The incredibly successful series of "Golden Age of Light Music" CDs produced by Guild Music has already passed the magical figure of 100, but the series still continues. These are the latest releases:
Guild Light Music CDs are sold by all good retailers, and they are distributed in many countries of the world. If you have difficulty in finding them, they are readily available from the major internet mail order sites such as Amazon.
TEAM SPIRIT Invicta Concert Band plays the music of Brian Reynolds Conductor – Jim Harrison 25 tracks incl. Team Spirit; Mediterranean Honeymoon; Sweetcorn; Black and White Tango; Carnival in Caracas; Elizabethan Tapestry; Clarinade; Seven Senoritas; Southern Serenade; Tarantella; Swing into Summer … CD1 [77:58]
By Peter Burt
BOOK REVIEW - ‘ THOSE WERE THE DAYS With Harry Davidson and his Orchestra ‘
Author : David Corbett (2013)
Publisher: YouCaxton Publications - ISBN 978-1-909644-12-0
It is quite a few years since the publication of Brian Reynolds’ book ‘ Music While You Work – An Era In Broadcasting ’. This recounts the story of that eponymous BBC ’institution’ – together with several associated programmes- from the time when live light music was a mainstay of the Corporation’s output.[That situation was very different from today’s radio broadcasting scenario, with its personality presenters, interminable pop records, and a distinct ‘sameness ’ - and lack of imagination- in its programming schedules].
Inspired and encouraged by Brian Reynolds, David Corbett has recently produced this handsome new volume, chronicling the fortunes of yet another BBC phenomenon that achieved a great deal of popularity for nearly half-a-century, viz :- programmes of Old Time Dance Music. These commenced in the dark days of WWII and continued until the last decade of the Twentieth Century.
One is immediately struck by the sheer size and scope (and indeed weight!) of this book. Within its glossy A4 – size covers are contained no less than 606 pages – inclusive of a comprehensive index.
It is an amazing mine of information about the original ‘Those Were The Days’ programme on the Home Service/Radio 4, (subsequently moved to Radio 2), together with its rival siblings, ‘Take Your Partners’, ‘ Time For Old Time’ and finally ‘Sequence Time’ on the Light Programme/Radio2.
TWTD came about almost by accident. Its progenitors, Fred Hartley (then Head of Light Music at the BBC) and one of his producers, Douglas Lawrence, (who would eventually occupy the same post), had, on a number of occasions, suggested an Old Time Dance Music programme. The planners were not impressed –they didn’t much like ‘nostalgia programmes’! However, towards the end of 1943, a scheduled broadcast by the famous organist Reginald Foort had to be cancelled at short notice, (due to the non-availability of a suitable instrument), and to fill the gap, it was – albeit reluctantly - agreed that a hastily- arranged Old-Time programme could go on air. This would take place on the evening of Tuesday November 2nd; to be broadcast from London on the BBC Forces Programme and compered by the well-known sports commentator Raymond Glendenning.
It seems that Hartley was very keen to engage Harry Davidson to be in charge of the music, and the latter’s orchestra, (which had been regularly appearing on ‘Music While You Work’), was augmented by extra strings. The venue was the Methodist Mission Hall, Marylebone, with BBC secretaries recruited to take part in the dancing . The show’s title, ‘Those Were The Days’, was ‘borrowed’ from Osbert Sitwell’s book on manners ! The broadcast was a success, and following some further (intermittent) appearances, the programme was eventually accorded the status of a regular series in the schedules, this situation continuing until March 1971 !
David Corbett charts in considerable detail the career of Harry Davidson. He had started in the music profession at the age of fifteen, pounding away on the piano in a Croydon cinema and worked his way up, firstly as an organist and then as Orchestra Director, in various UK cinemas, before becoming MD of the prestigious Commodore Grand Orchestra in Hammersmith. This had a regular weekly broadcast slot on the pre-WWII BBC National Programme and was also relayed via the Empire Service to Australia and the Far East. When Davidson retired in 1966, he had taken part in more than two- thousand live broadcasts.
Later chapters concentrate on Harry Davidson’s successors- Sidney Davey (his one-time pianist and deputy conductor) – Sydney Thompson, Sidney Bowman and finally Bryan Smith.
Here we have a real ‘labour of love’, which has been painstakingly researched by its author, who is an acknowledged authority on, and a passionate devotee of, his subject. He must have burned a good deal of ‘midnight oil’, (much of it, I suspect, at the BBC Archive at Caversham), to assemble such comprehensive programme information, together with listings of the personnel involved and the music performed.
Copiously illustrated, it describes how the character of that music changed over the years and how the popularity of Old Time Dancing developed and ultimately declined, eventually metamorphosing into modern Ballroom Dancing.
This magnificent book surely deserves a place on the shelves of all serious students of Radio Broadcasting, lovers of Light Music, and devotees of Old-Time Dancing.
© Tony Clayden- July 2014
The incredibly successful series of "Golden Age of Light Music" CDs produced by Guild Music has already passed the magical figure of 100, but the series still continues. These are the latest releases:
Guild Light Music CDs are sold by all good retailers, and they are distributed in many countries of the world. If you have difficulty in finding them, they are readily available from the major internet mail order sites such as Amazon.
RFS members & others in many countries may recall an excellent publication of the 1980s & 90s, ‘New Zealand Film Music Bulletin’ produced by Colin Adamson. In a period before widespread internet it was a great source of information about who was composing what, new soundtrack releases, & profiles of the top composers of the day.
Sadly, Colin passed away at his home in New Zealand on 12 June after a long illness. He lived in my city & we had known each other since teen years in the late 1950s. His love of Bob’s music & knowledge of light orchestral & film music was encyclopaedic & we shared many happy hours just listening.
Keith Mansfield (b. 1941) is a British composer and arranger whose name may not be familiar at first mention. However, he was a key player in the 60s music scene arranging and conducting for many popular artists of the time – mostly on CBS where, in the mid to late 60s, he was musical director; before moving onto compose library music – essentially for KPM.
He became one of their most prolific composers in the 1960s and 1970s, writing some of the funkiest, grooviest and memorable orchestral themes – which would be used for Film & TV productions all over the world, and especially in the United States. US sports fans will recognise many of Mansfield’s tunes on NFL Films team highlights and Super Bowl documentaries. As we explore the world of Keith Mansfield, music lovers will realise that there is more to Keith’s talents than being responsible for composing the memorable ‘Grandstand’ theme used by the BBC from 1976 till the series ended in 2002 and that he is best known for his modern big band compositions incorporating the rhythms and sounds of rock and funk and pop music.
Born in Slough, Mansfield loved jazz music, started playing piano at the age of nine and first composed aged twelve. Aged 16 and having taken up alto sax, he formed a big band which included pianist Cliff Hall and drummer Johnny Butts both of whom later became professional colleagues. He worked for five years as a professional saxophone player, and moved from boys club bands – he played in the Slough Town Military Band, based at the Slough Boys’ Club, playing a number of instruments including oboe and cornet – into professional jobs playing alto sax with big bands in and around London, getting to know band-leaders Joe Loss and Alan Moorhouse.
Throughout his mid to late teens he continued to arrange tunes for people – one of the first being ‘This Is a Lovely Way To Spend an Evening’ as a signature tune for a local band. Mansfield said "What I did, is that I took a big band score – what they called commercial scores – that we all used to sit and play, and I put each individual part onto what we call a score. Most of the work was given to the saxophones, because saxophones don’t tire as easily at trumpets… and they played it and it became their signature tune for years. So I'd go there on a Saturday night, trying to get a dance with somebody, and they’d be playing my arrangement when I was aged sixteen."
Mansfield played tenor sax in Nat Allen’s Band at London’s Streatham Locarno Ballroom and turned professional at Streatham Locarno after he auditioned for a job playing in the Mecca ballrooms and by age 19 he was touring the country with a big band in the major cities: "By the time I got to eighteen, I knew I couldn’t face my day job any more; I decided I had to become a professional musician".
He also played in a jazz group in Slough called Melody Quintet; ‘It was an amorphous group, all of us in our late teens and all wanting to do something in the music world. I joined up and went professional, playing locally first of all and then at various Mecca ballrooms, pantomime productions and summer season variety shows all over the country. It was the way in which most of us started up in those days. It was good experience.
During his time with the Slough Town Military Band, a fellow bandsman was trumpeter Alan Bown. In 1964, Bown became the leader of The John Barry Seven and he and Mansfield co-wrote "Seven Faces" for the group, which was released by Columbia. It turned out to be the final JB7 single, and Mansfield also played trombone on the recording.
The following year, aged 24, he decided to go it alone as a freelance composer / arranger. ‘I’m really doing what I always wanted to do. My big aim is to write entirely my own compositions and I think film scores offer the most challenge and excitement to me in the future (he recently scored ‘Loot’).
Around the same time he secured professional arranging assignments that included writing several ‘ghost’ arrangements for friends and fellow composer Alan Moorhouse who at the time was Joe Loss’ arranger.
In the mid 1960s he was working as ‘in-house arranger’ with Eddie Kassner’s Publishing Company where he contributed to recordings by artists such as Robert Plant. This work brought him to the attention of the musical director of CBS Records, Mike Smith, who offered him the job of arranging a batch of new signings to the label, including The Chanters, The Kool, Val & The Vs and The Peddlers. At the end of 1966 he became a staff arranger and producer at CBS Records in the UK, working with artists such as Dusty Springfield, Georgie Fame, Brotherhood of Man, Marmalade, Love Affair, Ken Dodd, Vince Hill, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Robert Plant (under the name ‘Listen’) and many others.
Mansfield also produced and arranged albums for many top name CBS artists such as Alan Haven – ‘Haven For Sale’ in 1969 was also backed by Mansfield’s Orchestra, and featured guest artist Maynard Ferguson with backing vocals by The Ladybirds. A CD of the Haven album was issued by RPM in 2010 combining it with his later release from 1971 – ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’.
Mansfield recorded two albums with Salena Jones, whom he later married – ‘The Moment of Truth’ (1969) and 'Everybody’s Talkin' About Salena Jones' (1970); sharing the arranging duties with Eddie Harvey and David Gold respectively. Both albums were issued by Vocalion on a single CD in 2006, now deleted. A single, produced by Mansfield, was issued on CBS in January 1970 – ‘This Is Love’ / ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ – with the A side arranged by him. ‘After You’ and ‘My Whole World’s alive’ was issued in October of that year.
He also recorded a series of albums for Maynard Ferguson. The first, ‘The Ballad Style of Maynard Ferguson’, included a handful of film themes such as ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, ‘Born Free’ and ‘You Only Live Twice’. Recorded in London in 1969, it was his first British CBS album. Mansfield arranged and produced the tracks but the conductor was Alan Moorhouse.
Mansfield contributed two original compositions for the second (of four) Ferguson albums, ‘The World of Maynard Ferguson’. One was ‘L-Dopa which was also issued as a single and previously recorded as ‘Powerhouse Pop’ the same year (1970) for KPM’s ‘Flamboyant Themes, Volume 4’ LP. Mansfield’s third album with Ferguson, again adapting progressive jazz arrangements to modern pop covers, was ‘Alive & Well in London’ in 1971 with arrangements by John Cameron. This included the 6 minute plus version of Mansfield’s self-composed ‘The Serpent’ which appeared a year later as a KPM library track called ‘Jazz Rocker’ on an LP titled ‘Life Is For Living’. These two albums also featured compositions and arrangements by many of Mansfield’s musical associates including John Cameron and were recorded at Lansdowne Studios by sound engineer Adrian Kerridge. The drummer was Randy Jones, who stayed with Ferguson for ten years. Maynard’s ‘M.F. Horn’ was issued in 1970 and ‘M.F. Horn 2’ in 1972.
Mansfield commented: "I had some of my own tunes on the Maynard Ferguson albums – at that point I had decided to give up arranging so I could concentrate on composing, in particular for the libraries. Then Mike Smith and Derek Everett at CBS came along and offered me the job producing artists like Maynard, Salena and Alan Haven and these were opportunities I couldn't possibly turn down. Mike and Derek knew I would love working with these people. Originally I was only supposed to be the producer on the sessions for Maynard's albums but when it came to actually doing them I found we had a shortage of material – some people hadn't come up with tunes as promised. That's why I ended up re-working things like ‘Powerhouse Pop’, which I had originally written for KPM, as ‘L-Dopa’. It was Maynard rather than myself who re-named that tune as ‘L-Dopa’, which is the abbreviated name for the medical drug L-Dopamine. Maynard is such a brilliant, versatile musician – he can adapt to so many styles of music. The ‘L-Dopa’ arrangement has sections in it that are funky and sections that are straight-ahead jazz and Maynard moved between these styles so effortlessly within the space of one tune. At the time the Maynard Ferguson albums came out they didn't exactly receive very favourable reviews from the British music press. I remember Melody Maker being particularly critical of them, which was a shame as they're great albums."
"The reason why some of the brassy, funky library music did much better in America than it did in the UK is that brassy, aggressive music has never really been a part of the UK's culture like it is in America. People in the US are used to seeing and hearing marching bands everywhere, they're much more used to this sort of sound whereas in the UK we're more likely to say this music sounds too busy or too brash. Also, the media didn't really like this sound and in some ways this hindered the music's success in the UK."
Mansfield arranged Marmalade’s ‘There’s a Lot Of It About’ album (1968) and produced Georgie Fame’s ‘Going Home’ LP issued in 1971, arranging and producing the latter. Mansfield also arranged The Peddlers’ first album, ‘Freewheelers’, for CBS in 1967, engineered by Keith Grant, and arranged the strings on their second CBS album, 'Three In A Cell', a year later. He arranged four tracks on a Clodagh Rodgers album for RCA, and a Madeline Bell LP, ‘Doin’ Things’, for Philips in 1968. Other albums featuring tracks arranged by Mansfield including The Flirtations’ 1975 funk / soul album for RCA titled ‘Love Makes the World Go Round’.
Perhaps one of the rarest albums on which Mansfield worked was DJ Tony Blackburn’s 2nd LP – for Polydor in 1969, which features 12 tracks with arrangements and musical direction by Mansfield, Les Reed and Johnnie Spence.
Mansfield also recorded with his own orchestra (and chorus) and in December 1968 CBS issued two tracks on a single – ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Soul Thing’ with the B side being a self-composed track coming from his first album – ‘All You Need Is Keith Mansfield’, issued by CBS in 1968, containing 12 pop tracks including instrumentals of those he had arranged for The Love Affair – ‘Everlasting Love’ and ‘Rainbow Valley’.
