BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC CLASSICS Volume 4 Marching Strings (Ray Martin); Jaunting Car (Peter Hope); High Heels (Trevor Duncan); Dance of an Ostracised Imp (Frederic Curzon); Keltic Lament (John Foulds); Rhythm on Rails, A Quiet Stroll (Charles Williams); By the Sleepy Lagoon (Eric Coates); Jamaican Rumba (Arthur Benjamin); In a Monastery Garden (Albert W. Ketèlbey); Demoiselle Chic (Percy Fletcher); Cavalcade of Youth (Jack Beaver); Elizabethan Masque (Frederic Bayco); Shepherd Fennel’s Dance (Henry Balfour Gardiner); Thrills (Charles Ancliffe); The Doge’s March (Frederick Rosse); Petite Suite de Concert (Samuel Coleridge-Taylor) The New London Orchestra conducted by Ronald Corp Hyperion CDA67400, total timing 77:53 minutes. We are greatly indebted to both Hyperion and Ronald Corp for the (hopefully) continuing series of British Light Music Classics, with its targeted emphasis on vintage Light Music ranging from about the 1890s to the early 1960s – a period when melody and rhythmic verve was at its most intense and infectious. Whilst inevitably in such a generous compilation some duplication with contemporary modern recordings is unavoidable, and pieces such as By the Sleepy Lagoon and In a Monastery Garden are doubtless included to make the CD more commercial, there is plenty of evidence of some imaginative programme planning and an impressive knowledge of Light Music repertoire. An excellent curtain-raiser is Ray Martin’s Marching Strings, played with plenty of verve and panache. Particularly welcome are the two Charles Williams miniatures, particularly the charmingly joyful and jaunty A Quiet Stroll. New to this listener was John Foulds’ haunting beautiful Keltic Lament, and remembered from the distant days of childhood Charles Ancliffe’s fine waltz Thrills (staple fare, no doubt, in programmes such as ‘Those Were The Days’) and the Doges March by Frederick Rosse, of which my father possessed a 78 record. Jack Beaver’s Cavalcade of Youth – used as the signature tune of ‘The Barlows of Beddington’ – also made one wistfully nostalgic. Also welcome is a completePetite Suite de Concert in a recording distinctly superior to the Marco Polo alternative (8.223516) with the Dublin RTE Concert Orchestra conducted by Adrian Leaper. Technically the recording (even by Hyperion’s high standards) is quite superlative with ample range, depth and amplitude, with many inner details and ‘effects’ being revealed – often hidden or obscured in earlier historic recordings. One cannot imagine this disc not being an automatic ‘must have’ amongst light music enthusiasts and hopefully the better known pieces will attract a wider currency amongst the general public. Anyway it’s up to all of us to encourage Hyperion and Ronald Corp to keep up their good work. As Andrew Lamb says in his informative notes to this fourth volume dip into the well of British Light Music Classics, the source is as fresh and sparkling as ever! Roger Hyslop
Unless I’m mistaken, nine of these pieces appear as first-time modern digital recordings. Anyway, here come the Marching Strings, fresh as ever (what a good opener they always make) and Jack Beaver’s uplifting Cavalcade of Youth; here also is Elizabethan Masque, rather unexpected and all the more welcome for that. Ketèlbey’s ‘monks’ sound really authentic (period performance!), and though less brisk than the composer’s version Rhythm on Rails gave me a pleasingly smooth ride. Many moons ago Charles Ancliffe was constrained to squeeze as much of Thrills as he could on to a 10" 78 side; complete with introduction, all repeats and coda it now gets the full treatment. So too doesPetite Suite de Concert, and its third movement Un Sonnet d’Amour is given as sensitive an account as any that I know. All in all, this is an excellent release which will hopefully make many more friends for our wonderful World of Light Music. John E. Govier Hyperion CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £12 [US $24] each.
PAUL LEWIS Three Decades of TV Themes The Prisoner of Zenda, Autumn Love, Brendon Chase, Arthur of the Britons, The Big Knife, King’s Royal, The Dark Angel, The Benny Hill Waltz, The Island, Woof!, Wreckers at Deadeye The Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Paul LewisCampion CAMEO 2018, 76:13 mins. At long last here is a CD which attempts to do justice to Paul Lewis’s work for British television. I say ‘attempts’, because incredibly he has been responsible for over 130 TV scores, so there is a vast body of his work still waiting to be rediscovered. But this new CD makes a fine start, and the swashbuckling opening from the 1984 "Prisoner of Zenda" (BBC TV) is in the finest Hollywood tradition. Autumn Love was originally in the Chappell Recorded Music Library, but its tender qualities were noticed in 1973 when it was chosen for the Thames TV series "Spring and Autumn". Subsequently it was arranged by Ray Martin for commercial LP release, and the Chappell version also appeared in Grasmere’s third album of famous themes. Paul knows how to write a catchy theme, and "Brendon Chase" certainly falls into this category. An RCA EP of the music sold 5,000 copies back in the 1980s. "Arthur of the Britons" (HTV 1972) is perhaps the major suite in this collection, with an impressive opening and plenty of tender (and exciting!) themes in the rest of the work. "The Big Knife" (HTV 1989) is sub-titled Romance for Piano and Strings and one can imagine it filling both sides of a Columbia 78 back in the late 1940s. "King’s Royal" (BBC 1981-82) has a very strong theme in the finest tradition of descriptive writing. "The Dark Angel" (BBC 1990) is another substantial work which the composer describes as A Gothic Melodrama for Orchestra. In complete contrast comes The Benny Hill Waltz, which is actually a movement called Ballroom from Paul’s collection "History Book of Music"; the change of title reflects the use of this piece (speeded-up) in many Benny Hill shows. "The Island" (HTV 1976) features soprano and orchestra; the producer had asked for a Laura-type piece, but understandably Paul felt some reluctance to copy that most famous of all film themes. The result is a melody employing vocalise (wordless) for soprano and orchestra – the listener can judge whether or not the producer had his wish granted. "Woof!" has to be Paul’s most famous TV theme. Although written for an ITV children’s programme, it achieved audience figures above six million, and has been shown in over 64 countries. Tommy Reilly originally played harmonica in the small Carlton TV orchestra (the Paul Lewis Woof Band), to be followed by James Hughes from series eight. Even if you have never seen the TV show, you cannot fail to be swept along by the sheer fun and exuberance of the music. In this Fantasy Paul has combined several of the themes he used during the series, but over the nine years he wrote many catchy little interludes for all of the main characters. Finally this delightful collection comes to an end with "Wreckers at Deadeye" (Thames 1970) – to quote the composer’s words "…a rip-roaring yarn of smugglers and shipwreckers." He has certainly captured it all in his music. The CD is accompanied by an excellent booklet (mostly written by Paul), generously filled with photographs. Campion is to be congratulated for including this highly entertaining CD in their ‘British Composers series’. This CD should be in the collection of everyone who enjoys expertly crafted light orchestral music. It is simply an absolute joy from start to finish. David Ades Campion CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £12 [US $24} each.
BRITISH STRING MINIATURES Volume One Divertimento (Gareth Walters); Elegy (Edward Elgar); Suite (Michael Roberts); Two Aquarelles (Frederick Delius); Fiddler’s Green (Anthony Hedges); Two Pieces from Henry V (William Walton); Partita (John Addison). Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Gavin Sutherland. ASV Whiteline WHL 2134, 71:37 mins. If you enjoyed producer Philip Lane’s four English String Miniatures sequence on Naxos then you will enjoy his new four-part series on ASV which mixes the familiar with the less well-known, no bad thing. Gareth Walters is Welsh and his five-part Divertimento is based on national folk tunes. Michael Roberts came from Blackburn in Lancashire and worked for the BBC before going freelance, parts of his excellent five-movement Suite being used as television theme tunes. Anthony Hedges has long been associated with Hull University and all four movements of Fiddler’s Green relate to places of musical jollity which sailors enjoyed while ashore. John Addison was educated at Wellington College and wrote for both the concert hall and cinema while Elgar, Walton and Delius need no further introduction. Edmund Whitehouse
Adventurous music-lovers who relish the bite, darkness, delicacy, light, sweep, tenderness, etc. etc. of well-made string compositions are unlikely to complain of this! Neither frivolous nor brow-furrowing, the seven works all add up to a pleasing, nicely contrasted programme. A short Elgar work and "tandem" pieces by Delius/Fenby and Walton balance the others. Gareth Walters and the late Michael Roberts and John Addison are represented by five-movement works (the Roberts was assembled from music written in 1962, ’65 and ’71). The newest work, dating from last year, is by Anthony Hedges – living up to the promise of its title. Full-toned playing and recording: try a lowish volume setting for comfort! It appears that more may be looked forward to. John E. Govier
MATTHEW CURTIS Fiesta, Amsterdam Suite, Pas de Deux, Paths to Urbino, Two Pieces for Small Orchestra, Outward Bound Royal Ballet Sinfonia conducted by Gavin Sutherland Campion CAMEO 2015, 77:18 mins. I must confess to not having been aware of the music of Matthew Curtis previously, but how grateful I am that this gap in my musical knowledge has finally been filled by this splendid new CD from Campion in their ‘British Composers Series’. The accompanying booklet informs us that he hails from Embleton in Cumbria, and that much of his music has been taken up by non-professional and youth orchestras in Britain and overseas. He composes in a pleasing style that is instantly accessible, yet full of delightful orchestral colouring that will provide enhanced enjoyment with repeated listenings. How good it is that young composers (Matthew was born in 1959) are still writing what can be described as ‘traditional’ light music, although he himself seems to suggest that he regards it more as contemporary classical that can appeal to performers and audiences alike. Labels can be misleading: suffice it to say that anyone who enjoys the kind of light music championed by Eric Coates and Haydn Wood will find much to please them here. I look forward to hearing more of his music in the future. David Ades
‘Something Here’ – The Film and Television Music of DEBBIE WISEMAN Wilde, Hans Christian Andersen, Before You Go, Tom & Viv, Judge John Deed, Warriors, My Uncle Silas, Simon – an English Legionnaire, Tom’s Midnight Garden, Haunted, Othello, The Ugly Duckling Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Debbie Wiseman Silva Screen SILKD6035, 71:19 mins. As Debbie herself explains in the booklet, the album’s title "Something here" refers to the familiar comment from directors showing their film to a composer, indicating that some music is needed at a particular point. This collection brings together some of her memorable scores for film and TV, the earliest being "Tom & Viv" (1994) which tells of the tumultuous marriage of poet T.S. Eliot to his first wife, and no less than four from 2002, of which the major work has to be Debbie’s setting of "The Ugly Duckling", narrated by Nigel Havers in his usual suave manner. Perhaps parts of this fairy tale might be a bit frightening to very young children, but it serves as an extremely useful way to get youngsters interested in the manner in which orchestral music can tell a story – especially when the writing is as accomplished as this. Whenever the name ‘Debbie Wiseman’ appears on the credits for a film or television production, you know that the music will perfectly suit the situation on screen. Perhaps she has had rather a lot of serious subjects to date (and she can certainly tear at your heartstrings!), but the music for "Hans Christian Andersen" and "My Uncle Silas" reveal her lighter nature. She is such a petite, happy and bubbly person in real life that it is difficult to imagine her writing some of the serious works her directors demand, let alone control the full forces of a large symphony orchestra. What a formidable talent she is! One day she will get an Oscar for the best score for a major Hollywood film; why it hasn’t happened already, is Hollywood’s loss. Until the film capital of the world wakes up and finally takes notice, we in Britain can be sure that our films and television will continue to benefit from her superlative scores. David Ades
The Film Music of RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS Volume 1 Scott of the Antarctic, Coastal Command, The People’s Land BBC Philharmonic conducted by Rumon Gamba Chandos CHAN 10007, 78:30 mins. Chandos is gradually building up an impressive library of film music, and it is good to note that this latest CD has been labelled ‘Volume 1’, indicating that there are more treats to follow from this great composer. Because he has been so lauded for his symphonies, Vaughan Williams’ work for the British cinema has tended to be somewhat neglected, but on its own it stands as a fine testimony to his gifts as a descriptive writer. It is well-known that his score for "Scott of the Antarctic" provided the basis for his Symphony No. 7 – "Sinfonia Antartica" – and some critics over the years have suggested that the symphony was in some ways less satisfying than the film music. Perhaps this is surprising, because less than half of the score that VW provided for the film was actually used by the producers, so this CD, which offers the premiere recording of the full version, provides the first opportunity for some of it to be heard. "Coastal Command" was a wartime documentary made by the Crown Film Unit in 1942, while "The People’s Land" described the work of the National Trust and was shot in colour in 1943 (surprisingly in view of the scarcity of film stock at that time). The BBC Philharmonic and Rumon Gamba are definitely in sympathy with film music, as their previous CDs have proved, and this latest one is no exception. The booklet is generously illustrated with film stills (but not from "The People’s Land"), and anyone interested in British film music should immediately add this to their collection. David Ades
NELSON RIDDLE: ‘The Unreleased Nelson – Part 1’ RADIO TRANSCRIPTIONS Isle of May, Till the End of Time, Our Love, Moon Love, The Lamp is Low, Full Moon and Empty Arms, In the Hush of Night, Yours and Mine, Yours is my Heart Alone (You Are my Heart’s Delight), My Reverie; HEY DIDDLE RIDDLE The Farmer in the Dell, Row Your Boat, Oh Dear What Can the Matter Be, The Muffin Man, Little Bo Peep, London Bridge, Tom Tom the Piper’s Son, Polly Put the Kettle On, Three Blind Mice, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Hickory Dickory Dock NELSON RIDDLE APPRECIATION SOCIETY NNCD003. Alan Wright is doing a wonderful job keeping alive the glorious music of Nelson Riddle. Not only does he produce the regular newsletter "Nelson’s Notes", but he has also arranged for members of the NRAS to obtain rare recordings by Nelson that are unobtainable elsewhere. Alan has kindly allowed us to give details of his latest release which contains two batches of traditional tunes, arranged in the unique Riddle manner, that have not previously been released anywhere. The first ten tracks (all classical works) are transcriptions recorded late in 1953 for use by radio stations. "Hey Diddle Riddle" dates from October to December 1959, and is believed to be for a projected album that didn’t eventually proceed. Anyone interested in Riddle’s work will find this CD fascinating, and it is an essential purchase for those wishing to have a complete Nelson Riddle collection. Audio restoration was in the hands of Alan Bunting, so you’ll know that it is of a very high quality. David Ades
This is available only as a private CD through a £10 (incl. p & p) donation to the Nelson Riddle Appreciation Society, 4 Jardine Cottages, Templewood Lane, Stoke Poges, Bucks, SL2 4BQ, England. Please mention the RFS when ordering; cheques should be payable to ‘The Nelson Riddle Appreciation Society’.
