FDH 042 1947

12 Frontier Marshall (Jack Beaver)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (‘The Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on record label)
Chappell C 586 1957

13 Pow Wow (Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca LK 4119 1956

14 Tall In The Saddle (John Cacavas)
TELECAST ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Chappell C 642 1959

15 Home On The Range (Traditional)
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca SKL 4073 1959

16 Rocky Trail To A Peaceful Valley (Waters; Hall)
LEROY HOLMES AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM 863 1955

17 Prairie Rider (Charles Williams, arr. Cecil Milner)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by JACK LEON
Boosey & Hawkes O 2193 1950

18 Colorado Sunset (Jack Brown)
NEW CENTURY ORCHESTRA Conducted by SIDNEY TORCH
Francis, Day & Hunter FDH 050 1948

19 American Panorama (Wilfred Burns)
THE SYMPHONIA ORCHESTRA Conducted by CURT ANDERSEN
Charles Brull/Harmonic CBL 493 1962

20 California Here I Come (Buddy De Sylva; Joseph Meyer; Al Jolson)
HAL MOONEY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury SR 60047 1959

21 "High Noon" - Theme from the film (Dimitri Tiomkin)
DAVID CARROLL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury MG 20156 1956

22 Lazy Cowboy (Ruth Guthrie)
RAY MARTIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Columbia DB 3258 1953

23 Song Of The West (Billy Vaughn, arr. George Greeley)
BILLY VAUGHN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
DOT DLP 25442 1962

Stereo: tracks 1-5, 9, 10, 15, 20 & 23; rest in mono.

The honour of opening this collection goes to Robert Farnon, widely regarded by many as one of the finest composer/arranger/conductors of Light Music during the second half of the 20th century. Born in Toronto, Canada, Robert Joseph Farnon (1917-2005) is known for many of his catchy themes, notably Jumping Bean (on Guild GLCD5162) and Portrait of a Flirt (GLCD5120). In his later career he was in demand to arrange and conduct for major international stars such as Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne and George Shearing. Gateway To The West is one of his earlier works, extolling his love of his native Canada. Later we hear his sensitive arrangement of the traditional folk melody Colorado Trail which contrasts strongly with another Farnon original Pow Wow.

David Rose (1910-1990) was one of the biggest names in American light music circles during the middle years of the 20th century. Born in London, England ‘lost’ him when the family moved to the USA when he was aged just four. A prolific composer and arranger, he contributed themes and incidental music to a number of top television shows, one of the most memorable being Bonanza. On this occasion the version by Nelson Riddle (1921-1985) has been selected, proving that this great American arranger and conductor’s talents extended far beyond the legendary work with Frank Sinatra which made him internationally famous.

Percy Faith (1908-1976) was also born in Toronto, Canada, and in 1940 he moved 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. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Faith arranged all his own material, and his exciting and vibrant scores made his work stand out among the rest. His recordings prove that he had a love for Latin American music, and with El Rancho Grande he exploits his arranging talents to the full.

George Miltiades Melachrino (1909-1965) was one of the big names in British light music from the 1940s to the 1960s. Born in London, he became a professional musician, competent on clarinet, alto and tenor saxophone, violin and viola, and he worked with many British dance bands in the 1930s. After war service he built an orchestra which became one of the finest in the world; when long playing records arrived, Melachrino’s sold in vast quantities, especially in the USA. Many of his recordings featured the great songwriters of the day, such as Richard Rodgers (1902-1979) whose title music for Oklahoma! must be one of the most rousing numbers ever written to honour a US state.

Chicago-born Victor Young (1900-1956) enjoyed a successful career on Broadway and in Hollywood films, although his greatest triumph – the score for the film "Around The World In Eighty Days" – was completed shortly before his death, so he never knew that it gained him a posthumous Oscar. Young called the sequence featuring the Wild West Prairie Sail Car.

The American composer Donald Eugene Gillis (1912-1978) seemingly did not get the full attention from the American record industry which his talents deserved. It was the British Decca label that brought him to London in 1950 for several sessions at the Kingsway Hall which have preserved for posterity some of his best – and most quirky – creations. Anyone who can compose a piece of music called "Symphony No. 5½" is almost demanding not to be taken too seriously, and to make sure that nobody missed the joke Gillis subtitled his work "A Symphony For Fun". The first movement Perpetual Emotion is on Guild GLCD5156, while the third movement Scherzofrenia (GLCD5178) is also typical of the carefree, almost whimsical, work that he offered to music lovers in the middle years of the last century. This time the choice is his Ranch House Party from a suite called "Portrait Of A Frontier Town".

Ernest Tomlinson MBE (b.1924) is one of Britain’s most talented composers, working mainly in light music, but also highly regarded for his choral works and brass band pieces. During a very productive career, he has contributed numerous titles to the recorded music libraries of many different publishers, often under the pseudonym ‘Alan Perry’. In recent years Ernest has worked hard to preserve thousands of music manuscripts that would otherwise have been destroyed, and he is the President of the Light Music Society. Prairie Sunset is one of his numerous pieces of production music.

Raymond Stuart Martin (born Raymond Wolfgang Kohn in Vienna, 1918-1988) fled from the Nazis and settled in England before the outbreak of World War 2 where he became known as ‘Ray Martin’. He was one of the biggest names in British popular music during the 1950s, due to his work on radio, television, films and especially the recording studios. During the early part of his career he contributed several pieces to the Harmonic Mood Music Library. One of them was Sioux War Dance, and when it became noticed he made a commercial recording of it for Columbia – the EMI label that he would later manage for several of its most successful years in the mid-1950s. He returns just before our final track with Lazy Cowboy.

Trevor Duncan (real name Leonard Charles Trebilco, 1924-2005) was working as a BBC sound engineer when one of his first compositions, High Heels (on Guild GLCD5124) made the light music world sit up and take notice.Eventually his successful and prolific output mushroomed to such an extent that he had to give up his ‘day job’ at the BBC, and also find several different publishers simply because he was writing too much for just one to handle. This is illustrated by the fact that 36 of his works have already appeared on Guild Light Music CDs, and he was the featured composer in "Hall Of Fame Volume 2" (GLCD 5124). Although he wrote some catchy individual pieces, a good number of his contributions to mood music libraries were suites featuring several movements developing a distinctive main theme. One such commission was ‘Overland To Oregon’, and the separate parts have been edited together to form a continuous work. Duncan gave them the following descriptions: Main Theme, Frontier Town, Night Camp, Wagon Train, Crossing The Bighorn, Indian Country, Indian Attack, Beckoning Horizon.

Len Stevens(d. 1989 - his full name was Herbert Leonard Stevens) was a prolific British composer, contributing mood music to several different libraries, with a style that his admirers quickly grew to recognise. In common with so many of the talented musicians employed in the business, he could turn his hand to any kind of music that was needed, and he was also involved in the musical theatre. Stampede is his seventeenth Guild appearance, and it is one of the early recordings conducted by Sidney Torch (1908-1990) for the Francis, Day & Hunter mood music library.

