Dateline December 2013
Our US representative Forrest Patten has reported that the 1977 film "The Disappearance", with a music score by Robert Farnon, has been released on Blu-Ray in the USA by Twilight Time. Bob’s score is apparently going to be isolated on a separate track, so maybe it will be possible to hear it in its entirety. Jumping Bean has discovered that this film was previously issued on DVD in the UK in 2003. A well-known internet mail-order website has been offering new copies at a penny under £100!
The author Chris Way died in August. Some RFS members may remember meeting him at several London meetings around 20 years ago. Chris was an authority on Glenn Miller, and his first book in 1987, ‘In The Miller Mood’, was a day-to-day record of Miller’s Army AirForce Band. In 1991 ‘The Big Bands Go To War’ was published. It claimed to be the full story of the Allied Services Bands of World War Two, and Robert Farnon provided an introduction. There is a detailed listing of the broadcasts by Captain Robert Farnon and the Canadian Band of the AEF from July 1944 to December 1945. Despite a few inaccuracies, this is a valuable record of Bob’s work in programmes such as The Canada Show, Canada Show In Swing Time, Night Cap, Canada Dance Band, Piano Parade, Canada Sing Show, Variety Bandbox, Canada Guest Show, AEF Special, Empire Day Programme, Farewell AEFP, Canadian Caravan and Farewell AFN. In total the entries relating to Robert Farnon occupy 79 of the book’s 288 pages. The British Band of the AEF conducted by RSM George Melachrino is also featured prominently.
British broadcasting legend David Jacobs presented the last of his long running Radio-2 Sunday evening programmes on 4 August. It was good to hear him include Robert Farnon’s beautiful arrangement of Dancing In The Dark. Sadly David died four weeks later on 2 September.
Gordon Gray, MD of Memoir Records (and other labels previously) told us recently that he remembers some session musicians telling him many years ago that they’d be willing to play for Bob Farnon for nothing, such was their admiration for him. Gordon now wishes that he had made some albums with Bob ... "rather than some others I could name!"
During the summer months there were rumours going around in the music business that the failure of some European Governments to ratify the legislation might be the death knell of the increase in sound copyright in the European Union from 50 to 70 years. Sadly our hopes were dashed when the UK Government issued a press release confirming that the change passed into law on 1 November, as originally planned. Any member states failing to ratify by this time would be punished, but this would not stop the increase to 70 years going ahead. So we are saddled with the situation which means that independent companies cannot reissue sound recordings made later than 1962, unless they pay to license the material from the copyright owners, thereby considerably increasing the cost of the CDs. Fortunately for Light Music lovers, there is a wealth of earlier untapped recordings still available for future releases by Guild Music, Sepia, Jasmine, Vocalion and other labels who specialise in this repertoire.