Melody Mixture

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For 2012:


Melody Mixture

1 Cab Rank (Dolf van der Linden)
Charles Brull/Harmonic CBL 409 1957
2 Mr. Lucky (theme from the TV series) (Henry Mancini)
HMV 45-POP 755 1960
3 Caravan (Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington)
Barclay BB 42 1960
4 Down Under (from the film "The Sundowners") (Adapted and Arranged by Dimitri Tiomkin)
Philips PB 1094 1960
5 Gloria’s Theme from "Butterfield 8" (Bronislau Kaper; Hal David)
MGM 45-MGM 1110 1960
6 Bilbao-Song (from "Happy End") (Kurt Weill; Bertolt Brecht)
CBS 4-41978 1961
7 With Tongue In Cheek (Trevor Duncan, real name Leonard Trebilco)
Charles Brull/Harmonic CBL 451 1960
8 Spring Collection (Peter Hope)
Josef Weinberger JW 277 1961
9 Scurry For Strings (Lester B. Hart)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘The Harmonic Orchestra Conducted by David Johnson’ on disc label)
Charles Brull/Harmonic CBL331 1952
10 Spinette (Murray Newman, arr. Bruce Campbell)
BRUCE CAMPBELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA (‘Coronet Orchestra’ on disc label)
MGM E 3167 1955
11 The Cool Caballero (Bernie Wayne, real name Bernard Weitzner)
ABC Paramount ABC 182 1957
12 Pleasure Island (Ron Goodwin)
Parlophone 45-R4787 1961
13 Alma Mia (Fred Hartley)
Chappell C 644 1959
14 I Aim At The Stars (theme from the film) (Laurie Johnson)
Columbia 45-DB 4546 1960
15 Dear Old Pals (Angela Morley)
TELECAST ORCHESTRA Conducted by ANGELA MORLEY (as ‘Walter Stott’)
Chappell C 718 1961
16 Leaps And Bounds (Cyril Watters)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘Paul Franklin’ on disc label)
Paxton PR 725 1960
17 Tango Of The Flowers (Juan Rosa)
Brunswick LAT 8165 1957
18 Peacock In Piccadilly (Wilfred Burns, real name Bernard Wilfred Harris)
Bosworth BC 1239 1950
19 Continental Highways (Harold Geller)
KPM Music KPM 050B 1960
20 Galop On Strings (Tom Wyler, real name Toni Leutwiler)
Charles Brull/Harmonic CBL330 1952
21 Guaracha (No. 3 of Latin American Symphonette) (Morton Gould)
Parlophone R 3965 1947
22 Brandy Snaps (Peter Yorke)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘The Harmonic Orchestra Conducted by David Johnson’ on disc label)
Charles Brull/Harmonic CBL 351 1954
23 Chicken Noodle (Peter Dennis, real name Dennis Alfred Berry)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘Paul Franklin’ on disc label)
Paxton PR 661 1956
24 Route Nationale (Roger Roger)
Synchro FM 236 1959
25 On Stage (Billy Mack, real names Walter Collins; William MacDonnell)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘Paul Franklin’ on disc label)
Paxton PR 614 1954

Stereo: tracks 3 & 6; rest in mono

Unlike many of the CDs in this "Golden Age of Light Music" series, this collection does not have a special theme or concept. It is simply a varied mixture of melodies featuring works by composers who are well-known to light music aficionados, plus a good helping of pieces by ‘giants’ of the music world, such as Henry Mancini, Duke Ellington and Ron Goodwin. Most of these numbers have been considered for recent collections, but have been temporarily ‘shelved’ for various reasons – usually because the CDs were already full. But they don’t deserve to be forgotten, because they all possess their own special charms.

The Dutch maestro Dolf van der Linden conducts six tracks in this collection, but not the opening number which is his own composition. Cab Rank finds him in a typical bright, inventive style that became his trademark: you can never be sure at the outset how his works will develop, and there are usually pleasant surprises in store when the middle theme arrives. He took great care with the construction of his pieces, and in view of his tremendous contribution to light music in general it is not surprising that this is the fourteenth time that one of his compositions has been chosen for a Guild CD.