Although little-remembered by most music lovers today, Jack Beaver (1900-1963), like the afore-mentioned Len Stevens, contributed far more music to the entertainment scene than was realised. Beaver worked at Gaumont-British Studios under Louis Levy during the 1930s, and was hired by Warner Bros. to run the music department at their British studio at Teddington in the early 1940s. His contributions to production music libraries (especially Chappell and Francis, Day & Hunter) were consistently of a high standard. Among some of the most notable are Picture Parade (GLCD5149), Cavalcade Of Youth (GLCD5195) and World Of Tomorrow (GLCD5135). Frontier Marshall is his sixteenth composition to be made widely available again on a Guild CD.

John Cacavas (1930-2014) was a prolific American composer, author and conductor, with over 1,500 titles to his credit. He has also worked widely in Britain and Europe, and in 1980 was elected president of the Composers and Lyricists Guild of America. His film scores include "Airport 1975", "Airport ‘77" and "Horror Express", as well as numerous TV series, notably "Kojak" and "Hawaii Five-O". He has contributed to several publishers’ mood music libraries, including Chappells - the source of his Tall In The Saddle. He remained active in the music business, dividing his time between homes in California and London.

Home On The Range is one of the best-loved traditional airs associated with the American West, and it receives a fine treatment by the world famous orchestra conducted by Annunzio Paolo Mantovani (1905-1980). Born in Venice, his family came to England when he was aged four and he was something of a prodigy on the violin by the time he reached sixteen. But he leaned more towards popular music, and fronted many different kinds of ensembles before long-playing records (especially when stereo arrived) brought him worldwide acclaim. Occasionally he orchestrated some of his music himself, but he built up a fine team of arrangers including Ronald Binge (1910-1979), Roland Shaw (1920-2012) and Cecil Milner (1905-1989). Unfortunately the one responsible for this piece has not been identified.

Leroy Holmes (born Alvin Holmes, 1913-1986) scored Hollywood films and radio programmes during his early career, before becoming one of the mainstays of MGM’s conducting ‘team’, also arranging many of their recordings. We are probably listening to his work in Rocky Trail To A Peaceful Valley. Eventually Holmes moved on to United Artists where he conducted many of their contract singers and also recorded albums under his own name. His screen credits include the films "The Bridge In The Jungle" (1970) and "Smile" (1975).

Londoner Charles Williams (born Isaac Cozerbreit 1893-1978) began his career accompanying silent films, then played violin under the batons of Beecham and Elgar. Right from the start of the ‘talkies’, he provided scores for numerous British movies, and his Dream Of Olwen (GLCD5192)is still remembered long after the film in which it appeared – "While I Live". By far the greatest volume of his composing skills was employed in mood music, providing hundreds of works for several libraries (especially Chappells), and over 40 have already been included on Guild CDs. On rare occasions his work was accepted by other libraries, and Prairie Rider is one of three pieces he wrote for Boosey & Hawkes.

Jackie Brown was one of Britain’s leading cinema organists, equally at home on large theatre consoles as well as their small electronic counterparts performed by enthusiasts at home. His output as a composer was relatively sparse, although light music aficionados regard his Metropolis (on Guild GLCD 5102) as one of the finest pieces of its kind. He worked on around a dozen films, and was the unseen conductor who used to direct the Billy Cotton Band for its television shows while Bill himself performed on-screen. Jackie also became a household name in Britain thanks to his regular appearances on Hughie Green’s (1920-1997) "Double Your Money" TV quiz show. Colorado Sunset is one of several pieces he wrote for the Francis, Day & Hunter mood music library.

Yet another busy composer employed by British production music publishers was Bernard Wilfred Harris, better known as ‘Wilfred Burns’ (1917-1990) with over 200 titles to his credit. After service during the Second World War he worked at Elstree studios before eventually becoming a freelance film composer and musical director. His first of over twenty films was around 1949, with his final score in the 1970s. His best-known was probably the large screen version of the popular BBC television series "Dad’s Army" in 1971. American Panorama is one of his many pieces accepted by various London publishers, and it is his eighth contribution to a Guild CD.

California Here I Come is usually played as a bright up-tempo number. Our version features the work of Harold (Hal) Mooney (1911-1995), an American composer, arranger and conductor who worked with most of the top bands and singers during a long career. It demonstrates how a fresh approach to a familiar and often hackneyed melody can be given fresh life in the hands of an expert arranger.

The familiar theme from the film "High Noon" is conducted by David Carroll (1913-2008 – real name Rodell Walter ‘Nook’ Schreier) who was well-known in his native USA as a conductor and arranger. In the mid-1940s he joined the newly formed Mercury Records where he spent the next 15 years. Initially employed as an arranger and conductor, he progressed to being a producer and was later promoted as head of artists and repertoire.

Last on the podium this time, with the title track for this collection, is Richard ‘Billy’ Vaughn (1919-1991), born in Glasgow, Kentucky, who began his career playing piano and singing baritone in the group ‘The Hilltoppers’, before joining Dot Records as musical director where he accompanied many of the label’s top singers. In 1965 he began touring internationally with his band, achieving considerable popularity in Japan, Korea and Brazil. His own composition Song Of The West receives a suitably dramatic interpretation by George Greeley (born Georgio Guariglia, 1917-2007) who was an American pianist, conductor and composer working extensively in films and television. During his early career he arranged for popular bandleaders such as Tommy Dorsey. In the 1950s he was a staff pianist at Columbia Pictures, and received particular praise for his work on "On The Waterfront" (1954) and "The Eddy Duchin Story" (1956). In later years he performed as piano soloist and guest conductor with leading orchestras in many countries.

David Ades

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GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5216

GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5216 "Springtime"Springtime

1 The First Day Of Spring (Leroy Anderson) LEROY ANDERSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Brunswick STA 3030 1960

2 April Is Coming (Assi Rahbani; Mansour Rahbani, arr. Ron Goodwin)
RON GOODWIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Parlophone PCS 3028 1962

3 Tip Toe Through The Tulips With Me (Joseph A. Burke; Al Dubin)
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca LK 4135 1956

4 Blossom (Mark Charlap, real name Morris Isaac Charlip)
RICHARD HAYMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury MG 20048 1954

5 Spring In Baden Baden (Frühling In Baden-Baden) (Lothar Brühne)
BADEN-BADEN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by HANS ROSBAUD
Ariola 36 809 C 1958

6 Springtime (Also known as "Love’s Springtime") (Cedric King Palmer)
THE BOSWORTH ORCHESTRA
Bosworth BCV 1274 1961

7 Mayflies (Edward Stanelli)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOLF VAN DER LINDEN (‘Nat Nyll’ on disc label)
Boosey & Hawkes O 2289 1957

8 Spring Cruise (Peter Yorke)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on disc label)
Chappell C 417 1952

9 Spring Gambol (Harold Smart)
THE LIGHT SYMPHONIA Conducted by ROBERTO CAPELLI
Conroy BM 270 1961

10 Mother Nature (Harry Rabinowitz)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOLF VAN DER LINDEN (‘Nat Nyll’ on disc label)
Boosey & Hawkes O 2344 1959

