05 May

"Our Bob"

By  Cab Smith
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by Cab Smith

A few years ago I approached a very well-known bandleader and, during the course of our conversation, I proudly told him that I was a member of the Robert Farnon Society.

I was stunned and surprised when he replied: "Who is he?" I then explained to him the usual rundown on Bob. I'll mention no names, but I regret to say that this bandleader has passed on.

But as for Bob, we in the Society look upon him as one of the greatest writers and arrangers of Light Music in the world (of our time). That's why the Appreciation Society was formed in 1956 by Ken and Dot Head, succeeded so well by David and the committee to this present day.

Over the years I have corresponded with Bob many times, and I must say that he always replied without hesitation. I had the great pleasure of meeting him for the first time back in the 1950s at the Society's early recitals at the Bonnington Hotel. He had just returned from Capri (no doubt visiting Gracie Fields!), and I found him most charming.

Then there were the wonderful recording sessions. One evening in August 1972, at the CTS Studios in Bayswater, I had the great pleasure of meeting Tony Bennett, who was in London to record the LP "The Good Things in Life". This was the same studio where 'Ole Blue Eyes' recorded "Great Songs from Great Britain" with Bob back in June 1962.

Also I cannot forget the great times I had with our dear and late friend Don Furnell; what times they were to see and hear a full orchestra under Bob's command! And as for those glorious swinging arrangements including strings ... just great!

I have many happy memories of Bob Farnon. How lucky we have all been to know him. There will never be another quite like him.

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About Geoff 123
Geoff Leonard was born in Bristol. He spent much of his working career in banking but became an independent record producer in the early nineties, specialising in the works of John Barry and British TV theme compilations.
He also wrote liner notes for many soundtrack albums, including those by John Barry, Roy Budd, Ron Grainer, Maurice Jarre and Johnny Harris. He co-wrote two biographies of John Barry in 1998 and 2008, and is currently working on a biography of singer, actor, producer Adam Faith.
He joined the Internet Movie Data-base (www.imdb.com) as a data-manager in 2001 and looked after biographies, composers and the music-department, amongst other tasks. He retired after nine years loyal service in order to continue writing.