ABC RADIO THEMES : CLASSIC THEMES FROM POPULAR ABC RADIO PROGRAMMES – (Australia) ABC CLASSICS 472446-2. The Australian Broadcasting Corporation has recently released this CD containing twenty tracks of a variety of radio themes heard over the years. Many of the themes of current programmes included are classical pieces from such composers as Respighi, Charpentier, Beethoven and Mozart. These themes have become much loved over the years. The older programme themes include 'Pastorale' by Ronald Hanmer, once used as the theme to the serial 'Blue Hills'; 'Old Mother Hubbard' by Cecil Fraser from 'The Argonauts'; Clive Richardson's 'Melody on the Move' from the 'Hospital Half Hour' and the Merrymakers' Dance by Edward German once used as the theme to the ‘Country Hour’. There are also two versions of 'Majestic Fanfare' by Charles Williams. The last nineteen seconds of this has been used as the ABC Radio News Theme for about fifty years. Also included is 'Olympia Australia' by the Australian composer Sean O'Boyle. This stirring and descriptive piece was used as the theme to the Sydney Olympics and more recently the Manchester Commonwealth Games. All told a good selection for regular ABC listeners and those who like theme music. Barry Freeman
FRANK BRIDGE Orchestral Works Vol. 2 Dance Rhapsody, Five Entr’actes, Dance Poem, Norse Legend, The Sea Chandos CHAN 10012, 72:37 minutes. When one considers how attractive this music is, it is surprising that this is the only cycle of Bridge’s music ever undertaken. The opening work Dance Rhapsody (this is the premiere recording in this version) is an attractive piece which Bridge first conducted to considerable critical acclaim in 1908. It enjoyed several more performances until 1918, after which it lay forgotten until 1938. It disappeared once more, until 1977, which probably says more about our musical establishment than the quality of the work itself. I find it enchanting, and I shall listen to it on many future occasions. The Sea is regarded as Bridge’s most successful orchestral work and (like a certain Canadian composer some years later) he chose to get his inspiration from the south coast of England. Frank Bridge (1879-1941) deserves to have his work remembered and enjoyed, and this collection could well provide some very pleasant surprises for music lovers who are currently unfamiliar with his achievements. David Ades
ELGAR The Wand of Youth Suites 1 & 2, Three Bavarian Dances, Polonia, Triumphal March [Carcatacus], Meditation [The Light of Life] – LPO, conducted by Sir Adrian Boult – EMI Classics CDZ 5 75295-2. 74 mins. A warm welcome back to the catalogue for an old friend, Sir Adrian Boult’s peerless performances of these wistful suites and enchanting dances. Here is light music of consummate excellence. It’s difficult to believe these classic and sensitive performances will ever be surpassed. I have treasured the original HMV LP [ASD 2356] for many years and it’s a particular joy to have these recordings, sounding newly minted and mercifully liberated from the inevitable "snap, crackle and pop", on CD. The attractions of this issue are further enhanced by some generous fill-ups: Polonia [a fantasia on Polish national airs dedicated to Ignaz Paderewski, and with organ judiciously added to bring the piece to a suitably grandioso conclusion], the stirring March, and the oratorio Meditation. With generous playing time, budget price and indisputably three-star performances this disc is self-recommending. Roger Hyslop
LES PAUL and Mary Ford ‘How High The Moon’ Title track, Just Because, Blue Skies, Dark Eyes, It’s Been a Long Long Time (with Bing Crosby), Rumours are Flying (with Andrews Sisters), Lover, Brazil, Nola, Goofus, Little Rock Getaway, La Rosita, Whispering, The World is Waiting for the Sunrise, etc… 30 tracks ASV Living Era CD AJA 5438, 77:08 mins. There can be few collectors of popular music around 50 years ago who did not have at least one Les Paul 78 in their collection. So for many of us, this new compilation is a welcome reminder of his considerable talents as a guitar player who, technically, was years ahead of his time. It is incredible that he achieved such astonishing results from the primitive recording equipment available in the late 1940s. I seem to recall reading that his multi-track records were often made at home in his bathroom, and that he kept the precise way he did it a closely guarded secret. Eight-track mixers have been mentioned, presumably linked to early tape recorders (the CD booklet notes briefly talk about ‘LP overdubbing’ – but surely this would have resulted in a build-up of unacceptable surface noise). Les Paul’s wife Mary Ford sings (also multi-tracked) on nine of the songs, and all of their big hits (up to 1951) seem to be here. It is great to be able to enjoy these unique recordings again. David Ades
MUSIC FROM THE MOVIES The Thirties Music from the Movies; 1936 Medley; Goldwyn Follies selection; Jungle of the Jungle; Hollywood Hotel selection; The Wizard of Oz selection; The Eyes of the World Are Upon You; The Great Ziegfeld selection; Empire Builders; Gold Diggers of 1937 selection; I Haven’t Time To Be a Millionaire; On the Avenue selection; Everybody Dance; Babes in Arms selection; There’s That Look In Your Eyes Again; Music from the Movies 1938 Medley. Louis Levy & his Gaumont British Symphony. ASV Living Era CD AJA 5445, 76:40 mins. Ever wondered how David Ades spends his spare time? He never has any and this impressive selection of 1930s movie music is yet another product of his fertile imagination and personal record collection. Louis Levy certainly comes under the guise of dance band leader but he was much more than that, being the major pre-war musical voice of the cinema. The luscious sleeve depicts the opening of the Gaumont State Cinema in Kilburn, North London, and the opening march Music from the Movies will be instantly recognisable to all who used to go the flicks when it was not unusual for there to be 2,000 other people present, more than many of today’s professional football club crowds! Singers on the disc include Sam Browne, Gerry Fitzgerald, Janet Lind, Robert Ashley, Hazel Jean, Edward Molloy and Eve Becke. If you were a moviegoer then you will know what to expect but if not then sit back and imagine what it must have been like when the only screen to watch was a big one, which most families visited at least once a week. Edmund Whitehouse
I must comment on the superb sound of this CD. The soaring strings, wandering all over the place, are warmly supported by the full, rich sound of the brass which often carries the main melody. And the singers sound so clear. Alan Bunting has done a wonderful job restoring these ancient 78s. I have other Louis Levy albums in my collection, but they don’t sound as good as this. Raymond Wood Editor: I am very pleased that members have appreciated the efforts made by Alan on this CD. Some of the tracks I transferred for him were edited from up to three different 78s to get the best results we could, and I have to say (with suitable modesty) that I think the extra trouble we took was worth it.
