Melodies For The Starlight Hours

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Melodies For The Starlight Hours

1 When Day Is Done (Robert Katscher, arr. Laurie Johnson)
MGM 897 1956
2 I’ve Told Ev’ry Little Star (from "Music In The Air") (Jerome Kern; Oscar Hammerstein II, arr. Conrad Salinger)
Verve MG VS-6012 1958
3 I Could Have Danced All Night (from "My Fair Lady") (Alan Jay Lerner; Frederick Loewe, arr. Percy Faith)
Columbia CL 695 1956
4 Sweet Surrender Waltz (Hubert Giraud)
Columbia CL 704 1955
5 Manhattan In Satin (from "Impressions of New York") (Willis Schaefer)
Boosey & Hawkes O 2294 1957
6 Orchids In The Moonlight (Vincent Youmans, arr. Robert Farnon)
Decca LF 1052 1951
7 Moonlight Becomes You (from "The Road To Morocco") (Johnny Burke; James Van Heusen)
Kapp KL 1022 1955
8 In Paris, In Love (Steve Race)
Parlophone 45-R 4730 1961
9 Thinking Of You (Harry Ruby; Bert Kalmar)
RCA LPM 1732 1958
10 How Beautiful Is Night (Robert Farnon)
Pye-Nixa NSPL 83008 1959
11 Melody For Lovers (Cecil Milner)
Charles Brull/Harmonic CBL 345 1953
12 Speak Low (from "One Touch Of Venus") (Kurt Weill, arr. Morton Gould)
RCA Victor LSC-2552 1961
13 Mind If I Make Love To You (Cole Porter)
Warner Bros W 1294 1959
14 A Tender Mood (Angela Morley)
TELECAST ORCHESTRA Conducted by ANGELA MORLEY (as ‘Walter Stott’)
Chappell C 717 1961
15 Moon Over Miami (Edgar Leslie; Joe Burke)
Decca DL 8271 1956
16 Midnight Tango (Anthony Toby Hiller; Irving Hiller; Daniel Newman)
Melodisc 1303 1954
17 Cocktails By Candlelight (Peter Yorke)
Chappell C 716 1961
18 Take My Lips (Meravigliose Labbra) (Teo Usuelli)
Columbia 45-DB 4546 1960
19 Stranger In Town (Malcolm Neville Lockyer, arr. Bruce Campbell)
BRUCE CAMPBELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA (‘Coronet Orchestra’ on disc label)
MGM E 3167 1955
20 Lonely Room (Adolph Deutsch)
London 45-HLT 9164 1960
21 Amami Si Vuoi (Love Me If You Wish) (Vittorio Mascheroni)
GEORGE MELACHRINO Conducting the Orchestra of the 6th San Remo Festival
HMV SCT 1519 1957
22 During One Night (Theme from the film) (Bill McGuffie; James Dyrenforth)
Philips PB 1100 1961
23 Underneath The Harlem Moon (Harry Revel)
Polydor 46007 LPHM 1956
24 Night In Trinidad (David Rose)
MGM C 788 1959
25 After Hours Joint (J. George Johnson)
Stereo Fidelity SF-3000 1957

Stereo: tracks 2, 10, 12, 21 & 25; rest in mono.

When work for the day has been completed the Starlight Hours beckon. This is the time to unwind and relax – if you’re lucky, in some pleasant company. An evening out may be in order: first an enjoyable meal, followed by some mellow moments simply letting the cares of the day fade away. Should you still have some energy left then why not seek out some late-night entertainment at a night club, or perhaps where some gentle jazz sounds are being carried along in the breeze. On the other hand you can simply stay at home, start playing this CD, and let the music do the rest.

Although the record label for When Day Is Done names the Ambrose Orchestra, in truth all the credit has to go to the arranger and conductor Laurie Johnson (b.1927), who has been a leading figure on the British entertainment scene for 50 years. Early in his career he was asked by MGM to make a series of recordings as conductor and arranger, but at the time the bandleader Ambrose was still well-known, so it was his name that appeared on the labels. Also a gifted 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". Later in this collection he returns conducting his own orchestra in the Italian melody Take My Lips.

Buddy Bregman (b. 1930) raises his baton for the twelfth time on a Guild CD conducting a masterly arrangement by Conrad Salinger (1901-1961). This time he turns his attention to Jerome Kern’s (1885-1945) I’ve Told Every Little Star.

Ella Fitzgerald (1917-1996) once sang the memorable lines that ‘"My Fair Lady" is a terrific show they say, we both may see it close one day’. Well, it did eventually close, but not until after 2,717 performances on Broadway, and 2,281 in London’s West End. The music remains as fresh and popular as ever, especially when a great arranger/conductor like Percy Faith (1908-1976) gets to work on I Could Have Danced All Night.