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 conducted numerous recordings for the background music libraries of major music publishers. 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’. His big presence on the light music scene is partly explained by the action of the British Musicians’ Union at the end of the 1940s, which banned the major London publishers from employing British musicians to make new recordings for their Mood Music Libraries. Instead of giving in to the Union’s demands, the publishers simply crossed the English Channel into Europe, where they utilised the services of the top broadcasting orchestras in various countries. Dolf van der Linden, based in Hilversum, was engaged to conduct hundreds of pieces (often under pseudonyms), particularly for Paxton, Boosey & Hawkes and Charles Brull/Harmonic – as well as some others. These performances are of a consistently high quality, and the examples on this CD include works by top writers such as Cyril Watters, Peter Yorke and Peter Dennis.

Although not as well-known as most of the other composers on this CD, Henry Cyril Watters (1907-1984) was highly respected by music publishers, with his work readily accepted for its unfailing high standards. At times he was employed as a staff arranger by Boosey & Hawkes and Chappell, and he generously devoted some of his energies in running the Light Music Society for the benefit of his fellow musicians. Peter Yorke (1902-1966) is a regular contributor to this series of CDs, as composer, arranger and conductor. After playing piano 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. ‘Peter Dennis’ hides the true identity of Dennis Alfred Berry (1921-1994), who also composed (sometimes in collaboration with others) under names such as Frank Sterling, Charles Kenbury and Michael Rodney. For part of the 1950s he ran the Paxton library, but also contributed titles to other publishers.

Henry Mancini (born Enrico Nicola Mancini, 1924-1994) hailed from Cleveland, Ohio, and in 1952 he was fortunate in gaining a job at Universal Pictures in Hollywood. During a six-year contract he worked on around 100 films, one of his early assignments being "The Glenn Miller Story" (1953). By 1958 his talents were widely recognised within the music business, and thereafter he was offered numerous commissions for films, recordings and television. Mr Lucky first reached US TV screens in October 1959, and ran for 34 episodes. Henry Mancini provided the smooth theme music, and the choice for this CD is the version conducted by Frank Cordell (1918-1980), a top British arranger/conductor who also contributed memorable scores to films such as "The Captain’s Table" (1959), "Flight From Ashiya" (1964), "Khartoum" (1966), "Mosquito Squadron" (1969), "Ring Of Bright Water" (1969), "Hell Boats" (1970), "Cromwell" (1970) – he was nominated for an Oscar, "Trial By Combat" (1976) and "God Told Me To" (1976).

When music-lovers discuss the ‘Great American Songwriters’ there is one name that occasionally gets missed: Edward Kennedy ‘Duke’ Ellington (1899-1974). People seem to remember that he fronted a great band, playing what many called ‘Orchestral Jazz’, yet the fact that he composed over 1,000 works frequently doesn’t register. But his songs became an essential part of the 20th Century music scene, and Caravan illustrates that he was a genius, beyond doubt. Our version features the French orchestra conducted by Wal-Berg (born Voldemar Rosenberg, 1910-1994) who at one time was closely associated with French recordings by Marlene Dietrich.

The Canadian Tommy Reilly (1919-2000) was widely regarded as the world’s leading classical harmonica player, who seemed equally at home performing serious works (often composed specially for him), alongside lighter works such as Down Under. He is accompanied by the Wally Stott Orchestra, from the time before Wally became Angela Morley (1924-2009). Later we hear one of Wally’s comedy numbers Dear Old Pals, which features a prominent part for the bassoon - the instrument which also played a big role in Wally’s earlier composition Mock Turtles (on GLCD5101).

The 1960 film "Butterfield 8" starred Elizabeth Taylor (1932-2011) as Gloria Wandrous, and it is hardly surprising that veteran Hollywood composer Bronislau Kaper (1902-1983) composed a suitably romantic theme for her. The version of Gloria by London-born David Rose (1910-1990) brings out all the glamour and anguish of the screenplay.

Another Guild favourite is Toronto-born Percy Faith (1908-1976) who moved permanently 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 music with a tropical feel, which certainly comes through in Bilbao-Song.