‘POPS ROUNDUP’ - BOSTON POPS ORCHESTRA conducted by ARTHUR FIEDLER. Pops Roundup; Home On the Range plus 16 other cowboy songs. 61:26. (USA) RCA Victor Living Stereo 09026-61666-2. Howdy, pardners! Time to get out your western gear and ride out onto the Plains with this time honoured classic. Arrangements are by Jack Mason and Richard Hayman. To set the tone, there's "Pops Roundup," a send-up of American TV westerns followed by a gunfight version of "O Bury Me Not On The Lone Prairie." There is a stunningly beautiful Jack Mason chart for "Home On The Range" which is treated with graceful dignity. Sons of the Pioneers admirers will find "Wagon Wheels" and "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" stunningly elegant. Tacked on at the end of this charming 1962 recording are 6 tracks from the 1967 follow-up album "Pops Goes West." It's hard to beat Richard Hayman's lush version of "Shenandoah" or his upbeat take of "High Noon." As with the earlier recording, the remastering is formidably life like with Richard Hayman playing his harmonica enthusiastically. A charming album from a great era for the Pops and Arthur Fiedler. RCA/BMG have a vast catalogue of Fiedler recordings including those of Chet Atkins and Kate Smith which are in desperate need of being released. How about it, guys? Richard Jessen
STANLEY BLACK, his Piano and Orchestra – Big Instrumental Hits Holiday for Strings, Ebb Tide, Patricia, Canadian Sunset, Delicado, 12th Street Rag, April in Portugal, Lullaby of Birdland, Harry Lime Theme, Blue Tango, Melody of Love, Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White Hollywood Love Themes It’s Magic, Love is a Many-Splendoured Thing, A Woman in Love, Tammy, Hold my Hand, Be My Love, Three Coins in the Fountain, True Love, Friendly Persuasion, Secret Love, Around the World, My Foolish Heart Vocalion CDLK4159, 69:50 mins. Here’s a real treat for Stanley Black fans, presenting the two familiar sides of the master pianist. On the first LP he is wearing his Latin-American sombrero as he treats a dozen instrumental favourites from the 1950s to a rhythmic treatment, often (but not exclusively) with a rich Latin touch - his sparkling piano assisted by pulsating percussion and a small-ish mainly string orchestra. For the full, lush Stanley Black sound of a concert piano, backed by a large light orchestra playing gorgeous arrangements, you can do no better than the second collection, focussed on film themes from the same era. Both albums were recorded in stereo at a time when the Decca sound engineers were considered to be the finest around. Michael Dutton has worked his usual magic on the original tapes, resulting in a superlative CD that will find its way into many stockings this Christmas. David Ades
FERDE GROFÉ Death Valley Suite (Funeral Mountains, 49er Emigrant Train, Desert Water Hole, Sand Storm), Hollywood Suite (On the Set Sweepers, The Stand-In, Carpenters and Electricians, Preview, Production Number, Director-Star-Ensemble), Hudson River Suite (The River, Henry Hudson, Rip Van Winkle, Albany Night Boat, New York!). Naxos 8.559017. Grofé was much more than just Paul Whiteman¹s arranger, he was a major composer in his own right whose works are deservedly now being reheard. This latest luscious offering is terrific value with never a dull moment as the busy tunes duck and dive through Hollywood film sets, deserts and rivers. For those already familiar with his orchestral colouring then there is no need to elaborate further but for those new to this genre then wait no longer because you will certainly not be disappointed. Peter Worsley
SPIKE JONES & HIS CITY SLICKERS Cocktails for Two; McNamara’s Band; Glow Worm; Leave the Dishes in the Sink; Little Bo Peep Has Lost Her Jeep; Clink, Clink, Another Drink; You Always Hurt the One You Love; Sheik of Araby; William Tell; Der Fuehrer’s Face; Water Lou; Oh By Jingo; Mother Goose; Old McDonald; Hawaiian War Chant; Dance of the Hours; That Old Black Magic; Rhapsody from Hunger(y); Man on the Flying Trapeze; All I want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth; Jingle Bells. Evergreen Melodies EV83. Spike was a serious musician but enjoyed mucking about after hours when he added the sound of cow bells, whistles, saws, breaking glass, pistols and car horns. He even trained a goat to bleat in the key of C! When he released Der Fuehrer¹s Face in 1942 it came at just the right time to set his show business career off, literally with a bang! This selection of his very best are both memorable and amusing but equally clever in their musicianship which relied on perfect timing and brilliantly conceived vocals. After each live performance Spike would bow and say "Thank you music lovers" in a dead pan expression which never betrayed his inward feelings. Judge for yourself the brilliant histrionics of a truly "one off". CD and shorter cassette version are available only via mail order from Evergreen, PO Box 52, Cheltenham, GL50 1YQ, England – telephone 01242 515156. Edmund Whitehouse Editor: Spike Jones has been well served with recent CD releases. This new Evergreen collection joins around 20 compilations currently available, including a recent one from ASV - CDAJA5437. Robert Farnon’s eldest brother Brian worked with Spike Jones for many years.
ELIZABETHAN SERENADE – Classics of British Light Music Elizabethan Serenade (Ronald Binge); Knightsbridge March, The Man About Town, London Calling, Dancing Nights (Eric Coates); Chanson de Matin (Elgar); Lady O’Connell (Fredrick Ellard); In a Persian Market (Ketèlbey); Colonel Bogey (Kenneth Alford); Soldiers of the Queen (Leslie Stuart); 633 Squadron, The Barbican (Ron Goodwin); Warsaw Concerto (Richard Addinsell); Rememberance (Archibald Joyce); Pastorale (Ronald Hanmer); Music from ‘The Fool on the Hill’ ballet (Lennon, McCartney) (Australia) ABC Classics 472 509-2, 76:21 mins. This is a compilation of seventeen pieces previously released on CDs, or recorded for broadcast over the last few years. All but one of the tracks is performed by an Australian symphony orchestra, army band or small orchestra. The odd man out is Albert Ketèlbey’sIn a Persian Market played by the New Symphony Orchestra. The CD ends with two pieces from an Australian television ballet The Fool on the Hill which used music composed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, arranged by John Lanchbery. I must admit that I do not think all the tracks fit into the category of ‘light music’, still it is nice to know that ABC Classics think so much of that type of music that they go to the trouble of releasing a CD of it. The CD comes with an attractive booklet containing an interesting article tracing the early history of ‘light’ and ‘mood’ music, and giving details of each piece and its Australian connection. Barry Freeman
MARLENE VERPLANCK ‘Speaking of Love’ But Not For Me, Blues in my Heart, It Was Written in the Stars, What Comes After the Rainbow, I Let a Song go out of my Heart, Listen to the Silence, Jamaica Rumba, Romance Medley, The Moment of Truth, A Christmas Love Song, What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve, Little Jazz Bird, Day-Dream, Nearer to your Love, Unless It’s You, My Love Went to London, Make Some Magic, The Singer, Speaking of Love, My Bluebird (USA) Audiophile ACD 320. "Listening to Marlene’s vocal performance on the CD Speaking of Love is as refreshing as a clear spring day. These are the sounds that will best serve the future of great popular music, and long may this mistress of song wait upon our admiration of her remarkable gifts. What a joy it must be to record with the wonderful lady." These words are Robert Farnon’s and quoted from the liner notes in praise of the CD; Johnny Mandel and Benny Carter also contribute words of praise. I think I read that this is Marlene’s seventeenth recording, not only is it superb but many regard it as her best ever. On it she demonstrates yet again what a wonderful lyrical singer she is and why fans and critics alike regard her as one of the finest interpreters of the American popular song, in the classic tradition performing today. Throughout her career she has always had taste and integrity in choosing which songs to sing, always paying loving care equally to well-known standards, sadly neglected ones, and new ones by fine composers. The repertoire on this CD of 22 songs date from Gershwins’ 1924 song "Little Jazz Bird" through to 2001, perhaps not too many well known standards, but a very good mix of excellent songs that many will be delighted to discover for the first time. Her musical accompaniment is always of the highest order and for this we have to thank her husband and musical partner Billy, a veteran of Charlie Spivak, and Tommy Dorsey bands for his musical direction. Not only was Billy responsible for all the arrangements on this CD but he contributed two original songs, and produced and conducted the recording session. For many years now the VerPlanks have been touring the UK every March and as a result built up a loyal band of enthusiastic fans. In this time she has had a long and fruitful association with the Roy Babbington, and here Roy provides the backing with his swinging trio, Roy on bass, Mark Fletcher drums and the dynamic and perhaps underrated pianist Geoff Eales who I was pleased to hear was given plenty of opportunity to shine. Just one more added bonus. On six of the tracks the trio is augmented with Big Band which Roy recruited from the cream of British session musicians. The closing track "My Bluebird" was written by Tommy Flanagan and here he accompanies Marlene to lyrics set by Jay Leonhart in what was to be his last recording before his death. As one critic put it writing of this CD: "Even by her own high standards this is exceptional - it would be a worthy winner of any jazz vocal recording award of this year or any other year ". I have to agree. Malcolm Frazer See also the advertisement on page 31 of this issue.
‘THE PRISONER’ Music used in the 1960s TV series Various composers and orchestras Silva Screen FILMCD 601, 602, 603. In 1989 Silva Screen issued the first CD of library tracks used in this cult TV series, and others were to follow in the early 1990s. They have now been repackaged and reissued, although it is likely that keen fans of the show will already have them in their collections.
JOLY BRAGA SANTOS Symphonies 1-6 Marco Polo 8.223879, 8.225087, 8.225216, 8.225233 Bournemouth & Portuguese Symphony Orchestras conducted by Alvaro Cassuto. Classic FM may be repetitive and at times annoying but it does play a greater variety of tuneful music than BBC Radio 3. Having gone to bed early a few months ago (a rare event in itself), I tuned to Classic FM in despair at the Beeb and immediately propped up my pillow and began to take notice of a composer quite new to me. In effect Joly Braga Santos is a Portuguese George Lloyd and his early symphonies are sheer delight, full of warm, expansive and extrovert colours. Very approachable and hugely enjoyable music for those not yet attuned. Marco Polo brands itself as the "label of discovery" and so it is. Try this composer’s early music and see for yourself. Peter Worsley
FAIRY TALES & OTHER WORKS Vyacheslav Grokhovsky Campion CAMEO 2016 Moscow Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by the composer. Russian Caprice; The Enchanted Wanderer; Hans Andersen Fairy Tales (The Steadfast Tin Soldier, Thumbelina, The Emperor’s New Clothes); Gypsy Rhapsody. Can there be anyone reading this review who has ever heard of this Russian composer born in 1945? Unlikely because this is the first time his music has been heard over here and the best description I can think of is to liken him to a modern Tchaikovsky. Very Russian and expansive in style and all the better for it. If you like traditional Russian romantic fare then you will enjoy this.Edmund Whitehouse
BRITISH COMPOSER SERIES Bill Worland Campion CAMEO 2017 City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Gavin Sutherland. Curtain Up!; Broadstairs Suite (Viking Bay & Pierremont Park, Snuff & Nonsense, Pavilion Waltz, Serene Place, Bleak House & Joss Bay); Sandman Serenade; Paths of Peace; Intermezzo 45 (Michaela, Little Ballet, Balalaikas, Finale); For Aida; Rhapsodie Tristesse; Amaro Dolce; Honky-Tonk Town; Midnight in Manhattan. Those already familiar with the composer’s Marco Polo disc can look forward to more thoroughly enjoyable light music in the best tradition. The "descriptive" Broadstairs Suite is excellent, much of it based on Victoriana and Charles Dickens while Intermezzo 45 was composed as the war drew to a close. In this first of what promises to be a fine new series deserving our full support, the other tracks are also good value especially the foot-tapping Honky-Tonk Town. Edmund Whitehouse
E. J. MOERAN Symphony in G Minor & Sinfonietta Naxos 8.555837 Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Lloyd-Jones. Stop! Don’t be put off by the title because the Symphonyis beautiful pastoral music based on the Norfolk landscape of the 1930s while the Sinfonietta is a bright and breezy nine-part piece of light music by another name composed during the last war. There is much tuneful serious British music to enjoy which is now sadly neglected by the BBC and Moeran is most definitely part of this wonderful legacy. Highly recommended for all who simply enjoy good music.
JUDY GARLAND: ‘JUDY IN LOVE / ALONE’. Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart; I Can't Give You Anything But Love; Day In, Day Out; By Myself; Me And My Shadow plus 19 other songs. (USA) S&P Records 72435-37-823-2-0. 75:08. Jimmy McHugh, in his liner notes to "Judy In Love," called Judy Garland "The Star Studded Cinderella Girl." Both of these albums, marvellously restored to pristine clarity by Steve Hoffman, live up to McHugh's opinion. Both Nelson Riddle and Gordon Jenkins (the arrangers on these albums) had worked with Ms. Garland on tour in the 1950's). "Judy In Love" starts with a gem of a score for "Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart," with a fantastic building of inner tensions by Garland combined with a combustible score by Riddle. A sensuous version of "I Can't Give You Anything But Love" is followed by an endearingly swinging "This Is It." There even some mischievous studio chatter before a swinging version of "Day In, Day Out." Alone explores a darker world with a deeply moving version of "Me And My Shadow," sung with probing sensitivity by Garland. A small jazz combo within the orchestra is heard to brilliant effect on "By Myself" and "I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues." "Among My Souvenirs" is a desolate tone poem for Judy Garland with accompanying chorus. No other CD can give you the jazzy optimist alongside the sublime ballad singer that made up the one and only Judy Garland. An essential recording for admirers of this great artist. Richard Jessen
Here are the tracklistings for some new Vocalion releases. All are expertly remastered by Mike Dutton from the original tapes, with attractive and informative booklets … in other words, the usual high quality product you have come to expect from Vocalion:
GISELE MACKENZIE and HELEN O’CONNELL Water Can’t Quench the Fire of Love, A Crazy Waltz, Lipstick Powder ‘n’ Paint, Give Me the Name Age Height and Size, When the Hands of the Clock Pray at Midnight; Gisele solo Le Fiacre, Johnny, Adios, Don’t Let the Stars Get in your Eyes, My Favourite Song, I’d Rather Die Young, Till They’ve All Gone Home, Seven Lonely Days, Till I Waltz Again With You; Helen solo Would I Love You, Green Eyes, Anytime, Slowpoke, Come What May, Be Anything, No Other Love, Night for Love, Rub-a-Dub-Dub. Vocalion CDLK4138, 59:27 mins.