‘All You Need Is…’ was later issued on CD in June 2011 by RPM, who included 8 bonus tracks (including the self-composed ‘Soul Confusion’) to compliment the original album – 'Rainbow Valley' and 'Everlasting Love' by Love Affair; two tracks by US jazz singer Salena Jones. 'Serpent' and 'Spinning Wheel' from jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson; and 'Love For Sale' by organist Alan Haven. The recordings cover the years 1968-1972 and are a splendid mix of pounding drums, rousing brass, and pulsating bass, and featuring Alan Hawkshaw on Hammond organ. It was Mansfield’s interpretation of the hits of the day plus his own compositions ‘Soul Thing’ and ‘Boogaloo’. The former was originally recorded as ‘Funky Fanfare’ for KPM in 1968 (‘Flamboyant Themes Volume 2’ / ‘Beat Incidental’) and had been used during the feature presentation trailers in cinemas in the late 60s / early 70s, whilst the latter was also later rearranged as Slow Rocker’ for KPM’s ‘Flamboyant Themes Vol.2’ album (1968); ‘Funky Fanfare’ was sampled by Danger Mouse (Mansfield’s music became very popular in the 70s by hip-hop producers) and used in the Astro Daters series of snipes produced by the National Screen Service in the late 60s. That song was used during the opening credits of the show ‘Pit Boss’ on Animal Planet.
DJ Tony Blackburn wrote the sleeve notes for this album saying ‘the exciting Mansfield sound will blow your knees with excitement’.
In the States Epic issued his ‘Soul Confusion’ on a single in 1969. In the UK this track was not commercially issued until RPM released the above-mentioned CD. It was adapted for Sugar’s ‘11am Tuesday Morning Taxi’ on CBS, the flip of ‘It Was Yesterday Today’ released in May 1969.
Mansfield recorded a second album for CBS in 1969 – which was released that year in the States, but not until 1971 in the UK. ‘Face On the Wind’ consisted of 11 tracks with an orchestra and chorus featuring vocals by Tony Burrows; Russell Stone; Sue Glover; and Sunny Leslie – The Brotherhood of Man – who, at the time, were produced by Mansfield; and Scott English.
A single was issued in January 1972 (both in the UK and USA) – ‘ Face on the Wind’ / ‘All For You’. The full track listing for this very rare album is as follows: I’m Gonna Make You Love Me / Face On the Wind / Going Home / Easy Lovin’, Easy Livin’ /All For You / Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time) / And I Love Her / Love Song / The Look of Love / Love Story (Where Do I Begin) / Love Means (Never Having To Say You’re Sorry)
Another scarce album featuring music by Mansfield was the ‘The London Theme’ issued on Carnaby Records in mid 1969 which become one of the most sought-after albums today. It was issued on CD by Recur in 1999 (with additional tracks – 20 in total). These were mostly KPM tunes and included the popular ‘Young Scene’; ‘Piccadilly Night Ride’; ‘Teenage Carnival’; and ‘Funky Fanfare’; a theme from the Southern library, plus his own versions of the Eurovision songs ‘Puppet on a String’; ‘Congratulations’; ‘Boom Bang a Bang’, etc. The album featured full orchestra and choir. Carnaby issued a single in New Zealand featuring ‘Teenage Carnival’ and ‘Funky Fanfare’.
The full track listing was: Young Scene / Puppet On a String / Slow Rocker / Piccadilly Night Ride / Congratulations / London Hilton / Dr. Jekyll and Hyde Park / A Taste of Excitement / Boom Bang a Bang / Drum Diddley / Teenage Carnival / Funky Fanfare.
The following 8 tracks were added to the CD from the KPM library: Monday’s Child / Double Act / Pop Package / Main Line Special / Power Montage / Soul For Sale / Pop Fugue / Gold Medal.
‘London Hilton’ was the theme selected by Tony Currie, the producer of the CD, as the signature tune for ‘Through the Night’, which he hosted on Radio Clyde in 1975. ‘Drum Diddley’ was used by Terry Wogan for his BBC Radio Show in 1967. The tune, was composed by Gordon Rees; and Alan Moorhouse, who recorded his own version for his 1972 Music For Pleasure album ‘ Alan Moorhouse and His Bond Street Brigade’.
Mansfield arranged and conducted for many of the artists on the CBS roster, including UK hits for Love Affair in 1968-69 – ‘Everlasting Love’ (No. 1); ‘Rainbow Valley’ (No. 5); ‘One Road’ (No. 16); plus the singles ‘Baby I Know’; and ‘Lincoln Country’.
The Marmalade’s ‘Baby Make It Soon’ reached No. 9 in the UK singles charts in June 1969 but he had also backed their first hit in May 1968 called ‘Lovin’ Things’, which reached No. 6 in the UK and arranged ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ issued in December ’68 which reached No. 1 and spent 20 weeks in the UK singles charts. Mansfield worked on their last CBS single issued in Nov 1969 (‘Butterfly’ / ‘I Shall Be Released’).
During his time as a founding member of The Marmalade, Junior Campbell reportedly studied Mansfield’s scores closely. Being impressed with the craft of arranging for orchestras, as well the expertise of orchestral musicians in general, led to him handling accompaniment arrangements on the band’s future sessions himself.
The Keith Mansfield Strings were added to The Tremeloes track ‘I Shall Be Released’ in December 1968 and it reached No. 29 in the charts.
The following are just some of the other artists Mansfield worked with at CBS, the first being with Listen (Robert Plant) in November 1966 on ‘You’d Better Run’ / ‘Everybody’s Gonna Say’.
1967 – Bernie Winters / Mike Winters / Donnie Elbert / Thelonious Monk / Val & The V’s / Gene Latter / Johnnie Lee / Emil Dean / Danny Street / Brian Poole / The Love Affair
1967-68 – Gilbert O’ Sullivan) / The Mud
1967-69 – The Kool / Kim Davis / The Marmalade
1968 – Springfield Park / The Boots / The Detours / The Tremeloes* / The Medium / Roy Harper / The Chanters / The Mud / Ronnie Jones / The Boots
1968-69 – The Peddlers / Kim Davis / Georgie Fame – ‘Peaceful’ / ‘Hideaway’**
1969 – Bob Monkhouse / Sugar / Lisa Carroll / Jimmy Crawford
1970 – Marilyn Powell / J. Vincent Edward
1970-71 – Steve Ellis
1972 – Robert Young
1974-75 – Frankie Stevens
1975 – Vince Hill
*Reached No. 29 in UK singles chart in December 68 with ‘I Shall Be Released’.
**This single entered the UK singles charts in July 1969 and reached No. 16.
Another of the CBS artists whom Mansfield had worked with was James Royal (1967-70) including an arrangement of Laurie Johnson’s theme to ‘And Soon the Darkness’ (June 1970); and ‘House of Jack’ released a year earlier, being a vocal version of ‘Funky Fanfare’ recorded for CBS in 1969 with lyrics by R. Murphy. He even worked with Michael Crawford in 1974 on his single from the stage musical ‘Billy’ – ‘Some Of Us Belong To the Stars’. One of his last CBS assignments was with Vince Hill in 1975-76.
Mansfield also directed artists assigned to other labels including the following.
UK singles chart positions are detailed where applicable.
Aurora – Together (1969)
Columbia – Salena Jones (1967); Dave Clarke Five (‘Put a Little Love In Your Heart’ – No. 31) (1969)
Decca – Denny D’Ell / Dave Berry (1967); Tony Newman / Judy Kay / Tony Newman /
Errol Dixon (1968); Philip Goodhand-Tait (1969); K.C. Krane (1970)
Deram – The Flower Pot Men / The Virgin Sleep (1968); Brotherhood of Man (1971)
Direction – Gene Latter (1968)
EMI – Ken Dodd (1974); Frances Yip (1976); The Nuptown Keys (1981)
Galaxy – The Vernons (1975)
Gull – Vince Everitt (1976)
MAM – Susan Mellen (1975)
MGM – Barry Ryan (1968) (‘Love I Almost Found You’ – ‘B side of ‘Eloise’ – No. 2)
Mercury – Shades of Morley Brown (1968)
Philips – Marty Wilde / Dusty Springfield / John Walker (1968); Nicky James (1968-9); Silk (1970)
Plexium – Freedom (1969)
President – The Symbols (1966-7)
RCA – Donnie Elbert (1972); Clodagh Rodgers (1972-74); The Flirtations (1975)
Sonet – Peter Gosling (1970)
Stateside – Gene Pitney (1969) (‘Maria Elena’ – No. 25)
Toast – The Cameos (1968)
York – Lovelace Watkins (1972)
Along with Les Reed and Johnnie Spence, Mansfield arranged the 1978 single ‘I’ll Do Anything (Anything She Wants Me To)’ by Lenny Gamble (DJ Tony Blackburn). This was issued on the Casino Classics label.
Other notable tracks were ‘Looking Out of My Window’ released in Nov 1968 as the flip to Tom Jones’ hit ‘A Minute of Your Time’ (No. 14); he arranged 5 of the 12 tracks on the Dusty Springfield album for Philips in 1968 – (‘Dusty…Definitely’) which reached No. 30 in the UK LP charts. This included the singles: ‘I Close My Eyes and Count To Ten’ / ‘No Stranger Am I’ (No. 4) and ‘I Will Come To You’ / ‘The Colour of Your Eyes’. With The Marmalade he had success with ‘Lovin’ Things’ (No. 6), ‘Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da’ (No. 1) for CBS, and ‘Reflections of My Life’ for Decca which reached No. 3 in the singles charts in the UK and No. 10 in the States.
In May 1970 CBS issued a single from the film ‘Loot’ by Steve Ellis – ‘Loot’ b/w ‘More More More’ – both co-composed with Richard Willing Denton and appearing on the CBS soundtrack album later reissued by RPM on CD in 2001. Mansfield played piano and the score also featured Alan Hawkshaw, Herbie Flowers, and Clem Cattini.
Ellis was the lead vocalist with Love Affair – with whom Mansfield had had hits in 1968, and on ‘Everlasting Love’ it was merely Ellis and a 40-piece orchestra and backing vocals by Madeline Bell, Kiki Dee, Kay Garner and Lesley Duncan. Ellis commented in 2002 that the first recording the group made was ‘scrapped in favour of the Mike Smith produced version which was recorded with a rhythm section and orchestra arranged by Keith Mansfield’. The follow-up ‘Rainbow Valley’ featured Sue & Sunny on backing vocals and was also recorded in Italian to Mansfield’s original backing track. Upon leaving Love Affair in December 1969 Ellis recorded various solo singles beginning with the theme from ‘Loot’ followed by a Jim Webb song called ‘Evie’ with Caleb Quaye, Sue and Sunny and of course Mansfield.
Mansfield arranged three of the six songs chosen for Clodagh Rodgers with a view to one being selected for the Eurovision Song Contest of 1971. Three of them were featured on the ‘Cliff Richard Show’ – ‘Look Left, Look Right’, ‘In My World of Beautiful Things’ and ‘Another Time, Another Place’. However, the winner voted by the public was ‘Jack In a Box’ which finished in 4th place and reached No. 4 in the UK singles charts. ‘Another Time, Another Place’ which had finished 4th in the heats was later recorded by Engelbert Humperdinck, reaching No. 13 in the UK charts in September 1971 with Laurie Holloway as musical director.
In the 1970s, Mansfield wrote endless tunes for the music libraries, Amphonic, Bruton, Conroy, Themes International – even Chappell – but essentially KPM, many still being used today. Apart from Mansfield, the library’s main composers were Johnny Pearson, Alan Hawkshaw and Syd Dale. Mansfield joined the arranging department of KPM in 1964 where the other arrangers were Neil Richardson, Alan Moorhouse and David Gold. Upon leaving this department he then went on to compose tunes in his own right from – 1965 until around 1984.
His very first LP for the KPM library was a joint effort with Johnny Hawksworth called ‘Happy Families’ issued in 1966. A 10" single ‘Jingle Bell Beat’ was also issued with three Christmas tunes written by Mansfield including the title track. A further three tracks were issued on ‘The First Christmas’ another 10" issued the same year.
One of his most popular compositions was ‘Grandstand’ (also seen listed as ‘Holiday Party Time’) which was composed especially for the BBC Saturday afternoon programme – used as the theme from October 1975 until its demise in 2006, replacing a short-lived theme by Barry Stoller. A re-recorded version was introduced to the programme in 1999 but was quickly withdrawn after complaints from viewers.
The tune originally appeared on the KPM LP ‘Solid Gold’ in 1976 and commercially on a BBC single in March of that year credited, for contractual reasons, to The Sound Stage Orchestra. It was also issued as part of the BBC’s album ‘Angels & 15 Other Original BBC-TV Themes’ in 1976 and appeared on Pickwick’s ‘BBC Sporting Themes’ CD issued in 1988 with his themes for ‘International Athletics’ and ‘Wimbledon’.
The BBC’s Wimbledon Tennis coverage still uses ‘Light & Tuneful’ as the opening music. It was recorded for KPM in 1972 for their ‘Life Is For Living’ album. A commercial issue first appeared on the BBC LP ‘Sporting Themes’ issued in 1979 – again with Mansfield’s themes from ‘Grandstand’ and another used for the BBC’s ‘International Athletics’ called ‘World Series’ – also lifted from the above KPM album.
Another TV theme, again from the KPM library, was ‘World Champion’ (from the 1977 ‘Olympiad 2000’ LP) which was used as the closing theme for NBCs coverage of the same tournament. ITV used Mansfield’s ‘The Young Scene’ from 1968 to 1972 as the signature tune for their ‘Big Match’ football series (it was replaced by Don Harper’s ‘Cheekybird’ – another library piece). ‘Young Scene’ was a track from KPM’s ‘Flamboyant Themes’ album from 1968 and, as mentioned earlier, was issued commercially in 1969 on the ‘London Theme’ album. Virgin issued the theme on their double CD ‘This Is Easy’ released in 1996.
Another lesser-known theme was that used for the main title theme for Southern TV Series ‘The Freewheelers’ (1968-1973) – ‘Teenage Carnival’ originally on ‘Colours In Rhythm’ issued in 1968. This received its première CD release in 1999 when Recur issued ‘The London Scene’ LP on CD. The end title to this series was another KPM piece titled ‘Private Eye’ composed by Laurie Johnson.
BBC Records issued the theme to ‘Spy Trap’ in 1971 (credited to Quator) composed by Mansfield with arrangements by Johnny Pearson. The rhythm section was led by Brian Wade of Trane.
‘International Event’ from the 1972 KPM album ‘Progress and Prestige Volume 2’ was used by ITV for their soccer coverage in the 70s ('ITV Soccer')
His ‘Big Shot’ theme first issued on ‘Metropolis’ in 1975 was used in the TV Series ‘The Sweeney’ which premièred the same year and was issued on a CD of music used in the series by Sanctuary in 2001. Mansfield also arranged an album of ‘Mr. Men’ songs for Arthur Lowe released in 1976 on Epic and later by BBC records in 1979.