11 Garden Party (George French)
L’ORCHESTRE DEVEREAUX Conducted by GEORGES DEVEREAUX
Francis, Day & Hunter FDH 1205 1953

12 Those Far Away Hills (Reginald King)
REGENT CLASSIC ORCHESTRA
Bosworth BC 1230 1949

13 Spring Promenade (Frederic Curzon)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CEDRIC DUMONT
Boosey & Hawkes OT 2336 1958

14 Rainbow’s Glory (Cedric King Palmer)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS METROPOLE ORCHESTRA
Paxton PR 584 1954

15 High Cloud (Herbert Leonard Stevens)
CRAWFORD LIGHT ORCHESTRA (probably STUTTGART RADIO ORCH)
Josef Weinberger Theme Music JW 131-A 1957

16 Spring Fashion (Alan Braden)
GROUP-FORTY ORCHESTRA Conducted by LAURIE JOHNSON
KPM 052 1960

17 Spring Song (Haydn Wood)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES WILLIAMS
Chappell C 214 1945

18 Prelude For Gardenias (Peter Barrington, real name Felton Rapley)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by JACK LEON
Boosey & Hawkes OT 2195 1950

19 Forest Mood (Frederic Bayco)
THE BOSWORTH ORCHESTRA
Bosworth BCV 1359 1961

20 June Is Calling (Wilfrid Sanderson)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by JAY WILBUR
Boosey & Hawkes O 2004 1944

21 April Kiss (Peter Dennis, real name Dennis Alfred Berry)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS METROPOLE ORCHESTRA
Paxton PR 527 1952

22 (I’ll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time (Fleetson; Albert Von Tilzer)
ERNEST MAXIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Top Rank BUY 020 1960

23 Sunbeams And Butterflies (Albert William Ketèlbey)
ELITE NOVELTY ORCHESTRA
Bosworth BC 1062 1938

24 We’ll Gather Lilacs (from "Perchance To Dream") (Ivor Novello, arr. Sidney Torch)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES WILLIAMS
BBC London Transcription Service 12PH 32255/6 1945

25 Beautiful Spring (Paul Lincke)
LONDON PROMENADE ORCHESTRA Conducted by ERIC ROGERS
Decca LF 1166 1954

Stereo: tracks 1 & 2; rest in mono.

Leroy Anderson(1908-1975) is probably the best-loved American light music composer of his generation. For many years he was the chief arranger for the Boston Pops, and its famous conductor Arthur Fiedler introduced many Anderson novelties to an appreciative world. Leroy’s contribution to this collection is simply the composer’s paean of praise for what many regard as the most welcome season of the year, since it ushers in the warmer and lighter days that are so refreshing after the long, gloomy winter months. The First Day Of Spring is certainly greeted by many with eager anticipation, and it can’t arrive too soon!

Ronald (Ron) Alfred Goodwin (1925-2003) was a brilliant British composer, arranger and conductor, who rose to prominence in Britain during the 1950s through a series of recordings that revealed a fresh and vibrant style of light music that greatly appealed to the public. His ability to arrange and compose soon resulted in commissions to work in films, and popular movies like "633 Squadron" (1964), "Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines" (1965) and Alfred Hitchcock’s "Frenzy" (1972) which introduced him to a worldwide audience. April Is Coming was featured in an album of music associated with Lebanon.

Frank (Francis Charles) Chacksfield (1914-1995) conducted one of the finest light orchestras in the world, and during his long recording career with Decca alone, it is estimated that his albums sold more than 20 million copies. Tip Toe Through The Tulips has been popular ever since it first appeared in the 1929 movie musical "Gold Diggers of Broadway".

Richard Warren Joseph Hayman (1920-2014) as well as being a respected arranger and conductor, was also a harmonica virtuoso, and he sometimes adapted his scores of popular melodies so that he could perform on his favourite instrument (he can be heard in Blossom in this collection). He followed Leroy Anderson as an arranger for the Boston ‘Pops’ Orchestra over a period of more than 30 years, and also served as Music Director of Mercury Records. He was regularly in demand to orchestrate Broadway shows and film soundtracks, and notable among his own compositions are No Strings Attached (GLCD5105) and Skipping Along (GLCD5131). His recordings reissued on Guild now total 26.

Lothar Brühne (1900-1958) was a German composer who seems to have specialised in writing for films. His work has already been featured on Guild GLCD5135 (the exuberant Sport And Music for the Bosworth Mood Music Library), and this time he provides the charming Frühling in Baden-Baden.

Cedric King Palmer (1913-1999) was born in Eastbourne, on the south coast of England; he chose not to use his first name professionally. He became a prolific composer of mood music contributing over 600 works during a period of 30 years to the recorded music libraries of several London publishers. He was able to adapt his writing to many different styles, and our title track Springtime and Rainbow’s Glory find him in a reflective, lyrical mood.

Edward Stanelli (real name Edward Stanley De Groot, 1895-1961) was a British composer and comedian who may still be remembered by some people for his "Hornchestra", constructed from a weird collection of electric and bulb motor horns on which he played jazz music. He demonstrated this device on 2 April 1937 when he made his television debut from Alexandra Palace in London. During his early career it seemed that his future was on the concert platform, both as a conductor and violinist. But such was his popularity with audiences in 1930s music halls that he tended to rely upon comedy rather than a ‘serious’ career in music. Happily he did not completely ignore his talents as a composer: in this collection he is represented with Mayflies, and his longer work Atlantis has previously appeared on Guild GLCD5118 as part of a compilation appropriately titled "Buried Treasures".

Peter Yorke (1902-1966) worked with many leading British bands during his formative years, some of the most notable being Percival Mackey, Jack Hylton and Henry Hall. Later on he conducted one of Britain’s most popular broadcasting orchestras from the 1940s until the 1960s. Peter Yorke was also a gifted composer and he created many stunning arrangements that brought out some fine performances from the top musicians he always employed. Spring Cruise is one of many works he contributed to British production music libraries, and it is his nineteenth composition to be included on a Guild CD.

During the middle years of the last century Harold Smart was well known in Britain as a popular organist. He was usually associated with the Hammond Organ, and followed in the footsteps of his famous father Charles Smart, with whom he sometimes performed. Harold excelled at recordings in strict dance tempo throughout, but he does not appear to have been a prolific composer. Therefore it is nice to be able to hear his Spring Gambol, which reveals another aspect of his considerable talents.

Harry Rabinowitz MBE (born Johannesburg, South Africa 1916) came to England in 1946 and was employed by the BBC, first as a pianist then as conductor of the BBC Revue Orchestra. In the 1970s he was Head of Music for London Weekend Television, and he also conducted a number of film scores. His composition Mother Nature is his seventh on a Guild CD; sometimes he wrote under the pseudonym ‘Andy Thurlow’.

George French (born Bentley, Yorkshire, 1921) was a British violinist who broadcast frequently on the BBC in the happy times of the last century when radio stations actually employed ‘live’ musicians. He contributed to many popular series ("Music While You Work" being one prime example) and performed (often as leader) for most of the well-known conductors. He also had a gift for composing, and Garden Party is his fifth appearance on a Guild CD.