EDMUNDO ROS and his Orchestra with The Mike Sammes Singers SING AND SWING: Guantanamera, Come Closer to Me, Fly Me to the Moon, If I Were a Rich Man, Sweet and Gentle, I Searched the World, Quiet Nights, Playtime in Brazil, Sway, The Girl from Ipanema, You too You too, The Fugitive, How Near is Love, Be Mine Tonight. SING AND DANCE: Amor amor, Perhaps perhaps perhaps, Granada, Frenesi, Green Eyes, Besame Mucho, Adios, Brazil, Tico-tico, Always in my Heart, Maria Elena, Perfidia, Magic is the Moonlight, Baia, You Belong to my Heart, Come to the Mardi Gras.Vocalion CDLK4140, 73:32 mins.
STANLEY BLACK Piano GERSHWIN GOES LATIN: S’Wonderful, Love is Here to Stay, Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off, Nice Work if you Can Get It, Embraceable You, Soon, Bidin’ my Time, A Foggy Day, Love Walked In, Somebody Loves Me, But Not for Me, Liza. FRIML & ROMBERG in CUBAN MOONLIGHT: Serenade from ‘Student Prince’, Romance, Wanting You, One Kiss, Lover Come Back to Me, Softly as in a Morning Sunrise, Sympathy, Love Everlasting, Indian Love Call, Rose Marie, Giannina Mia, Donkey Serenade. Vocalion CDLK4142, 62:02 mins.
DICKIE VALENTINE WITH VOCAL REFRAIN: One Two Button Your Shoe, Bidin’ my Time, Sunday, There’ll Be Some Changes Made, Singin’ the Blues, Mary, Lucky Day, Carolina in the Morning, If I Knew I’d Find You, Back in your own Backyard, Everybody Loves my Baby, When it’s Sleepy Time Down South. OVER MY SHOULDER: Birth of the Blues, East of the Sun, Blue, I Kiss to Build a Dream On, Beautiful Eyes, Somebody Loves Me, Then I Love You, Gonna Get a Girl, Why Should I Go Home, Te Amo, When I Was Young, Day Dreams. Vocalion CDLK4147, 76:44 mins.
FIVE FABULOUS FEMALES Marion Ryan: Mangos, Sixteen Reasons, A Thousand Blue Bubbles, It’s You That I Love, I Wish You Love, Somebody, No Love But Your Love, An Occasional Man. Jean Campbell: Vaya Con Dios, In the Mission of St. Augustine, Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep, Two Hearts Two Kisses, The Mama Doll Song. Ruby Murray: Softly Softly, Heart, From the First Hello, I’ll Remember Today. Joan Regan: A Love Like Ours, Have You Ever Been Lonely, May You Always, Take Me in Your Arms. Lita Roza: What Am I Supposed to Do, Where Do I Go From Here, Stranger Things Have Happened, Keep Watch Over Him. Vocalion CDLK4148, 62:48 mins.
THE EILEEN FARRELL ALBUM: ‘I GOTTA RIGHT TO SING THE BLUES’. Blues In The Night; Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams; On The Sunny Side Of The Street; Taking A Chance On Love, plus 20 other songs. (USA) Sony Masterworks MDK 47255.75:53. No other testament to a singer could be made than this startling collection of songs recorded by the late Eileen Farrell between 1959 and 1961. I say startling because Farrell was customarily thought of as strictly a classical artist. Beneath this, Farrell was one of the greatest of classic pop singers, ranking with Frank Sinatra and company. Evidence of this are her appropriately torchy renditions of "Blues In The Night" and "I Gotta Right To Sing The Blues. " There's also the uninhibited swinging hipster in "Somebody Loves Me" and "Taking A Chance On Love" complete with snapping fingers! Luther Henderson wrote the very tasty big band charts that provide strong accompaniments to Farrell's vocals. A magnificent tribute this underrated and under recorded singer. Richard Jessen
VIKKI CARR: ‘IT MUST BE HIM / FOR ONCE IN MY LIFE’ plus 2 Bonus Tracks. It Must Be Him; Can't Take My Eyes Off You plus 9 more songs and the complete November 1968 Persian Room concert. (USA) Collectables COL-CD-2850. 79:00. Collectables have released on CD two long overdue recordings from one of America's best artists, Vikki Carr. The first is her breakthrough album that received international acclaim while the second is Carr's superb yet long neglected concert album. What makes this a really attractive CD is that we get to hear studio versions of "It Must Be Him" and "Can't Take My Eyes Off You" with a chance at hearing "live" versions of the same songs. Unquestionably, there is more depth and drama in the live performances although both performances show the same profound regard for the lyrics. The Persian Room performance has the drive and intensity one expects from Carr's best performances. Although these are the original studio mixes, the sound is as flawless as the performances. Still radiantly beautiful and in great voice, Vikki Carr remains one of America's finest artists. Richard Jessen
Some recent releases in Vocalion’s acclaimed British Dance Band series:
CARROLL GIBBONS Volume 2 Hitting a New High Wake Up and Live, Swing High Swing Low, Give Me a Heart to Sing To, The Cat and the Fiddle, What More Can I Ask? etc… (24 tracks) Vocalion CDEA6073, 71:36 mins.
BILLY MERRIN AND HIS COMMANDERS From the Banjo to the Baton Everybody Dance, Everything’s In Rhythm With my Heart, The Londonola, The Little Black Cat, Dance Your Blues Away, etc… (27 tracks) Vocalion CDEA6074, 75:41 mins.
THE SKYROCKETS with PAUL FENOULHET and WOOLF PHILLIPS Sentimental Journey Blue Skies, So Would I, The ‘Ampstead Way, Money is the Root of All Evil, Mary Lou, One More Tomorrow, Don’t Blame Me, Night Breezes, All By Myself, The Trees in Grosvenor Square, Bayswater Bustle, etc… (24 tracks) Vocalion CDEA6075, 73:52 mins.
JACK WHITE AND HIS COLLEGIANS Let the Band Play Boom, The Badge From Your Coat, Stop You’re Breaking My Heart, Chatterbox, In My Little Red Book, Let The People Sing, etc… (25 tracks)Vocalion CDEA6076, 74:11 mins.
MRS JACK HYLTON AND HER BAND She Shall Have Music In a Gypsy Tea Room, I’ll Never Say "Never Again" Again, Vladivostock, Ev’ry Day You’re Away, You Are My Lucky Star, There’s No Day Like Today, etc… (27 tracks) Vocalion CDEA7077, 77:15 mins.
Like all the previous issues in this series, each of the above Vocalion CDs is a gem in its own right. As usual, compiler Bob Francis has been careful to include the well-known works by the band featured, but he has also included some rare items which will please collectors who may have previous releases in their collections already. The big bonus, of course, is the high quality of the remastering in the expert hands of Mike Dutton. And one must not overlook the informative CD booklets, attractively produced and written by people who admire and know the work of the artists concerned. All this, for around £6 per CD! David Ades
HILDEGARDE Volume 2 Songs From The Shows Pennies From Heaven, But Where Are You, For Sentimental Reasons, June Is Bustin’ Out All Over, Careless Rhapsody, The Saga of Jenny, This is New, My Ship, etc… (24 tracks) Vocalion CDEA6078, 71:36 mins. Following Volume 1 (CDEA6035) the emphasis now shifts to Hildegarde’s later career, mainly in the USA, where she worked with the likes of Guy Lombardo, Harry Sosnik, Bob Grant, Vernon Duke and Ray Sinatra. There is just one track with Clive Richardson, reminding us of her fruitful association with him. Before LPs arrived, albums of 78 rpm records gained popularity in the USA, often accompanied by sleeve notes. These are reproduced in the CD booklet, and to say that they are fascinating is a serious understatement.David Ades
THE BEST OF CILLA BLACK Alfie, Anyone Who Had a Heart, Step Inside Love, etc… EMI GOLD 541 4442. We mention this CD because the kind people at EMI sent us details, and there may be readers who are seeking a Christmas gift for an elderly uncle. Cilla is the butt of many jokes, but she is certainly a survivor, and one cannot deny that she was very successful with her chart hits in the 1960s. The CD booklet is better than usual from EMI, although it would have been nice if the orchestras had been credited. David Ades
DIANA DECKER I’m In Favour of Friendship, Poppa Piccolino, etc… EMI GOLD 541 4912. This release contains all of Diana Decker’s recordings and (as with CB above) the booklet is good – except for a lack of details regarding the orchestras and the other singers she performs with on some of the tracks. Diana Decker was fairly well-known in the 1950s (she also made films with the likes of James Mason and Shelley Winters), but the EMI publicity for this new release describing her as a ‘massive star’ is somewhat over the top! David Ades
Three great new Production Music CDs from Bruton
CLASSIC FILM & TV Volume 1: Spy & Sci-Fi Locomotion Groove, Seek It Out, Drugsville, Streets of New York, Drama in Jazz, The Red Room, Hush Hush, Rumble, The Escape, City of Evil, Secret Shadow (John Scott); The Scene (Don Phillips); Mood Moderne, Pseudo-Blue, Dramatic Intent, Weird Bridge (Roger Roger); Hip to the Beat, Persuasion, Underworld Groove (Johnny Hawksworth); Murder Most Foul (Anthony Mawer); Premonition of Disaster, The Get Away, Flight to the Rock Point, Mood for Crime (Arthur Wilkinson); Unawares (Stuart Crombie); Project X (King Palmer); Phantasm (Leslie Bridgewater); Radiation Belt, Orchestrated Devices (Raymond Jones); Space-Time Music (Wilfred Josephs); Blades, Strange Particles (Roberto Gerhard); Electro Twist (J. Mathews). Bruton BRO18/353.
CLASSIC FILM & TV Volume 2: Matinee Mania Sport Today (Felton Rapley); Sporting Type, Gymnastics March (Dennis Berry); Jubilee Sports (Stuart Crombie & Dennis Berry); Brave Heritage (Raymond Beaver); Banners Victorious, Marble Arch, Fanfare for the Empire, Goose Step, Hero of the Sky, Murder in Mind, Wild Eyes, From the Dead (Ronald Hanmer); Texas and Beyond (Johnny Scott); Lion King, African Adventure (Peter Hope); Covered Wagon Song, Serene Melody (Nino Nardini); The Soothing Touch, Behold the Dawn (King Palmer); Synopsis (Frank Harlow); Thoughts of Summer, High Hazard, Cellar Search (Philippe Pares); Pink Lilac (Conrad Leonard); Hillside Church, Abject Terror (Paul Lewis); Forgotten Love (Werner Drexler); Romantic Endeavour (Michael Kraus); Brassy & Bold (Chris Leonard); Crowned Heads (Sidney John Kay); Land of the Bard, The Jitters, Someone Coming, Primitive Force (Raymond Jones); Distress Signal (Patrick Beaver & Anthony King); Drummers and Fifers (Roger Roger); Achievements in Aviation (Anthony Mawer); Air Power (Sidney Sager); Nautical Fantasy (William L./ Trytel). Bruton BRO19/354.