In 1976 Mansfield recorded an LP of 11 tracks for the Conroy Music Library and two years later some tracks for Bruton with John Coleman and Johnny Pearson. In 1979 he released the popular ‘Night Bird’ album for Amphonic even though he was still working and recording albums for KPM till the mid 80s when, with the introduction of CDs, many of these KPM tracks were issued – albeit non-commercially. Mansfield had been one of the first composers invited to compose for the Amphonic library by its founder Syd Dale when they bumped into each other in New York in 1976. A whole album – ‘Night Bird’ – was recorded 3 years later.
‘Disco King’ was a track composed by Mansfield featuring the Biddu Orchestra and was from the unreleased soundtrack to the 1978 porn film ‘Maraschino Cherry’.
In 1981 EMI Records issued a single by The Nuptown Keys being the title track from an album they recorded for KPM in 1982 with Mansfield as arranger and producer – ‘The Best of Christmas’. The A side was ‘Part One’ – arrangements of well-known Christmas tunes, whilst the flip was the Mansfield’s self-composed ‘Superstar’ from his ‘Lifeforce’ album a year earlier.
The KPM track ‘Worlds Without End’ from the original album ‘Future Perspective’ (1982) was used in the BBC series 'Whicker’s World' around that time accompanying scenes of life aboard ship.
Whilst Mansfield recorded hundreds of tunes for KPM (he was possibly their most prolific composer) – spread over many compilation albums – for some albums the majority of the tracks were by him. Many of these were in their famous ‘1000’ series which started in 1966 the brief for which was ‘modern and with style’.
1010 – ‘Happy Families’ (10 tracks)
1043 – ‘Beat Incidental’ (19 tracks composed with Alan Hawkshaw)
1095 – ‘Theme Suites’ (17 of 23 tracks)
1124 – ‘Big Business’ / ‘Wind of Change’ (9 / 6 of 8 tracks)
1125 – ‘Voices In Harmony’ (11 of the 15 tracks)
1188 – ‘Contempo’ (10 tracks)
1190 – ‘Vivid Underscores’ (17 tracks)
1200 – ‘Olympiad 2000’ (24 tracks)
1220 – ‘Olympiad 2001’ (34 tracks)
1221 – ‘National Heritage’ / ‘Rural Heritage’ (40 / 18 tracks)
1222 – ‘Conflict & Consequence’ (47 of 49 tracks)
1228 – ‘Ideas In Action – Volume 1’ (30 tracks)
1229 – ‘Ideas In Action – Volume 2’ (18 of 21 tracks)
1240 – ‘Action World’ (33 of 38 tracks – 3 with Terry Cox)
1241 – ‘Technology & Movement’ (31 tracks – 13 with Terry Cox)
1242 – ‘Planet Earth’ /’All In the Mind’ (12 / 9 of 11 tracks)
1260 – ‘Lifeforce’ (33 tracks)
1261 – ‘Technomatics’ (19 tracks)
1277 – ‘Future Perspective’ (23 tracks – 1 with Richard Elen)
1278 – ‘Historical Perspective’ (47 tracks)
1283 – ‘Blue Perspectives’ (10 tracks with Terry Cox)
1284 – ‘The Four Elements’ (16 tracks)
1304 – ‘Contact’ (16 tracks – 1 with Richard Elen)
1315 – ‘Options’ (14 tracks)
1316 – ‘Options 2’ (14 tracks)
1321 – ‘The Video Connection’ (15 tracks – 2 with Richard Elen)
1325 – ‘Good News’ (23 tracks)
1344 – ‘Circles’ (21 tracks)
1364 – ‘Future Positive’ (31 tracks – 4 with Richard Elen)
1366 – ‘Jingles and Programme Cues’ – Volume 8’ (68 tracks)
1378 – ‘Innovations’ (35 tracks – 4 with Terry Cox)
1381 – ‘Stepping Stones’ (33 tracks – with Terry Cox) (1987)
Mansfield went on to record for Amphonic (started by fellow KPM composer Syd Dale in 1971), Bruton, Conroy, and Themes International for two decades and celebrated the 60th anniversary of KPM at Jarvis Cocker’s Meltdown at the South Bank Centre, London in June 2007 along with the other members of the KPM Allstars performing a selection of library tracks and TV themes.
One of the last appearances by the KPM Allstars was a one-off gig on Saturday 7th July 2012 where they performed as a 16-piece Big Band at the Islington Assembly Hall, with Brian Bennett, Alan Hawkshaw & The Mohawks, John Cameron, Duncan Lamont, James Clarke, and DJ Shawn Lee. They received a standing ovation and played two encores – one of which was a shortened version of the ‘Grandstand’ theme which had been ‘extended’ on its first playing. Hawkshaw played Hammond Organ, Brian Bennett was on drums whilst Keith Mansfield conducted. The popular ‘Funky Fanfare’ was amongst the other tracks played.
The first film featuring Mansfield’s music (although stock music) was the 1969 US production ‘Four on the Floor’. In 1970 he conducted his own music for ‘Taste of Excitement’ in addition to orchestrating the music for Richard Attenborough’s film ‘Loot’. He also scored ‘Three Bullets… for a Long Gun’ in 1971. More of his library music was used in a short documentary ‘It’s Sound Sense’ in 1978 and the film ‘The Great Skycopter Rescue’, the documentary ‘Fist of Fear, Touch of Death’, ‘Kill and Kill Again’ (all 1980), as the logo jingle for CBS/Fox video, and the 2009 film ‘Black Dynamite’. ‘Soul Thing’ was used in ‘Kill Bill’ (2003), and ‘Grindhouse: Death Proof’ (2007).
Some other productions that have used Mansfield’s music until the 80s are:
1965 – ‘I Think of You’ used in ‘Dateline Diamonds’
1966 – ‘World Cup March’ used in ‘Where the Bullets Fly’
1971 – ‘Exclusive Blend’ used in ‘Doomwatch’ TV episode ‘Public Enemy’.
1975 – ‘Disco Dynamite’ used in ‘Space 1999’
1976 – ‘Soul Thing’ in documentary short ‘Get ‘Em Off’
1977 – ‘Love of a Lifetime’ used in ‘Sweeney!’
1977 – ‘Hot Dog’ and ‘Barefoot in the Park’ used in ‘Are You Being Served’ TV series.
1978 – ‘Disco King’ for ‘Maraschino Cherry’ (wrote & performed)
1979 – ‘Ball Game’, ‘Baseball Blues’, ‘Hell For Leather’, ‘Pointer’ used in Heja Sverije!’
The following are some of Mansfield’s library compositions used in film and TV productions since the 80s:
‘Birth of a Nation – 2’
‘Energy & Movement’
‘Historical Perspective – 3’
‘Into Battle Again’
‘Life of Leisure’
‘Paris Love Breezin’
‘Paul’s Pleasure Dragster’
‘Proclamation – 1’
‘Run I’m a Natural Disaster’
‘Sex and Food’
‘State of War’
‘Tonight in Person’
‘Trombones In the Night’
‘Uneasy Atmosphere - 1’
‘Wargames Linking Section – 3, 4, 6, 7, 8’
‘West Coast Surf Ride’
His music was also used in more recent TV series:
The Ren & Stimpy Show (1994-95)
SpongeBob SquarePants (2000-2009)
Calendar Geeks / The IT Crowd (2008)
One of his most played themes was ‘Piccadilly Night Ride’ written with Alan Hawkshaw and this was used on the AR-TV children’s series ‘Orlando’ and in the ‘Blue Band’ TV commercials in 196 and the Yorkshire TV Friday evening ‘Yorksport’, YTV’s ‘Parkin’s Patch’ (1969-70) and many of the NFL (USA National Football League) films and many documentaries.
‘Gold Medal’ was also used for many of the NFL films in 1969 as was ‘Power Montage, ‘Slow Rocker’, ‘’Pop Package’ (also used in WCBS-TV’s ‘Celebrates New York’ promos in 1971, and ‘London Hilton’.
‘Pop Fugue' was used in a series called ‘Llusern’, ‘Statement 1’ was used in ‘UTV Reports’ which ran between 1969 and 1978 and ‘Funky Fanfare’ was used in a programme called ‘Weekend’ and as the theme for one of Thames’ first children's’ TV series in 1968 – ‘The Queen Street Gang'. 'Beat Boutique’, written with Alan Hawkshaw, was used in the famous TV commercial for ‘St. Bruno’ in the 70s.
Mansfield has acknowledged that he has become ‘a writer of sports themes’. We can all still enjoy his music since much of it is now becoming widely available on CD or MP3 format. His memorable theme to ‘Grandstand’ ended with the series some years ago, but in the UK his TV Themes still live on via the BBC’s annual Wimbledon coverage – a theme which has already lasted 36 years and will undoubtedly continue until their coverage comes to an end.
Having examined Mansfield’s career as musical arranger and conductor, film and library composer, and more recently as a member of the KPM All Stars, we will now have a look at some of CDs that have been issued commercially featuring his music. Collectors should note that this is not meant to be a complete and exhaustive listing – though most releases are covered.
Some of the main releases on compact disc by Mansfield have been previously noted, including those by Selena Jones, Maynard Ferguson and Alan Haven, but there are still many interesting releases – each containing different and rare examples of his music – many of which have never previously been issued commercially. Many of these releases have been issued by Michael Dutton on his Vocalion label.
Beginning with ‘Love Affair’, all the singles (A and B sides) from the group and the solo releases by its lead singer Steve Ellis can be found on Arcadia’s 2002 release ‘The Love Affair / Ellis – Singles As and Bs’.
‘Dusty…Definitely’ was issued on CD by Spectrum in 2001 including all five of the tracks which Mansfield arranged.
Georgie Fame’s ‘Going Home’ was released by BGO in 2010 with tracks from another album produced by Alan Price two years earlier.
Strut Records’ second compilation of library music ‘Music For Dancefloors: The Cream of the Chappell Music Library Sessions’ released in October 2001 contained Mansfield’s ‘Blockbuster’ lifted from the Bruton album ‘Light My Fire’ issued in 1978.
The Peddlers’ ‘Freewheelers’ and ’Three In a Cell’ albums have previously been issued on Japanese imports but the ‘complete CBS recordings’ are available on Sony’s ‘How Cool Is Cool’ issued in 2002 which includes 2 previously unreleased tracks.
Marmalade’s ‘There’s a Lot of It About’ was issued in Japan in 2009 but the complete album plus other tracks including the Decca single Mansfield worked on are included in Castle’s ‘The Definitive Collection’ issued way back in 1998.
Very little is available by Clodagh Rodgers but the 4 tracks Mansfield arranged are spread over two CDs – ‘The Masters’ issued on Eagle in 2002 and ‘You Are My Music…Best of’ issued by Sony in 1996.
The Madeline Bell material from 1968 was issued by RPM as recently as October 2012 and much of the Maynard Ferguson material has been issued on Wounded Bird Records. ‘M.F. Horn 2’ and ‘The Ballad Style of Maynard Ferguson’ were twinned and issued by Vocalion in May 2006.
EMI’s first ‘Sound Gallery’ CD issued in 1995 featured Mansfield’s ‘Life of Leisure’ and ‘Young Scene’ and the follow up volume issued in September 1996 included ‘Powerhouse Pop’. These were two of the first commercial CDs containing music from the KPM and other music libraries.
Also in 1996 Blow Up records released ‘Exclusive Blend Volume 1’ featuring 16 KPM tracks recorded between 1968 and 1970 including Mansfield’s ‘Exclusive Blend’, ‘Step Forward’, ‘Mexican D.J.’, and ‘Powerhouse Pop’. The first of these tracks was often used in the ‘Dave Allen At Large’ TV series to accompany sketches. Mansfield contributed to the sleeve notes on this release (along with Blow Up’s founder and DJ Paul Tunkin):
"Those of us who were part of the recording scene in the sixties can now look back and reflect upon how lucky we were to be around at the time that English ‘Pop & Rock’ music would become such a success. So many great musicians, such good recording studios and so many artists from The Beatles to the Rolling Stones who would dominate the musical culture of young people all over the world."
"And so many of them are still with us today! – Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, Robert Plant, Georgie Fame, The Love Affair, Marmalade and the Tremeloes – all of these artists that I worked with have lasted the ‘test of time’. I hope that when you listen to ‘Exclusive Blend’, you will be taken back in time and can enjoy all the positive energy that was such a part of that era."
The follow-up release the following year featured music from 1968-1974 and included, amongst its 18 tracks, ‘Close Shave’ and ‘Fast Back’ from 1970, and ‘Teenage Chase’ and the popular ‘Funky Fanfare’ from 1968.
In 1997 Virgin issued a set of four CDs containing KPM library tracks and the first volume ‘Paco’s Poolside Bar’ featured Mansfield’s ‘New Images’ from 1970. The 2nd set ‘Playmates Penthouse’ included ‘Je Reviens’ from 1969, and the third highlighted seven tracks: ‘Grandstand’ (1975) / ‘Where the Action Is’ (aka ‘Mono Ski’) (1970) / ‘Tycoon’ (1973) / ‘Dangerous Assignment’ (aka ‘Ske) – a track he wrote with Alan Hawkshaw in 1968 / ‘Hot Property’ (1973) / ‘Sporting Highlights’ (aka ‘Pop Package’) (1969) / ‘Trombones in the Night’ (1969)
The final set – ‘La Scandale Discotheque’ contained ‘Pop Package’ (1969), ‘World Cup’ (aka ‘Power Montage’) (1968).
The second volume of ‘Music For TV Dinners’ – ‘The 60s’ – was an excellent mixture of library themes issued in the USA on Scamp in November 1997. It featured another 16 popular library tracks by their top composers: Syd Dale, Laurie Johnson, Johnny Scott, Neil Richardson, Johnny Pearson and two tracks by Mansfield – ‘Sporting Highlights’ and ‘Piccadilly Night Ride’, the latter another track he composed with Alan Hawkshaw.
Winchester Hospital Radio’s ‘Girl In a Suitcase’ CD issued in 2001 highlights ‘Men On the Move’, which was used as the theme for the BBC1 drama series ‘Spy Trap’ in the 70s. This 1969 track was slightly re-arranged by Johnny Pearson for its commercial release on a BBC single in 1971.
Alan Hawkshaw, another member of the KPM Allstars, issued 22 tracks they had recorded live at The Jazz Café London – October 2006, on his own label. This limited edition disc is sadly now deleted but the tracks are available for download and include ‘Funky Fanfare’, ‘Everlasting Love’, ‘Beat Boutique’ and others including the ‘sports themes’ medley featuring the popular ‘Grandstand’ theme.
