21 Jul

The World of Keith Mansfield

By  Gareth Bramley
(3 votes)

Keith MansfieldKeith Mansfield (b. 1941) is a British composer and arranger whose name may not be familiar at first mention. However, he was a key player in the 60s music scene arranging and conducting for many popular artists of the time  – mostly on CBS where, in the mid to late 60s, he was musical director; before moving onto compose library music – essentially for KPM.

 He became one of their most prolific composers in the 1960s and 1970s, writing some of the funkiest, grooviest and memorable orchestral themes – which would be used for Film & TV productions all over the world, and especially in the United States. US sports fans will recognise many of Mansfield’s tunes on NFL Films team highlights and Super Bowl documentaries. As we explore the world of Keith Mansfield, music lovers will realise that there is more to Keith’s talents than being responsible for composing the memorable ‘Grandstand’ theme used by the BBC from 1976 till the series ended in 2002 and that he is best known for his modern big band compositions incorporating the rhythms and sounds of rock and funk and pop music.

 Born in Slough, Mansfield loved jazz music, started playing piano at the age of nine and first composed aged twelve. Aged 16 and having taken up alto sax, he formed a big band which included pianist Cliff Hall and drummer Johnny Butts both of whom later became professional colleagues. He worked for five years as a professional saxophone player, and moved from boys club bands – he played in the Slough Town Military Band, based at the Slough Boys’ Club, playing a number of instruments including oboe and cornet – into professional jobs playing alto sax with big bands in and around London, getting to know band-leaders Joe Loss and Alan Moorhouse.

Throughout his mid to late teens he continued to arrange tunes for people – one of the first being ‘This Is a Lovely Way To Spend an Evening’ as a signature tune for a local band. Mansfield said "What I did, is that I took a big band score – what they called commercial scores – that we all used to sit and play, and I put each individual part onto what we call a score. Most of the work was given to the saxophones, because saxophones don’t tire as easily at trumpets… and they played it and it became their signature tune for years. So I'd go there on a Saturday night, trying to get a dance with somebody, and they’d be playing my arrangement when I was aged sixteen."

Mansfield played tenor sax in Nat Allen’s Band at London’s Streatham Locarno Ballroom and turned professional at Streatham Locarno after he auditioned for a job playing in the Mecca ballrooms and by age 19 he was touring the country with a big band in the major cities: "By the time I got to eighteen, I knew I couldn’t face my day job any more; I decided I had to become a professional musician".

He also played in a jazz group in Slough called Melody Quintet; ‘It was an amorphous group, all of us in our late teens and all wanting to do something in the music world. I joined up and went professional, playing  locally first of all and then at various Mecca ballrooms, pantomime productions and summer season variety shows all over the country. It was the way in which most of us started up in those days. It was good experience.

During his time with the Slough Town Military Band, a fellow bandsman was trumpeter Alan Bown. In 1964, Bown became the leader of The John Barry Seven and he and Mansfield co-wrote "Seven Faces" for the group, which was released by Columbia. It turned out to be the final JB7 single, and Mansfield also played trombone on the recording.

The following year, aged 24, he decided to go it alone as a freelance composer / arranger. ‘I’m really doing what I always wanted to do. My big aim is to write entirely my own compositions and I think film scores offer the most challenge and  excitement to me in the future (he recently scored ‘Loot’).

Around the same time he secured professional arranging assignments that included writing several ‘ghost’ arrangements for friends and fellow composer Alan Moorhouse who at the time was Joe Loss’ arranger.

In the mid 1960s he was working as ‘in-house arranger’ with Eddie Kassner’s Publishing Company where he contributed to recordings by artists such as Robert Plant. This work brought him to the attention of the musical director of CBS Records, Mike Smith, who offered him the job of arranging a batch of new signings to the label, including The Chanters, The Kool, Val & The Vs and The Peddlers. At the end of 1966 he became a staff arranger and producer at CBS Records in the UK, working with artists such as Dusty Springfield, Georgie Fame, Brotherhood of Man, Marmalade, Love Affair, Ken Dodd, Vince Hill, Gilbert O’Sullivan, Robert Plant (under the name ‘Listen’) and many others.

Mansfield also produced and arranged albums for many top name CBS artists such as Alan Haven – ‘Haven For Sale’ in 1969 was also backed by Mansfield’s Orchestra, and featured guest artist Maynard Ferguson with backing vocals by The Ladybirds. A CD of the Haven album was issued by RPM in 2010 combining it with his later release from 1971 – ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’.

Mansfield recorded two albums with Salena Jones, whom he later married – ‘The Moment of Truth’ (1969) and 'Everybody’s Talkin' About Salena Jones' (1970); sharing the arranging duties with Eddie Harvey and David Gold respectively. Both albums were issued by Vocalion on a single CD in 2006, now deleted. A single, produced by Mansfield, was issued on CBS in January 1970 – ‘This Is Love’ / ‘Everybody’s Talkin’ – with the A side arranged by him. ‘After You’ and ‘My Whole World’s alive’ was issued in October of that year.

He also recorded a series of albums for Maynard Ferguson. The first, ‘The Ballad Style of Maynard Ferguson’, included a handful of film themes such as ‘Chitty Chitty Bang Bang’, ‘Born Free’ and ‘You Only Live Twice’. Recorded in London in 1969, it was his first British CBS album. Mansfield arranged and produced the tracks but the conductor was Alan Moorhouse.

Mansfield contributed two original compositions for the second (of four) Ferguson albums, ‘The World of Maynard Ferguson’. One was ‘L-Dopa which was also issued as a single and previously recorded as ‘Powerhouse Pop’ the same year (1970) for KPM’s ‘Flamboyant Themes, Volume 4’ LP. Mansfield’s third album with Ferguson, again adapting progressive jazz arrangements to modern pop covers, was ‘Alive & Well in London’ in 1971 with arrangements by John Cameron. This included the 6 minute plus version of Mansfield’s self-composed ‘The Serpent’ which appeared a year later as a KPM library track called ‘Jazz Rocker’ on an LP titled ‘Life Is For Living’. These two albums also featured compositions and arrangements by many of Mansfield’s musical associates including John Cameron and were recorded at Lansdowne Studios by sound engineer Adrian Kerridge. The drummer was Randy Jones, who stayed with Ferguson for ten years. Maynard’s ‘M.F. Horn’ was issued in 1970 and ‘M.F. Horn 2’ in 1972.