CLASSIC FILM & TV Volume 3: Radio Times Smile for Me, Social Event, Club Rendezvous, Hard Swing Out, Move to the Bossa Nova (Johnny Scott);Silver Sparkle (Harry Rabinowitz); Bright Spark, Boy Scout (Harold Smart); Fast Lane, Cruising Speed (Gary Hughes); Liven Up (Michael Kraus); Satin Slipper (Raymond Beaver); Floor Show (Cyril Watters); Racing Page (Fernand Fontaine); What a Dame, Construction Tower (Bruce Campbell); Bright Lights, Honey Blonde, Show Opener (Stuart Crombie & Dennis Berry); Timekeeper (Larry Ashmore); Flitter Flatter, In a Busy Mood, Pull Up Your Socks (King Palmer); This Year’s Fashions (Vincent Holland); Pleasant Route (Anthony Mawer); Cinnamon Stick (Frank Sterling); Jaunty Jane (Malcolm Lockyer); The Merry Go Round (Harold Smart & Walter Owen); Hollywood Breeze, Mambo Magnifico (Roger Roger). Bruton BRO20/355.
As far as I can recall, it was around ten years ago that Zomba acquired the Southern Library of Recorded Music, but they do not seem to have exploited it to any great extent – until now. I do not have a complete listing of Southern titles, but from the limited information available to me it appears that many (if not all) of the tracks on these three CDs come from that library. All of the tracks were originally published in the 1960s, at a time when light orchestral mood music was still being written in a style that had become popular in the previous two decades. Of course, things were gradually changing, and more rhythmic sounds were creeping in (especially on Volume 1!), but these enjoyable compilations confirm that a lot of tuneful light music was still around. The details above give the full tracklistings, and even a casual glance at the composers will confirm the quality of the writing (and full marks to Zomba/Bruton for giving the first names of the composers in full – Southern often just provided initials on the original 78s). I think that one or two titles may have been altered, and in some cases the real name of the composer is given, rather than the pseudonym which appeared previously. Volume 1 is perhaps only for enthusiasts of more funky, way-out, jazzy sounds; if you have enjoyed the ‘Kitsch’ collections from some of the other production music companies, you may possibly also want to add this to your collection. Volumes 2 and 3 are far more melodious, and have wider appeal. All three CDs contain some real gems, but if your pocket can only afford one then I recommend Volume 3 for some very happy bright and light sounds. David Ades Bruton CDs are only available from the RFS Record Service – price £9 [US $18] each.
SOHO HIPSTERS Boosey & Hawkes ‘lounge funk’ 1969-1977 The Trackers, The Rally, The Sandpiper, Gin and Tonic, Snowmobile, Acapulco Connection, South Bound, Tournament, The Baltic Caper, Coast Road North, Border Incident, Pardon??, Taco Brazil, Lady Killers, Soul Type Blues, Motor-Cross, Shanghai Caper, The Armenian File, Night Driver, Savannah Flyer (Dennis Farnon); Funkbund (Trevor Duncan); The Big Score (John Cacavas); Two Bars (Pete Moore); One Way Trip (Sam Fonteyn); Big Fingers (John Scott). Boosey Media / Cavendish CAV CD 147. This really is Dennis Farnon’s CD, with a little help from other top writers in the B&H stable at the time. Relentless, ominous, dramatic, bright funky pop, soul rock, progressive jazz … all these ‘groovy’ sounds are here – and much more! Dennis is a master at dramatic, driving jazzy numbers, and if you admire his work in this style you shouldn’t hesitate to acquire this collection. David Ades Cavendish CDs are only available from the RFS Record Service – price £9 [US $18] each.
LONDON LANDMARKS: London Fields: 1. Springtime at Kew 2. Hampton Court Maze 3. St. James’ Park 4. Hampstead Heath (Phyllis Tate); London Landmarks: 1. Nelson’s Column 2.Tower Hill 3.Horse Guards Whitehall (Haydn Wood); London Salute (Philip Lane); Metropolis: 1. Boom & Bust 2.Solar City 3.Street Scene 4.The City Never Sleeps (David Watts); Rotten Row (Angela Morley); Festival of London March (Paul Lewis); On Hungerford Bridge - Saxophone Concerto (Christopher Gunning).Royal Ballet Sinfonia & Academy of St. Martin in the Fields – conductors Gavin Sutherland, Christopher Gunning and Paul Lewis ASV CDWHL2138, playing time 77 mins. At last! Forgive my jubilation but after years of campaigning I have finally acquired a CD which includes Phyllis Tate’s magnificent London Fields, a piece which I played many times to children at school who were all as enthusiastic as I was. Composed for the 1958 BBC Festival of Light Music it was much admired by people such as Steve Race but until now has never been commercially recorded. What a pity that neither Phyllis nor her musician husband Alan Frank lived long enough to see it. Composer Philip Lane is responsible for this majestic compilation which, apart from his own London Salute, includes the first recording of Haydn Wood’s London Landmarks since the days of Charles Williams’ 78rpms after the war. We all know Horse Guards Whitehall but here is an opportunity to complete the truly delightful set! Paul Lewis and David Watts chip in with splendid miniatures, as does Angela Morley (aka Wally Stott) with her familiar Rotten Row. The tour de force is Christopher Gunning’sSaxophone Concerto inspired by an evening stroll across Hungerford Bridge, the original footbridge not the wobbly one which came later! It’s a great CD and an absolute must for all lovers of British Light Music, if not for London Fields alone which, as a four movement suite, has rarely if ever been bettered. Edmund Whitehouse
One’s unbridled joy in having a modern recording of the entire London Landmarks Suite by Haydn Wood is in the event slightly tempered by some technical considerations. Listening to this disc on headphones one is struck by disconcerting variations in recording levels. Thus for Philip Lane’sLondon Salute to make its proper impact the volume has to be increased. So, too, in the Haydn Wood work where particularly in the first movement, The Horse Guards, Whitehall, one becomes aware that the violins in particular sound over bright and rather too few in number. As a recording this does not stand comparison with Ronald Corp’s version on HYPERION CDA 66968: ‘British Light Music Classics - 2’, where the sound has a far greater depth and range. Conversely, the Christopher GunningSaxophone Concerto, recorded at a different venue, has ample volume. Unfortunately, in no way should this really come under the category of Light Music and, at over 19 minutes, is overlong for its somewhat slender material, and many listeners will become bored with this piece long before the end. A warm welcome, however, for David Watts’ highly inventive Metropolis, Angela Morley’s enchanting Rotten Row, Phyllis Tate’s atmospheric London Fields Suite, and the Paul Lewis March. This disc, despite the above reservations, deserves a strong recommendation. One hopes, however, that ASV can be encouraged to produce new recordings of traditional Light Music with a decent sized string section - a Charles Williams disc would be an excellent starting point and is long overdue - and become a little less preoccupied with producing contemporary material some of which stretches an acceptable definition of Light Music to almost breaking point. Roger Hyslop
Available from the RFS Record Service for £10 [US $20].
ALFRED REYNOLDS Festival March; Suite – Alice Through The Looking Glass; Suite – The Toy Cart; Overture – The Taming of the Shrew; Suite and Ballet of the Roses from 1066 And All That; Suite of Five Dances The Duenna (arr. Sydney Baynes); Overture for a Comedy; The Sirens of Southend; Swiss Lullaby and Ballet; Suite – Marriage à la Mode; Three Pieces for Theatre Royal Ballet Sinfonia / Gavin Sutherland Marco Polo 8225184, 77:26 mins. Alfred Reynolds (1884-1969), conductor and composer, was a man of the theatre and this CD in Marco Polo’s admirable British light Music series gives a representation of his orchestral music for the stage, not in the original versions for often very small pit orchestras but in (with one exception) his own transcriptions for full orchestra. He was indeed a superb orchestrator as these pieces strikingly show. Most of the tracks are incidental theatre music, from The Toy Cart (1918, with a melting Romanza) to Alice (1947, for Stratford), and including much written for the Lyric, Hammersmith between 1923 and 1932 – three brisk overtures in the British comedy overture tradition and fine examples thereof, and other movements showing Reynolds’ gift for composing baroque pastiche (The Critic entr’acte, the Marriage à la Mode music and the dances from The Duenna, one of many 18th Century operas given new life by Reynolds). And there are the selection from 1066, a revue-cum-musical comedy and probably his most popular piece, and the surpassingly beautiful movements from Swiss Family Robinson. Lovely music – not quite as individual as Eric Coates or Robert Farnon, but well worth anyone’s attention – and the performances and recording are excellent advocacy for it. Philip L. Scowcroft
Editor: Philip has penned the excellent booklet notes for this new CD, which is available from the RFS Record Service for £12 [US$24].
LEROY ANDERSON and his ‘Pops’ Concert Orchestra Sleigh Ride, The Syncopated Clock, Serenata, A Tumpeter’s Lullaby, Promenade, Saraband, Jazz Pizzicato – Jazz Legato, The Waltzing Cat, Plink Plank Plunk, Belle of the Ball, Blue Tango, Horse and Buggy, The Phantom Regiment, China Doll, The Penny Whistle Song, Fiddle-Faddle Jasmine JASMCD 2580. In 1992 MCA Records/Good Music in the USA released ‘The Original Hit Recordings …’ on MSD 35334 (20 tracks), and some collectors have preferred these to the later stereo re-recordings by the maestro, which were released on the 2-CD set ‘The Leroy Anderson Collection’ – MCAD2-9815. This recent collection from the British company Jasmine once again restores the first versions to the catalogue, so anyone wanting Leroy Anderson’s own original mono performances now has the opportunity to acquire them. Selected comparisons between the MCA/Good Music CD from 1992, and the new Jasmine release indicate that they are virtually identical. Sadly neither CD gives any recording dates, but at least Jasmine does say a little about Anderson, whereas the centre pages of the MCA leaflet were literally blank. This is a welcome reissue; these recordings should always be available, so if they are missing from your own collection you now have the remedy in your own hands. David Ades This CD is available from the RFS Record Service for £8 [US $16].
