Light And Easy
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5187
Light And Easy
1 Pyramid Dance (also known as "Heart Of Stone from the musical "Goldilocks) (Leroy Anderson)
LEROY ANDERSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Brunswick STA 3030 1960
2 Mack The Knife (also known as "Moritat from "The Threepenny Opera) (Kurt Weill; Eugen Berthold Brecht)
THE CLEBANOFF STRINGS AND ORCHESTRA
Mercury SR 60163 1960
3 I Love Paris (from "Can Can) (Cole Porter)
PARIS THEATRE ORCHESTRA
Somerset SF 2500 1957
4 Light And Easy (Harry Rabinowitz)
THE SYMPHONIA ORCHESTRA Conducted by CURT ANDERSEN
Harmonic/Charles Brull CBL 451 1960
5 On A Cheerful Note (Cyril Watters)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as 'Paul Franklin' on disc label)
Paxton PR 681 1957
6 Wind-Bells (Mahlon Merrick)
MAHLON MERRICK AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Urania LP 9013 1957
7 A Cup Of Coffee, A Sandwich And You (Joseph Meyer; Billy Rose; Al Dubin)
JOHN CLEGG AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RCA LPM 1916 1959
8 Main Line (Bruce Campbell)
BRUCE CAMPBELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA ('Coronet Orchestra' on disc label)
MGM 30837 1953
9 Fashion Show (Angela Morley, as 'Walter Stott')
TELECAST ORCHESTRA Conducted by ANGELA MORLEY
Chappell C 693B 1960
10 Pan American Panorama (Philip Green)
QUEEN'S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by SIDNEY TORCH
Chappell C 322 1947
11 Las Vegas Lady (Clive Richardson)
NEW CENTURY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ERICH BÖRSCHEL
Francis, Day & Hunter FDH 126 1954
12 Hilltop Holiday (Anthony Mawer)
COSMOPOLITAN ORCHESTRA Conducted by PHILLIPO ANDEZ
De Wolfe DW 2658B 1960
13 Bermuda Holiday (Kermit Leslie & Walter Leslie real surnames Levinsky)
KERMIT LESLIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Epic LN 3452 1958
14 Las Vegas (Laurie Johnson)
GROUP-FORTY ORCHESTRA Conducted by LAURIE JOHNSON
KPM Music KPM 041 1960
15 Gay Time (Alan Perry, real name Ernest Tomlinson)
NEW CENTURY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ERICH BÖRSCHEL
Francis, Day & Hunter FDH 222 1959
16 Blues On The Rocks – Concerto (Bernie Wayne, real name Bernard Weitzner)
BERNIE WAYNE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
ABC Paramount ABC 182 1957
17 4:20 AM (David Rose)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM SE 3748 1959
18 Lazy Day (Robert Farnon)
LESLIE JONES and his ORCHESTRA OF LONDON
Pye-Nixa NSPL 83008 1959
19 I'll Be Seeing You (Irving Kahal; Sammy Fain, arr. Glenn Osser)
GLENN OSSER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Kapp KL 1022 1955
20 Now I Know (from the film "Up In Arms) (Harold Arlen; Ted Koehler, arr. Reg Owen)
REG OWEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RCA LPM 1907 1960
21 This Might Be Love (Jerry Bock)
ACQUAVIVA AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM E 3696 1958
22 Stella By Starlight (Victor Young; Ned Washington, arr. Richard Jones)
PITTSBURGH STRINGS Conducted by RICHARD JONES
Capitol LC 6816 1956
23 More Than You Know (from the musical "Great Day) (Vincent Youmans, arr. Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca LF 1052 1951
24 There's A Lull In My Life (from the film "Wake Up And Live) (Gordon; Revel, arr. Frank Cordell)
FRANK CORDELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA featuring RONNIE CHAMBERLAIN, soprano saxophone
HMV CSD 1294 1960
25 Waitin' For The Dawn (Ron Goodwin)
CYRIL STAPLETON AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as 'Malcolm Peters')
Top Rank 39/668 1960
26 That's All (Bob Haymes, arr. Henry Mancini)
HENRY MANCINI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RCA LSP 2101 1959
Stereo tracks 1, 2, 3, 17, 18, 24 & 26; rest in mono
It's a pity that so many people insist upon attaching labels to all kinds of music, because they tend to erect barriers that may often lead to false impressions. This can create situations where those who are unwilling (or maybe simply scared?) to venture outside of their usual comfort zones could well be denying themselves of many pleasures. In the case of 'Light' music, the term can mean unworthy or lacking substance in the closed minds of some professed music 'experts', yet to dismiss the composers and arrangers represented in this collection in such terms is surely a gross injustice.