Mansfield commented: "I had some of my own tunes on the Maynard Ferguson albums – at that point I had decided to give up arranging so I could concentrate on composing, in particular for the libraries. Then Mike Smith and Derek Everett at CBS came along and offered me the job producing artists like Maynard, Salena and Alan Haven and these were opportunities I couldn't possibly turn down. Mike and Derek knew I would love working with these people. Originally I was only supposed to be the producer on the sessions for Maynard's albums but when it came to actually doing them I found we had a shortage of material – some people hadn't come up with tunes as promised. That's why I ended up re-working things like ‘Powerhouse Pop’, which I had originally written for KPM, as ‘L-Dopa’. It was Maynard rather than myself who re-named that tune as ‘L-Dopa’, which is the abbreviated name for the medical drug L-Dopamine. Maynard is such a brilliant, versatile musician – he can adapt to so many styles of music. The ‘L-Dopa’ arrangement has sections in it that are funky and sections that are straight-ahead jazz and Maynard moved between these styles so effortlessly within the space of one tune. At the time the Maynard Ferguson albums came out they didn't exactly receive very favourable reviews from the British music press. I remember Melody Maker being particularly critical of them, which was a shame as they're great albums."

"The reason why some of the brassy, funky library music did much better in America than it did in the UK is that brassy, aggressive music has never really been a part of the UK's culture like it is in America. People in the US are used to seeing and hearing marching bands everywhere, they're much more used to this sort of sound whereas in the UK we're more likely to say this music sounds too busy or too brash. Also, the media didn't really like this sound and in some ways this hindered the music's success in the UK."

Mansfield arranged Marmalade’s ‘There’s a Lot Of It About’ album (1968) and produced Georgie Fame’s ‘Going Home’ LP issued in 1971, arranging and producing the latter. Mansfield also arranged The Peddlers’ first album, ‘Freewheelers’, for CBS in 1967, engineered by Keith Grant, and arranged the strings on their second CBS album, 'Three In A Cell', a year later. He arranged four tracks on a Clodagh Rodgers album for RCA, and a Madeline Bell LP, ‘Doin’ Things’, for Philips in 1968. Other albums featuring tracks arranged by Mansfield including The Flirtations’ 1975 funk / soul album for RCA titled ‘Love Makes the World Go Round’.

Perhaps one of the rarest albums on which Mansfield worked was DJ Tony Blackburn’s 2nd LP – for Polydor in 1969, which features 12 tracks with arrangements and musical direction by Mansfield, Les Reed and Johnnie Spence.

Mansfield also recorded with his own orchestra (and chorus) and in December 1968 CBS issued two tracks on a single – ‘Beautiful’ and ‘Soul Thing’ with the B side being a self-composed track coming from his first album – ‘All You Need Is Keith Mansfield’, issued by CBS in 1968, containing 12 pop tracks including instrumentals of those he had arranged for The Love Affair – ‘Everlasting Love’ and ‘Rainbow Valley’.

‘All You Need Is…’ was later issued on CD in June 2011 by RPM, who included 8 bonus tracks (including the self-composed ‘Soul Confusion’) to compliment the original album – 'Rainbow Valley' and 'Everlasting Love' by Love Affair; two tracks by US jazz singer Salena Jones. 'Serpent' and 'Spinning Wheel' from jazz trumpeter Maynard Ferguson; and 'Love For Sale' by organist Alan Haven. The recordings cover the years 1968-1972 and are a splendid mix of pounding drums, rousing brass, and pulsating bass, and featuring Alan Hawkshaw on Hammond organ. It was Mansfield’s interpretation of the hits of the day plus his own compositions ‘Soul Thing’ and ‘Boogaloo’. The former was originally recorded as ‘Funky Fanfare’ for KPM in 1968 (‘Flamboyant Themes Volume 2’ / ‘Beat Incidental’) and had been used during the feature presentation trailers in cinemas in the late 60s / early 70s, whilst the latter was also later rearranged as Slow Rocker’ for KPM’s ‘Flamboyant Themes Vol.2’ album (1968); ‘Funky Fanfare’ was sampled by Danger Mouse (Mansfield’s music became very popular in the 70s by hip-hop producers) and used in the Astro Daters series of snipes produced by the National Screen Service in the late 60s. That song was used during the opening credits of the show ‘Pit Boss’ on Animal Planet.

DJ Tony Blackburn wrote the sleeve notes for this album saying ‘the exciting Mansfield sound will blow your knees with excitement’.

In the States Epic issued his ‘Soul Confusion’ on a single in 1969. In the UK this track was not commercially issued until RPM released the above-mentioned CD. It was adapted for Sugar’s ‘11am Tuesday Morning Taxi’ on CBS, the flip of ‘It Was Yesterday Today’ released in May 1969.

Mansfield recorded a second album for CBS in 1969 – which was released that year in the States, but not until 1971 in the UK. ‘Face On the Wind’ consisted of 11 tracks with an orchestra and chorus featuring vocals by Tony Burrows; Russell Stone; Sue Glover; and Sunny Leslie – The Brotherhood of Man – who, at the time, were produced by Mansfield; and Scott English.

