A Glorious Century Of Light Music
The Guild "GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC" series celebrated its 100th release in November 2012!
A Glorious Century Of Light Music
1 Look For The Silver Lining (from "Sunny") (Jerome Kern, arr. Brian Fahey)
CYRIL ORNADEL AND THE STARLIGHT SYMPHONY
MGM SE 3906 1961
2 April In Paris (from "Walk A Little Faster") (Vernon Duke)
PAUL MAURIAT AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Bel Air 7008 1961
3 Puppet Serenade (Ron Goodwin)
RON GOODWIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Parlophone PCS 3019 1961
4 The Party’s Over (from "Bells Are Ringing") (Jule Styne; Betty Comden; Adolph Green)
MANTOVANI AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca 45-F11281 1960
5 Love’s Sweet Song (from "Czardas Princess") (Emmerich Kalman)
HANS CARSTE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Polydor SLPHM 237501 1960
6 Milord (Marguerite Monnot; Bunny Lewis)
FRANCK POURCEL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
HMV CSD 1303 1960
7 Lady In Waiting (Ballet Music from the musical "Goldilocks") (Leroy Anderson)
LEROY ANDERSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Brunswick STA 3030 1960
8 Beach Parade (Roger Roger)
ROGER ROGER AND HIS CHAMPS ELYSEES ORCHESTRA
Chappell C 687 1960
9 Climb Every Mountain (from "The Sound Of Music") (Richard Rodgers)
BILLY VAUGHN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Dot DOT 25276 1960
10 The Little Train Of The Caipira (Heitor Villa-Lobos)
MORTON GOULD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RC A LSC 1994 1960
11 All The Way (featured in the film "The Joker Is Wild") (Jimmy Van Heusen; Sammy Cahn)
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca SKL 4061 1959
12 Stringopation (David Rose)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM SE 3748 1959
13 How Deep Is The Ocean (Irving Berlin)
HANS GEORG ARLT AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Ariola 71231 1959
14 It’s D’Lovely (from "Red, Hot and Blue") (Cole Porter)
STANLEY BLACK AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca LK 4163 1956
15 Pipsqueak (Dolf van der Linden)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Paxton PR 610 1954
16 Candlelight Waltz (Jack Mason)
BOSTON ‘POPS’ ORCHESTRA Conducted by ARTHUR FIEDLER
RCA 49-4219 1954
17 Butantan (Guy Wood)
THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
HMV B 10657 1954
18 The Starlings (Charles Williams)
CHARLES WILLIAMS AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Columbia DB 3215 1953
19 Sewing Circle (Ray Martin)
RAY MARTIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Coilumbia DB 2896 1951
20 Tea For Two (from "No, No, Nanette") (Vincent Youmans)
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia ML4382 1951
21 Samba Sud (Sidney Torch)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Parlophone R 3049 1947
22 String Time (Robert Farnon)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Chappell C 304 1947
23 Stars In Your Eyes (Mar) (Gabriel Ruiz, arr. Percy Faith)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca 23445 1945
24 Dreams On The Ocean (Joseph Gungl)
MAREK WEBER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
HMV C 3123 1939
25 The Jester At The Wedding – March (Eric Coates)
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ERIC COATES
Columbia DB 1505 1934
26 Toymaker’s Dream (Ernie Golden)
JACK HYLTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
HMV B 5656 1929
Stereo: tracks 1-7, 9-13; rest in mono
This compilation represents a double celebration. Firstly it praises the talented conductors and composers who created a wealth of Light Music during the 20th Century; and secondly it recognises that this is the 100th Guild Light Music CD dedicated to the preservation of all that is best from "The Golden Age of Light Music".
Choosing the music to include in this landmark collection has not been easy, because there are so many conductors and composers who made valuable contributions to the world of Light Music during the last century. After much soul-searching it was decided to concentrate on the conductors who became household names at the time, through their regular recordings and broadcasts. Inevitably some who fully deserve to be featured on this very special occasion have had to be omitted, simply because they could not all be squeezed onto this small silver disc. Regular collectors will know that over 2,500 compositions have already appeared in this series, covering a wide variety of orchestral and brass and military band performances, so it is hoped that your own particular favourites have not been ignored for the part they have played in "The Golden Age of Light Music".
Light music admirers may, quite rightly, ask why the best known recordings by each of the conductors have not been selected. The simple answer is that they are most likely to have appeared on one of the previous ninety-nine CDs in this series. In fairness to the many regular collectors, tracks are not duplicated, but the enjoyable choice of music that has been carefully programmed here illustrates the outstanding quality of the substantial body of work achieved by each of these talented musicians.