‘On the Brink’ was one of the Psychic Circle releases issued in May 2007 and featured ‘Soul Thing’ whilst their release from November 2008 – ‘Roaring Blue’ included the track ‘Boogaloo’.
‘The Big Beat – Volume 1’ issued on CD and vinyl in September 2007 by Tummy Touch to mark KPM’s 50th anniversary reproduced the original 1969 album with five Mansfield tracks: ‘Exclusive Blend’, ‘Teenage Travelogue’, ‘Teenage Ton Up’, ‘The Mexican D.J.’, and ‘Red Square Stomp’. The remaining 11 tracks were by his colleague Alan Hawkshaw.
In May 2008 Vocalion issued Mansfield’s ‘Night Bird’ on CD – all 7 full versions from the Amphonic Music album recorded at the famous Lansdowne Studios in London in August 1979. The music featured Alan Hawkshaw (on Hammond), Barry Morgan (drums) and Dave Richmond (bass guitar and was produced by Syd Dale.
Another Vocalion release ‘When the Saints Go and Big Bands at KPM 1967-75’ was issued in 2008 and included ‘Behind the Scene’ (1970), ‘Hot Property’ (1973), and ‘ Man With a Mission’ (1974).
Show Up records began their series of ‘Dramatic Funk Themes’ CDs in July 2008 with a CD from the Themes International Library but amongst Volume 2’s 18 tracker issued in August 2009 were ‘Hot Property’ and ‘Jagged’, which were KPM tracks from 1974. The third volume issued in June 2011 included ‘Staying Power’ from 1976.
Vocalion’s ‘Sounds of the Times’ – recordings from the Conroy Recorded Music Library released in 2009 contained the tracks ‘Breezin’ (1976), ‘Soul For Sale’ (1970), ‘Tycoon’ (1973), and three from the 1976 album ‘New Dimension’ recorded at Lansdowne Studios engineered by Adrian Kerridge – ‘Before Summer Ends’, ‘Groovy Move’, and ‘Gospel Truth’. For the latter album Mansfield assembled key big band and leading jazz and session players of the time including Pete King who played alto sax, Brian Smith (tenor sax), John Taylor / Steve Gray (keyboards), Chris Roe (guitar), Brian Odges (bass guitar), and Barry Morgan on drums.
‘Big City Suite’ – (their third KPM release issued in 2009) featured music by David Gold + KPM 1000 series 1972-78. The Mansfield tracks included on this CD were ‘Trial of Strength’ (1974), ‘Good Vibrations’ (1976), ‘The Fix’, and ‘Snake Hips’ – the latter three being from his ‘Contempo’ album.
Mansfield’s ‘The Great Outdoors’ opened the ‘Time To Fly’ CD – another Vocalion issue in March 2010 featuring 28 tracks from the KPM 1000 Series (1970-76). Also included were ‘Sun Lover’, ‘Hollywood Première’, ‘Life of Leisure’ from 1972, ‘Whistle Stop Tour’, ‘The Loving Touch’, ‘Husky Birdsong’ from 1973, and ‘Towards the Sun’ originally issued in 1976.
A rare commercial issue of Mansfield’s ‘Bow Street Runner’ recorded for Syd Dale’s Amphonic Music in 1976 appeared on a 25 track CD issued by Vocalion in 2010 titled ‘Super Sounds Unlimited’.
Vocalion’s ‘Bedside Bond’ and ‘Number One Themes’ released in March 2010 includes a version of Mansfield’s ‘Soul Thing’ played by Tony Newman and originally released on Decca in June 1968. Both sides of this single were arranged by Mansfield but ‘Soul Thing’ had a slightly slower tempo than the original. Arzachel’s version (culled from the ultra rare Evolution’ LP) was used as the theme tune for the 1968 children’s Thames TV series ‘Queen St. Gang’. Paul Raven – better known to 70s fans as Gary Glitter – added lyrics to the tune and issued it on a single on MCA in August 1968.
In July 2010 Vocalion issued their 5th CD of KPM music ‘Liquid Sunshine’ containing:
‘Pretty Colours’ and ‘Je Reviens’ (1970), ‘Cote D’Azur’, ‘Summer Setting’, and ‘Scenic Journey’ (1972), ‘Clean Air’ (1973), and ‘Nice Feelings’, ‘Love De Luxe’ and ‘Sun Goddess’ from 1976. The 1970 album ‘Sweet Groove’ from which ‘Pretty Colours’ was lifted was recorded at the EMI Pathe-Marconi Studios in Paris, and the ‘Contempo’ tracks containing ‘Sun Goddess’ and ‘Love De Luxe’ were recorded by Mike Clements at KPM. The latter theme was used in the TV series ‘The Sweeney’ and featured Pete King on alto sax Derek Watkins on flugel horn.
‘Girl on the Beach’ + KPM Library – ‘Gentle Sounds’ (another Vocalion issue in Nov 2010) highlighted 12 tracks by James Clarke but included Mansfield’s ‘Soft Cell’ and ‘Floating Bossa’ amongst its other 15 selections which were all lifted from the KPM album ‘Gentle Sounds’ issued in 1968.
Another WHR 2 CD released in April 2010 – ‘Music While You Work’ – included ‘A Girl Like You’; ‘Superstar (A)’; and ‘All the Good Times (B)’ – tracks which were used in Channel 4’s Test Card transmissions during the 80s.
‘Music For Dancefloors – The KPM Music Library’ featured ‘Incidental Backcloth No. 9’, ‘Crash Course’ and some tracks with Mansfield with the KPM All-Stars – ‘Soul Thing’, ‘Dave Allen At Large’, ‘Beat Boutique’, ‘Crash Course’, and the ‘sports themes’ medley (’The Big Match’ / ‘BBC Wimbledon Tennis’ / ‘BBC Athletics’ / ‘Grandstand’). This was released in April 2013 on double CD and vinyl and previously on a single CD by Strut Records in 2000 called ‘Music For Dancefloors: The Cream of the KPM Music Green Label Sessions’ with 20 unreleased tracks. To launch the album the composers of many of the tracks were persuaded to perform the music live for the very first time and these tracks were issued on the 2 CD set reissue.
The latest release was from Soul Jazz Records’ – a two CD set titled ‘TV Sound and Image: British Television, Film and Library Composers 1956-80 (issued in June 2012). It included Mansfield’s ‘Soul Thing’ amongst its 36 tracks. Collectors should note that this is the 1968 CBS recording first issued on CBS in 1968.
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5217
By Special Request : Percy Faith and Robert Farnon
Percy Faith and his Orchestra
All arrangements by Percy Faith
1 Ride Through The Night (from "Subways Are For Sleeping") (Jule Styne)
Columbia CS 8533 1961
2 Carefree (Percy Faith)
Columbia CS 8360 1961
3 La Golondrina (The Swallow) (Traditional)
Columbia CS 8038 1957
4 Granada (Augustin Lara)
Columbia CS 8038 1957
5 Over And Over Again (from Billy Rose’s "Jumbo") (Richard Rodgers)
Columbia CS 8583 1962
6 Fascination (Fidenco Dante Marchetti)
Columbia CS 8124 1959
7 Sixteen Going On Seventeen (from "The Sound Of Music") (Richard Rodgers)
Columbia CS 8215 1960
8 Duet (Percy Faith)
Columbia CS 8481 1962
9 A Cock-Eyed Optimist (from "South Pacific") (Richard Rodgers)
Columbia CS 8005 1958
10 Chico Bolero (Percy Faith)
Columbia CS 8702 1962
11 Bess You Is My Woman Now (from "Porgy and Bess") (George Gershwin)
Columbia CS8105 1959
12 I Enjoy Being A Girl (from "Flower Drum Song") (Richard Rodgers)
Columbia CS 8583 1962
Robert Farnon and his Orchestra
(except where stated that Robert Farnon is conducting other orchestras)
All arrangements by Robert Farnon
13 The Girl On The Police Gazette (from the show "Star And Garter") (Irving Berlin)
(LP label credits ‘Jack Saunders Orchestra’)
Everest SDBR 1011 1958
14 Moon Over Hong Kong (featured in the film "The Road To Hong Kong") (Robert Farnon)
Liberty LOS 17002 1962
15 St. Patrick’s Day; The Gentle Maiden (Traditional)
Decca SKL 4096 1959
16 Seventh Heaven (Robert Farnon)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on 78 label)
Chappell C 410 1952
17 All Sports March (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Chappell C 339 1948
18 Tangerine (Victor Schertzinger; Johnny Mercer)
London BEP 6071 1955 (recorded 1952)
19 Blue Moment (Robert Farnon)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on 78 label)
Chappell C 606 1958
20 Dominion Day (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Chappell C 616 1958
21 In The Blue Of The Evening (original title "Footnote To A Summer Love") (Alec Wilder)
featuring FRANK REIDY, clarinet
Decca LK 4067 1953
22 City Streets (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Chappell C 629 1959
23 The Touch Of Your Lips (Ray Noble)
Philips 852011 BY 1962
24 "Captain Horatio Hornblower, R.N." Title theme from the film (Robert Farnon)
THE LONDON FESTIVAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Delyse DS 6057 1960
Stereo tracks 1 – 15 & 23, 24; rest in mono
Canada’s largest city, Toronto, has the honour and distinction of being the birthplace of two of the 20th Century’s finest composer/conductor/arrangers in the world of Light Music. Ironically both of them achieved worldwide recognition and fame when they left their homeland and established their glittering careers in other countries. In the case of Percy Faith he responded to many offers of work and moved south of the border into the United States. Robert Farnon was sent to Britain during the Second World War, where he realised that the entertainment scene offered him more scope than back home to develop his skills. In each case they had been recognised in Canada for their music before they left, but it can be argued that they might not have achieved their universal acclaim had they not developed their careers elsewhere.
Percy Faith was born on 7 April 1908, the oldest of eight children. As a child he learned the violin and piano, and originally he expected that he would pursue his music career as a concert pianist. Aged only 15, he gave a piano recital at Toronto’s famous Massey Hall, but he injured his hands in a fire which forced him to turn to composing, arranging and conducting.
During the 1930s he was regularly heard in live music broadcasts on Canadian radio, and his programme "Music By Faith" was carried by the Mutual network in the USA, prompting offers of work south of the border. He eventually succumbed in 1940 and moved to Chicago, leaving Robert Farnon (previously his lead trumpeter) to conduct his Canadian orchestra. He became a naturalized citizen of the United States in 1945.
Initially Faith concentrated on broadcasting, although he did make some commercial recordings for the Majestic, Decca and RCA labels, several of which have featured on previous Guild CDs. However, many other recordings, mainly derived from his radio programmes, were issued by Voice Of America on transcription discs, but these were not available to the general public. Some of them may now be heard on Guild GLCD5174 and GLCD5181. Things were to change dramatically when he signed a Columbia (CBS) contract in 1950 to provide backings for the label’s top singers which also allowed him to begin a regular programme of recording singles and albums of his own.
He soon discovered that his singles sold well and the new long playing records needed the kind of popular instrumental sounds that had formed the basis of his broadcasts for so many years. Unlike many of his contemporaries, Faith arranged all his own material, and his exciting and vibrant scores made his work stand out among the rest. He accompanied Columbia’s contract singers, and even contributed the odd popular song, such as My Heart Cries For You for Guy Mitchell. One of his best-selling singles was Theme from "A Summer Place" (on Guild GLCD5165) which is still frequently heard today. It won the Grammy Award for ‘Record Of The Year’ in 1961. A second Grammy followed in 1969 for his album Love Theme from "Romeo and Juliet".
Percy Faith’s recordings usually concentrated on the rich source of popular music of the time, which was available in abundance in musicals on Broadway and Hollywood films. But he also had a penchant for the exotic sounds of Latin-American music, and some of his best-selling collections featured his distinctive arrangements of the music of Mexico and Brazil. Like his fellow orchestra leaders, he had to acknowledge the changing tastes in popular music during the 1960s, and for a while he managed to attract a younger generation of listeners with albums devoted to lush orchestral versions of current song successes.
Although his recording career was always paramount, his composing and arranging abilities naturally attracted offers of work elsewhere. He composed the popular theme music for the television series "The Virginian", screened by NBC in the US and also shown in many countries around the world. In Hollywood he received an Academy Award nomination for his arrangements of the songs in the Doris Day film "Love Me Or Leave Me" (1955). Other Hollywood commissions included "Tammy Tell Me True" (1961), "I’d Rather Be Rich" (1964), "The Love Goddesses" (1964) and "The Third Day" (1965). The following year he provided a beautiful score for the much criticised film "The Oscar", although it did produce the song Maybe September which was recorded by Tony Bennett.
But today it is his numerous albums that have created a resurgence of interest in his work, thanks to their reissue on CD. Faith was always busy, whether working in the recording studios, radio, television or films. He died at Encino, California, on 9 February 1976, aged 67.
Percy Faith’s music has already been widely represented on Guild Light Music CDs. Some of the most memorable tracks include:
Blue Is The Night [GLCD5194] Brazil [GLCD5213] Brazilian Sleigh Bells [GLCD5105] Edelma [GLCD5182] Falling In Love With Love [GLCD5181] Fiddle Derby [GLCD5187] Go-Go-Po-Go [GLCD5199] Mademoiselle De Paris [GLCD5136] March Of The Toys [GLCD5159] Mucho Gusto [GLCD5214] Petite [GLCD5199] Show Me [GLCD5152] Swedish Rhapsody [GLCD5191] Temptation [GLCD5188] Theme from ‘A Summer Place’ [GLCD5165] Why Do I Love You [GLCD5181]
Robert Farnon was widely regarded as one of the world’s greatest composers of Light Orchestral music during the second half of the twentieth century. He was also revered as an arranger of quality popular songs, having influenced most of the top writers on both sides of the Atlantic. A great lover of jazz, two of his closest friends were trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie and pianist Oscar Peterson.
Robert Joseph Farnon was born on 24 July 1917, and while still in his teens, he became a household name through his many programmes on radio, especially the long-running "Happy Gang". He occupied the lead trumpet chair in Percy Faith’s Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s Orchestra, also contributing vocal arrangements for the show. In 1940 Faith decided to leave for greener pastures in the USA, and Farnon was invited to take over the baton. World War 2 eventually interrupted his promising career, which had included the composition of two symphonies by the age of 25. It was as conductor of the Canadian Band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces that Farnon arrived in England in September 1944, working alongside Glenn Miller and George Melachrino, who fronted the American and British bands.