A single was issued in January 1972 (both in the UK and USA) – ‘ Face on the Wind’ / ‘All For You’. The full track listing for this very rare album is as follows: I’m Gonna Make You Love Me / Face On the Wind / Going Home / Easy Lovin’, Easy Livin’ /All For You / Didn’t I (Blow Your Mind This Time) / And I Love Her / Love Song / The Look of Love / Love Story (Where Do I Begin) / Love Means (Never Having To Say You’re Sorry)

Another scarce album featuring music by Mansfield was the ‘The London Theme’ issued on Carnaby Records in mid 1969 which become one of the most sought-after albums today. It was issued on CD by Recur in 1999 (with additional tracks – 20 in total). These were mostly KPM tunes and included the popular ‘Young Scene’; ‘Piccadilly Night Ride’; ‘Teenage Carnival’; and ‘Funky Fanfare’; a theme from the Southern library, plus his own versions of the Eurovision songs ‘Puppet on a String’; ‘Congratulations’; ‘Boom Bang a Bang’, etc. The album featured full orchestra and choir. Carnaby issued a single in New Zealand featuring ‘Teenage Carnival’ and ‘Funky Fanfare’.

The full track listing was: Young Scene / Puppet On a String / Slow Rocker / Piccadilly Night Ride / Congratulations / London Hilton / Dr. Jekyll and Hyde Park / A Taste of Excitement / Boom Bang a Bang / Drum Diddley / Teenage Carnival / Funky Fanfare.

The following 8 tracks were added to the CD from the KPM library: Monday’s Child / Double Act / Pop Package / Main Line Special / Power Montage / Soul For Sale / Pop Fugue / Gold Medal.

‘London Hilton’ was the theme selected by Tony Currie, the producer of the CD, as the signature tune for ‘Through the Night’, which he hosted on Radio Clyde in 1975. ‘Drum Diddley’ was used by Terry Wogan for his BBC Radio Show in 1967. The tune, was composed by Gordon Rees; and Alan Moorhouse, who recorded his own version for his 1972 Music For Pleasure album ‘ Alan Moorhouse and His Bond Street Brigade’.

Mansfield arranged and conducted for many of the artists on the CBS roster, including UK hits for Love Affair in 1968-69 – ‘Everlasting Love’ (No. 1); ‘Rainbow Valley’ (No. 5); ‘One Road’ (No. 16); plus the singles ‘Baby I Know’; and ‘Lincoln Country’.

The Marmalade’s ‘Baby Make It Soon’ reached No. 9 in the UK singles charts in June 1969 but he had also backed their first hit in May 1968 called ‘Lovin’ Things’, which reached No. 6 in the UK and arranged ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ issued in December ’68 which reached No. 1 and spent 20 weeks in the UK singles charts. Mansfield worked on their last CBS single issued in Nov 1969 (‘Butterfly’ / ‘I Shall Be Released’).

During his time as a founding member of The Marmalade, Junior Campbell reportedly studied Mansfield’s scores closely. Being impressed with the craft of arranging for orchestras, as well the expertise of orchestral musicians in general, led to him handling accompaniment arrangements on the band’s future sessions himself.

The Keith Mansfield Strings were added to The Tremeloes track ‘I Shall Be Released’ in December 1968 and it reached No. 29 in the charts.

The following are just some of the other artists Mansfield worked with at CBS, the first being with Listen (Robert Plant) in November 1966 on ‘You’d Better Run’ / ‘Everybody’s Gonna Say’.

 1967 – Bernie Winters / Mike Winters / Donnie Elbert / Thelonious Monk / Val & The V’s / Gene Latter / Johnnie Lee / Emil Dean / Danny Street / Brian Poole / The Love Affair
1967-68 – Gilbert O’ Sullivan) / The Mud
1967-69 – The Kool / Kim Davis / The Marmalade
1968 – Springfield Park / The Boots / The Detours / The Tremeloes*  / The Medium / Roy Harper / The Chanters / The Mud / Ronnie Jones / The Boots
1968-69 – The Peddlers / Kim Davis / Georgie Fame – ‘Peaceful’ / ‘Hideaway’**
1969 – Bob Monkhouse / Sugar  / Lisa Carroll  / Jimmy Crawford
1970 – Marilyn Powell / J. Vincent Edward
1970-71 – Steve Ellis
1972 – Robert Young
1974-75 – Frankie Stevens
1975 – Vince Hill
*Reached No. 29 in UK singles chart in December 68 with ‘I Shall Be Released’.
**This single entered the UK singles charts in July 1969 and reached No. 16.

Another of the CBS artists whom Mansfield had worked with was James Royal (1967-70) including an arrangement of Laurie Johnson’s theme to ‘And Soon the Darkness’ (June 1970); and ‘House of Jack’ released a year earlier, being a vocal version of ‘Funky Fanfare’ recorded for CBS in 1969 with lyrics by R. Murphy. He even worked with Michael Crawford in 1974 on his single from the stage musical ‘Billy’ – ‘Some Of Us Belong To the Stars’. One of his last CBS assignments was with Vince Hill in 1975-76.

Mansfield also directed artists assigned to other labels including the following.

UK singles chart positions are detailed where applicable.

 Aurora – Together (1969)
Columbia – Salena Jones (1967); Dave Clarke Five (‘Put a Little Love In Your Heart’ – No. 31) (1969)
Decca – Denny D’Ell  / Dave Berry (1967); Tony Newman / Judy Kay / Tony Newman /
Errol Dixon (1968); Philip Goodhand-Tait (1969); K.C. Krane (1970)
Deram – The Flower Pot Men / The Virgin Sleep (1968); Brotherhood of Man (1971)
Direction – Gene Latter (1968)
EMI – Ken Dodd (1974); Frances Yip (1976); The Nuptown Keys (1981)
Galaxy – The Vernons (1975)
Gull – Vince Everitt (1976)
MAM – Susan Mellen (1975)
MGM – Barry Ryan (1968) (‘Love I Almost Found You’ – ‘B side of ‘Eloise’ – No. 2)
Mercury – Shades of Morley Brown (1968)
Philips  – Marty Wilde / Dusty Springfield / John Walker (1968); Nicky James (1968-9); Silk (1970)
Plexium – Freedom (1969)
President – The Symbols (1966-7)
RCA – Donnie Elbert (1972); Clodagh Rodgers (1972-74); The Flirtations (1975)
Sonet – Peter Gosling (1970)
Stateside – Gene Pitney (1969) (‘Maria Elena’ – No. 25)
Toast – The Cameos (1968)
York – Lovelace Watkins (1972)

 Along with Les Reed and Johnnie Spence, Mansfield arranged the 1978 single ‘I’ll Do Anything (Anything She Wants Me To)’ by Lenny Gamble (DJ Tony Blackburn). This was issued on the Casino Classics label.