Reginald Claude McMahon King (1904-1991) was an accomplished pianist, who performed under the baton of Sir Henry Wood at the Proms soon after he completed his studies at London’s Royal Academy. In 1927 he took his orchestra into Swan & Edgar’s restaurant at their Piccadilly Circus store, where they remained until the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939. During this period he also started broadcasting regularly (his total number of broadcasts exceeded 1,400), and he made numerous recordings, often featuring his own attractive compositions. Once again we feature him as a contributor to one of London’s production music libraries with Those Far Away Hills, his ninth composition on Guild.

London-born Frederic Curzon (1899-1973) was a charming, unassuming man who devoted his early career to working in the theatre, and like so many of his contemporaries he gradually became involved in providing music for silent films. As well as being a fine pianist and conductor, he also played the organ, and his first big success as a composer was his "Robin Hood Suite" in 1937. This encouraged him to devote more of his time to writing and broadcasting, and several of his works have become light music ‘standards’, notably March Of The Bowmen (from "Robin Hood Suite") on GLCD5106, and The Boulevardier (GLCD5177). Frederic Curzon was eventually appointed Head of Light Music at London publishers Boosey and Hawkes (where his Spring Promenade originated), and for a while was also President of the Light Music Society.

Len Stevens(d. 1989) (his full name was Herbert Leonard Stevens) was a prolific British composer, contributing mood music to several different libraries, with a style that his admirers quickly grew to recognise. In common with so many of the talented musicians employed in the business, he could turn his hand to any kind of music that was needed, and he was also involved in the musical theatre. High Cloud comes from the Josef Weinberger mood music library.

For around three decades from the 1960s onwards Alan Braden was a familiar name on British Television as the musical director for many top variety shows. He also arranged and composed a fair amount of the music involved, although he was not always credited. Spring Fashion was one of his early works for the new KPM Music Library.

Yorkshireman Haydn Wood(1882-1959) enjoyed much success during the early years of the last century with ballads, before concentrating on full scale orchestral works and suites. Roses of Picardy has been in the repertoire of most singers of the 20th century (even Frank Sinatra!), and that alone should justify Haydn Wood’s place among the great popular composers. Recent recordings of his works have demonstrated the depth and wide scope of his composing abilities, especially in suites. Spring Song is a delicate tone poem that rivals the works of many of his peers.

Edmund Felton Rapley, ARCM, (1907-1976) graduated from being a church organist in Gosport, to a familiar name on the BBC especially during the 1940s and 1950s. His own pieces included the Overture Down The Solent (on Guild GLCD 5140) and the catchy Peacock Patrol (written under the pseudonym ‘Peter Barrington’) on GLCD 5143. He wears his ‘Barrington’ hat again for Prelude For Gardenias.

London-born Frederic Bayco (sometimes spelt Fredric, 1913-1970) was an organist and composer who contributed pieces to several recorded music libraries. He was born in London, and attended Brighton School of Music. Later he was made a Fellow of the Royal College of Organists. Many of his compositions have an historic or martial feel, although the inspiration for Forest Mood is simply the beauty of nature. During the 1960s he was Chairman of The Light Music Society.

Wilfred (Wilfrid) Ernest Sanderson (1878-1935) was the son of a Wesleyan Methodist minister. Although born in Ipswich, he was educated in London, and from 1895 to 1904 studied the organ as pupil assistant under Frederick Bridge at Westminster Abbey. Thereafter he appears to have based himself in the Yorkshire town of Doncaster, where he was Organist of the Parish Church from 1904 to 1923. This seems to have been his most productive period as a composer; in total he wrote around 170 ballads and several short piano pieces. He died in Nutfield, Surrey, from typhoid at the relatively early age of 56.

Peter Dennis hides the true identity of Londoner Dennis Alfred Berry (1921-1994), who also composed (sometimes in collaboration with others) under pseudonyms such as Frank Sterling, Charles Kenbury and Michael Rodney. For part of the 1950s he ran the Paxton library (from which comes April Kiss), but at the same time he also contributed titles to other publishers. Eventually he was asked by Southern Music to launch their new Mood Music Library which issued its first recordings on 78s in 1960.

In Britain Ernest Maxin became known in the 1960s and 1970s for his work as producer and director of many popular television programmes. He also made a few recordings (he has already appeared on a previous Guild CD with No Orchids For My Lady - GLCD5182), but whether or not he actually had a hand in arranging and/or conducting the music is hard to discover. His contribution to this CD is the popular song (I’ll Be With You) In Apple Blossom Time.

Albert William Ketèlbey (1875-1959), born in the Lozells area of Birmingham, was a highly successful composer, who earned the equivalent of millions of pounds during the peak of his popularity. Pieces such as In a Monastery Garden (GLCD5182), The Phantom Melody, In a Persian Market (GLCD5120) and Bells Across the Meadow (GLCD5108)brought him international fame, no doubt assisted by his enthusiastic participation in the rapidly growing business of producing gramophone records. Many of his works were chosen by London publishers Bosworth & Co. for their mood music library, and Sunbeams And Butterflies is an early example in their catalogue.

Ivor Novello (born David Ivor Davies 1893-1951) was a Welsh composer, singer and actor who created some of the most popular shows in London’s West End during the first half of the last century. One of these was "Perchance To Dream" from which comes We’ll Gather Lilacs In The Spring Again… The melody is so good that it happily survives without the familiar lyrics, although our version is considerably enhanced with a superb arrangement by Sidney Torch (1908-1990). It seems he never recorded this commercially, so we are fortunate that a transcription disc of a BBC broadcast from 1945 has survived. Apart from many of his songs which have become standards, Ivor Novello continues to be remembered for the annual awards which bear his name, held in London each Spring.

The German composer Carl Emil Paul Lincke (born in Berlin 1866-1946) worked as a theatre conductor and music publisher in Berlin around the turn of the century. He spent two years in Paris as musical director of the famous Folies-Bergère, but then returned to Berlin, where he conducted at the Apollo Theatre. A versatile musician, he started with the violin, changed to the bassoon and then finally to the piano. He became known around the world for his Glow Worm (on Guild GLCD5106 & 5143), but this was just one number in a large body of musical works. He was generally considered to be ‘the father of Berlin operetta’, putting him (in German speaking countries, at least) on a par with Johann Strauss and Franz Lehar. His Beautiful Spring provides a fitting finale to this seasonal collection.