At the end of the war Farnon took his discharge in Britain, finding the musical scene more suited to his talents, so that he could work in films, radio and the recording industry. He realised that he had a talent for Light Music, but he did not confine himself to it. After all, he had been brought up in an atmosphere of big bands and show music. While living in Toronto he made frequent visits to New York, where he would call in at Minton’s, generally regarded as the birthplace of "bebop". It was not rare for him to be asked to join a jam session, with the likes of Dizzy and Oscar.
Farnon’s inventive ideas were soon noticed by British bandleaders Lew Stone, Ambrose and Ted Heath who were not slow to add Farnon scores to their libraries. Farnon joined the Geraldo Organisation as an arranger, and when Geraldo travelled to the USA in 1947 for a while Farnon took over the band for its broadcasts and recordings.
The Robert Farnon Orchestra began to appear regularly on BBC radio and television, both in its own programmes and also supporting big British stars such as Vera Lynn and Gracie Fields. Thanks to his radio broadcasts, British listeners were starting to notice the bright, fresh Farnon sound, and towards the end of 1948 Decca released one of the finest Light Music 78s ever recorded - "Jumping Bean" coupled with "Portrait Of A Flirt". These two Farnon originals have become part of the folk lore of British Light Music, and they undoubtedly influenced a generation of composers in this genre.
His first important film score was for "Spring In Park Lane" (1948), and it was hardly surprising when Warner Bros commissioned him to write the score for their prestigious maritime saga "Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N." (1951). The stars were Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo, and Farnon’s score reflected the attraction they both felt for each other, as well as the many dramatic swashbuckling scenes throughout the film. The title music is the final track on this CD.
In 1962 cinema audiences saw the last film in the famous ‘Road’ series which had begun in Singapore way back in 1940. Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour were reunited for "The Road To Hong Kong" which was filmed at Shepperton Studios in England with Farnon as musical director. Some other major film scores included "Maytime In Mayfair" (1949), "Gentlemen Marry Brunettes" (1955), "The Sheriff of Fractured Jaw" (1958), "Shalako" (1968) and "Bear Island" (1979).
Although it has to be said that he never received the promotional support he deserved from his record company, his contract with Decca produced many fine albums which became models of orchestration. Leading international recording artists engaged him to arrange and conduct for them, such as Frank Sinatra, Sarah Vaughan, Tony Bennett, Lena Horne and George Shearing. Farnon’s work has often been recognised by his peers. In Britain the foremost long-running recognition for excellence in the music industry are the Ivor Novello Awards. Farnon’s tally: "Westminster Waltz" in 1956; "Sea Shore" 1960; "Colditz March" 1973; and the major citation "Outstanding Services to British Music" in 1991. Across the Atlantic Farnon received Grammy nominations for arrangements in 1976 for "Sentimental Journey" (on a Singers Unlimited album) and in 1992 "Lush Life" (sung by Eileen Farrell). He finally reached the top for Best Instrumental Arrangement of 1995 - "Lament" on the J.J. Johnson album "Tangence". His importance was finally acknowledged by his homeland when he was awarded the Order of Canada early in 1998.
Robert Farnon lived on the beautiful island of Guernsey in the English Channel for almost half a century. He was still actively working on new composing and arranging projects right up until the time when he passed away peacefully on 23 April 2005, just three weeks before the premiere of his third symphony in Edinburgh.
The following compositions by Robert Farnon are a few of the fifty to be found on previous Guild CDs:
Derby Day [GLCD5160] Gateway To The West [GLCD5215] Goodwood Galop [GLCD5104] How Beautiful Is Night [GLCD5196] In A Calm [GLCD5112] Journey Into Melody [GLCD5214] Jumping Bean [GLCD5162] Malaga [GLCD5132] Manhattan Playboy [GLCD5175] Melody Fair [GLCD5170] Peanut Polka [GLCD5160] Pictures In The Fire [GLCD5212] Poodle Parade [GLCD5111] Portrait Of A Flirt [GLCD5120] Sea Shore [GLCD5180] A Star Is Born [GLCD5149] State Occasion [GLCD5178] Westminster Waltz [GLCD5158]
Pictures from Robert Farnon Society London Meetings, 1997
|RFS Secretary David Ades
and Angela Morley
|Angela Morley,Christine Parker
and Charles Gerhardt
|Robert Farnon, Jackie Hockridge,
Edmund Hockridge and Angela Morley
|Robert Farnon, Angela Morley
and Christine Parker
|Rosemary Squires and
|Robert Farnon arrives
at the meeting
|David Ades and
|Robert Farnon and
|Geoffrey Butcher and
|John Fox and
|Robert Farnon and
|Edward Cole, Robert Walton
and Robert Farnon
|Ernest Tomlinson and
|John Wilson and
|Robert Farnon, Don Furnell
and David Farnon
|Tony Clayden, David Ades
and Robert Farnon
|John Wilson and
|David Ades and
|Ron Goodwin, Derek and
Siv Boulton, Robert Farnon
and Derek Boulton
|The Top Table toasts Robert Farnon
on his 80th birthday
|Rosemary Squires and
thanks his friends
|Derek Boulton, Sin Boulton
and Robert Farnon
and Robert Farnon
|David Ades and
|Edmund and Jackie Hockridge
with Robert Farnon
STANLEY BLACK & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Carnival In The Sun' & 'Compilation' El Cumbanchero; Morocco; Jungle Bird; The Cactus Polka; Flamingo; The Baión; Cascade of Stars; Sugar Loaf Samba; The Breeze and I; Cielito Lindo; Tango; Rumba Rhapsody; Pianolo; Condeña; Mexican Hat Dance; Rumba-tambah; Maria La O; Alma Llanera; A Media Luz; Gaviotta; Siciliano; Estrellita del Sur; Back Track; O Dear, What Can the Matter Be?; Pop Goes the Mambo; Mon Coeur est un ViolonVocalion CDVS 1971 (72:11) We have not had a new Black re-issue for some time so this is especially welcome – particularly at the super-bargain price of £2.99! The first album with Stanley on piano and The George Mitchell Choir was first released on a Decca mono LP in 1955. The compilation tracks were all recorded between 1949 and 1960; some being issued as singles, others taken from Ace of Clubs LPs. The traditional O Dear and Pop Goes were arranged by John Gregory. Stanley's piano touch is well to the fore, as one would expect, and on the last track he is accompanied by Latin American Rhythms. A best buy! Peter Burt
BOTTICELLI & HIS ORCHESTRA 'The Sound Of Today' & 'Classics In Latin' 23 tracks incl. Botticelli's Theme; Fernando; Save Your Kisses for Me; This Melody; Besame Mucho; Je Vais T'Aimer ... Eine Kleine Nachtmusik; Liebestraum; Menuet; Bolero; In a Persian Market; Nabucco Slaves (Va Pensiero) ... Vocalion CDLK 4450 (73:14) David Ades was enthusiastic about this outfit in JIM 186 and disclosed that the man behind "Botticelli" was Dick Bakker, the Dutch arranger, producer, director, conductor and composer – his Eternal Cycle is on the second album – who has been associated with the renowned Metropole Orchestra for many years. These Phase 4 albums from 1977 and 1978 are both enjoyable with interesting arrangements; wordless chorus and the pop beat tolerable. The Latinised classical works are fun and start off at a cracking pace with Mozart's Little Night Music accompanied by a full set of percussion. Peter Burt
'BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC' Various Orchestras & Conductors Devil's Galop; Portrait of a Flirt; Sunny Side Up; Marching Strings; Barwick Green; Red Cloak; London Transport Suite; Starlight; Boomps A Daisy; By the Sleepy Lagoon; Television March; Merrymakers Overture; Calling All Workers; Oxford Street; Country Gardens; Shepherd's Hey; Molly on the Shore; Londonderry AirRegis RRC 1381 (62:04) This is an example, and good of its type, of an introduction to light music, taken from remastered recordings of originals from 1931-60 and still sounding well. We have six Eric Coates tracks, four of them marches, and four Percy Grainger's in those Frederick Fennell Eastman-Rochester "Pops" recordings, superb in their day, arguably the best things on the disc. Generally most of the music is very well-known, though I may not have heard Ron Goodwin's Red Cloak or the Siravo Boomps A Daisy – I am told he was, strictly, American! In many cases it is good to have the composer as conductor: Coates, Bob Farnon, Ray Martin, Charles Williams and Goodwin. One of the Farnon tracks is of Sidney Torch's engaging London Transport Suite I first heard at a 1950's BBC Light Music Festival, and another is Angela Morley's Starlight. At least half the tracks are BBC connected. Recommended as a present (price circa £5) for someone one wishes to introduce to light music. Philip L Scowcroft
KT Editor's CD Choice
ROBERT FARNON & HIS ORCHESTRA 'The Hits Off Sinatra' & 'A Portrait Of Johnny Mathis'Second Time Around; All the Way; Come Fly with Me; A Lovely Way to Spend an Evening; In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning; Only the Lonely; Young at Heart; Call Me Irresponsible; (Love is) The Tender Trap; All or Nothing at All; Nancy (with the Laughing Face); My Kind of Town; Misty; The Twelfth of Never; It's Not for Me to Say; What Will My Mary Say?; When Sunny Gets Blue; Maria (from 'West Side Story); Chances Are; A Certain Smile; Gina; Small World; Wonderful, Wonderful; Someone Vocalion CDLK 4455 (77:00)
'My Fair Lady And Other Musical Bouquets' & 'The Sensuous Strings of Robert Farnon' Get Me to the Church on Time; Wouldn't it be Loverly; On the Street Where You Live; I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face; Button Up Your Overcoat; Black Bottom; Dancing in the Dark; The Best Things in Life are Free; I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All?; Sunnyside Up; The Touch of Your Lips; To a Young Lady; Isn't It Romantic?; La Casita Mia; Moonlight Becomes You; When I Fall in Love; I'm in the Mood for Love; Hey There; Something to Remember You By; Just a Memory; Alone TogetherVocalion CDLK 4462 (72:11) Long-time Farnonians will have been hoping for these releases.Readers who are comparative latecomers to Bob's music and only know him through re-issued Decca mono recordings on Vocalion may be pleasantly surprised. The four albums were recorded at the behest of Quincy Jones and issued in Britain on vinyl by Philips in the early-mid '60s. The Farnon orchestra featured such instrumental luminaries as Raymond Cohen, Shake Keane, Bob Burns, Kenny Baker, Don Lusher, Dave Goldberg and Johnny Scott. On 'The Sensuous Strings' (my favourite among the four albums) listeners will appreciate Bob's stereo re-recordings of tracks from his days at Decca. On 'My Fair Lady' he brings us some exciting big band sounds; and on 'A Portrait Of Johnny Mathis' there is more of what Mr Ades' admirable liner note describes as the "ethereal string sound that so mystified Farnon's peers". 'The Hits Of Sinatra' was produced by Harold (Hal) Mooney, A&R Director at Mercury Records. You can read more in a feature on page ??. Mike Dutton's usual high standard digital restoration pertains. Suffice to say that no self-respecting Farnon collector should be without these discs – at the time of writing available online from HMV for £5.99 each.Peter Burt
JACKIE GLEASON presents 'Champagne, Candlelight and Kisses' & 'Love Embers and Flame' Orchestra conducted by Jackie Gleason 24 tracks incl. Theme from 'Bus Stop'; Undecided; I Double Dare You; A Pretty Girl is Like a Melody; A Little Love, A Little Kiss; All by Myself ... What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry?; Lady of the Evening; How About Me?; Would You?; Now that You're Gone; For All We Know ... Vocalion CDLK 4459 (67:25) Mr Gleason (1916-87) was a man of many parts: actor, comedian, composer (the title tune and The Lovers' Waltz on the second album, are from his pen), conductor, designer of clothes, jewellery, games, etc. Mantovani guru, Colin Mackenzie, has written really excellent liner notes throwing light on the music of the man known as "The Great One", which is very helpful if, like me, you know his name but have not come across his recordings. The variety in George Williams' arrangements hold the interest throughout – I particularly enjoyed the five tracks on the first album where a Dixieland band plays in front of the string orchestra. But, basically, Mr Gleason's signature sound is lush strings backing solo trumpet, trombone or alto and tenor saxophone, with sometimes piano and rhythm. Definitely a disc to add to your shelves. Peter Burt
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Waltzing and Marching' "Sari" Waltz; Vienna City Of My Dreams; Gold And Silver Waltz; Two Heart In Three Quarter Time; Waltz Dream; "Gypsy Baron" Waltz; "Zigeunliebe" Gypsy Love Waltz; Emperor Waltz; Strike Up The Band; Colonel Bogey; Seventy Six Trombones; American Patrol;: El Capitan; The Yellow Rose Of Texas/The Eyes Of Texas Are Upon You; Stars And Stripes For Ever; National Emblem March; Washington Post March; Semper Fideles; Anchor's Away/The Marines Hymn; The Caissons Go Rolling Along/The Army Air Corps Sounds of Yester Year DSOY 861 (63:05) The waltzes were recorded in the Liederkranz Hall, New York, in December 1947, with studio quality, no audience, originally on 78rpm in the USA but on a 10-inch vinyl in the UK. The marches are from a 1961 LP. The distinctive blend of ecstatic energy music Kostelanetz always produced is in abundance. Once again Michael Highton's sleeve notes deserve praise for their detail. Paul Clatworthy
GEOFF LOVE & HIS ORCHESTRA 'Big Suspense Movie Themes' & 'Big Bond Movie Themes'24 tracks incl. Also Sprach Zarathustra from '2001 Space Odyssey; Love Theme from 'The Godfather'; The French Connection; Paris by Night (Le Rififi) from 'Rififi'; Theme from 'Z'; The High and the Mighty; Shaft; The Harry Lime Theme; In the Heat of the Night; Love Theme from 'Airport'; Diamonds are Forever; Frenzy; The James Bond Theme from 'Dr No'; From Russia with Love; Goldfinger; Thunderball; Mr Kiss Kiss Bang Bang from 'Thunderball'; Casino Royale; You Only Live Twice ... Vocalion CDLK 4461 (72:08) In reviewing the Love disc of 'Themes For Super Heroes' & 'Big Terror Movies' (CDSML 8476) last September I hoped that it would be the forerunner of many more and, lo, here are four albums on two 2-on-1 discs for starters. This first album dates from 1972 and along with the other three was originally issued on EMI's best-selling Music for Pleasure label. (Geoff's 'Big Western Movie Themes' made it into the label's top twenty titles; so hopefully we can expect that in due course). From Richard Strauss through Rota, Tiomkin, Newman, Barry et al to Ron Goodwin, the first dozen tracks are both very well played and recorded. With the second MfP album from 1975, of equal merit, there is arguably less variety but you get what it says on the tin. A good listen, then, all round Peter Burt
'Latin With Love' & 'Dreaming With Love' 24 tracks incl. La Bamba; Spanish Harlem; Guantanamera; Sucu Sucu; The Girl from Ipanema; One Note Samba ... Dream; I'm a Dreamer, Aren't We All? You Stepped Out of a Dream; Drifting and Dreaming; Dream a Little Dream of Me; Out Of My Dreams from 'Oklahoma' ... Vocalion CDLK 4452 (73:05) Another good 'un and although I prefer a bit more fire with my Latin music, in fairness it is sub-titled "in the mood for dancing." The second album, a collection of lovely melodies from the great American songbook, is ideal for lazy afternoon or late night listening – which it has been getting in our house. The famed Norman Newell produced the original LPs, from 1973 and 1976 respectively, as he did those above. The quality of the remastering by Mr Dutton is a given, and the discs are each enhanced by six-and-a-bit pages of knowledgeable liner notes from Oliver Lomax. Peter Burt
FRANCK POURCEL & HIS ORCHESTRA '1925-30' & '1930-35' 24 tracks incl. Charleston; Valentine; Pas Sur La Bouche; Mon Paris; Le Black Bottom; I Want to Be Happy... Parlez-Moi D'Amour; I Got Rhythm; Les Gars de la Marine; Ville D'Amour; Miette; The Day You Came Along ...Vocalion CDLK 4464 (58:25) The maestro whose sum total of record sales piled one on top of the other would be twenty times the height of the Eiffel Tower is responsible for a couple of late '60s albums featuring some marvellous songs from the mid-20s to mid-30s. In her affectionate liner notes that give an added appeal to this disc Franck's daughter, Françoise, tells us that her father was "A perfectionist, he wrote the arrangements, chose the songs, the musicians, the studio and did the editing as well as the design of the album covers." I am a sucker for the Pourcel high string sound, so very interested to read him quoted as saying that "For me, the violin is the instrument closest to the human voice. I don't play it, I make it sing. It should be considered a vocal instrument, an instrument that speaks to the heart of man." Joie de vivre aboundshere. Peter Burt