EXHILARATION: Light Music with a Lilt London Calling (Coates) London Symphony Orch. / Eric Coates; Cockney Capers (Crantock- pseudonym for Clive Richardson and Tony Lowry) Harry Davidson & his Orchestra; Down The Mall (Belton – pseudonym for Tony Lowry and Douglas Brownsmith) Charles Shadwell & his Orchestra; Wellington Barracks (Haydn Wood) Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/ Sidney Torch; Fireside Fusiliers (Mayerl) Billy Mayerl & his Forte Fingers; Pedigree On Pomander Walk (Andre) Billy Mayerl & his Grosvenor House Band; Popular Song (From "Facade": Walton) London Philharmonic Orch./ William Walton; Daddy Long Legs (Wright) The Bohemians;Scrub Brother Scrub (Warner) Albert Sandler & his Palm Court Orchestra; Fingerbustin’ (Camarata)Kingsway Symphony Orchestra/ Camarata; Twinkle Toes (Raeburn) Wynford Reynolds & his Orchestra; Fairies In The Moon (Ewing) Wynford Reynolds & his Orchestra; The Dancing ClockOrchestre Raymonde; Montmartre (Haydn Wood) Debroy Somers Band; Folie Bergere Richard Crean & his Orchestra; A Cocktail of Happiness Wynford Reynolds & his Orchestra; Exhilaration (Charles Williams) Charles Williams & his Concert Orchestra; Comedians Galop (Kabalevsky) Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/ Robert Farnon; Snowflakes Piano Duet by Rawicz & Landauer; Spinning Wheel (Rawicz) Sidney Torch & his Orchestra; Dance Of the Blue Marionettes (Leslie Clair) Organ solo by Sidney Torch; Parade of the Tin Soldiers New Light Symphony Orchestra; The Toy Trumpet Reginald Pursglove and his Orchestra; Pan-American Panorama (Philip Green) The Columbia Orchestra;American Hoe-Down (David Rose) David Rose & his Orchestra; Chicken Reel Boston Promenade Orchestra/ Arthur Fiedler. Memoir CDMOIR 554. Following the success of ‘Fiddle Faddle’ and ‘Red Sombrero’, Memoir Records have come up with a third selection of tuneful gems. I know that many light music enthusiasts are put off purchasing some albums because of the repetition of recordings already in their collections. However, they should not hesitate in this instance as many of the recordings are appearing on CD for the first time – several being from the Decca ‘Music While You Work’ series. Amongst the contributors are the orchestras of Harry Davidson, Debroy Somers, Charles Shadwell, Albert Sandler, Charles Williams, Richard Crean, David Rose, and Reginald Pursglove [who Light Programme listeners will recall as conductor of the Albany Strings]. We are also treated to the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra conducted by Robert Farnon and Sidney Torch – the latter is also featured as cinema organist in The Dance of the Blue Marionettes. Of particular delight to me is the inclusion of the Orchestra of Wynford Reynolds [no relation] in three delightful numbers, two of which are from the pen of Reynolds himself; the third is an enchanting entr’acte entitled Fairies in the Moon – it’s worth buying the CD for this piece alone! It is one of two compositions on this album composed by the much neglected Montague Ewing – an album of his music is long overdue! We are also treated to the keyboard talents of Billy Mayerl and Rawicz and Landauer. This CD has been compiled by Jim Palm, who has also written the concise but informative notes. Ted Kendall who, unless my ears deceive me, does not appear to have changed the original acoustics by adding reverberation - a fact that will please the purists - has remastered the recordings. My only criticism is in the reproduction of the piano features Fireside Fusiliers and Snowflakes. Both would benefit from a little more volume and, in the case of the Billy Mayerl number [a particular favourite of mine], a crisper sound would have been preferable. Overall, I consider this to be one of the best light music compilations of recent years. It is bright, breezy and totally unpretentious – the perfect antidote to the 21st century!
Available from the RFS Record Service for £10 [US $20].
THE SYMPHONIC ERIC COATES Cinderella, The Selfish Giant, The Three Bears, Miniature Suite, London Everyday, Joyous Youth, The Dam Busters BBC Philharmonic Conducted by Rumon Gamba Chandos CHAN9869, 79:27 mins. It is wonderful to find that the music of the great Eric Coates is still considered sufficiently important to warrant expensive new recordings such as this. However much as we value the composer’s own interpretations (and thankfully we have been well served with reissues in recent years), it is always good that such works should continue to be in the current repertoire of leading orchestras, and attracting the attention of conductors of the calibre of Rumon Gamba. Readers will be familiar with most, if not all, of these Coates classics. Whether or not you decide to add this to your collection may depend upon the state of your finances, or your wish to preserve the memory of much loved performances from the last century. Whenever a new recording is made of any piece of music, somehow something different emerges. Tempi obviously vary even slightly, and the sound engineer’s balance of the orchestra may reveal a previously unheard instrument in a particular passage. Personally I feel that anyone who admires Coates should want to grab this CD with both hands, if nothing else to ensure that record companies still feel encouraged to commission new performances from today’s talented musicians. David Ades Chandos CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £12.50 [US $25] each.
A POPS CONCERT Paul Whiteman and his Orchestra NAXOS NOSTALGIA 8.120520 My Melancholy Baby; Washboard Blues; Sweet Sue; Among My Souvenirs; The Man I Love; High Water; La Golondrina; My Heart Stood Still; Together; Moonlight and Roses; La Paloma; Song of the Swamp; Southern Medley (My Old Kentucky Home, Carry Me Back to Old Virginny, Old Folks At Home); Jeannine. These recordings all date from 1927-29 when Whiteman was arguably in his heyday and include vocals by Hoagy Carmichael, Bing Crosby, Al Rinker and Jack Fulton. Originally 12" 78rpm records with a running time of 4 minutes each, they neatly bridge the gap between classical, jazz and popular music. For those who enjoy Whiteman’s style then this budget Naxos release will be most welcome while anyone who enjoys a jolly good foot-tapping tune will also be pleased to have it in their collection. Well done Naxos, more please.
Edmund Whitehouse Naxos CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £5 [US $10].
THE PERCY FAITH ORCHESTRA conducted by NICK PERITO Theme from ‘A Summer Place’; Love theme from ‘Romeo and Juliet’; Lara’s Theme from ‘Dr Zhivago’; A Man and a Woman; The Sound of Music; Love theme from ‘The Godfather’; Born Free; Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head; The Way we Were; Mon Oncle; Elvira Madigan theme; The song from ‘Moulin Rouge’; Hello Dolly; Moon River; Summer of ’42; Tara’s theme from ‘Gone With the Wind’; Never on Sunday; The Windmills of your Mind. Castle Pulse PLSCD 583. Although the CD booklet doesn’t make it clear (there are no notes), this is a reissue of the 1990s Percy Faith recreations by Nick Perito. Keen fans will probably already have them, but if you missed the original releases (which were quite expensive) here’s your opportunity to acquire 18 tracks at a bargain price. David Ades Available from the RFS Record Service for £6 [US $12].
THE RED SHOES – Music from the films of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger Vaughan Williams – Prelude and Epilogue from 49th Parallel; Allan Gray – A Matter of Life and Death, The Life & Death of Colonel Blimp, A Canterbury Tale; Brian Easdale – Black Narcissus, The Red Shoes, Gone to Earth, The Small Back Room; Jacques Offenbach – Tales of Hoffman. Various orchestras, etc. CD41 Publishing, CD41-002. 74:00 mins. The era 1941-51 is well within the great period (c. 1935-1960) of British films and film music, so this release, which draws on film soundtracks (including some wholly or mainly spoken excerpts) and commercial recordings from the 1940s, is of particular interest. 49th Parallel was Vaughan Williams’ first film commission and these expansive extracts will surely please. Allan Gray, Polish-born, was well respected for his film music and his work for the recorded music libraries – his music for these three films (the Prelude to A Matter of Life and Death is played here by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra under Charles Williams) make pleasing listening. More distinguished are the Brian Easdale items, especially The Red Shoes music which, though recorded by Columbia at the time (and still sounds well here) has surprisingly never quite caught on. Posterity has largely forgotten Easdale (he died as recently as 1995), which is a pity. The recordings naturally show their age but the transfers have been well done and the booklet contains much fascinating information. Recommended. Philip L. Scowcroft This CD can be obtained for £10.00 from J. Nice, 1 Spinney Close, Beetley, Dereham, Norfolk, NR20 4TB, England (telephone/fax 01362 861009. More information from website: www.ltmpub.freeserve.co.uk The EMI collection of British Film Music of the 1940s and 1950s was deleted several years ago, but copies are still available from the RFS Record Service for £12 [US$24].
JELLY ROLL MORTON Piano Rolls Stratford Hunch, Big Foot Ham, New Orleans Joys, Perfect Rag, Tom Cat Blues, State and Madison, Kansas City Stomp, etc… 22 tracks. Shellwood SWCD22, 72:11 minutes. The first 17 tracks are new roll re-creations from original 78rpm records, cut by Mike Meddings. Shellwood obtained a 1912 Aeolian 88 note Pianola push-up, which has been restored to near perfection. After pushing it up to a good grand piano they found an expert pianolist, Julian Dyer, to play the rolls. They succeeded in eliminating all extraneous mechanical noise, and two of the tracks are premiere CD recordings. All in all this is an enterprising release which should fascinate anyone interested in this kind of music. David Ades Shellwood CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £10 [US $20] each.
BRIGHOUSE AND RASTRICK BAND Popular Classics Dance of the Tumblers, Elvira Madigan Theme, The Padstow Lifeboat, Capriccio Espagnol, Pie Jesu, Sutherland’s Law Theme, Ravel’s Bolero, etc… Grasmere GRCD115. The Brighouse and Rastrick are one of Britain’s top brass bands, with a reputation that extends far beyond this island. If I am honest, I have to say that the light classics chosen for this CD do not particularly appeal to me, but one has to admire the musicianship of all the players. I am sure that there are many brass band admirers who will not hesitate to add this new release to their CD collection. David Ades
GEORGE GERSHWIN Gershwin in Hollywood, An American in Paris, Cuban Overture, Porgy and BessNew Zealand Symphony Orchestra conducted by James Judd Naxos 8559107, 65:09 mins. This new CD falls into the category: "if you want this music, it is probably already in your collection". In other words, at its budget price it has to be accepted as an introduction to Gershwin for the uninitiated. The masterpieces are, of course, An American in Paris and Porgy and Bess. To my mind, Gershwin’s Cuban Overture only briefly comes alive, and it is not surprising that it is one of his lesser-known works. The opening track Gershwin in Hollywood could be so much better: unfortunately Robert Russell Bennett’s arrangements are disappointing and only occasionally reveal any imagination or sparkle. The orchestra sound bored with it all, and I must confess that I was, too. But, I say again, at a budget price of around £5, it is a great chance to get acquainted with the orchestral Gershwin. David Ades
BRITISH SYMPHONIC COLLECTION Vol. 10 Symphony No. 2 by York Bowen (1884-1961);Symphonic Rhapsody "Spring" by Frederic Austin (1872-1952); Symphonic Movement "Genesis" by Edgar Bainton (1880-1956). (Denmark) CLASSCD 404. Can you remember when serious music was tuneful and enjoyable and when the listener did not need a crystal ball or an IQ of 250 to understand what was going on? Well here it is again! The work by York Bowen is a world premiere recording and all the better for that, while Austin and Bainton are rarely heard today, thanks to the self-opinionated gurus who belittle anything which is not discordant. Well worth a listen if you enjoy serious tuneful music and what’s more they’re all British! Edmund Whitehouse Classico CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £12.00 [US $24] each.