 

David Ades

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GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5213

Light And Latin

1 Malaguena (Ernesto Lecuona)
WERNER MÜLLER AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘Ricardo Santos’)
Polydor 224 002 SEPH 1960
2 Baia (Na Baixa do Sapateiro) (Ary Barroso, arr. Percy Faith)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CS 8622 1962
3 Cuban Love Song (Jimmy McHugh; Dorothy Fields; Herbert Stothart)
PAUL WESTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CL 572 1954
4 Tico Tico (Zequinha de Abreu)
CARMEN DRAGON Conducting THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL SYMPHONY
Capitol P 8314 1957
5 Poinciana (Nat Simon; Buddy Bernier)
XAVIER CUGAT AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury CMS 18046 1961
6 Duerme (Time Was) (Miguel Prado)
TITO PUENTE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RCA LSP 1479 1957
7 High In Sierra (Ernesto Lecuona)
STANLEY BLACK AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca SKL 4011 1958
8 I Love You (from "Mexican Hayride") (Cole Porter, arr, Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA (‘Jack Saunders’ on disc label)
Everest SDBR 1011 1958
9 Brazil (Aquarela do Brasil) (Ary Barroso, arr. Percy Faith)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CS 8622 1962
10 Beguine By Night (Eric Winstone)
GROUP-FORTY ORCHESTRA
KPM Music KPM 070 1960
11 Adios (Enric Madriguera)
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia ML 4082 1948
12 No Te Importe Saber (René Touzet, arr. Laurie Johnson)
AMBROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA WITH STRINGS Conducted by LAURIE JOHNSON
MGM E 3478 1957
13 Berceuse Cubaine (Frank Engelen)
THE BRUSSELS NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Southern MQ 516 1960
14 Oracion Caribe (Agustin Lara, arr. Mario Ruiz Armengol)
MARIO RUIZ ARMENGOL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RCA LPM 1292 1956
15 Nightingale (Xavier Cugat)
XAVIER CUGAT AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury PPS 6003 1961
16 Noche De Ronda (Be Mine Tonight) (Maria Toroso Lara)
TITO PUENTE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RCA LSP 1479 1957
17 Quiet Village (Les Baxter)
CLEBANOFF STRINGS AND PERCUSSION
Mercury SR 60689 1961
18 Brazilian Butterfly (Ronald Hanmer)
THE CONNAUGHT LIGHT ORCHESTRA
Conroy BM 245 1960
19 Sweet Bolero (Hermann Garst)
EDDIE BARCLAY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury MG 20265 1955
20 The Moon Of Manakoora (from the film "The Hurricane") (Frank Loesser; Alfred Newman)
AXEL STORDAHL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Dot DLP 25282 1960
21 Cordoba (from "Cantos Dos Espana") (Isaac Albéniz)
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CS 8968 1962
22 Adios Mariquita Linda (Marcos A. Jiminez)
DENNIS FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Oriole SEP 7063 1962
23 Siboney (Ernesto Lecuona)
STANLEY BLACK AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca SKL 4011 1958
24 Tropical Merengue (Rafael Merdina Munoz)
RICHARD HAYMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury SR 60000 1958
25 Espana (Emmanuel Chabrier)
CARMEN DRAGON Conducting THE HOLLYWOOD BOWL SYMPHONY
Capitol P 8275 1955

Stereo tracks: 1, 2, 4-9, 15-17 & 20-25; rest in mono

Just as no two music lovers will probably ever agree on the precise boundaries that define Light Music, the aficionados of Latin American will also happily argue about its origins. There seems little doubt that most will accept that the vast continent of the Americas, from Mexico southwards, qualifies as being generally regarded as ‘Latin America’, so the rhythms and styles of more than twenty countries have contributed to its emergence – particularly from the 1930s onwards – as an enjoyable part of the popular music scene. Add to this the influence of music makers from the United States and Europe, and the result is a mix that may sometimes have corrupted the roots, but has succeeded in making what we all regard as ‘Latin American Music’ universally popular. It is therefore hardly surprising that many light orchestras have included it in their repertoire; some have even embraced it wholeheartedly.

During the 1950s the Ricardo Santos Orchestra became familiar to lovers of Latin American music. Eventually the secret came out, that ‘Ricardo Santos’ was actually the prolific German bandleader Werner Müller (1920-1998). Originally a bassoonist, he became the first conductor of the RIAS (Radio In American Sector) Dance Band based in Berlin, but it was not long before Müller began to realise that the public’s love affair with the swing era was gradually starting to wane. Sixteen strings were added to the line-up, and his orchestra built up a strong following through its Polydor recordings. Recognising the public’s appetite for LA music, he also recorded under the pseudonym ‘Ricardo Santos’ when playing Latin American music, and his fame spread far beyond the borders of his native Germany. Malaguena is a good example of the often flamboyantans Geoth style he adopted, using ‘cascading strings’ to enhance the infectious rhythms.

From his earliest days in the recording studios the Canadian conductor Percy Faith (1908-1976) revealed his passion for Latin American music. When LPs arrived two of his most popular albums featured music from Mexico and Brazil, and his contributions to this CD - Baia and Brazil - come from the latter.

The American conductor Paul Weston (born Paul Wetstein, 1912-1996) also fully embraced the opportunities offered by the longer playing time of the LP. His ‘concept’ albums helped to set standards that others would try to emulate, and his early days in the world of the top dance bands (especially Tommy Dorsey) taught him the advantages offered by including a strong brass section to counterbalance the strings. Cuban Love Song certainly benefits from the rich sound of the brass, lifting the melody to a new level.

Carmen Dragon (1914-1984) conducts the Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra in two impressive performances: the popular Tico Tico and Chabrier’s famous Espana, which illustrates how the strong influence of Spain permeates so much Latin American music. Dragon was born in Antioch, California. His first success in Hollywood was collaborating with Morris Stoloff (1898-1980) arranging Jerome Kern’s score for the 1944 Rita Hayworth/Gene Kelly film "Cover Girl" which secured him an Oscar. He worked extensively in radio and television, and was a frequent visitor to recording studios conducting the Hollywood Bowl and Capitol Symphony Orchestras.

Xavier Cugat (1900-1990) was a Spanish born bandleader who spent his formative years in Havana, but achieved fame in the USA. He provided the resident orchestra at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria before and after the Second World War, and he was also a cartoonist and successful businessman. His four marriages provided fodder for gossip columnists, but his lasting legacy is appearances in several Hollywood films and many fine recordings of Latin American music. He first appears on this CD with Poinciana, then conducting his own composition Nightingale.

Ernesto Antonio ‘Tito’ Puente (1923-2000) was born and raised in the Spanish Harlem district of New York City. As a child the influence of Gene Krupa made him choose percussion to express his musical ideas, although there was a serious musician waiting to be discovered. After war service in the US Navy he attended the Julliard School of Music where he studied conducting, orchestration and musical theory. Through his albums, particularly during the 1950s, he attempted a fusion of Jazz with Latin American music, but he also concentrated on dance styles earning the accolade ‘King of the Mambo’. Adding strings to his usual line-up seemed a natural progression, with pleasing results: his Guild debut features his unique versions of Duerme (better known as Time Was) and Noche De Ronda (Be Mine Tonight).

Londoner Stanley Black (born Solomon Schwartz 1913-2002) was successful in many areas of music during his long career which began in his teens. While playing piano in Harry Roy’s dance band, during a tour of South America he became keen on Latin-American music, and several of his fine light orchestral albums focussed on this repertoire. His two numbers in this collection are both by the famous Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963) – High In Sierra and the more familiar Siboney.