Andre Kostelanetz (1901-1980) was one of the biggest names in American light orchestral music during the middle years of the 20th Century. His broadcasts and recordings were enjoyed by millions. Sweet Surrender Waltz bears all the hallmarks of the quality the orchestra achieved during its finest years.

Willis Schaefer (1928-2007) was an American composer, conductor and arranger who worked on numerous television series from the early 1950s onwards. Among his best known shows are "Gunsmoke", "Disneyland", "The Phil Silvers Show", "Wagon Train", "Perry Mason" and personality shows hosted by Jackie Gleason, Sid Caesar, Ed Sullivan and Johnny Carson. Manhattan In Satin is a prime example of his skills as an orchestrator, and perhaps explains why he was so much in demand from top television programme makers in his homeland.

Canadian-born Robert Farnon (1917-2005) is widely regarded as one of the greatest light music composers and arrangers of his generation. His melodies such as Portrait Of A Flirt (on Guild GLCD 5120) and Jumping Bean (GLCD5162) are familiar to millions around the world. His arrangements covered the works of all the top songwriters, and Orchids In The Moonlight comes from a collection of melodies by New Yorker Vincent Youmans (1898-1946).

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. "The Road To Morocco" (1942) was the third, and now considered the best, of the famous ‘Road’ films starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour. Moonlight Becomes You was first sung ‘straight’ by Bing Crosby, and later in the film it was used in a comedy sequence involving multi-tracking. This hasn’t prevented it becoming a standard.

Stephen (Steve) Russell Race (1921-2009) first attracted attention as a pianist and arranger with many top British bands of the post-war years, and he became a prolific contributor to production music libraries. His wide-ranging career also embraced conducting for many TV shows, and he was a popular compere of panel games and music programmes. In Paris In Love features him as both composer and performer.

Thinking Of You, played by the John Clegg Orchestra, was written by Harry Ruby and Bert Kalmar in 1927 for a Broadway show "The Five O’Clock Girl". It became popular again in the early 1950s, thanks to the MGM film "Three Little Words", which told the life story of the composers.

The English conductor Leslie Jones (b. 1905), a solicitor by profession, gave a large number of Robert Farnon compositions their first stereo versions in sessions for Pye towards the end of the 1950s. Several have already been featured on Guild, and How Beautiful Is Night perfectly suits the ambience of this collection. It was one of Farnon’s most successful works: with added lyrics it was recorded by Sarah Vaughan (1924-1990) and Tony Bennett (b. 1926), and gave its name to the title of a much-praised album featuring George Shearing (1919-2011) with the Farnon Orchestra.

Edward Cecil Milner (1905-1989) was a highly respected composer and arranger in London music circles, particularly during a long association with Mantovani (1905-1980), for whom he supplied around 220 scores. He was also an accomplished composer (he was being recognised while still in his twenties), with his works, such as Melody For Lovers, willingly accepted by several background music publishers. Another of his famous colleagues was Charles Williams (1893-1978), whose music Milner frequently arranged: the two were closely associated since their days working on pre-war British films – usually without any screen credits. Cecil Milner’s close friend from the same period was Clive Richardson (1909-1998), composer of Melody On The Move (on GLCD5102), London Fantasia (GLCD5120, Running Off The Rails (GLCD5156) and other popular pieces of light music. In the cinema Milner worked on some 50 films, often for Louis Levy (1893-1957), most notably the 1938 classic "The Lady Vanishes".

Morton Gould (1913-1996) became one of the most highly respected American composers and conductors. He generally also arranged the works he conducted in the concert hall and on records (such as Speak Low), and from 1986 to 1994 he held the important position of President of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).

The American orchestra leader Peter Dudley King (1914-1982) was also a successful songwriter and arranger, whose career embraced radio, television, recordings and films. Mind If I Make Love To You was one of many Cole Porter (1891-1964) standards he scored during his long and busy career.

Angela Morley (1924-2009) was regarded as one of the finest arrangers and film composers in recent years. In her later career she worked on several big budget movies - one example is the "Star Wars" series assisting John Williams, and it has been said that the final nine minutes of music in the film "ET" was entirely her brilliant orchestration. She also contributed scores to prestigious US TV shows such as "Dallas" and "Dynasty". In the 1950s she made many recordings under her former name, Wally Stott, also providing the priceless musical backings for BBC Radio’s "The Goon Show". The Chappell Recorded Music Library commissioned numerous original works, covering a variety of different themes. A Tender Mood reveals Angela’s ability to create beautiful string miniatures, in stark contrast to her bright, bustling numbers such as A Canadian In Mayfair (on Guild GLCD5157) and Angel Cake (GLCD5103).