Other notable tracks were ‘Looking Out of My Window’ released in Nov 1968 as the flip to Tom Jones’ hit ‘A Minute of Your Time’ (No. 14); he arranged 5 of the 12 tracks on the Dusty Springfield album for Philips in 1968 – (‘Dusty…Definitely’) which reached No. 30 in the UK LP charts. This included the singles: ‘I Close My Eyes and Count To Ten’ / ‘No Stranger Am I’ (No. 4) and ‘I Will Come To You’ / ‘The Colour of Your Eyes’. With The Marmalade he had success with ‘Lovin’ Things’ (No. 6), ‘Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da’ (No. 1) for CBS, and ‘Reflections of My Life’ for Decca which reached No. 3 in the singles charts in the UK and No. 10 in the States.

In May 1970 CBS issued a single from the film ‘Loot’ by Steve Ellis – ‘Loot’ b/w ‘More More More’ – both co-composed with Richard Willing Denton and appearing on the CBS soundtrack album later reissued by RPM on CD in 2001. Mansfield played piano and the score also featured Alan Hawkshaw, Herbie Flowers, and Clem Cattini.

Ellis was the lead vocalist with Love Affair – with whom Mansfield had had hits in 1968, and on ‘Everlasting Love’ it was merely Ellis and a 40-piece orchestra and backing vocals by Madeline Bell, Kiki Dee, Kay Garner and Lesley Duncan. Ellis commented in 2002 that the first recording the group made was ‘scrapped in favour of the Mike Smith produced version which was recorded with a rhythm section and orchestra arranged by Keith Mansfield’. The follow-up ‘Rainbow Valley’ featured Sue & Sunny on backing vocals and was also recorded in Italian to Mansfield’s original backing track. Upon leaving Love Affair in December 1969 Ellis recorded various solo singles beginning with the theme from ‘Loot’ followed by a Jim Webb song called ‘Evie’ with Caleb Quaye, Sue and Sunny and of course Mansfield.

Mansfield arranged three of the six songs chosen for Clodagh Rodgers with a view to one being selected for the Eurovision Song Contest of 1971. Three of them were featured on the ‘Cliff Richard Show’ – ‘Look Left, Look Right’, ‘In My World of Beautiful Things’ and ‘Another Time, Another Place’. However, the winner voted by the public was ‘Jack In a Box’ which finished in 4th place and reached No. 4 in the UK singles charts. ‘Another Time, Another Place’ which had finished 4th in the heats was later recorded by Engelbert Humperdinck, reaching No. 13 in the UK charts in September 1971 with Laurie Holloway as musical director.

In the 1970s, Mansfield wrote endless tunes for the music libraries, Amphonic, Bruton, Conroy, Themes International – even Chappell – but essentially KPM, many still being used today. Apart from Mansfield, the library’s main composers were Johnny Pearson, Alan Hawkshaw and Syd Dale. Mansfield joined the arranging department of KPM in 1964 where the other arrangers were Neil Richardson, Alan Moorhouse and David Gold. Upon leaving this department he then went on to compose tunes in his own right from – 1965 until around 1984.

His very first LP for the KPM library was a joint effort with Johnny Hawksworth called ‘Happy Families’ issued in 1966.  A 10" single ‘Jingle Bell Beat’ was also issued with three Christmas tunes written by Mansfield including the title track. A further three tracks were issued on ‘The First Christmas’ another 10" issued the same year.

One of his most popular compositions was ‘Grandstand’ (also seen listed as ‘Holiday Party Time’) which was composed especially for the BBC Saturday afternoon programme – used as the theme from October 1975 until its demise in 2006, replacing a short-lived theme by Barry Stoller. A re-recorded version was introduced to the programme in 1999 but was quickly withdrawn after complaints from viewers.

The tune originally appeared on the KPM LP ‘Solid Gold’ in 1976 and commercially on a BBC single in March of that year credited, for contractual reasons, to The Sound Stage Orchestra. It was also issued as part of the BBC’s album ‘Angels & 15 Other Original BBC-TV Themes’ in 1976 and appeared on Pickwick’s ‘BBC Sporting Themes’ CD issued in 1988 with his themes for  ‘International Athletics’ and ‘Wimbledon’.

The BBC’s Wimbledon Tennis coverage still uses ‘Light & Tuneful’ as the opening music. It was recorded for KPM in 1972 for their ‘Life Is For Living’ album. A commercial issue first appeared on the BBC LP ‘Sporting Themes’ issued in 1979 – again with Mansfield’s themes from ‘Grandstand’ and another used for the BBC’s ‘International Athletics’ called ‘World Series’ – also lifted from the above KPM album.

Another TV theme, again from the KPM library, was ‘World Champion’ (from the 1977 ‘Olympiad 2000’ LP) which was used as the closing theme for NBCs coverage of the same tournament. ITV used Mansfield’s ‘The Young Scene’ from 1968 to 1972 as the signature tune for their ‘Big Match’ football series (it was replaced by Don Harper’s ‘Cheekybird’ – another library piece). ‘Young Scene’ was a track from KPM’s ‘Flamboyant Themes’ album from 1968 and, as mentioned earlier, was issued commercially in 1969 on the ‘London Theme’ album. Virgin issued the theme on their double CD ‘This Is Easy’ released in 1996.