Regular collectors of this Guild series of CDs will already be familiar with the music of Trevor Duncan (real name Leonard Charles Trebilco, 1924-2005). Almost 30 of his original compositions have now been reissued, and among the best-known are his first success High Heels (on Guild GLCD 5124), Grand Vista (GLCD 5124) and Panoramic Splendour (GLCD5111). He had the ability to write in many different styles, which no doubt endeared him to the publishers of mood music who needed to have music readily available to cover any kind of situation. With Tongue In Cheek probably expresses Trevor’s own feelings about some of the music he wrote.

The English composer Peter Hope (b. 1930) makes his Guild debut with Spring Collection, one of many attractive pieces he has contributed to publishers’ recorded music libraries over the years. Although his name may be unfamiliar to many, the same cannot be said of his music. During the 1950s, when light music formed a significant part of BBC Radio’s schedules, his compositions and arrangements were heard on an almost daily basis. His title music for BBC Television News was used until 1980. More recently new recordings have been made of his original works, as a new generation of musicians and conductors becomes aware of his major contribution to the genre of light music.

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. Spinette comes from a rare LP that Campbell recorded in Britain for the American market.

The 1950s seems to have been a very busy period for the American Bernie Wayne (born Bernard Weitzner 1919-1993), composer of The Cool Caballero. 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 (GLCD5189), Port-au-Prince (GLCD5130) and Veradero (GLCD5111).

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, and popular movies like "633 Squadron" (1964), "Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines" (1965) and Alfred Hitchcock’s "Frenzy" (1972) introduced him to a worldwide audience. Pleasure Island joins ten of his original works already featured in this series.

Fred Hartley (1905-1980) was a familiar name in British broadcasting for many years, having made his first appearance on the BBC as a solo pianist as early as 1925. He was then employed as an accompanist, and founded his famous Novelty Quintet in 1931. In 1946 he was appointed the BBC’s Head of Light Music. Five of his own compositions have already been featured on Guild CDs, and towards the end of the 1950s he contributed several of his own pieces to the Chappell Recorded Music Library, from which the choice this time is Alma Mia. This number will probably strike a familiar chord among people in Britain, because it is the kind of charming novelty which he featured so often in his radio programmes.

Laurie Johnson (b.1927) has been a leading figure on the British entertainment scene for over 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". I Aim At The Stars comes from the time when record companies were still willing to make orchestral singles by well-known conductors.

Bernard Wilfred Harris, better known as ‘Wilfred Burns’ (1917-1990) was a prolific composer of mood music who has over 200 titles to his credit. After service during the Second World War he worked at Elstree studios before eventually becoming a freelance film composer and musical director. His first of over twenty films was around 1949, with his final score in the 1970s. His best-known was probably the large screen version of the popular television series "Dad’s Army" in 1971. Peacock In Piccadilly is one of his many pieces accepted by various London publishers, and it is his seventh contribution to a Guild CD.

Violinist Harold (Harry) Geller (1916-2005) was born in Sydney, Australia, but for most of his career he was based in London. He was a frequent broadcaster with his orchestra in BBC programmes such as "Morning Music" and "Music While You Work", but his commercial recordings were comparatively rare. He composed Continental Highways for the KPM Record Music Library. Towards the end of the 1970s work in Britain had dried up, so he moved to the USA where he continued to compose and teach playing the violin and the technique of conducting.

As ‘Tom Wyler’, the Swiss violinist and composer Toni Leutwiler (1923-2009) became known outside his homeland, partly due to the success of his charming composition Lovely Day (on GLCD5183). His music was in demand from many broadcasting stations, and he was reported to have created over 2,000 arrangements. Galop On Strings is another fine example of his mastery of string writing.

Sidney Torch, MBE (born 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. Guaracha is one of the famous ‘Latin American Symphonettes’ by Morton Gould (1913-1996), rightly regarded as one of the leading American composers of the last century.

Roger Roger (1911-1995) was a leading figure on the French music scene for many years, and his fine compositions and arrangements also won him many admirers internationally. Route Nationale is his sixteenth composition to be made available to a wider audience on a Guild CD.

The final track features On Stage, a piece co-composed by Walter R. Collins, who is remembered for his days as the distinguished Musical Director of the De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill-on-Sea, and also for conducting the London Promenade Orchestra for the Paxton Recorded Music Library during the 1940s. It provides a typical ‘show business’ ending to a varied collection of light music that hopefully includes something for everyone.

David Ades

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