BRITISH SYMPHONIC COLLECTION Vol. 11 A Celebration of Malcolm Arnold’s 80th Birthday.Rinaldo & Armida (ballet suite); Little Suite No. 2; Homage to the Queen (ballet suite); Concerto for Organ & Orchestra. Royal Academy of Aarhus Symphony Orchestra conducted by Douglas Bostock(Denmark) CLASSCD 424. This unusual disc comprises 21 miniatures none of which lasts more than five minutes with several less than two! Apart from the Little Suite they are all world premieres but unmistakably Malcolm Arnold whose lush brass sounds remind us of his many dramatic film scores. Isn’t it amazing how much good music there is out there just waiting to be recorded. Well done Classico for taking the risk. More please! Edmund Whitehouse
ERIC PARKIN (piano) : Reginald King – piano pieces Song of Paradise; Humoresque; Sentimental Interlude; Pierrette on the Balcony; Beside the Lake; Polka Piquant; In Bluebell Land; Prelude in D; Tropical Moonlight; Passing Clouds; One Summer Day; Windflowers; Where Water Lilies Dream; Julia; The Haunted Ballroom (Toye, arr. King); Summer Breezes; Lilacs in the Rain; Elegy; Marionette; Whispering Violin; Meditation; Money Spider; Green Valleys; Yorkshire Relish; June Night on Marlow Reach; Moonlight Reverie; Prelude in A; Three Miniatures; Cynthia; A Prayer at Eventide.Shellwood SWCD17 (2 CDs) 108 mins. What a delightful collection this is! Light music lovers struggle to find recordings of Reginald King’s compositions today, but here Shellwood treat us to no less than 34 charming works, performed with warmth and affection by Britain’s foremost pianist. In recent years Eric Parkin has become renowned for his rediscoveries of the piano works of Jerome Kern, George Gershwin and, most importantly, Billy Mayerl. Reginald King deserves to be added to this illustrious list, and lovers of the piano cannot fail to be enchanted. I suspect that some will half remember hearing many of these works, especially Summer Breezes which was featured in the BBC Television Interlude film of the white kitten; the orchestral version was not taken from one of the usual recorded music libraries, so it has remained one of those elusive pieces missing from private collections. The well illustrated CD booklet notes by John Archer confirm King’s important contribution to the British musical scene in the middle years of the last century. This is an important release in all respects, and it will give a lot of pleasure. David Ades
THE CHEESY LISTENING ALBUM Wheels (cha cha) - Joe Loss Orchestra; Guatanamera - Geoff Love Orchestra; Let's face the music and dance - Nelson Riddle Orchestra; Music to watch girls by – Joe Loss Orchestra; Mas que nada - Manuel & The Music Of The Mountains; Mexican hat dance - Geoff Love Orchestra; Tequila - Joe Loss Orchestra; Do you know the way to San Jose - Ron Goodwin Orchestra; Quando quando quando - Manuel & The Music Of The Mountains; Desafinado - Laurindo Almeida & Bossa Nova All Stars; Girl from Ipanema – Geoff Love Orchestra; This guy's in love with you - Ron Goodwin Orchestra; Unforgettable - Starlight Strings; Can't take my eyes off you - Basil Henriques & The Waikiki Islanders; One note samba (remixed) - Geoff Love Orchestra; What the world needs now is love - Ron Goodwin Orchestra; Raindrops keep falling on my head - Joe Loss Orchestra; Man and a woman - Geoff Love Orchestra; Moon river - Nelson Riddle Orchestra; Music to drive by - Joe Loss Concertium; Walk on by - Ron Goodwin Orchestra; Let's do it (let's fall in love) - Nelson Riddle Orchestra; Peanut vendor - Manuel & The Music Of The Mountains; Y viva Espana - Pepe Jaramillo; Wives and lovers - Ron Goodwin Orchestra EMI Gold 5389412. This doesn't happen very often but EMI have just released a new all popular instrumental/orchestral CD featuring great British and US artists/orchestras like Geoff Love; Nelson Riddle; Manuel & The Music of the Mountains; The Starlight Strings; Ron Goodwin etc. The CD was released in the UK in June and it contains approx 71 minutes of what EMI call "25 very ripe instrumental easy classics"! I bought mine when I was visiting Guernsey in June and saw it in a record shop in St. Peter Port. I see it can also be bought at www.hmv.co.uk and www.amazon.co.uk etc. as well as the usual record stores. Chris Campbell
APOLLO SOUND: Test Card Music Volume 8 My Friends (G. Garanjan), At Sundown (Harvey Richards), Tierpark [Zoo] Promenade (Hans Bath), L’Amour Est Grand (J. Dieval), Flowers for Yvette (Harry Heinze), Santiago de Chile (Rudolf Maluck), Rockin’ Strings (William Gardner), Goodnight (arr. Sam Fonteyn), Fancy That (Gerhard Paul), Rockin’ Chair (Peter Hope), Irish Imp (William Gardner), Music in Mind (hendric Haydegg), Zambra Flamenca (John Carmichael), Moon Over Altea (L. Portner), In the Shade (Fernando Paggi), Ventuno  (Ulrich Sommerlatte), Talisman (Walter Franz), Blue Train (Roger Senicourt- actually Frank Chacksfield), Don Pedro (Horst Grosser), Machito (Heinz Hotter), Charley-O (T. Marino),Loose Cover (Sam Fonteyn), You are Mine (K. Veidt/P. Forester).Apollo Sound APSCD 228. Chris Churcher has assembled another fine collection for Apollo Sound in this impressive series, which has become a valuable source of material for the many collectors whose primary interests focus on the kind of bright and rhythmic 1960s/1970s sounds which used to be heard on television in the days before 24-hour programming, when gaps in the schedules were filled with test cards mainly for the benefit of engineers installing new sets. Once again the archives of Mozart Edition have provided all but one track, giving further evidence of that library’s strength in this kind of music. Readers will spot some familiar composers, while others will offer some pleasant surprises. I do not pretend to be an expert on test card music, but I know that some readers could probably give the days and times when these tunes were originally heard. They will need no further encouragement from me to snap up this latest compilation. David Ades This CD is available by mail order direct from Apollo Sound (see page 89); it can also be purchased from the RFS Record Service for £12.75 [US $25.50].
ALPHORN CONCERTOS Sinfonia Pastorella (Leopold Mozart), Dialogue with Nature and Concerto for Alphorn & Orchestra (Jean Daetwyler), Concertino Rustico (Ferenc Farkas). Slovak Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Urs Schneider. Naxos 8.555978. The 12 foot long alphorn may not be the most versatile of musical instruments but in expert hands it is quite capable of making pleasant and jolly sounds as witnessed by these ancient and modern musical offerings. It is certainly an unusual CD and all the more satisfactory for that. It is unlikely you will have heard any of the pieces before but each gives the lie to the myth that the alphorn has only two notes, one for calling animals and the other for contacting your goatherd girlfriend or boyfriend in the next valley! Edmund Whitehouse
CAREY BLYTON Film and Television Music Valse Musette, Girl Friday, Commuter Special, On the Go, Something in the Wind, Action for Orchestra, Blues in the Round, Neurosis, Man at Work, Noises of the Night, etc. plus television adverts for Birdseye Florida Orange juice, Mackintosh’s Quality Street, Lyons’ Harvest Pies, Nimble Bread, Elastoplast, and Lux Toilet Soap. Apollo Sound APSCD224. This is the first of four collections of the late Carey Blyton’s commercial music, which must have involved considerable research to acquire the recordings from a wide variety of different sources. Thus the first part of this CD concentrates on the composer’s commissions from several British recorded music libraries (Boosey & Hawkes, Weinberger, Synchrofox), leaving the remainder of the CD focussing on Blyton’s television commercials from 1964 to 1971. There are sometimes several different treatments of the same theme, and two of the tracks feature the finished product, complete with voice-overs. This offers a truly fascinating glimpse of the music business that will be unfamiliar to many. As a bonus, the CD booklet provides a wealth of very detailed information, even to the extent of listing full credits for the advertising agencies involved. An excellent release in all respects, and highly recommended to readers with an interest in this often hidden side of the world of production music. David Ades Apollo Sound CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £12.75 [US $25.50] each. They can also be purchased direct from Apollo Sound – see advertisement on page 89 of this issue.
GEORGE LLOYD The Serf (Orchestral Suite) and Cello Concerto (USA) Albany TROY 458 Albany Symphony Orchestra conducted by David Alan Miller. All George Lloyd fans will be delighted to learn of this posthumously issued CD, covering yet more of this fine tuneful composer’s later works. It’s very Lloydesque and yet altogether new at the same time. Who said serious music had to be dull to be enjoyed? Here is a man whose career was shattered by the war yet continued to compose melodious post-war masterpieces in the face of the avant garde lobby who refused to broadcast it. Well done George, you deservedly had the last laugh on them. Peter Worsley
PALM COURT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES JOB ‘Un Peu d’Amour’ Amparito Roca, Un Peu d’Amour, By the Light of the Silvery Moon, Love’s Garden of Roses, Wedding of a Rose, Nola, Alicante, Gavotte, Ecstasy Waltz, The Sunshine of your Smile, Song of Paradise, Neapolitan Serenade, Fairytale, Teddy Bears’ Picnic, Dreaming, Bird Songs at Eventide, Hiawatha, Entry of the Gladiators, Da Capo Palm Court Orchestra CD02, 63:22 mins. The music lovers of British Columbia in Canada are fortunate in having someone like Charles Job on the scene promoting quality light music through a regular series of concerts, and occasional CD releases such as this. I’m pleased to find Reginald King’s Song of Paradise, together with Leon Jessel’s Wedding of the Rose. The melody Dreaming is not the familiar Archibald Joyce piece, but a lesser-known work by Haydn Wood, who is also responsible for Love’s Garden of Roses, charmingly sung by Sally Braswell, mezzo soprano, who also performs two other numbers, The Sunshine of your Smile and Eric Coates’ Bird Songs at Eventide. Gerhard Winkler’s Neapolitan Serenade is a good choice (a perfect example of a tune you know, but have difficulty naming!). Lovers of the more traditional style of light music will thoroughly enjoy this collection, well played and conducted by musicians who have their hearts in what they are doing.David Ades This CD is available from the RFS Record Service for £11.00 [US $22].