Cole Porter’s I Love You is another track taken from the 1958 recording sessions at Walthamstow Town Hall in London, first featured in Guild’s "Strings And Things Go Stereo" collection (GLCD 5153). At the behest of Elizabeth Taylor, this involved an album of melodies associated with shows and films produced by her late husband, Mike Todd. Robert Farnon (1917-2005) was engaged to arrange and conduct his orchestra, although his name could not appear on the album for contractual reasons.

Eric Winstone (born in London, 1915-1974) was one of Britain’s leading dance band leaders, who in his younger days was a virtuoso piano-accordionist. He could also compose attractive light music, sometimes with a humorous twist – as in The Happy Hippo (on Guild GLCD5157). This time we hear him in a slightly more exotic mood in Beguine By Night.

Andre Kostelanetz (born in St. Petersburg, Russia 1901-1980) became one of the biggest names in American light orchestral music during the middle years of the 20th Century. His broadcasts and recordings were enjoyed by millions. It was his passion to ‘educate’ his audience to enjoy fine music, and his wide repertoire also extended to Latin American, from which we can enjoy Adios and Cordoba.

Laurie Johnson (b.1927) has been a leading figure on the British entertainment scene for 50 years. A gifted arranger and composer, Laurie has contributed to films, musical theatre, radio, television and records, with his music used in many well-known productions such as "The Avengers" and "The Professionals". Early in his career he was asked by MGM to make a series of recordings as conductor and arranger, but at the time the bandleader Ambrose was still well-known, so it was his name that appeared on the labels. No Te Importe Saber was included on an LP of Latin-American melodies.

The writer of Berceuse Cubaine was Frank Engelen, a Belgian guitarist who was also highly respected as a composer and arranger.

Don Mario Ruiz Armengol (1914-2002) has been compared by some musicologists as being Mexico’s equivalent of David Rose, and his arrangements (such as Oracion Caribe) do contain certain snatches of Rose’s unique style. During the middle years of the last century he was regarded as Mexico’s foremost arranger and conductor of popular music, as well as one of its leading composers. From the 1930s onwards RCA used him to accompany many of the contract artists on their Mexican subsidiary label, and he also worked extensively in radio and films. He gradually became known across the border in the USA, where none other than Duke Ellington is reported to have dubbed him "Mr. Harmony".

In 1951 Les Baxter (1922-1996) wrote and recorded Quiet Village which he described as follows: "The jungle grows more dense as the river boat slowly makes its way into the deep interior. A snake slithers into the water, flushing a brilliantly plumaged bird who soars into the clearing above a quiet village. Here is a musical portrait of a tropical village deserted in the mid-day heat." Other arrangers and conductors were attracted to this piece in later years, and the choice for this CD is by Chicago-born Herman Clebanoff (1917-2004). He had a sound education in classical music and was an experienced violinist and concertmaster before he was 20. Usually just known as ‘Clebanoff’, he had a long association with NBC, and from 1945 he spent the next ten years as concertmaster of their Chicago-based orchestra, playing a wide repertoire from the classics to popular tunes. Mercury’s Chicago music director David Carroll (real name Rodell Walter ‘Nook’ Schreier 1913-2008) signed him to the label, and in 1960 Clebanoff moved to Los Angeles when Mercury consolidated their recording activities in Hollywood.

Ronald Hanmer (1917-1994) could make a legitimate claim to being the most prolific of all the composers featured on this CD. His career stretched from the 1930s (he was a cinema organist) until the end of his life, and over 700 of his compositions were published in various background music libraries (examples already on Guild include Proud and Free GLCD5136, The Four Horsemen and Intermission – both onGLCD5140). He was also kept busy as an arranger, and the bandleader Edmundo Ros (1910-2011) used many of his pieces. Hanmer’s Brazilian Butterfly is close to the style that made Ros’s Latin American music so popular in Britain in post-war years. Among his film scores were Made in Heaven (1952), Penny Princess (1952) and Top of the Form (1953). He was also in demand as an orchestrator of well-known works for Amateur Societies, and the brass band world was very familiar with his scores – sometimes used as test pieces. In 1975 he emigrated to Australia, where he was delighted to discover that his melody Pastorale (on Guild GLCD5212) was famous throughout the land as the theme for the long-running radio serial Blue Hills. In 1992 Ronald Hanmer received the Order of Australia for services to music, just before that country abolished the honours system.

Sweet Bolero introduces Eddie Barclay(1921-2005)(real name Edouard Ruault – he changed it in 1944 when he came into contact with American liberation forces) who was famous in France for two reasons: his music, and his nine wives. His career took off at the end of World War 2 when he realised that his jazz with a French flavour was much in demand. He launched what he claimed to be the first discothèque, Eddie's Club, based on the American clubs that had opened to serve US military personnel, and started his own band in 1947. Gradually he began expanding his talents into conducting and record production for several leading singers, and eventually he formed Barclay Records. Thanks to his contacts with the American record industry he was able to take a leading role in the production and distribution of LP records in France where he became known as the ‘king of microgroove’.

The Moon Of Manakoora is conducted by Axel Stordahl (1913-1963) who will be familiar to many collectors of American popular music, mainly through his backing for Frank Sinatra during a period known as the singer’s ‘Columbia years’. In 1936 he joined Tommy Dorsey as a trumpet player, and was encouraged to develop his arranging talents. He realised that his style was more suited to slow, sentimental ballads, which became his trademark. In partnership with Paul Weston, he composed Day by Day, but during his later career he tended to concentrate on leading studio bands for radio and television.

Adios Mariquita Linda comes from a very rare stereo EP conducted by Dennis Farnon (b. 1923), who is the youngest of the three talented Canadian Farnon brothers; the first was Brian (1911-2010) and the second – the most famous of the three – was Robert Farnon (1917-2005). Dennis worked for ten years in Hollywood where his screen credits included the music for 12 ‘Mr. Magoo’ cartoons, and four humorous animated ‘Art’ films. For three years he was Artist and West Coast Album Director for RCA Records, and was one of the five founders in 1957 of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, who present the annual Grammy awards. His conducting and arranging assignments included albums with Harry Belafonte, Tony Martin, Gogi Grant, George Shearing and the Four Freshmen. Among his own LPs are ‘Caution Men Swinging’, ‘Enchanted Woods’ (from which comes his unusual, yet appealing arrangement of Cecelia on Guild GLCD5165) and ‘Magoo in Hi-Fi’. He came to Europe in 1962, and worked on TV series such as ‘Bat Out Of Hell’, ‘Spy Trap’ and ‘Bouquet of Barbed Wire’. He scored the 1966 Tony Curtis film "Drop Dead Darling" which was renamed "Arrivederci Baby" for its US release. Although officially retired, Dennis now lives in The Netherlands, where he continues to compose and teach.

Richard Warren Joseph Hayman (b. 1920) started at the age of 18 as a harmonica player in Borrah Minevitch’s Harmonica Rascals, but he decided to concentrate more on arranging and conducting. He worked on the MGM musical "Meet Me In St. Louis" and was put under contract by Mercury Records in 1950, for whom he made many singles and albums, the best-seller being his version of Ruby from the film "Ruby Gentry". He also arranged for the Boston Pops, serving as back-up conductor for Arthur Fiedler. Tropical Merengue is another example of Hayman’s ability to adapt to a wide range of musical styles. Which is a statement that can equally apply to many of the famous conductors represented in this collection.