The honour of providing the opening track goes to Cyril Ornadel, but equal praise is due to Brian Fahey for creating such an exciting arrangement of a familiar melody that is usually heard in a far more sedate setting. A good tune will lend itself to different interpretations: it used to be said that whether a song was truly great depended upon its acceptance for improvisation by jazz musicians. In the case of Light Music, popular songs often receive distinguished orchestrations that must have delighted the composers. Two previous Guild CDs (GLCD5188 & 5193) have already emphasised the importance of the arranger – something which is evident on every track in this collection. Unfortunately on this occasion there is only room in the notes for brief pen portraits of each of the conductors featured.
In the 1950s Cyril Ornadel (1924-2011) was well-known in Britain (mainly through his television work) but his recording career owed much to the USA, where MGM commissioned numerous albums featuring his ‘Starlight Symphony’ which were recorded at EMI’s famous Abbey Road studios in London.
The French conductor Paul Julien André Mauriat (1925-2006) was classically trained, which is sometimes evident in his work, although his early interest in jazz and popular music was paramount during his long career. He became internationally famous in 1968 through his recording of Love Is Blue.
Ronald (Ron) Alfred Goodwin (1925-2003) was a brilliant British composer, arranger and conductor, who rose to prominence in Britain during the 1950s through a series of recordings that revealed a fresh and vibrant style of light music that greatly appealed to the public. His ability to arrange and compose soon resulted in commissions to work in films, many of which became box-office hits around the world.
Annunzio Paolo Mantovani (1905-1980) was the conductor of one of the most famous light orchestras in the world from the 1950s onwards. Born in Venice, his family came to England when he was aged four and he was something of a prodigy on the violin by the time he reached sixteen. But he leaned more towards popular music, and fronted many different kinds of ensembles before long-playing records (especially when stereo arrived) eventually brought him worldwide acclaim.
The German conductor Hans Friedrich August Carste (1909-1971) enjoyed a long recording career, before and after World War 2. He became one of the musical directors at RIAS in Berlin in the late 1940s, and eventually formed his own concert orchestra: he also composed for films and the stage.
Franck Pourcel (1913-2000) is recognised as one of the big names in French popular music. During his long career he recorded over 2,000 songs, and achieved world-wide success with I Will Follow Him which he co-composed with Paul Mauriat.
Leroy Anderson(1908-1975) is probably the best-loved American light music composer of his generation. For many years he was the chief arranger for the Boston ‘Pops’, and he was so prolific that some of his numbers have tended to become overlooked. His music for the musical "Goldilocks" surely deserves to be better known.
The third French conductor to be celebrated in this special collection is Roger Roger (1911-1995), who had the ability to compose the kind of catchy instrumental pieces that were much in demand from recorded music libraries around 50 years ago.
Billy Vaughn (1919-1991) was very successful in producing big-selling orchestral albums in the USA, partly through his position as musical director of Dot Records. His foreign tours with his band earned him many friends, especially in the Far East.
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, and from 1986 to 1994 he held the important position of President of the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP).
Francis (Frank) Charles Chacksfield (1914-1995) conducted one of the finest light orchestras in the world, and during his long recording career with Decca alone, it is estimated that his albums sold more than 20 million copies. He was the first British orchestra to achieve a No. 1 with a non-vocal disc in the US charts.
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 GLCD 5189) and The Stripper sold millions.
German violinist Hans-Georg Arlt (1927-2011) began his distinguished radio career in 1946, and when the RIAS Dance Orchestra was formed in 1948 he led the string section for a while. In the following years he became a familiar name on German radio and television with his own String Orchestra.
The London pianist and bandleader Stanley Black (born Solomon Schwartz 1913-2002) was successful in many areas of music during his long career which began in his teens. From playing piano in Harry Roy’s dance band he became keen on Latin-American music, and later recorded many fine light orchestral albums, which made him popular around the world.
Dolf van der Linden (real name David Gysbert van der Linden, 1915-1999) was the leading figure on the light music scene in the Netherlands from the 1940s until the 1980s. As well as broadcasting frequently with his Metropole Orchestra, he made numerous recordings for the background music libraries of major music publishers, often featuring his own compositions. He also made transcription recordings for Dutch radio and other companies. His commercial recordings (especially for the American market) were often labelled as ‘Van Lynn’ or ‘Daniel De Carlo’.