Another lesser-known theme was that used for the main title theme for Southern TV Series ‘The Freewheelers’ (1968-1973) – ‘Teenage Carnival’ originally on ‘Colours In Rhythm’ issued in 1968. This received its première CD release in 1999 when Recur issued ‘The London Scene’ LP on CD. The end title to this series was another KPM piece titled ‘Private Eye’ composed by Laurie Johnson.

BBC Records issued the theme to ‘Spy Trap’ in 1971 (credited to Quator) composed by Mansfield with arrangements by Johnny Pearson. The rhythm section was led by Brian Wade of Trane.

‘International Event’ from the 1972 KPM album ‘Progress and Prestige Volume 2’ was used by ITV for their soccer coverage in the 70s ('ITV Soccer')

His ‘Big Shot’ theme first issued on ‘Metropolis’ in 1975 was used in the TV Series ‘The Sweeney’ which premièred the same year and was issued on a CD of music used in the series by Sanctuary in 2001. Mansfield also arranged an album of ‘Mr. Men’ songs for Arthur Lowe released in 1976 on Epic and later by BBC records in 1979.

In 1976 Mansfield recorded an LP of 11 tracks for the Conroy Music Library and two years later some tracks for Bruton with John Coleman and Johnny Pearson. In 1979 he released the popular ‘Night Bird’ album for Amphonic even though he was still working and recording albums for KPM till the mid 80s when, with the introduction of CDs, many of these KPM tracks were issued – albeit non-commercially. Mansfield had been one of the first composers invited to compose for the Amphonic library by its founder Syd Dale when they bumped into each other in New York in 1976. A whole album – ‘Night Bird’ – was recorded 3 years later.

‘Disco King’ was a track composed by Mansfield featuring the Biddu Orchestra and was from the unreleased soundtrack to the 1978 porn film ‘Maraschino Cherry’.

In 1981 EMI Records issued a single by The Nuptown Keys being the title track from an album they recorded for KPM in 1982 with Mansfield as arranger and producer – ‘The Best of Christmas’. The A side was ‘Part One’ – arrangements of well-known Christmas tunes, whilst the flip was the Mansfield’s self-composed ‘Superstar’ from his ‘Lifeforce’ album a year earlier.

The KPM track ‘Worlds Without End’ from the original album ‘Future Perspective’ (1982) was used in the BBC series 'Whicker’s World' around that time accompanying scenes of life aboard ship.

Whilst Mansfield recorded hundreds of tunes for KPM (he was possibly their most prolific composer) – spread over many compilation albums – for some albums the majority of the tracks were by him. Many of these were in their famous ‘1000’ series which started in 1966 the brief for which was ‘modern and with style’.

1010 – ‘Happy Families’ (10 tracks)
1043 – ‘Beat Incidental’ (19 tracks composed with Alan Hawkshaw)
1095 – ‘Theme Suites’ (17 of 23 tracks)
1124 – ‘Big Business’ / ‘Wind of Change’ (9 / 6 of 8 tracks)
1125 – ‘Voices In Harmony’ (11 of the 15 tracks)
1188 – ‘Contempo’ (10 tracks)
1190 – ‘Vivid Underscores’ (17 tracks)
1200 – ‘Olympiad 2000’ (24 tracks)
1220 – ‘Olympiad 2001’ (34 tracks)
1221 – ‘National Heritage’ / ‘Rural Heritage’ (40 / 18 tracks)
1222 – ‘Conflict & Consequence’ (47 of 49 tracks)
1228 – ‘Ideas In Action – Volume 1’ (30 tracks)
1229 – ‘Ideas In Action – Volume 2’ (18 of 21 tracks)
1240 – ‘Action World’ (33 of 38 tracks – 3 with Terry Cox)
1241 – ‘Technology & Movement’ (31 tracks – 13 with Terry Cox)
1242 – ‘Planet Earth’ /’All In the Mind’ (12 / 9 of 11 tracks)
1260 – ‘Lifeforce’ (33 tracks)
1261 – ‘Technomatics’ (19 tracks)
1277 – ‘Future Perspective’ (23 tracks – 1 with Richard Elen)
1278 – ‘Historical Perspective’ (47 tracks)
1283 – ‘Blue Perspectives’ (10 tracks with Terry Cox)
1284 – ‘The Four Elements’ (16 tracks)
1304 – ‘Contact’ (16 tracks – 1 with Richard Elen)
1315 – ‘Options’ (14 tracks)
1316 – ‘Options 2’ (14 tracks)
1321 – ‘The Video Connection’ (15 tracks – 2 with Richard Elen)
1325 – ‘Good News’ (23 tracks)
1344 – ‘Circles’ (21 tracks)
1364 – ‘Future Positive’ (31 tracks – 4 with Richard Elen)
1366 – ‘Jingles and Programme Cues’ – Volume 8’ (68 tracks)
1378 – ‘Innovations’ (35 tracks – 4 with Terry Cox)
1381 – ‘Stepping Stones’ (33 tracks – with Terry Cox) (1987)

Mansfield went on to record for Amphonic (started by fellow KPM composer Syd Dale in 1971), Bruton, Conroy, and Themes International for two decades and celebrated the 60th anniversary of KPM at Jarvis Cocker’s Meltdown at the South Bank Centre, London in June 2007 along with the other members of the KPM Allstars performing a selection of library tracks and TV themes.

One of the last appearances by the KPM Allstars was a one-off gig on Saturday 7th July 2012 where they performed as a 16-piece Big Band at the Islington Assembly Hall, with Brian Bennett, Alan Hawkshaw & The Mohawks, John Cameron, Duncan Lamont, James Clarke, and DJ Shawn Lee. They received a standing ovation and played two encores – one of which was a shortened version of the ‘Grandstand’ theme which had been ‘extended’ on its first playing. Hawkshaw played Hammond Organ, Brian Bennett was on drums whilst Keith Mansfield conducted. The popular ‘Funky Fanfare’ was amongst the other tracks played.