The opening track is a shining example of the wealth of talent that so many possess. Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) is widely regarded as America's foremost composer of what his fellow countrymen often refer to as 'concert music' during the last century. Partly through his long association with the Boston 'Pops', he crafted many appealing melodies such as Belle Of The Ball, Blue Tango (Hugo Winterhalter's version is on GLCD5114), Forgotten Dreams (GLCD5135) and Sleigh Ride (GLCD5185) which have become part of his country's proud musical culture. But these were just four titles among a considerable number, and Pyramid Dance suggests that many more of his works could have become better-known, given the necessary promotion.
When a particular orchestra becomes especially popular, rival record companies try to ensure that they have a similar sounding ensemble under contract. In the case of the American Mercury label they chose Chicago born Herman Clebanoff (1917-2004) as its answer to the likes of Mantovani, Percy Faith and George Melachrino who were selling vast numbers of long playing records. Yet he deserved to be recognised in his own right, since he had a sound education in classical music and was an experienced violinist and concertmaster before he was 20. Usually just known as 'Clebanoff', he had a long association with NBC, and from 1945 he spent the next ten years as concertmaster of their Chicago-based orchestra, playing a wide repertoire from the classics to popular tunes such as Mack The Knife, his contribution to this collection.
When stereo discs were launched in the second half of the 1950s, record producers did not hesitate to tempt the public with exotic sounding titles that disguised the fact that they were probably not quite what they may have seemed. The Paris Theatre Orchestra, together with 101 Strings, were names used by the American Miller International Company on their bargain basement priced Essex, Somerset and Stereo Fidelity labels. The recordings usually employed various European symphony and radio orchestras and were linked by the name of Joseph Francis Kuhn (1924-1962) who composed, arranged, scored or conducted most of the early ones. It is highly likely that I Love Paris was his own arrangement, which he also conducted.
Harry Rabinowitz (born Johannesburg, South Africa 1916) came to England in 1946 and was employed by the BBC, first as a pianist then as conductor of the BBC Revue Orchestra. He later worked in television, and conducted many film scores. His composition Light And Easy provides the title for this collection.
Henry Cyril Watters (1907-1984) was a backroom-boy in the music business in every sense of the word. From 1953 to 1961 he was chief arranger with Boosey & Hawkes, and worked in similar capacities with other publishers, including Chappells. His own compositions were willingly accepted for many mood music libraries, and On A Cheerful Note was one of several issued on 78s by Paxton.
The American composer and conductor Mahlon Merrick (1900-1969) studied at the Chicago Conservatory of Music, but the lure of working in early radio drew him to California in 1927. He was associated with comedian Jack Benny for around 30 years, and was particularly successful at composing advertising jingles.
The John Clegg Orchestra is making its Guild debut with a catchy version of A Cup Of Coffee, A Sandwich And You. In "Lullaby Of Broadway, the daughter of Al Dubin says her father's inspiration for this song was the "Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam which contains what she calls the classic line "A loaf of bread, a jug of wine and thou..." The lyrics were co-written by Billy Rose, who found Joseph Meyer to compose the music. It was sung by Gertrude Lawrence and Jack Buchanan in "Charlot's Revue of 1925.
Bruce Campbell was one of several writers who owed much to his association with Robert Farnon. He was a fellow Canadian, who actually came to Britain some years before Farnon, and played trombone with various British bands during the 1930s. Towards the end of the 1940s Campbell realised that he possessed some skills as a composer, and Farnon encouraged and provided him with some valuable guidance. The fruits of this meeting of talents have already been experienced on Guild CDs in titles such as Cloudland (GLCD5145), Windy Corner (GLCD5150) and Skippy (GLCD5125). Main Line comes from a very rare single which appears to have only been released in the USA.
Another composer and arranger who received encouragement from Robert Farnon is Angela Morley (1924-2009) – born 'Wally Stott' in Leeds, Yorkshire. Today she is regarded as one of the finest British arrangers and film composers of her generation. In her later career she left England for the USA where she worked on several big budget movies (one example is the "Star Wars series assisting John Williams), and on TV shows such as "Dallas and "Dynasty. But during the 1950s and 1960s she made numerous recordings under her former name, also contributing many light music cameos to the Chappell Recorded Music Library– from which comes Fashion Show.
Also from the Chappell library we hear Pan American Panorama composed by Philip Green (born Harry Philip Green, 1911-1982). Apparently he was a compulsive worker, responsible for numerous broadcasts, film scores and compositions during a career lasting from the 1920s to the 1980s. His work is already well-represented on Guild Light Music CDs.
Clive Richardson (1909-1998) was best-known as a pianist during his early career, but working on many pre-war British films (usually without any credit on-screen) honed his talents as an arranger and composer. His London Fantasia (on Guild GLCD5120) was widely praised, and thereafter his work was regularly commissioned by many leading publishers.
The English composer Anthony Mawer [1930-1999] started contributing occasional mood music pieces to De Wolfe in 1955 (his first was Palm Beach Interlude), before joining the staff in 1959, where he remained until 1965. During this period he composed almost 500 titles exclusively for them, and Hilltop Holiday is typical of the bright, tuneful music that was much in demand around 50 years ago.