One of the most popular light orchestras in the USA for many years was the Boston ‘Pops’, under its legendary conductor Arthur Fiedler (1894-1979). It is appropriate that he should actually have been born in Boston where he became the eighteenth conductor of the ‘Pops’ in 1930, and remained at the helm until a heart attack following a performance on 5 May 1979 which hastened his death two months later at the age of 84.
George Miltiades Melachrino (1909-1965) was one of the big names in British light music from the 1940s to the 1960s. Born in London, he became a professional musician, competent on clarinet, alto and tenor saxophone, violin and viola, and he worked with many British dance bands in the 1930s. After war service he built an orchestra which became one of the finest in the world. When long playing records arrived, Melachrino’s sold in vast quantities, especially in the USA.
Londoner Charles Williams(born Isaac Cozerbreit, 1893-1978) began his career accompanying silent films, then played violin under the batons of Beecham and Elgar. Right from the start of the ‘talkies’, he provided scores for numerous British films, and his Dream Of Olwen (on GLCD5192) is still remembered long after the film in which it appeared – "While I Live". In 1960 he topped the American charts with his theme for the film "The Apartment" (GLCD5180), although in reality the producers had resurrected one of his earlier works Jealous Lover.
Raymond (Ray) Stuart Martin (born Raymond Wolfgang Kohn in Vienna, 1918-1988) fled from the Nazis and settled in England before the outbreak of World War 2 where he became known as ‘Ray Martin’. He was one of the leading names in British popular music during the 1950s, due to his work on radio, television, films and especially the recording studios.
Although he was born in Russia, Andre Kostelanetz (1901-1980) was one of the biggest pioneers in American light orchestral music during the middle years of the 20th Century. His broadcasts and recordings were enjoyed by millions, and it was his ambition to encourage everyone to appreciate good quality orchestral music.
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 (GLCD5120) and Jumping Bean (GLCD5162) are familiar to millions around the world.
Sidney Torch, MBE (born in London, Sidney Torchinsky 1908-1990) is well-known in Britain for his numerous Parlophone recordings, as well as his long tenure as conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in the "Friday Night Is Music Night" BBC radio programme.
Toronto-born Percy Faith (1908-1976) moved permanently from Canada to the USA in 1940 where he quickly established himself through radio and recordings. From the 1950s onwards his fame spread internationally, due to the great success of his numerous long playing albums. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Faith arranged all his own material, and he had a particular love of Latin American music.
The 1940s witnessed the arrival of a new generation of light music composers and conductors, whose inventive ideas would be developed to near perfection during the following two decades. Until the end of the 1930s, many light orchestras and small ensembles were still performing the kind of music that had been popular in the previous century, with the waltz forming a significant part of their repertoire. This was certainly the case in central Europe, where the likes of Barnabas Von Geczy, Dajos Bela, Otto Dobrindt and their peers recorded vast amounts of light music, but their audiences expected – and were supplied with – waltz after waltz. Foremost among these was Marek Weber (1888-1964). Born in the Ukraine, he developed his career mainly in Germany, then moved to London to escape the Nazis, before living briefly in Switzerland then emigrating in 1937 to the USA.
This tribute to the 20th Century would not be complete without saluting the English composer and conductor widely known as ‘the uncrowned King of Light Music’. Eric Coates (1886-1957) was a successful composer of ballads in the early years of the last century, before devoting all his energies to light music. He was particularly adept at writing catchy melodies that appealed as BBC signature tunes and then making definitive recordings of them, helping to establish his high profile with the music-loving public which continues to this day through new recordings of his works.
There is sufficient time available on this CD to allow the inclusion of a ‘bonus’ track, which acknowledges the popularity among many collectors of recordings from the 1920s and 1930s that have been featured in some of our previous compilations. The British dance band fronted by Jack Hylton (1892-1965) was one of the longest running, and arguably most popular, due to its many recordings and broadcasts, frequent appearances in Variety theatres and its foreign tours. Among its wide-ranging repertoire it sometimes featured works that can probably best be described as orchestral novelties: two examples can be found on earlier Guild CDs - Wedding Of The Rose (GLCD5106) and Dancing Tambourine (GLCD5163). As well as being instantly appealing, thanks to their inspired arrangements they were often quite fun – which is partly the intention of our final track. It’s hard to believe that this fine recording is well over 80 years old and it is a tribute to the skills of the recording engineers of the 1920s. There seems little doubt that Hylton’s knack of giving his audience what it liked reflected the fact that Light Music was an important part of the popular music scene during much of the 20th Century.