David Ades

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GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5214

The Composer Conducts – Volume 3

1 Mucho Gusto (Percy Faith)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CS 8439 1961
2 Someday (from "The Vagabond King") (Rudolf Friml)
101 STRINGS Conducted by RUDOLF FRIML
Stereo Fidelity SF-6900 1959
3 Clarinet Candy (Leroy Anderson)
LEROY ANDERSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Soloists: Vincent J. Abato; Herbert S. Blayman; Roger Hiller; Bernard Portnoy
Brunswick STA 8524 1962
4 Aries (Hal Mooney)
HAL MOONEY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury SR 60073 1958
5 El Caballero (Richard Hayman)
RICHARD HAYMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury SR 60103 1959
6 A Frenchman In New York (David Rose)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM E 3481 1957
7 "The Village Of Daughters" (Theme from the film) (Ron Goodwin)
RON GOODWIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Parlophone 45-R 4892 1962
8 Boy Meets Girl (Meredith Willson)
MEREDITH WILLSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Brunswick LA 8628 1953
9 Happiness Day (Roger Roger)
ROGER ROGER AND HIS CHAMPS ELYSEES ORCHESTRA
Chappell C 516 1955
10 "The Moonraker" (Theme from the film) (Laurie Johnson)
LAURIE JOHNSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
HMV 45-POP 404 1957
11 Sound And Vision – Associated TeleVision March (Eric Coates)
ERIC COATES AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Pye Nixa N 15003 1955
12 Romantic Mood (Walter Stott)
TELECAST ORCHESTRA Conducted by WALTER STOTT
Chappell C 728 1961
13 Here They Are (Hans May)
HARMONIC ORCHESTRA Conducted by HANS MAY
Harmonic HMP 276 1949
14 Journey Into Melody (Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca F 9101 1949
15 The Falcons (Charles Williams, real name Isaac Cozerbreit)
CHARLES WILLIAMS AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Columbia DB 2992 1952
16 Comic Cuts (Sidney Torch)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Parlophone R 3406 1951
17 Sensation For Strings (Philip Green)
PHILIP GREEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM MGM 202 1949
18 Longing (Annunzio Paolo Mantovani)
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca LK 4150 1956
19 Bright Lights (Victor Young)
VICTOR YOUNG AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca DL 8350 1956
20 My Love Is In Florence (Guy Luypaerts)
GUY LUYPAERTS AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘GUY LUPAR’on LP label)
Capitol T 10024 1956
21 Autumn Song (Otto Cesana)
OTTO CESANA AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CL 631 1955
22 Humpty Dumpty (Peter Yorke)
PETER YORKE AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Columbia DB 2569 1949
23 Twilight Serenade (Alfredo Antonini)
ALFREDO ANTONINI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Vogue Coral LVA 9031 1956
24 Mississippi (Frank De Vol)
FRANK DE VOL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Capitol H 198 1950
25 Chats De Gouttiere (Alley Cats) (Gérard Calvi, real name Grégoire Elie Krettly)
GÉRARD CALVI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Pye NPL 28003 1958

Stereo: tracks 1-5; rest in mono.

Composers are often envied by those who do not possess the necessary talent to be able to produce a musical work that others will enjoy. But a touch of genius can sometimes generate frustration. Few writers are completely satisfied with the way in which their works are performed by orchestras over which they have little or no control, so it is a bonus for both composer and listener when music is conducted by the original creator. Of course there are instances where arrangers and conductors can occasionally reveal hidden beauty that even the composer did not fully appreciate, but that is another story. Guild’s first two collections marrying the talents of composer and conductor (GLCD5177 & 5178) were well received, and it is hoped that this third CD will meet with similar approval.

Percy Faith (1908-1976) was born in Toronto, Canada, and an injury to his hands from a fire forced him to rethink his plans for a career as a concert pianist. He turned to arranging, composing and conducting and 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. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Faith arranged all his own material, and his exciting and vibrant scores made his work stand out among the rest.

Rudolf Friml (1879-1972) was a talented and prolific composer, born in Prague (then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire) where he studied piano and composition with Antonín Dvořák at the Conservatory. As a young man he moved to the United States where he found success as a composer of operettas, notably “Rose-Marie" and "The Vagabond King". These were just two of around 20 Broadway scores and two original screen musicals. The Miller International organisation (which embraced several new labels to promote early stereo in the States) engaged 79-year-old Friml to front their newly-titled ‘101 Strings’ in a collection of his own melodies, from which comes Someday.

Leroy Anderson(1908-1975) is probably the best-loved American light music composer of his generation. For many years he was the chief arranger for the Boston Pops, and its famous conductor, Arthur Fiedler, introduced many Anderson novelties to an appreciative world. He was so prolific that some of his numbers have tended to become overlooked, such as Clarinet Candy.

Hal (born Harold) Mooney (1911-1995) is making another Guild appearance with his composition Aries, which comes from a collection spotlighting each sign of the zodiac. Upon the completion of his music studies in his native New York he was invited to join the arrangers' roster for the popular Hal Kemp Orchestra, alongside John Scott Trotter (who was about to leave the band) and Lou Busch. After war service in the US Army he moved to Hollywood where he worked with many of the top stars such as Bing Crosby, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. In 1956 Mooney finally swapped freelancing for an exclusive contract and became A&R Director and chief arranger at Mercury Records, where he remained until Philips phased out the label towards the end of the 1960s. Mooney then moved to Universal Studios, working as MD on many of the top TV shows of the period, before retiring in 1977.

Richard Warren Joseph Hayman (b. 1920) - as well as being a respected arranger and conductor - was also a harmonica virtuoso, and he sometimes adapted his scores of popular melodies so that he could perform on his favourite instrument. This formula brought him two chart successes in the early 1950s, with 78s of Ruby and April In Portugal. He followed Leroy Anderson as an arranger for the Boston ‘Pops’ Orchestra over a period of more than 30 years, and also served as Music Director of Mercury Records. He was regularly in demand to orchestrate Broadway shows and film soundtracks.

David Rose (1910-1990) was one of the biggest names in American light music circles during the middle years of the 20th century. Born in London, England ‘lost’ him when the family moved to the USA when he was aged just four, but he retained a love for his birthplace and in his later years his fascination with steam railways often brought him back across the Atlantic. A prolific composer and arranger, he is an established Guild favourite, and A Frenchman In New York may have been one of his lesser known works, but it has the hallmarks of the master musician stamped all over it.

Ronald (Ron) Alfred Goodwin(1925-2003) was a brilliant British composer, arranger and conductor, whose tuneful music reached the furthest corners of the world. As he gained recognition for his original compositions he became in demand for film scores, and the success of "The Trials Of Oscar Wilde" (1960) undoubtedly enhanced Goodwin’s reputation. This led to major commissions in the following years, like "633 Squadron" (1964), "Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines" (1965) and Alfred Hitchcock’s "Frenzy" (1972).