ROGER ROGER ORCHESTRA – Volume 1 Happiness Day; En Carriole (Horse and Buggy); Haute Couture (Paris Fashions); Vive le Sport; Grands Travaux; Paysage (Landscape); Romany Girl; Clowneries; Menuet; Holiday Party; Feux-Follets (Jack O'Lantern); Traffic Boom; Interlude Dramatique; Tension No. 1; La Vitrine aux Jouets (The Toy Shop Window); Pres des Flots (Seashore); Music Hall; Concerto Jazz pour Harpe et Orchestre; Le Dernier Metro (The Last Metro); Danse des Oizeaux (Birds' Dance); El Muletero; Le Grand Derby; Suite Tropicale; Marche Royale; Tour de France; Tourbillon de Paris Orphee 58 ORP58002/1 (73:21). I got quite excited when I first learned about this new French CD. Roger Roger has written many appealing melodies, and he deserves to be remembered with new collections of his music. But I have to confess that when the copy I ordered from France arrived I was slightly disappointed. Being a CD producer myself, I like to know the origins of recordings, but there are no details of the original catalogue numbers or the dates (the latter is important because of sound copyright, and the inclusion of one track came as a surprise). There is one spelling mistake I spotted – track 17 should be Music Hall (not Music all!) The sound quality is generally good, although some tracks do seem a bit different from others. The majority come from the Chappell Recorded Music Library, and many of them are already available on Guild CDs. The booklet is a disappointment – only four pages with text on just one, in French, of course. Personally I think Roger Roger deserves better than this. But the biggest shock is the price: unless someone starts discounting UK buyers can expect to pay almost £20. With only MP3 downloads available from Amazon, I had to order my CD copy from the record company itself, and if readers wish to do the same they will need to visit the website ...www.orphee58.com... This is Volume 1: I hope I can be a bit more positive about Volume 2 when it is released. David Ades
DAVID ROSE 'King of Strings' Jasmine JASCD 597 Double CD (78:46 & 78:32) Peter Burt beat me with his excellent review in the last issue but I would like to add that way back in 1985 I collated articles on David's recordings. With the help of five other members we put together a large list of LPs sadly mostly unavailable. With the advent of CDs a little of the music was reissued (usually the same tracks!) Here we have 55 wonderful tracks doing some justice to David's magnificent catalogue, admittedly still containing some familiar tracks but a collection to be treasured. Hopefully some of David's other MGM albums will be resurrected, in particular 'The Music of Harold Arlen' my particular favourite. Paul Clatworthy
PHIL KELSALL 'Strictly Blackpool' 20 medleys incl. Say It With Music; Music, Music, Music, Forty Second Street; The Varsity Drag; Fascination; Lonely Ballerina; Cara Mia; Out of Nowhere (You came along from); You Stepped Out of a Dream; On The Sunny Side of the Street; Where are You?; Jealousy; Midnight Tango; Hallelujah; A Woman in Love; My Foolish Heart ... Grasmere GRCD 137(65:27) Here Mr Kelsall is on home ground at the Wurlitzer Organ of The Tower Ballroom, Blackpool. All tracks are in strict tempo and sequence. The album was recorded and released by AP Promotions in 2009 and has now been licensed to Grasmere. An entertaining listen as ever. Peter Burt
TONY WHITTAKER 'Medley Magic' 15 tracks – 41 tunes incl. You Started Something; At Sundown; I'll Never Say Never Again; Friends & Neighbours; Love & Marriage; Let's Do It; It's D'Lovely; Anything Goes; Oh! You Beautiful Doll; Louise; Ain't She Sweet?; Amapola; An Apple For the Teacher; Sing a Song of Moonbeams; A Wonderful Guy; Wunderbar; Dolores; A New Kind of Love; Little Old Lady ...
TWS2011 (50:14) This arrived on a lovely bright January morning, but it would brighten up the darkest of days. A strict tempo selection of tunes from 1930 to 1959 – the "Golden Era" of songwriting – it is played by the man who patrons of the Royal Spa Centre in Leamington Spa will know as the MD there for some 20 years. Here Tony, who is also active on the Concert Organ Circuit, plays duets with himself on the Kurzweil piano and Hammond organ with rhythm accompaniment. Of especial interest to readers will be that all the tunes have been adapted from our fellow member Harold Rich's original scores for his two-piano and rhythm group, Pianorama, late of BBC Radio 2. With good recording quality, an appealing album. Peter Burt
...Available priced £11.45 (incl. p&p) from MSS Studios, Rhiwias, Cae Deintur, Dolgellau, Gwyned L40 2YS. Further details at .........www.organs.co.uk ......
PAT BOONE 'Love Letters in the Sand' 61 tracks incl. Anastasia; April Love; That Lucky Old Sun; Harbour Lights; Ebb Tide; Solitude; Begin the Beguine; Secret Love; Moonglow ... Retrospective RTS 4192 (79:10 & 78:09) This follows hard on the heels of Jasmine's 2-CD set, reviewed in JIM 189, which presented a selection of his singles from 1953-60. This compilation focuses on 1955-60, and begins with 26 of his hits, which inevitably cover the same ground. In contrast, disc two features the complete 1958 'Star Dust' album, plus seven tracks from the subsequent album 'Tenderly', both of which include as fine a selection of standards as you could wish. They were backed by Billy Vaughn & his Orchestra, as were most of the 45s. Like all great artists, Pat Boone made what he did sound easy, and the result is quite simply a joy. Barry McCanna
BING CROSBY & BUDDIES 'Gone Fishin'' 53 tracks incl. Pennies from Heaven; Small Fry; An Apple for the Teacher; Don't Fence Me In; It's Been a Long, Long Time; Alexander's Ragtime Band; Sam's Song; True Love... Retrospective RTS 4184 (79:33 & 79:17) Paul Whiteman's best-remembered vocal group was the Rhythm Boys, who feature here in the earliest track, namelyHappy Feet from the 1930 film ‘King of Jazz', with Eddie Lang's guitar audible behind the vocal. That's preceded by a 1951 duet with Louis, the title of which seems to sum up Bing's philosophy, if you substitute golf or horse racing for fishing! All three of the recordings that Bing made with the Mills Brothers are included, and they alone would be worth the price of this set; Dinah in particular is a master class in scat singing. Other particular favourites include The Way You Look Tonight with first wife Dixie Lee, the Hawaiian song Sweet Leilani, two swinging duets with Connee Boswell, and the delightful joshing on two songs with Johnny Mercer, not forgetting the verbal duel with Fred Astaire on I'll Capture Her Heart. Singing solo, Bing was a class act; in company the result was more than the sum of their parts. On some of these tracks the chemistry is so strong that you can almost smell it! Mention should be made also of the accompaniments, which are consistently excellent as you'd expect, given that apart from the stalwart John Scott Trotter, they include the orchestras of Jimmy Dorsey, Victor Young, Bob Crosby, Louis Jordan, Carmen Cavallero, Vic Schoen, Matty Matlock, Louis Armstrong and Billy May. It's truly a star-studded cast, and the compilation carries a full discography and an excellent liner note. Barry McCanna
...DALIDA 'The Very Best Of ...'... ...50 tracks incl Romantica; ...... Histoire d'un amour; Itsi bitsi petit bikini; Garde-moi la derniere danse (Save the last dance for me); Marina; Les Gitans; Love in Portofino; Dans le bleu du ciel blue; (Volare); Ce Serait Dommage; La chanson d'Orphee; Adieu monsieur mon amour ...... ...Not Now Music NOT2CD412 (154.00) Dalida was born Iolanda Christina Gigliotti in 1934 in Cairo, Egypt to Franco-Italian parents and soon after being crowned Miss Egypt in 1954 moved to Paris where her distinctive mezzo voice and glamourous Mediterranean good looks captured the hearts of the audiences of the more prestigious night clubs which lead to regular appearances on radio. She was soon signed up by the emerging Barclay record label alongside other new talent including Charles Aznavour. Her first success was in 1956 with Bambino a French version of the Italian hit Guaglione (recorded in the UK instrumentally by Cyril Stapleton as The man who plays the Mandolino) and was followed by Come Prima, Ciao Ciao... ...Bambina and Le jour ou la pluie viendra (The day the rains... ...came down). However she achieved international success in 1960 with Le enfants du Pirėe - the theme to the film 'Never on Sunday' and thereafter enjoyed bumper album sales over the next 25 years or so until her untimely death in 1987 at the age of 53. This double-CD brings together fifty of her successes from her Barclay years and includes her big hits already mentioned. What distinguishes this album are the arrangements she used. During her early years she was accompanied by that doyen of French light music Wal-Berg and later on by the superb Raymond Lefèvre, both major recording artists in their own right. At a giveaway price this is ideal for fans wishing to replace their worn out 33s and 45s, and also for those newcomers wishing to sample the singing of one of yesterday's French greats. Mike Crowther...
DAVID HUGHES 'Serenade : The Best of ...' 26 tracks incl. Love is a Many-Splendoured Thing; Ev'rywhere; Begin the Beguine; Santo Natale; True Love...REXX 132 (74:26)Reissues of David Hughes' work have tended to concentrate on repackaging his later LPs. In contrast, this compilation spans the fifties, and focuses mainly on the recordings he made for Phillips, although his first recording ‘With These Hands' (made for HMV in 1951) is also included. David had a rich tenor voice which was suited ideally to ballads. In the early sixties he switched course, and concentrated his output on classical and operatic works, and this CD encapsulates his relatively modest output of popular songs. Both tracklist and liner note are quite basic, but at its budget price this is well worth searching out. Barry McCanna
JOHNNY MERCER 'Music Shop 2' Is You Is Or Is You Ain't My Baby; San Fernando Valley; My Blue Heaven: Love Go Away; It Could Happen To You; Dream; Sugar; The Trolley Song; Sure Thing; I Woke Up And Started Dreaming; Dream; Exactly Like You; Goodnight, Wherever You Are; You Can Depend On Me; Crazy Rhythm; Alexander's Ragtime Band; Dream; I Can't Help It; Time Waits For No One; I Get The Blues When It Rains; I'm Not Jealous; Dream. Sounds of Yester Year DSOY 860(69:02) Jo Stafford, The Pied Pipers, Paul Weston's orchestra and guests smoothly work their way through another set recorded to cheer up the American armed forces. Johnny excelled as a prolific writer but his singing does not pass muster (as he admits). Jo and the Pied Pipers more than compensate. Paul Weston always came up with the goods and the announcements are not too long.Paul Clatworthy
THE MILLS BROTHERS 'Swing It' 83 tracks incl. Tiger Rag; Dinah; Sweet Sue, Just You; Lazybones; Big Boy Blue; Darling Nelly Gray; I'll Be Around; Paper Doll; Gloria; If I Had My Way; The Glow-Worm; The Jones Boy; Paper Valentine; Queen of the Senior Prom..... Fantastic Voyage FVTD 132 (78:55) (79:26) & (77:15) This is a generous package, which fulfils its promise of the best of the vocal quartet from 1931 to 1958. Each CD covers one decade, the first of which includes their earliest (and hottest) recordings, and features several collaborations; two with Bing, three with Ella, and three with Louis Armstrong. It's fascinating to hear how the Mills Brothers adapted their delivery to take account of changing musical tastes, without ever abandoning their high standards. The set comes in a handsome fourfold blister pack, the front cover of which houses a glossy 18-page illustrated booklet. The discography should have been checked for accuracy, but that is a minor criticism which detracts little from the appeal of this compilation. Barry McCanna
JO STAFFORD & GORDON MACRAE 'Yesterday - The Definitive Duo' 2 CDs: 57 tracks incl. Yesterday (Waltz Song); My Darling, My Darling; Bibbidi-Bibbidi-Boo; To Think You've Chosen Me; Whispering Hope; In the Gloaming; Near Me; I'll See You in Church on Sunday Morning; Last Night; Let the Rest of the World Go By; Down the Lane; The Pussy Cat Song (Nyot NYow); Hold Me, Hold Me; Love's Old Sweet Song ;The Rosary ... I'll String Along With You; Long, Long Ago; Dearie; Girls Were Made to Take Care of Boys; Near You; Juanita; When it's Springtime in the Rockies; My One and Only Highland Fling; "A" – You're Adorable (The Alphabet Song); Sweet and Low; Driftin' Down the Dreamy Ol' Ohio; Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday; Now the Day in Over ... Jasmine JASCD 165(79:20) (78:15) Another winning compilation from this label with, here, the lady many reckon to be the best American popular female singer ever, and her partner on a staggering number of recordings for Capitol Records between 1948 and 1950 – 44 of them on these two discs. As well as his own singles, Gordon MacRae was well-known for his film roles in 'Carousel' and 'Oklahoma', both among the best-selling albums of the mid-'50s. Their first joint recording was a two-sided hit, Say Something Sweet to Your Sweetheart and Bluebird of Happiness). Robert Nickora's interesting liner notes tell us that this was recorded during a musicians' union strike, the full accompaniment being provided by a choral group. Another hit was Whispering Hope (a song from 1868) that sold a million. The second disc includes the original LP of 'Kiss Me Kate' with eight of Cole Porter's matchless opuses. The last two tracks totalling just over nine minutes are 'Songs of Christmas': hymn/carol medleys originally issued on a 12-inch 78 rpm record. We also hear Jo singing Gesu Bambino and Gordon Adeste Fideles. All the seasonal tracks feature The Jud Conlon Singers and organist Buddy Cole. Directing is Paul Weston, who with his orchestra accompanies on the majority of the tracks on both discs. For content and duration this is a fantastic bargain. Peter Burt
...CATERINA VALENTE 'Olé Plenty Valente!' 2 CDs: 56 tracks incl El Cumbanchero; Babalu; Anna; Quiereme Mucho; Poinciana; Granada; Taboo; Kiss of Fire; Two ladies in the shade of the banana tree; Secret Love ... Jasmine JASCD 695 (79.5 & 79:00) Ossie Dales recalls in his excellent liner notes that Caterina Valente was born in Paris in 1931 to an Italian mother and Spanish father both versatile performers and musicians appearing in cabaret, theatres and circuses all over Europe. At the age of three Caterina was performing with the family act initially as a dancer but later as a singer and guitarist with her brother Silvio Francesco also a talented singer and guitarist with whom she enjoyed a successful partnership in recordings and cabaret for over 20 years specialising mainly in performing Latin-American standards for which both had a natural affinity. It was as a result of an audition with German bandleader Kurt Edelhagen that her solo career was born and eventually a recording contract with Polydor. I first heard Caterina on the record request programme 'Two Way Family Favourites' on the BBC Light Programme in 1956 singing Malaguena and immediately bought an EP which included it together with The Breeze and I and Jalousie, all on this wonderful compilation, brilliantly accompanied by the RIAS Dance Orchestra directed by Werner Muller. Another EP purchase includes her version of Mack the Knife but this time accompanied by the distinctive sound of the Kurt Edelhagen Big Band which is on Side 2. This album is devoted to her "Polydor Years 1954/59" (with their iconic orange label and record sleeves) and demonstrates her versatility in chosen material: Latin-American songs, American standards and even Caribbean nonsense (Somebody bad stole de wedding bell), not to mention her singing effortlessly in Spanish, German and English. Appropriately this set contains 24 tracks from two Latin-American albums duetting with her brother accompanying themselves on guitar – the highlight for me is their lovely performance of the Rene Touzet standard Non te Importe Saber. The remaining two complete albums, all wonderfully accompanied by Sy Oliver and RIchard Wess, include her classic performance of Flamingo. All told this is a lovely collection, remastered superbly, and can be warmly recommended to fans and newcomers alike – and enjoy. Mike Crowther...