The first film featuring Mansfield’s music (although stock music) was the 1969 US production  ‘Four on the Floor’. In 1970 he conducted his own music for  ‘Taste of Excitement’ in addition to orchestrating the music for Richard Attenborough’s film ‘Loot’. He also scored ‘Three Bullets… for a Long Gun’ in 1971. More of his library music was used in a short documentary ‘It’s Sound Sense’ in 1978 and the film ‘The Great Skycopter Rescue’, the documentary ‘Fist of Fear, Touch of Death’, ‘Kill and Kill Again’ (all 1980), as the logo jingle for CBS/Fox video, and the 2009 film ‘Black Dynamite’. ‘Soul Thing’ was used in ‘Kill Bill’ (2003), and ‘Grindhouse: Death Proof’ (2007).

Some other productions that have used Mansfield’s music until the 80s are:

1965 – ‘I Think of You’ used in ‘Dateline Diamonds’
1966 – ‘World Cup March’ used in ‘Where the Bullets Fly’
1971 – ‘Exclusive Blend’ used in ‘Doomwatch’ TV episode ‘Public Enemy’.
1975 – ‘Disco Dynamite’ used in ‘Space 1999’
1976 – ‘Soul Thing’ in documentary short ‘Get ‘Em Off’
1977 – ‘Love of a Lifetime’ used in ‘Sweeney!’
1977 – ‘Hot Dog’ and ‘Barefoot in the Park’ used in ‘Are You Being Served’ TV series.
1978 – ‘Disco King’ for ‘Maraschino Cherry’ (wrote & performed)
1979 – ‘Ball Game’, ‘Baseball Blues’, ‘Hell For Leather’, ‘Pointer’ used in Heja Sverije!’

The following are some of Mansfield’s library compositions used in film and TV productions since the 80s:

 ‘Birth of a Nation – 2’
‘Energy & Movement’
‘Funky Fanfare’
‘Historical Perspective – 3’
‘Incidental Backcloth’
‘Into Battle Again’
‘Life of Leisure’
‘Paris Love Breezin’
‘Paul’s Pleasure Dragster’
‘Powerhouse Pop’
‘Proclamation – 1’
‘Run I’m a Natural Disaster’
‘Sex and Food’
‘Solid Gold’
‘State of War’
‘Teenage Carnival’
‘Teenage Chase’
‘Teenage Villain’
‘Tonight in Person’
‘Trombones In the Night’
‘Uneasy Atmosphere - 1’
‘Wargames Linking Section – 3, 4, 6, 7, 8’
‘West Coast Surf Ride’

His music was also used in more recent TV series:

The Ren & Stimpy Show (1994-95)
SpongeBob SquarePants (2000-2009)
Spaced (2001)
Calendar Geeks  / The IT Crowd (2008)

One of his most played themes was ‘Piccadilly Night Ride’ written with Alan Hawkshaw and this was used on the AR-TV children’s series ‘Orlando’ and in the ‘Blue Band’ TV commercials in 196 and the Yorkshire TV Friday evening ‘Yorksport’, YTV’s ‘Parkin’s Patch’ (1969-70) and many of the NFL (USA National Football League) films and many documentaries.

‘Gold Medal’ was also used for many of the NFL films in 1969 as was ‘Power Montage, ‘Slow Rocker’, ‘’Pop Package’ (also used in WCBS-TV’s ‘Celebrates New York’ promos in 1971, and ‘London Hilton’.

‘Pop Fugue' was used in a series called ‘Llusern’, ‘Statement 1’ was used in ‘UTV Reports’ which ran between 1969 and 1978 and ‘Funky Fanfare’ was used in a programme called ‘Weekend’ and as the theme for one of Thames’ first children's’ TV series in 1968 – ‘The Queen Street Gang'. 'Beat Boutique’, written with Alan Hawkshaw, was used in the famous TV commercial for ‘St. Bruno’ in the 70s.

Mansfield has acknowledged that he has become ‘a writer of sports themes’. We can all still enjoy his music since much of it is now becoming widely available on CD or MP3 format. His memorable theme to ‘Grandstand’ ended with the series some years ago, but in the UK his TV Themes still live on via the BBC’s annual Wimbledon coverage – a theme which has already lasted 36 years and will undoubtedly continue until their coverage comes to an end.

Having examined Mansfield’s career as musical arranger and conductor, film and library composer, and more recently as a member of the KPM All Stars, we will now have a look at some of CDs that have been issued commercially featuring his music. Collectors should note that this is not meant to be a complete and exhaustive listing – though most releases are covered.

Some of the main releases on compact disc by Mansfield have been previously noted, including those by Selena Jones, Maynard Ferguson and Alan Haven, but there are still many interesting releases – each containing different and rare examples of his music – many of which have never previously been issued commercially. Many of these releases have been issued by Michael Dutton on his Vocalion label.

Beginning with ‘Love Affair’, all the singles (A and B sides) from the group and the solo releases by its lead singer Steve Ellis can be found on Arcadia’s 2002 release ‘The Love Affair / Ellis – Singles As and Bs’.

‘Dusty…Definitely’ was issued on CD by Spectrum in 2001 including all five of the tracks which Mansfield arranged.

Georgie Fame’s ‘Going Home’ was released by BGO in 2010 with tracks from another album produced by Alan Price two years earlier.

Strut Records’ second compilation of library music ‘Music For Dancefloors: The Cream of the Chappell Music Library Sessions’ released in October 2001 contained Mansfield’s ‘Blockbuster’ lifted from the Bruton album ‘Light My Fire’ issued in 1978.

The Peddlers’ ‘Freewheelers’ and ’Three In a Cell’ albums have previously been issued on Japanese imports but the ‘complete CBS recordings’ are available on Sony’s ‘How Cool Is Cool’ issued in 2002 which includes 2 previously unreleased tracks.

Marmalade’s ‘There’s a Lot of It About’ was issued in Japan in 2009 but the complete album plus other tracks including the Decca single Mansfield worked on are included in Castle’s ‘The Definitive Collection’ issued way back in 1998.