Meredith Willson (1902-1984) will always be remembered for his hit musical "The Music Man", which was a big success on Broadway and later a Hollywood film. But he also composed and conducted some attractive pieces of Light Music, some to be found on an early Brunswick 10" LP called "Encore". Several have already appeared on Guild CDs, and Boy Meets Girl can now be added to the list.

Roger Roger (1911-1995) was a leading figure on the French music scene for many years, and his fine compositions and arrangements also won him many admirers internationally. He started writing for French films towards the end of the 1930s, and after the Second World War he played piano and conducted a 35-piece orchestra for a major French weekly radio series "Paris Star Time". His own instrumental cameos that were featured in the show brought him to the attention of the London publishers Chappell & Co., who were rapidly expanding their Recorded Music Library of background music at that time. Roger’s quirky compositions soon became available to radio, television and film companies around the world, one of the earliest being The Toy Shop Window (La Vitrine aux Jouets) on Guild GLCD 5119. His works often possessed a childish air, and Happiness Day fits neatly into this category.

Laurie Johnson (b.1927) has been a leading figure on the British entertainment scene for over 50 years. A gifted arranger and composer, Laurie has contributed to films, musical theatre, radio, television and records, with his music used in many well-known productions such as "The Avengers" and "The Professionals".

Eric Coates (1886-1957) is widely regarded as the foremost English composer of light music during the first half of the 20th century. Towards the end of his life he wrote one of his most enduring works, the march from the 1954 film "The Dam Busters" (on GLCD5147 & 5202). He composed many signature tunes, and Sound And Vision was commissioned by Associated TeleVision when commercial television started in Britain in 1955.

Walter ‘Wally’ Stott, born in Leeds, Yorkshire (1924-2009) is today widely recognised as one of the finest arrangers and film composers. When Wally became Angela Morley 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". But during the 1950s and 1960s she made numerous recordings under her former name, also contributing many light music cameos to the Chappell Recorded Music Library.

Hans May (real name Johannes Mayer, 1891-1959) was a Viennese-born composer and music director who devoted much of his musical life to composing for the screen and stage. Initially he worked in the German film industry, but in the mid-1930s the developing political situation forced him to relocate briefly in France before eventually settling in England, like so many other mid-European musicians at that time. His numerous films included scores for the Boulting Brothers, Gainsborough Films and the Rank Organisation, and he conducted many early 78s for the Harmonic Music Library which was established in the mid-1940s. Here They Are finds him as both composer and conductor, and previously he has been included on Guild CDs with Rippling Down The Mountain (GLCD5112) and Nine Naughty Gnomes (GLCD5144).

Canadian-born Robert Joseph Farnon (1917-2005) is widely regarded as one of the greatest light music composers and arrangers of his generation. His melodies such as Portrait Of A Flirt (on Guild GLCD 5120) and Jumping Bean (GLCD5162) are familiar to millions around the world.

Londoner Charles Williams (born Isaac Cozerbreit, 1893-1978) composed a vast amount of music for films and production music libraries. He is one of the top contributors to Guild CDs.

Sidney Torch, MBE (born in London, 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. He wrote some excellent light music cameos for the Chappell Recorded Music Library, where Comic Cuts first appeared.

Philip Green (born Harry Philip Green in Whitechapel, London 1911-1982) began his professional career at the age of eighteen playing in various orchestras. Within a year he became London’s youngest West End conductor at the Prince of Wales Theatre. His long recording career began with EMI in 1933, and he is credited with at least 150 film scores.

Annunzio Paolo Mantovani (1905-1980) became the conductor of one of the most famous light orchestras in the world from the 1950s onwards. Born in Venice, his family came to England when he was aged four and he was something of a prodigy on the violin by the time he reached sixteen. But he leaned more towards popular music, and fronted many different kinds of ensembles before long-playing records (especially when stereo arrived) brought him universal acclaim. Despite a very busy schedule embracing radio, television, concerts and recordings he also found time to compose and arrange for his magnificent orchestra.

Chicago-born Victor Young (1900-1956) enjoyed a successful career on Broadway and in Hollywood films, although his greatest triumph – the score for the film "Around The World In Eighty Days" – was completed shortly before his death, so he never knew that it gained him a posthumous Oscar.

Guy-Claude Luypaerts (b. 1917) was born in Paris to Belgian parents during the First World War and he became well-known in French musical circles through conducting an orchestra called the Nouvelle Association Symphonique de Paris. Guild has previously included his imaginative sounds in the Cole Porter tribute (GLCD 5127) and conducting quirky cameos such as The Sleepwalker of Amsterdam (GLCD 5131), Masquerade In Madrid (GLCD 5132), Jose Fontaine’s catchy Whimsy, and his own composition Chatter Box (GLCD5160). This time it is the turn of his more romantic My Love Is In Florence.

Italian-born Otto Cesana (1899-1980) spent much of his early career in California where he lived from 1908 to 1930. His piano studies commenced at the age of ten, and he became an accomplished organist; he also learned about orchestration and harmony which he put to good use working in radio and Hollywood film studios. Although his recorded output was not large compared with some of his contemporaries, he usually conducted his own compositions which were of a consistently high standard – as already illustrated on several previous Guild Light Music CDs.

Peter Yorke (1902-1966) is a regular contributor to this series of CDs, as composer, arranger and conductor. After working in British Dance Bands of the 1920s and 1930s, he graduated to arranging for Louis Levy before eventually forming his own concert orchestra for recording and broadcasting.

Alfredo Antonini (1901-1983) was born in Italy and studied at the Milan Conservatory under Toscanini. By the 1930s he had established himself as both a composer and conductor and became well-known to the American public through his radio programmes in the 1940s – notably with the CBS Symphony, the CBS Pan American Orchestra and the Columbia Concert Orchestra. He worked with many leading singers, and frequently appeared at the top concert halls in the Americas. In the 1950s his television shows brought classical music to the masses, and his programmes with stars such as Julie Andrews, Eileen Farrell and Beverly Sills received critical acclaim.

In the USA Frank De Vol (1911-1999) is known primarily as the composer for the radio and TV series "The Brady Bunch", but light music fans appreciate that his career has been far more substantial. It was not uncommon to see the credit ‘Music by De Vol’ on many films, and he had an executive position at Columbia Records, for whom he made a number of successful mood music albums.

Gérard Calvi (real name Grégoire Elie Krettly, born 1922) first came to the attention of the public in his native France when he contributed the music in 1948 to a show called "Les Branquignols". The following year he composed the score for "La Patronne", launching a career in mainly European films that would continue for the rest of the 20th Century. By far his best known cinematic work was for the "Asterix" films, but Calvi was equally at home in the theatre and recording studios, and writing popular songs – over 300 in total.

Sadly the available space in this booklet only permits brief pen portraits of each of the 25 talented composer/conductors featured in this collection. But they have all been previously included on earlier Guild Light Music CDs, where it may have been possible to give fuller details of their achievements.

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.