RODGERS & HART : Songs From The Shows 'My Funny Valentine' Frederica von Stade London Symphony Orchestra / John McGlinn 17 tracks incl. My Funny Valentine; I Must Love You; I Didn't Know What Time It Was; Moon of My Delight; Everybody Loves You; A Ship Without a Sail; To Keep My Love Alive; Love Never Went to College; You're Nearer; Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered; Now That I Know You; Bye and Bye; Atlantic Blues; Where or When ... EMI 0829382(69:16) Albums of opera singers performing popular songs do not always work, but not so here. In fact, the critic Adrian Edwards considered the original 1990 release to be "a well-nigh indispensable collection ... imaginatively planned ... a recording that I shall return to many times." The delightful American diva (known as "Flicka" to her family, friends and fans) is recognised as one of the best-loved classical artists of our time and has been involved in a number of "crossover" albums, none better than this. The song selection is nicely balanced between well-known titles and those less familiar; and the late John McGlinn conducts the first-rate LSO with his customary brio. To quote Mr Edwards again: "...the period orchestrations (largely by Hans Spialek) don't miss a trick to underline the syncopations of Rodger's writing." The always excellent Ambrosian Singers are on a couple of tracks, Quiet Night and Falling in Love With Love, while on If I Were You the mezzo is joined bythree sopranos: Rosemary Ashe, Lynda Richardson and Peta Bartlett. In his heyday Lorenz Hart's lyrical dexterity was considered second to none (well maybe to Ira Gershwin), so you won't go wrong with this competitively-priced American Classics offering. Peter Burt
ERIC DELANEY & HIS BAND 'The Big Beat' 25 tracks incl. Big Noise from Winnetka; Hornpipe Boogie; Time for Chimes; Ripe Cherry Rock; Bristol Bounce...REXX 134 (76:10) This compilation of his early recordings is an excellent tribute to the drummer Eric Delaney, who died in July 2011. Having begun playing in the thirties, he served with the RAF during the war then established his reputation when he joined Geraldo's organisation. He formed his own band in 1955, competed successfully against the incoming tide of rock ‘n' roll, and was still playing in his chosen genre over 60 years later. He adopted earlier innovations like internally-lit drums, and linked twin bass drums, and imported others such as a revolving stand and tuned timpani, hitherto the province of the symphony orchestra. The French use the term “batterie” for the drums, and Eric created a battery of sound, putting himself at the heart of his orchestra. He combined the instincts of a showman with the artistry of a musician, and that is well showcased by this CD. Ten of the tracks are medleys of tunes, mainly from film musicals (‘Can-Can', ‘My Fair Lady' and ‘Oklahoma') some are arrangements of traditional tunes, the best-known being his hit single Oranges and Lemons, and there are a couple of jazz classics. I wish that the tracklist were more detailed, and the liner note less perfunctory, but that is more than compensated for by the contents, which sound as if freshly-minted. This should be an essential purchase for devotees of the drum-orientated big band sound. Barry McCanna
THE NORTHERN DANCE ORCHESTRA 'Diamonds : The Best of ...' 56 tracks incl. All of Me; A Raggy Waltz; Blaydon Races; Thoroughly Modern Millie; September Song; Doin' the Racoon; Eleanor Rigby; Theme from ‘The Pink Panther'; My Ain Folk; Louise; Cheek to Cheek (SB); Wouldn't it be Loverly?... CORRIAN 101/2 (79:33 & 79:17) This double CD has been compiled from extant recordings of the NDO, which have survived (or been hoarded) despite the edict that after being used twice the tapes should be erased. From the very first track it's apparent that recording quality is quite superlative; the sound is as vivid and the stereo separation as clear as you could wish. It's a generous package, with the emphasis on instrumental numbers, but fifteen songs feature vocals by Johnny Roadhouse, Norman George, Clinton Ford and others. On the face of it therefore it has much to commend it, but I do have reservations about the balance and some of the interpretations. I've always regarded the rhythm section as the engine room of an orchestra, but here it seems to be occupying the bridge. The result is quite unrelenting, to the extent that I would advocate listening in segments rather than in one sitting. There is a wide range of material included, from outright swingers to sentimental ballads and traditional numbers, but in my opinion not all of them have benefited from the NDO treatment. Just to take two examples; that lovely torch song All of Mesounds as if it's been re-arranged for the Tijuana Brass and Lazybones is almost unrecognisable. I'm sure that big band enthusiasts will disregard those caveats, but if so don't delay because this is a limited edition and a... small number of copies are kindly being reserved for JIM readers.... ...Please mention this review when ordering. ...The double-CD costs £12.98 incl. p&p and you'll find more details and how to order at ...www.northerndanceorchestra.org.uk.... ...Barry McCanna...
...'TEA DANCE'... ...26 tracks incl. Java Jive; Sugar; China Boy; Texas Tea Party..... Past Perfect PPWOC001... ...(77:12) A... new CD from this label (after far too long an interval) should be cause for celebration, but the title is misleading, conjuring up an image of a Palm Court orchestra. The content is much more dynamic, ranging from Hutch's Moonlight Cocktail via The Boswell Sisters gender-blind rendition of When I Take My Sugar to Tea to Jimmie Lunceford's stratospheric For Dancers Only. Most of the tracks should be familiar, and collectors of this genre will own most if not all of them already – indeed, some of them come from earlier Past Perfect releases. So I'm sorry that it lacks both a liner note and a detailed tracklist. Having said that, it's a generous collection of outstanding performances by some of the very best bands and singers of the big band and swing era, in the remastered sound that Past Perfect does so well. Barry McCanna
TEDDY WILSON TRIO 'At the London House Chicago' Sunny Morning; Liza; Stompin' At The Savoy; Medley: Sophisticated Lady/Misty/I've Got The World On A String; King Porter Stomp; Someone To Watch Over Me; Honeysuckle Rose; Lullaby Of Birdland; Stompin' At The Savoy; Tea For Two; Medley: There's Danger In Your Eyes/On The Sunny Side Of The Street/It's The Talk Of The Town; How High The Moon; Body And Soul; Liza; Rose Room; Sunny Morning. Sounds of Yesteryear DSOY 866 (60:51) Transcription from the early 1960s. Teddy worked with many swing musicians including Roy Eldridge, Red Norvo, Buck Clayton and Ben Webster. In 1935 he joined Benny Goodman's trio making him the first black musician to perform in public with a previously all white group. Paul Clatworthy
BUDDY COLE 'Swingin' at the Hammond Organ' 48 tracks incl. Memories of You; Blue Lou; Brazil; Frenesi; Georgia on My Mind; Accent on Youth; Judy; Lullaby of the Leaves ... Jasmine JASCD 185 (65:31 & 66.59) This comprises four stereo albums, namely 'Have Organ Will Swing'(1958), 'Powerhouse' and 'Hot and Cole' (both 1959), and 'Swing Fever' (1960), and fulfils the promise of those titles. Two of these have been reissued already, and either cost far more than this quadruple, which should be a must have for fans of the instrument. Barry McCanna
MICHAEL FRANKS 'Time Together' Now That The Summer's Here; One Day In St. Tropez; Summer In New York; Mice; Charlie Chan Egypt; I'd Rather Be Happy Than Right; Time Together; Samba Blue; My Heart Said Wow; If I Could Make September Stay; Feathers From An Angels WingShanachie 5189 (56:59) The opening notes, a sweep of sound arranged by Chuck Loeb, keyboards, guitar, you will really believe it is summer. Added attraction, the trumpet of Till Bonner and sax of Eric Marienthal. Every track is a delight, consistently imaginative arrangements, others provided by Gil Goldstein, Mark Egan, Charles Blenzig and Scott Petito keep the mood of the opening gem in their scores. All songs are originals by Michael, every album he has made display the art of a wistfully melodic composer, his vocals are soft and emotive, enhancing the overall liquidity of the songs, every album seems to outdo the previous. Paul Clatworthy
IRVING AARONSON & HIS COMMANDERS 'Let's Misbehave (1926-28)' 25 tracks incl. Wimmin Aaah!; Poor Papa; The Pump Song; Waffles; Hard-to-Get Gertie; Crazy Words – Crazy Tune; Let's Misbehave ... Rivermont BSW-1155 (77:58) This label produces reissues to a very high standard, and this latest offering is no exception. It comprises the first 25 sides cut by Irving Aaronson, four for Edison and the remainder for Victor, and includes three unissued items. This was a very fine band, which played for entertainment as well as for dancing, and these recordings present a set of highly polished and extremely dynamic performances. This is the first in a planned series of four volumes, but the one drawback to this chronological approach is that (as can be seen from the titles) their 1926 recordings contain a high proportion of novelty songs. That said, all are played con brio, and my initial reservation was overcome by the band's obvious enthusiasm. Remastering has produced a very clear and spacious acoustic, in which the band's arrangements resonate, and the accompanying illustrated 28-page booklet contains a potted autobiography of the bandleader, a history of the band, profiles of the individual musicians, and notes on each of the recordings. Available from Amazon. Rivermont's catalogue can also be viewed and orders placed at ...www.rivermontrecords.com...Barry McCanna
ROY FOX 'Night After Night' 25 tracks incl. Wheezy Anna; Till Tomorrow; Sweetheart; A Broken Rosary; Maria My Own; Let's Call it a Day; Panhandle Pete.... Vocalion CDEA 6192 (75:03)
JACK PAYNE 'That's You Baby' 27 tracks incl. So Blue; This is Heaven; I've Got a Feeling I'm Falling;A Little Old Cottage; Exactly Like You; Falling in Love Again.... Vocalion CDEA 6191 (75:26)
LEW STONE 'My Kind of Music' 24 tracks incl. Lonely; The Girl who Loves a Soldier; Transatlantic Lullaby; Boom! F.D.R. Jones; Undecided; Rhumboogie..... Vocalion 6189 (73:54)
PAUL WHITEMAN 'Without a Song' 25 tracks incl. Evening Star; Felix the Cat; Lover Come Back to Me; Louise; Reaching for Someone; S'posin'; At Twilight ...... Vocalion 6193 (77:01)
First, a disclaimer, insofar as I wrote the liner notes for these four reissues, but that was the extent of my involvement. The other thing they have in common is that they all highlight a somewhat neglected period of that particular band.
Reissues of Roy Fox have concentrated on his first residency, at the Monseigneur Restaurant, but this CD turns the spotlight on 1933, when he was ensconced at the Kit-Cat Restaurant, and presents twenty-five of the thirty-seven recordings made between January and August. They give ample evidence of what a superb outfit this was, playing with crispness and precision that must have been the envy of many other bands. There's a good mix of vocalists on offer, and The Girl in the Little Green Hat offers a tour-de-force in the shape of trumpeter Sid Buckman's verbal dexterity.
Other stand-out tracks are What a Perfect Combination and Black-Eyed Susan Brown, on both of which the vocal is provided by The Cubs (trumpeter Les Lambert, saxophonist Harry Gold, and guitarist Ivor Mairants).
The Lew Stone CD is focussed on the prewar period of March to August 1939, from which sixteen tracks are drawn, plus four apiece from both 1940 and 1941. The shadow of the war is reflected in several of the songs, but the pervading mood is one of good cheer, and the musicianship throughout is of a high order. Sam Browne supplies most of the vocals, but there is one song from Dorothy Alt, one from Hughie Diamond, and two from Benny Lee. The last two tracks are instrumentals by the Stonecrackers, which was a smaller jazz-oriented group of varying personnel which recorded a total of a dozen titles in late 1940/spring 1941.
Paul Whiteman began his recording career with Victor Records, but switched to Columbia in May 1928, remaining with that company until September 1930. This reissue draws on the first twelve months, plus a couple of numbers from autumn 1929. In between Whiteman had been cooling his heels in Hollywood, waiting unsuccessfully for filming to commence on ‘The King of Jazz'. Bix was still present to begin with, although less to the fore, but when he did solo, as on 'Tain't So, Honey, 'Tain't So his contribution transformed the proceedings. Bing Crosby's vocals can also be heard, solo on five tracks, and as part of the Rhythm Boys on three.