Very little is available by Clodagh Rodgers but the 4 tracks Mansfield arranged are spread over two CDs – ‘The Masters’ issued on Eagle in 2002 and  ‘You Are My Music…Best of’ issued by Sony in 1996.

The Madeline Bell material from 1968 was issued by RPM as recently as October 2012 and much of  the Maynard Ferguson material has been issued on Wounded Bird Records. ‘M.F. Horn 2’ and ‘The Ballad Style of Maynard Ferguson’ were twinned and issued by Vocalion in May 2006.

EMI’s first ‘Sound Gallery’ CD issued in 1995 featured Mansfield’s ‘Life of Leisure’ and ‘Young Scene’ and the follow up volume issued in September 1996 included ‘Powerhouse Pop’. These were two of the first commercial CDs containing music from the KPM and other music libraries.

Also in 1996 Blow Up records released ‘Exclusive Blend Volume 1’ featuring 16 KPM tracks recorded between 1968 and 1970 including Mansfield’s ‘Exclusive Blend’, ‘Step Forward’, ‘Mexican D.J.’, and ‘Powerhouse Pop’. The first of these tracks was often used in the ‘Dave Allen At Large’ TV series to accompany sketches. Mansfield contributed to the sleeve notes on this release (along with Blow Up’s founder and DJ Paul Tunkin):

"Those of us who were part of the recording scene in the sixties can now look back and reflect upon how lucky we were to be around at the time that English ‘Pop & Rock’ music would become such a success. So many great musicians, such good recording studios and so many artists from The Beatles to the Rolling Stones who would dominate the musical culture of young people all over the world."

 "And so many of them are still with us today! – Dusty Springfield, Tom Jones, Robert Plant, Georgie Fame, The Love Affair, Marmalade and the Tremeloes – all of these artists that I worked with have lasted the ‘test of time’. I hope that when you listen to ‘Exclusive Blend’, you will be taken back in time and can enjoy all the positive energy that was such a part of that era."

The follow-up release the following year featured music from 1968-1974 and included, amongst its 18 tracks, ‘Close Shave’ and ‘Fast Back’ from 1970, and ‘Teenage Chase’ and the popular ‘Funky Fanfare’ from 1968.

In 1997 Virgin issued a set of four CDs containing KPM library tracks and the first volume ‘Paco’s Poolside Bar’ featured Mansfield’s ‘New Images’ from 1970. The 2nd set ‘Playmates Penthouse’ included ‘Je Reviens’ from 1969, and the third highlighted seven tracks: ‘Grandstand’ (1975) / ‘Where the Action Is’ (aka ‘Mono Ski’) (1970) / ‘Tycoon’ (1973) / ‘Dangerous Assignment’ (aka ‘Ske) – a track he wrote with Alan Hawkshaw in 1968 / ‘Hot Property’ (1973) / ‘Sporting Highlights’ (aka ‘Pop Package’) (1969) / ‘Trombones in the Night’ (1969)

The final set – ‘La Scandale Discotheque’ contained ‘Pop Package’ (1969), ‘World Cup’ (aka ‘Power Montage’) (1968).

The second volume of ‘Music For TV Dinners’ – ‘The 60s’ – was an excellent mixture of library themes issued in the USA on Scamp in November 1997. It featured another 16 popular library tracks by their top composers: Syd Dale, Laurie Johnson, Johnny Scott, Neil Richardson, Johnny Pearson and two tracks by Mansfield – ‘Sporting Highlights’ and ‘Piccadilly Night Ride’, the latter another track he composed with Alan Hawkshaw.

Winchester Hospital Radio’s ‘Girl In a Suitcase’ CD issued in 2001 highlights ‘Men On the Move’, which was used as the theme for the BBC1 drama series ‘Spy Trap’ in the 70s. This 1969 track was slightly re-arranged by Johnny Pearson for its commercial release on a BBC single in 1971.

Alan Hawkshaw, another member of the KPM Allstars, issued 22 tracks they had recorded live at The Jazz Café London – October 2006, on his own label. This limited edition disc is sadly now deleted but the tracks are available for download and include ‘Funky Fanfare’, ‘Everlasting Love’, ‘Beat Boutique’ and others including the ‘sports themes’ medley featuring the popular ‘Grandstand’ theme.

‘On the Brink’ was one of the Psychic Circle releases issued in May 2007 and featured ‘Soul Thing’ whilst their release from November 2008 – ‘Roaring Blue’ included the track ‘Boogaloo’.

‘The Big Beat – Volume 1’ issued on CD and vinyl in September 2007 by Tummy Touch to mark KPM’s 50th anniversary reproduced the original 1969 album with five Mansfield tracks: ‘Exclusive Blend’, ‘Teenage Travelogue’, ‘Teenage Ton Up’, ‘The Mexican D.J.’, and ‘Red Square Stomp’. The remaining 11 tracks were by his colleague Alan Hawkshaw.

In May 2008 Vocalion issued Mansfield’s ‘Night Bird’ on CD – all 7 full versions from the Amphonic Music album recorded at the famous Lansdowne Studios in London in August 1979. The music featured Alan Hawkshaw (on Hammond), Barry Morgan (drums) and Dave Richmond (bass guitar and was produced by Syd Dale.

Another Vocalion release ‘When the Saints Go and Big Bands at KPM 1967-75’ was issued in 2008 and included ‘Behind the Scene’ (1970), ‘Hot Property’ (1973), and ‘ Man With a Mission’ (1974).

Show Up records began their series of ‘Dramatic Funk Themes’ CDs in July 2008 with a CD from the Themes International Library but amongst Volume 2’s 18 tracker issued in August 2009 were ‘Hot Property’ and ‘Jagged’, which were KPM tracks from 1974. The third volume issued in June 2011 included ‘Staying Power’ from 1976.