Kermit Leslie (born Kermit Levinsky in New York City) often composed with his brother Walter (1929-1999), and it seems a pity that he appears to have made relatively few recordings. Bermuda Holiday is the tenth work by the Levinsky brothers to appear on Guild.
Laurie Johnson (b.1927) has been a leading figure on the British entertainment scene for 50 years. A gifted arranger and composer, Laurie has contributed to films, musical theatre, radio, television and records, with his music used in many well-known productions such as "The Avengers and "The Professionals. Las Vegas became very familiar in Britain through its use as the signature tune of BBC TV's "Animal Magic for many years from 1962 onwards.
Ernest Tomlinson (b.1924) is one of Britain's most talented composers, working mainly in light music, but also highly regarded for his choral works and brass band pieces. During a very productive career, he has contributed numerous titles to the recorded music libraries of many different publishers, often under the pseudonym 'Alan Perry'. He often jokes that 'Alan Perry' has been more successful than him, especially the number Gay Time. In recent years Ernest has worked tirelessly to preserve thousands of music manuscripts that would otherwise have been destroyed, and he is the President of the Light Music Society.
The 1950s seems to have been a very busy period for the American Bernie Wayne (born Bernard Weitzner 1919-1993). In the USA he is best known for his "Miss America Beauty Pageant theme, and the hit song Blue Velvet. His string of instrumental successes included Vanessa, Port-au-Prince(GLCD5130) and Veradero (GLCD5111). His mini-concerto Blues On The Rocks takes us from the 'light' numbers in this collection, to some which can be classified as slightly more 'easy' and, perhaps, sophisticated.
London-born David Rose (1910-1990) became one of the truly great light orchestra leaders in the USA, and his compositions such as Holiday For Strings (on Guild GLCD 5120) and The Stripper sold millions. 4:20 AM was one of his earlier compositions, which he 'jazzed-up' a little when he recorded it again for MGM as stereo arrived on the scene.
The English conductor Leslie Jones (b. 1905), a solicitor by profession, gave a large number of Robert Farnon (1917-2005) compositions their first stereo versions in sessions for Pye towards the end of the 1950s. Several have already been featured on Guild, and Lazy Day perfectly suits the 'easy' ambience of this part of our CD. Farnon's own orchestra appears later with his 1940s-influenced version of More Than You Know.
Abe (Glenn) Osser (b. 1914) first came to prominence though his close association with Paul Whiteman for whom he provided arrangements and often conducted the orchestra, usually for the vocalists. Other top bands which used his scores included Les Brown, Jan Savitt, Bob Crosby, Bunny Berigan and Charlie Barnet. For much of his career he freelanced as a conductor and arranger, and became closely associated with the "Miss America beauty pageants for many years. He sometimes worked under pseudonyms such as Arthur Meisel, Bob Marvel and Maurice Pierre. I'll Be Seeing You was the perfect song to remind servicemen in World War II of their loved ones back home, although it was first published in 1938.
Reg Owen (born George Owen Smith, 1921-1978) was a busy British arranger and bandleader whose book "The Reg Owen Arranging Method" in 1956 inspired many fellow musicians. He worked in all areas of the music business, especially films and recordings.
The American composer and conductor Nick (Nicholas Paul) Acquaviva (1925-1998), although not a frequent visitor to the recording studios, gained recognition in the USA through his involvement with the Symphony of the Air orchestra and as conductor of the 135-strong New York 'Pops' Symphony Orchestra which promoted new works by young composers.
There was a time when record companies thought that the word 'Strings' added to an orchestra's title would enhance sales. It didn't seem to matter if there were other instruments as well, but a few were genuine string ensembles, such as The Pittsburgh Strings, for which Capitol Records engaged Richard Jones. He conducted and arranged for the complete string section of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, led by their famous concertmaster Samuel Thavin.
Frank Cordell (1918-1980) was a fine English composer, arranger and conductor whose work first became noticed through the tuneful backings he often supplied to some contract singers on HMV singles in the 1950s. Occasionally he was allowed his own 78s, and he was also responsible for several distinctive LPs which quickly became collectors' items.
Waitin' For The Dawn is a composition by Ron Goodwin (1925-2003) who was under contract to EMI for many years. Similarly Cyril Stapleton (1914-1974) had a Decca contract, so when they decided to record an LP of Ron's original pieces for a rival label Cyril had to become 'Malcolm Peters'.
Our final track is a tribute to two great men of music. Firstly the late Alan Dell, a much-missed broadcaster who used That's All to sign off his BBC Radio "Sounds Easy broadcasts. Secondly it allows us once again to feature Henry Mancini (born Enrico Nicola Mancini, 1924-1994), who became one of the top American film composers. During the 1950s his talents were widely recognised within the music business, and thereafter he was offered numerous commissions for television series, films and – of course – recordings. For the next three decades his name was constantly being noticed by the public, but his prodigious output was not achieved at the expense of quality.