The fourth CD has a sizeable batch of the Columbia recordings made by Jack Payne's BBC Dance Orchestra, and also four of the Regal recordings made by his earlier Hotel Cecil Orchestra. With the exception of four instrumentals, all feature vocals by Jack himself, albeit one as a duet with ukulele player Sydney Nesbitt, and two as a trio with pianist Bob Busby and drummer Bob Manning. Vocals were not Jack's strongest feature, and I Can't Believe that You're in Love with Me lacks any attempt at a syncopated delivery. In fairness, that is the earliest recording on this compilation, and Jack's renditions improved over time. So far as the music is concerned, the band delivered a very full, satisfying sound which was well captured by Columbia's recording engineers. Barry McCanna
SOUSA 'Music for Wind Band Vol. 10' The Royal Norwegian Navy Band / Keith Brion 15 tracks incl. The Free Lance March; The Quilting Party March; When The Boys Come Sailing Home!; Myrrha Gavotte; Vautour Overture; The Beau Ideal March; Anchor and Star ... Naxos 8.5559397(59:58) Anyone who thought that Sousa penned only military marches – though he did produce something like 136 examples of those – will be somewhat confounded by this release that clearly demonstrates his varied and diverse musical output. Included on this disc of almost exclusively rarities are the seldom heard Jazz America, which despite its title is not strictly jazz but more emblematic of the Jazz Age and comes complete with harp and simulated train whistles. The 12-minute People Who Live in Glass Houses Suite replicates in musical terms various alcoholic beverages from around the world, whilst the somewhat outrageous Humoresque on Kern's Look for the Silver Lining features the sound of a Model T Ford careering along the road with its complement of Keystone Cops and wheezy sounding trombone intoning There is a Tavern in the Town. The Salvation Army March dates from 1930 and is a result of a request from Cmdr Evangeline Booth, daughter of William Booth, the Salvation Army's founder; the whimsical sounding Who's Who in Navy Blue was composed at the request of a US Naval Academy graduating class in 1920. Recording and production standards are up to the usual high standard of this series and anyone collecting it will not be disappointed. If this music doesn't coax at least an occasional smile to your lips then nothing will!Roger Hyslop
'ANOTHER NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS' & 'SCROOGE' RTẾ Concert Orchestra; Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Gavin Sutherland John Fox: Carol Fantasia; Bryan Kelly: Scrooge; Philip Lane: Old Christmas Music; Another Night Before Christmas; Matthew Curtis: Christmas Rush – Concert March;Rebikov: Waltz (from 'The Christmas Tree Suite'); Liszt: The Christmas Tree Suite; Adam Saunders:Fairytale Sleighride; Angela Morley: Snowride; Tchaikovsky: Troika (from The Seasons) (orch. Lane);Thomas Hewitt Jones: Christmas Cracker Naxos 8.572744 (79:20) Unfortunately this was not released in time for a review in the last JIM, so if you missed it make sure it goes to the top of your "wish" list for next Christmas. It is an album of good quality light music largely by composers well-known, indeed personally known, to many RFS members. One possible new name is Thomas Hewitt Jones who won the BBC Young Composer competition in 2003 and is writing the music for this year's Olympic Mascots animated films series. Both Scrooge (19:47) and Another Night (6:00) are narrated by the admired actor, Simon Callow – the icing on the CD cake! This album and the earlier highly recommendable 'The Night Before Christmas' (Naxos 8.570331) are both produced by our friend Philip Lane. Peter Burt
...BRAGA SANTOS Royal National Scottish Orchestra / Ấlvaro Cassuto Alfama Ballet Suite; Symphonic Overture; Variations for Orchestra; Elegy; Three Symphonic Sketches Naxos 8.572815(72:36) Although not well-known in the UK, Joly Braga Santos (1924-88) was an outstanding Portuguese composer whose works vary from light music through to full scale symphonies. TheAlfama Ballet Suite is linked to the ancient Arab district of Lisbon and was recently discovered and orchestrated by the conductor, a former pupil of the composer. There are also several symphonies on the Marco Polo label, so definitely worth investigating if you like tuneful contemporary music.Peter Worsley...
......'DAN GODFREY ENCORES' Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra / Ronald Corp...... ...... ......Zampa ......(Herold)......; Gee Whizz! ......(Brooke)......; Carillon ......(Percy Whitlock)......; The Boatswain's Mate ......(Dame Ethel Smyth)......; Clatter of the Clogs ......(Flynn)......; In an Eastern Garden ......(Sir Landon Ronald)......; 'The Betrothal' ballet music ......(Armstrong Gibbs)......; Dance of the Nymphs & ...... ......Pizzicati ......(Montague Birch)......; The Magic Harp ......(Ian Boyle)......; Karlsbad's Dolls Dance ......(Ludwig Pleier)......; Love Duet ......from...... 'The Immortal Hour' ......(Rutland Boughton)......; Sierra Melody ......(Cecil White)...... ......Dutton Epoch CDLX...... (67:27) This is a fine and most welcome collection of encores given by Sir Dan Godfrey with his Bournemouth Municipal Orchestra during the early years of the 20th Century. Most had been lost in the mists of times so it is really good to hear them resurrected and played, appropriately, by the current BSO. ......Peter Worsley......
GRIEG 'Music For String Orchestra' Malmö Symphony Orchestra / Bjarte Engeset 15 tracks incl. From Holberg's Time & Lyric Suite Naxos 8.572403 (71:13) Lovely works, often inspired by poetry or the composer's native Norwegian countryside, very well played as Edvard Grieg intended, not by a chamber or string group but by the string section of a full symphony orchestra. If you only know his Piano Concerto, then try this – a real bargain. Edward Trub
KALINNIKOV 'Symphonies Nos. 1 & 2' Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra / Kees BakelsBIS BIS-CD-1155 (77:29) One of the great tragedies of the history of Russian music was the early death through intractable ill-health, at the early age of 34 in 1901, of Vassily Sergeyevitch Kalinnikov. He displayed early signs of an impressive burgeoning musical talent revealed unmistakably in two youthful life enhancing and adorable symphonies written in quick succession in the 1980s. Very Russian in idiom with vivid attractive themes and brilliant assured glittering orchestration, it is little short of astonishing that music of this quality makes so few visits to the concert hall or recording studio. This new release can be warmly recommended with confidence. The orchestra was formed as recently as 1998 and its 105 members have quickly established an excellent reputation, having already recorded with their Dutch conductor laureate a 4-CD series of Rimsky Korsakov for BIS that was well received. If you only buy one classically orientated disc this year, I would strongly urge you to consider making this one, full of naturally flowing melodies of great charm and natural spontaneity, your choice. Roger Hyslop
......E. J. MOERAN & JOHN IRELAND Royal Scottish National Orchestra / Martin Yates Dutton Epoch CDLX 7281...... (59:13) Three major world premieres on one CD, the most important being the completion by the conductor of what would have been Moeran's ......2nd Symphony...... put together from sketches and fragments found after his untimely death in 1950. ......Overture for a Festival ......dates from the composer's pre-war period while ......Sarnia by...... John Ireland is an orchestration of a three movement wartime piano piece about the occupied Channel Isles. Serious music but in a lighter British vein. ......Peter Worsley......
'NEW YEAR'S CONCERT 2012' Wiener Philharmoniker/ Jansons Sony Classical 88697927102 2 CDs: 25 tracks Wielding the baton this year in Vienna at the Golden Hall of the Musicverein's Straussfest was the Latvian Mariss Jansons, who is in the top five of today's classical music conductors. As well as popular works by members of the Strauss family, with polkas predominating, we hear Ziehrer Viennese Citizens, Hellmesberger Diabolic dance, Lumbye ("The Strauss of Scandinavia") Copenhagen Railway Steam Galop and Tchaikovsky Panorama and Waltzfrom the 'Sleeping Beauty' ballet. The last three items were a "first" at these concerts, as were the three opening items: Patriotic March, Town Hall Ball Dances and Either – Or! The last two items in the first half, Albion Polka and Jokey Polka,look forward to this year's Olympic Games. The famous Vienna Boys Choir join in with the VPO on the Tritsch-Tratsch and Fireproof Polkas. On the latter the maestro not only conducts but also plays the anvil. There is also a DVD (88697927139) with four bonus features. Definitely life-enhancing music in whatever form. Edward Trub
RIMSKY-KORSAKOV 'Orchestral Suites' Seattle Symphony / Gerard Schwarz Suite from 'The Snow Maiden'; Sadko – Musical picture; Suite from 'Mlada'; Suite from 'Le Coq d'Or' Naxos 8.572787 (70.04)This is another winner from the team that gave us this composer's previous release (8.572788) acclaimed by Roger Hyslop in our last issue. All the suites are taken from operas. No wonder that the disc was chosen on a Classic fM 'New CD Show' in January as "CD of the Week." And, despite a price rise to £6.99 (less online), still a great bargain. If you like this you might be interested In Rimsky's best-known work, Sheherazade, in a version with the same forces (8.572693), described by one reviewer as "absolutely terrific". Peter Burt
...SVENDSEN 'Orchestral Works Vol.1' Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra / Neeme JärviChandos CHAN 10693 (80:00) If you liked the highly acclaimed series of Halvorsen's orchestral works on this label by the same performers you will also like this from his fellow Norwegian, a contemporary of the great Grieg. Johan Svendsen's works, which are characterized by vitality and a mood of festivity, include two symphonies, concertos for violin and cello and chamber music, but he is remembered mainly for his shorter works, like Carnival in Paris, Romance (Marianne Thorson is the solo violinist here) and Norwegian Rhapsodies. These are among the ten tracks on this disc, none of which exceeds 12:1 minutes. It is an album of approachable music, very well played, superbly recorded, and with the longest playing time I have come across so far. Edward Trub ...
GRAINGER 'Rambles & Reflections' Piers Lane (piano) The Carman's Whistle (Air and Variations)(Byrd); Hornpipe from Water Music (Handel); Handelian Rhapsody (Cyril Scott); Air and Dance(Delius); Four Irish Dances (Stanford); Beautiful Fresh Flower (Anon–Trad); Ramble on Love from Der Rosenkavalier (R Strauss); Cradle Song (Brahms); Après un Rêve; Nell (Fauré); Paraphrase on Tchaikovsky's Flower Waltz; The Man I Love; Love Walked In (Gershwin); Lullaby (Foster) Helios CDH55454 (75:19) These delightful pieces are piano transcriptions made by Percy Grainger (1882–1961) the Australian-born composer, arranger and pianist best know for his arrangement of the folk-dance tune Country Gardens. With an Australian mother, Piers Lane was born (and now lives) in London, but grew up in Brisbane. He has played at the BBC Proms on five occasions. His playing here is spirited and quite enriching. Edward Trub
HOLST 'The Coming Of Christ' ... ... Holst Orchestra, City of London Choir & St Paul's Girls School Chamber Choir / Hilary Davan Wetton with narrator Robert Hardy EMR CD004(57:00) This unusual choral piece was commissioned by the Dean of Canterbury Cathedral, where it was first performed in 1927, as a setting of a text by John Masefield and although some had misgivings about a modern mystery play, 6,000 people turned up to hear the various performances. This premiere recording is accompanied by four shorter pieces, including the Nunc Dimittis and two psalms. If you like serious and unusual choral works then you will enjoy it but in any event, check out the English Music Festival which is held annually each summer near Oxford and devotes itself to tuneful British composers with a... ...strong emphasis on the late 19th and early 20th centuries – the Golden Renaissance of English music.... ... Edmund Whitehouse
Wilfred Askew reminds us of some other recently received releases
LIBERACE 'I'll Be Seeing You – The Piano Stylings of ...' 51 titles incl. Fascination; Gigi; All the way; Bless this house; Smile; Mack the Knife; To each his own; Over the rainbow; Buttons and bows ... Jasmine JASCD 174 (154:58) Four original Coral albums on two CDs.
DAVE PELL 'I Remember John Kirby' 11 tracks incl. Rose room; Royal Garden Blues; Undecided; Blue skies ... 'The Big Small Bands' 12 tracks incl. Then I'll be happy; Summit Ridge Drive; At the codfish ball; Viva Zapata; Mountain greenery ... Fresh Sound FSR 2259 (70:47) Two original Capitol albums (1959/60)
DAVE PELL OCTET 'Swingin' In The Ol' Corral' 12 tracks incl. I'm an old cowhand; Gal in calico; Empty saddles; Wagon wheels; Oklahoma hills; Cool water; Across the alley from the Alamo...Fresh Sound FSR 1655 (40:50) Original RCA album of 1956.
TERRY SNYDER & THE ALL-STARS 'Persuasive Percussion, vols 1 & 2' 24 tracks incl. Whatever Lola wants; My heart belongs to Daddy; Aloha oe; Japanese Sandman; In a Persian market; Blue Tango; Lady of Spain; Brazil ... Sepia 1170 (66:08) Originally issued on Enoch Light's Command label (1959/60).
BOB THOMPSON, HIS ORCHESTRA & CHORUS 'Just For Kicks' 14 tracks incl. On the street where you live; Diga Diga Doo; Look for the silver lining; It might as well be Spring ... 'Mmm Nice!' 13 tracks incl. Hello, young lovers; Do it again; Joie de vivre; While we're young ... 'On The Rocks' 12 tracks incl. Happy talk; All the things you are; Breezin' along with the breeze; I'll see you again ... Blue Moon BMCD 819 (98:53) Three RCA albums (1958-59) on two CDs.
ED TOWNSEND 'New In Town' & 'Glad To Be Here' 24 tracks incl. The more I see you, Rockin' chair; Mam'selle; Symphony; Prisoner of love ... When my dreamboat comes home; Golden earrings; Brazil, Dinah; On the street where you live ... Blue Moon BMCD 1632 (77:12) Two Capitol albums from 1958, arranged/conducted by Nelson Riddle.
AL VIOLA 'Guitars' 24 tracks incl. When you're smiling; Moonlight in Vermont; And the angels sing; Route 66; Lover ... Lonesome Road; All star; Lemon Twist; Makin' whoopee; I'll remember April ...Fresh Sound FSR-CD 633 (60:34) Two Liberty albums of 1959.
FRANZ WAXMAN 'Sunset Boulevard' (Soundtrack) 22 tracks with bonus: The Paramount-don't-want-me-Blues (2:24) Counterpoint CPT-1001 (52:40) Also contains two booklets: The Making of Sunset Boulevard (28pp); Franz Waxman and the Road to Sunset Boulevard (40pp).