Guy Luypaerts (b. 1917) first appeared on a Guild CD playing music by Cole Porter (GLCD5127). He was born in Paris to Belgian parents during the First World War and became well-known in French musical circles through conducting an orchestra called the Nouvelle Association Symphonique de Paris. This was in the era when live music featured prominently on the radio, and his broadcasts with this orchestra resulted in invitations to conduct other radio orchestras in European cities. Luypaerts is listed as providing the music for the 1945 film "Etoile Sans Lumière". He worked with Edith Piaf (he arranged her 1946 world-wide hit "La Vie En Rose"), Georges Guetary, Yves Montand and most notably with Charles Trénet - their collaboration spanned 30 years and began when Trénet discovered him playing jazz at an officers’ mess early in World War 2. Guild has previously included him conducting quirky cameos such as The Sleepwalker of Amsterdam (GLCD5131) and Masquerade In Madrid (GLCD5132). This time Moon Over Miami finds him in yet another mood.

From the small British record company Melodisc (a label which issued very few orchestral recordings as it tended to specialise in West African music) comes Midnight Tango featuring Reg Tilsley, a well-known composer, arranger and conductor within the UK music business. He was active in arranging and recording music library tracks (notably for De Wolfe); he also worked for a while with the pop group The Pretty Things and made a number of LP albums for Philips under the "Sounds Orchestral" banner.

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

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 top British bands during the 1930s. Campbell assisted Farnon on his post-war BBC radio shows, and eventually became a frequent contributor to various mood music libraries. Stranger In Town comes from a rare LP that Campbell recorded in Britain for the American market. Its composer is Malcolm Neville Lockyer (1923-1976) who became a familiar name in Britain, through his broadcasts (almost 6,000) and recordings. After war service in the Royal Air Force he worked as a pianist and arranger with Ambrose (1896-1971), Cyril Stapleton (1914-1974) and Robert Famon, but he soon established himself as a composer, with approaching 100 titles to his credit.

Arthur Ferrante (1921-2009) and Louis Teicher (1924-2008) decided to form a piano duo when they met as students at the famous Julliard School of Music in New York. They launched their full-time concert career in 1947, and many of their recordings became big sellers. Lonely Room was composed by Adolph Deutsch (1897-1980) for the film "The Apartment" (1960).

Amami si vuoi won the second prize in the San Remo Song Festival 1956 and was included in the HMV stereo album recorded by George Melachrino (1909-1965) and The Orchestra of the San Remo Festival 1956 – several tracks from which have already been included in previous Guild CDs. The song was written by the writing team of Mario Panzeri and Vittorio Mascheroni (who wrote Poppa Piccolino) and the tune was used in the Fiat "Spirito di Punto" advertisements in the 1990s with the original singer Tonina Torrielli.

Yet another musician whose career crossed paths with Robert Farnon is William (Bill) McGuffie (1927-1987). He is remembered by most music lovers as a fine pianist, often leaning towards jazz, although his occasional work in films proved that he was also a talented composer. Like the 1960 British crime film The Unstoppable Man (Bill McGuffie’s music was included on GLCD5182), the 1961 movie During One Night also seems to have vanished from cinema radar, but the music certainly deserves to be remembered.

Werner Müller (1920-1998) was a bassoonist who became the first conductor of the RIAS (Radio In American Sector) Dance Band based in Berlin, which gave its first concert on 24 April 1949. It was not long before Müller began to realise that the public’s love affair with the swing era was gradually starting to wane, and sixteen strings were added to the line-up. The band had built up a strong following through its Polydor recordings, and by the mid-1950s the labels dropped the ‘RIAS’ tag and simply credited ‘Werner Müller and his Orchestra’; he also recorded under the pseudonym ‘Ricardo Santos’. A good example of the way in which strings became an integral part of the dance band can be heard in Manhattan Serenade (Guild GLCD5130) from their LP "Holiday in New York". Underneath The Harlem Moon comes from the same collection.

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 (his own extended arrangement is on Guild GLCD5189) and The Stripper sold millions. Many of his original compositions have already been reissued on Guild, and Night In Trinidad can now be added to the long list.

J. George Johnson was an American pianist and composer who wrote more than 500 songs, although he never seems to have attained success in the charts. His best known was probably The Laughing Samba (with lyrics by his wife Anne Spear Johnson), which was recorded by The Andrews Sisters in the USA and Edmundo Ros (1910-2011) in Britain. His composition After Hours Joint came from a collection of pieces connected with New York, from which Guild has previously reissued several including his Central Park Romance (GLCD5155) and Greenwich Village (GLCD5167). He died in April 1994 aged 80.

David Ades

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