Vocalion’s ‘Sounds of the Times’ – recordings from the Conroy Recorded Music Library released in 2009 contained the tracks ‘Breezin’ (1976), ‘Soul For Sale’ (1970), ‘Tycoon’ (1973), and three from the 1976 album ‘New Dimension’ recorded at Lansdowne Studios engineered by Adrian Kerridge – ‘Before Summer Ends’, ‘Groovy Move’, and ‘Gospel Truth’. For the latter album Mansfield assembled key big band and leading jazz and session players of the time including Pete King who played alto sax, Brian Smith (tenor sax), John Taylor / Steve Gray (keyboards), Chris Roe (guitar), Brian Odges (bass guitar), and Barry Morgan on drums.

‘Big City Suite’ – (their third KPM release issued in 2009) featured music by David Gold + KPM 1000 series 1972-78. The Mansfield tracks included on this CD were ‘Trial of Strength’ (1974), ‘Good Vibrations’ (1976), ‘The Fix’, and ‘Snake Hips’ – the latter three being from his ‘Contempo’ album.

Mansfield’s ‘The Great Outdoors’ opened the ‘Time To Fly’ CD – another Vocalion issue in March 2010 featuring 28 tracks from the KPM 1000 Series (1970-76). Also included were ‘Sun Lover’, ‘Hollywood Première’, ‘Life of Leisure’ from 1972, ‘Whistle Stop Tour’, ‘The Loving Touch’, ‘Husky Birdsong’ from 1973, and ‘Towards the Sun’ originally issued in 1976.

A rare commercial issue of Mansfield’s ‘Bow Street Runner’ recorded for Syd Dale’s Amphonic Music in 1976 appeared on a 25 track CD issued by Vocalion in 2010 titled ‘Super Sounds Unlimited’.

Vocalion’s ‘Bedside Bond’ and ‘Number One Themes’ released in March 2010 includes a version of Mansfield’s ‘Soul Thing’ played by Tony Newman and originally released on Decca in June 1968. Both sides of this single were arranged by Mansfield but ‘Soul Thing’ had a slightly slower tempo than the original. Arzachel’s version (culled from the ultra rare Evolution’ LP) was used as the theme tune for the 1968 children’s Thames TV series ‘Queen St. Gang’. Paul Raven – better known to 70s fans as Gary Glitter – added lyrics to the tune and issued it on a single on MCA in August 1968.

In July 2010 Vocalion issued their 5th CD of KPM music ‘Liquid Sunshine’ containing:

‘Pretty Colours’ and ‘Je Reviens’ (1970), ‘Cote D’Azur’, ‘Summer Setting’, and ‘Scenic Journey’ (1972), ‘Clean Air’ (1973), and ‘Nice Feelings’, ‘Love De Luxe’ and ‘Sun Goddess’  from 1976. The 1970 album ‘Sweet Groove’ from which ‘Pretty Colours’ was lifted was recorded at the EMI Pathe-Marconi Studios in Paris, and the ‘Contempo’ tracks containing ‘Sun Goddess’ and ‘Love De Luxe’ were recorded by Mike Clements at KPM. The latter theme was used in the TV series ‘The Sweeney’ and featured Pete King on alto sax Derek Watkins on flugel horn.

‘Girl on the Beach’ + KPM Library – ‘Gentle Sounds’ (another Vocalion issue in Nov 2010) highlighted 12 tracks by James Clarke but included Mansfield’s ‘Soft Cell’ and ‘Floating Bossa’ amongst its other 15 selections which were all lifted from the KPM album ‘Gentle Sounds’ issued in 1968.

Another WHR 2 CD released in April 2010 – ‘Music While You Work’ – included ‘A Girl Like You’; ‘Superstar (A)’; and ‘All the Good Times (B)’ – tracks which were used in Channel 4’s Test Card transmissions during the 80s.

‘Music For Dancefloors – The KPM Music Library’ featured ‘Incidental Backcloth No. 9’, ‘Crash Course’ and some tracks with Mansfield with the KPM All-Stars – ‘Soul Thing’, ‘Dave Allen At Large’, ‘Beat Boutique’, ‘Crash Course’, and the ‘sports themes’ medley (’The Big Match’ / ‘BBC Wimbledon Tennis’ / ‘BBC Athletics’ / ‘Grandstand’). This was released in April 2013 on double CD and vinyl and previously on a single CD by Strut Records in 2000 called ‘Music For Dancefloors: The Cream of the KPM Music Green Label Sessions’ with 20 unreleased tracks. To launch the album the composers of many of the tracks were persuaded to perform the music live for the very first time and these tracks were issued on the 2 CD set reissue.

The latest release was from Soul Jazz Records’ – a two CD set titled ‘TV Sound and Image: British Television, Film and Library Composers 1956-80 (issued in June 2012). It included Mansfield’s ‘Soul Thing’ amongst its 36 tracks. Collectors should note that this is the 1968 CBS recording first issued on CBS in 1968.

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  • Author: Gareth Bramley
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Read 49239 times Last modified on Tuesday, 14 March 2017 13:27


  • Greg posted by Greg Monday, 11 April 2022 17:21

    Very good, thorough account of Keith's career. I am curious if you might have contact info for Keith. I am looking to do an interview with him.
    Thank you

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  • Sabteca posted by Sabteca Wednesday, 10 March 2021 17:52

    I am just after the chart for Marmalade"Reflections of my life"
    Willing to pay for it.

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  • Mark Baxter posted by Mark Baxter Tuesday, 06 November 2018 15:05

    Hello Gareth
    A very interesting article. Thanks.
    I'm writing a book about music & sport, and Keith has written some real fans favourites over the years including Grandstand and Light & Tuneful for Wimbledon. Would you be able to put me into contact with Keith as I'd love to get his views on these and others, and what makes them so special to music/sport fans.
    Mark Baxter

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  • Patico brown posted by Patico brown Sunday, 09 October 2016 21:38

    I am directing a big band, and I would like to buy several Mansfield's arrangements (score and parts) for big band 5/4/4/4 or the like.
    I would be very grateful if you could help me to find a source for those.
    Thank you very much for your help!
    All the best

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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.