SIR VIVIAN DUNN Conducts Sir Arthur Sullivan Yeoman of the Guard – Overture, The Tempest – Incidental Music, The Merchant of Venice – Suite, Entrance and March of the Peers – from Iolanthe, Overture in C – In Memoriam Bournemouth Symphony, City of Birmingham Orchestra andBand of HM Royal Marines School of Music Eastney RHMSEC006. Paddy Dunn remains very active in the promotion of his late father’s recordings, and it is appropriate that he should have recognised the upsurge in interest in the music of Sir Arthur Sullivan. Although his work in the world of military music is unsurpassed, Sir Vivian Dunn was a master of so many different kinds of music, and we are fortunate that there exist so many recordings of his encounters with some of the finest symphony orchestras in the land. This new CD neatly brings together several different sessions, providing a tribute to Sullivan that will find favour with his many admirers. The CD booklet is packed full of interesting facts, making this a collection that will find itself in many appreciative homes.David Ades This CD is available from Eastney Collection, 60 Mayford Road, London, SW12 8SN, England – price £10 (UK, postage paid), £11.50 (overseas, postage paid). Credit cards accepted. Please mention the RFS when ordering.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK On the Town – Opening [Lyn Murray]; Sidewalks of New York [Shannon Quartet]; Broadway Melody [Ben Selvin]; Give my Regards to Broadway [George M. Cohan]; Park Avenue Fantasy, Stairway to the Stars [Paul Whiteman]; Forty Second Street [Boswell Sisters & Dorsey Brothers Band]; Slumming on Park Avenue [Red Norvo with Mildred Mailey]; Slaughter on Tenth Avenue [Lennie Hayton & MGM Orchestra]; Skyscraper Fantasy [Mantovani]; Manhattan Tower [Gordon Jenkins] etc… 22 tracks ASV Living Era CD AJA 5441, 75:01 mins. David Lennick and Ray Crick have come up with a fascinating selection of ‘New York’ music, which should sell very well in the USA. The choice of material is wide, offering something for lovers of show and film music, plus a light orchestral ‘standard’ and a comparatively rare Gordon Jenkins masterwork. Peter Dempsey’s booklet notes are entertaining, but he has missed a trick by not mentioning that Slaughter on Tenth Avenue is a classic Conrad Salinger arrangement, much sought-after by his admirers. Currently there is great interest in this unsung hero of Hollywood musicals, and his work is destined to receive much greater acknowledgement in the future. This version of Slaughter… comes from the 1948 MGM musical ‘Words and Music’. It was briefly available on an EMI CD of tracks from the film in 1990, but since then has been hard to find. In an ideal world it would be preferable to go back to the original tapes, because both the EMI and ASV transfers show their age. A more serious ‘howler’ in the booklet notes concerns Skyscraper Fantasy. We are told that it is the work of the famous clarinettist Sid Phillips, but readers of this magazine will know that the actual composer was Donald Phillips, the brilliant backroom boy also responsible for Concerto in Jazz, who died in 1994. This Mantovani 78 ofSkyscraper Fantasy has also recently appeared on CDs from Vocalion (CDEA6019) and Naxos (8120516). Other gems include Park Avenue Fantasy (incorporating Stairway to the Stars) by Paul Whiteman, Jo Stafford’s delectable Manhattan Serenade, Frank Sinatra’s Autumn in New York and Dick Powell’s Lullaby of Broadway. And what about Gordon Jenkins’ Manhattan Tower? Quite frankly, like baseball it hasn’t travelled well eastwards across the North Atlantic. You either love it or hate it!David Ades
THE WARTIME PICNICS and A COUNTRY CALENDAR by Peter Cork. Here is something really unusual, two privately produced double-CDs by a Kentish composer who once taught music to Dudley Moore! Both are semi-autobiographical because they recreate the war years and a time when our landscape was more gentle and perhaps more musical than it is today. The Wartime Picnics (90 minutes) is a musical relating a family love story in a poignant world, evolving around three picnics on the Kentish Downs during and after the Second World War. A young girl falls for a serving airman and their relationship gradually unfolds against the dark clouds of conflict. A Country Calendar (140 minutes) describes the British life and landscape in words and music from the Thirties, Forties and Fifties, long before motorways shortened journey times and made virtually everywhere accessible to everyone. The narrators are Rosemary Leach, Tim Pigott-Smith and Dennis Quilley, and the aptly-named producer is Piers Plowright, a well-known BBC personality and friend of the composer. Scenes range from the Cumbrian Lakes to the coastal paths of Cornwall and events from August Bank Holiday to the Battle of Britain and a frosty Christmas Eve. Each month and season is covered by separate tracks with the background music played by a pleasant light orchestra. Such ventures are to be encouraged and applauded in this day and age and at £13.99 for each double-CD they will not break the piggy bank. Available post free from Re-Collections, JEM House, Littlemead, Cranleigh, Surrey, GU6 8NH, ENGLAND. Tel. 0870-727-4104, Fax 01483-268889. Edmund Whitehouse
RON GOODWIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA ‘Music for an Arabian Night’ and ‘Holiday in Beirut’EMI 7243 5397892. These two fine albums caused quite a stir when they were released on Parlophone LPs back in the 1960s. Since then they have reappeared on CDs available mainly in the Middle East, but it is good to have them available again as a ‘2 on 1’ with general distribution. Ralph Harvey has contributed the booklet notes, and the original album covers are also reproduced. Don’t hesitate; if these vintage Ron Goodwin LPs are not already in your collection, you can correct that omission right away! David Ades
ALBERT SAMMONS – Delius Violin Concerto [w. Liverpool P.O., cond. Dr Malcolm Sargent – rec. 1944]/ Elgar Violin Concerto in B minor [w. New Queen’s Hall Orch., cond. Sir Henry Wood – rec. 1929] Dutton super budget CDBP9735, 66:30 mins. Two classic recordings from the Shellac Era, which deserve a place in every serious collection of British Music. Arguably the greatest of all English violinists, Albert Sammons [1886-1957] was also a highly respected teacher [his pupils included the youthful George Lloyd] remembered as a man of great kindness and integrity who referred not to use the fiddle as a mere box of tricks. Sadly, the onset of Parkinson’s disease in the mid-1940s enforced his early retirement from playing. Delius had dedicated his 1916 Concerto to Sammons, who also made the Elgar work [written for Fritz Kreisler] very much his own. Neither work is Light Music, of course, but so many readers have expressed admiration for these wonderful and highly original composers, that I make no apology for submitting this review. In any case, the Delius is a virtually uninterrupted stream of beautiful melody, while the Elgar is so full of marvellous themes and striking ideas – the "guitar effect" in the last movement cadenza is just one – that listeners will always be finding something new. Michael Dutton’s state-of-the-art transfers ensure these magnificent performances have never sounded better. For listeners whose appetites for more Sammons have been whetted, Michael Dutton has also produced an historic CD [Dutton Epoch CDLX7103] of chamber music by John Ireland, on which violinist and composer perform the Second Violin Sonata; and there is also an Hyperion issue [CDA67096: ‘The English Kreisler’] on which Paul Barritt and Catherine Edwards present 20 of Sammons own Salon Pieces in excellent style. John E. Govier
TED HEATH AND HIS MUSIC ‘Nice One Ted!’ Hindustan, Swannee River, Song of the Vagabonds, Two Guitars, Lyonia, Roumanian Roundabout, The Nearness of You, Colonel Bogey, Button Up Your Overcoat, Rag Mop, Blue Skies March, London Fog, Euphoria, Lady Byrd, Sidewalks of Cuba, Sophisticated Lady, Tequila, Move, Father Knickerbopper, Saxophone Mambo, You’re Nearer, Trumpet Voluntary, El Abanico, Post Horn Boogie, My Silent Love Memoir CDMOIR565, 68:40 mins. Ted Heath fans have been well served by various record companies in recent years, and it seems that the flow of new releases is accelerating. At the same time it is difficult for new compilations such as this to avoid duplications, and collectors will have to decide for themselves whether or not there are enough new delights on this CD to persuade them to part with their precious pounds. Personally I cannot imagine any true fans hesitating for long, because Memoir have come up with such a splendid production, thanks to the excellent sound restoration by Ted Kendall, and the superb booklet notes by Campbell Burnap. The gifted arrangers make one’s mouth water: Reg Owen, Eric Jupp, Reg Briggs, Norman Stenfalt, George Shearing, Bruce Campbell, John Dankworth, Phil Bates and Wally Stott (Roumanian Roundabout). Personnel, recording dates, matrix numbers, studios … all the information you could ever want is here. To paraphrase the CD’s title: "Nice One, Memoir!" David Ades
NAT KING COLE ‘Here’s To My Lady’ A Portrait of Jennie, That’s My Girl, Because of Rain, Nature Boy, Baby Won’t You Say You Love me, Here’s To My Lady, Song of Delilah, The Magic Tree, I’ll Never Say ‘Never Again’ Again, Unforgettable, Little Girl, Red Sails In The Sunset, Too Young, Put ‘Em in a Box, Lillette, I’m Hurtin’, A Little Bit Independent, Wine Women & Song, Mona Lisa, Lush Life, Lost April, Always You, My First and Last Love, Home Memoir CDMOIR566, 71:55 mins. I suppose that many of the comments I have made about the Ted Heath CD (above) equally apply to this new Nat King Cole release. Again, keen collectors may well already possess the majority of the tracks, but the fine remastering (by our friend Ted Kendall, of course), and the comprehensive notes (this time by Nigel Hunter) elevate this above the offerings from the major companies. It seems incredible, but true: often the major record companies who originally released recordings such as this seem to take little trouble to make their occasional reissues attractive, when it comes to information in their booklets. Thank goodness for the fact that in Britain we still have a thriving independent record sector, where true enthusiasts are able to impart their knowledge to fellow collectors. At least generations to come will be able to read something about the artists, the music and the recording history – and why their contributions to the art of recorded music are so important.David Ades Memoir CDs are available from the RFS Record Service for £10 [$20] each.
TONY WHITTAKER ‘Keyboard Magic’ In Love For The Very First time, Call Me, Laura, Music of the Night, So Nice, Sands of Cairo, Warwick Waltz, Stairway to the Sea, All I Ask of You, Matrimony, Memory, The Boy From… , As Time Goes By, Cat’s Tail, Merry as a Grig, Abba Medley TWMS CD05/02. RFS member Tony Whittaker has produced an attractive collection of piano pieces, augmented on some tracks by bass, guitar and strings. You may have noticed Merry as a Grig in the listing above – an interesting choice, by Van Phillips, the arranger who produced some interesting dance band sounds in the 1930s, then went into production music, but eventually achieved greater fame as an acclaimed photographer. It is also nice to find less hackneyed numbers – In Love For the Very First Time makes a good opening. All in all, an enjoyable selection of music which will please piano fans. David Ades This CD is available direct from Tony Whittaker, 83 St. Helen’s Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 3QG, England – price £10.00. You can also order via Tony’s website: www.tonywhittaker.co.uk
GLORIOUS VICTORY: Willcocks – Guards Armoured Division; Alford – Eagle Squadron, By Land and Sea, Holyrood, The Vanished Army, Army of the Nile, The Standard of St. George;Panella – On the Square; Kendall – Glorious Victory; Kelly – Arnhem, Arromanches; Sousa – Liberty Bell, The Stars and Stripes Forever; Eley – Duke of York; Zehle – Wellington; Rhodes – Golden Spurs; Bagley – National Emblem; Strauss – Radetzky March; Stanley – Alamein. Kings Division Normandy Band, Director of Music Captain Gary Clegg Plantagenet Music PMRD9425, 65:00 mins. A superb, well planned compendium of military marches, some old favourites, others less familiar, recorded in the ample acoustic of St. Michael’s Parish Church, Kirkham, Lancashire. A generous representation of the martial music of the English ‘March King’ Kenneth J. Alford including his impressive slow march By Land and Sea in which A Life on the Ocean Wave is cleverly interweaved. Two of Sousa’s best, although the rendering of The Stars and Stripes Forever is surprisingly rather small scale and lightweight, with a sharp accelerando towards the end. There is also a rather curious arrangement by Sharpe of the Radetzky March.There’s a fascinating example of an early 19th century march Duke of York by Christopher Eley, a Hanovarian Bandmaster brought to England by the aforementioned Duke. Bandstand favourites such as Panella’s On the Square and Bagley’s National Emblemintermingle with less well-known (at least for this listener) but nonetheless impressive marches by the likes of G.H. Willcocks (Director of Music, Irish Guards 1938-48); Albert Kelly (who served as Bandmaster of the Royal Sussex Regiment); Samuel Rhodes (one time Director of Music with the Scots Guards with no less than 44 years’ service with Army bands); and Leo Stanley (the pen name of Randolph Ricketts, brother of Frederick Ricketts, better known as Kenneth Alford!). Despite the very minor quibbles above, all these marches are played with an impressive degree of aplomb, precision and professionalism, and one hopes that the Kings Division’s next CD won’t be too long in the making. Roger Hyslop Plantagenet CDs are available from: Plantagenet Music Ltd., 90 Holgate Road, York, YO24 4AB, England – telephone orders 01904 64710. Also available from Discurio, 46 High Street, Rochester, Kent, ME1 1LD, England – tel/fax 10634 845222 www.discurio.com
THE KING’S SQUAD Jager – Esprit de Corps; Gray – Thunderbirds; Donajowsky – Preobrajensky Blankenburg Action Front; Menken – A Whole New World; Willcocks – Sarafond; Charles Williams – Blue Devils; etc… Band of HM Royal Marines Commando Training Centre / Capt. N.J. GracePlantagenet PMRD 9426. Here’s a military band with a difference! An audio representation of the Pass-Out Parade of the Kings Squad – the senior recruit squad in Royal Marines training, recorded at the Commando Training Centre, Lympstone, Devon, with a spoken narration by a certain Lord (better known as Paddy) Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon in Somerset– a former Royal Marines Officer between 1959 and 1972; his contributions are brief and succinct and should not become too irksome on repeated playings. The doyen of British military musicians, Lieutenant Colonel Sir F. Vivian Dunn (who was appointed Director of Music of the Portsmouth Division Band in 1931, at the incredibly early age of 22, and completed an illustrious career with the Royals as Principal Director of Music at Deal), is represented by several of his very attractive arrangements, includingPreorajensky, The Globe and Laurel, Where ere You Walk and Sarie Marais. Since the playing of the Royal Marines bandsmen display their usual enviable musical prowess, and the recording is excellent, this CD must be strongly commended. Roger Hyslop Plantagenet CDs are not available through the RFS Record Service, but details of how to obtain them can be found at the end of the previous review.
JOHNNY HARRIS ‘Movements’ Fragments of Fear, Reprise, Stepping Stones, Something, Give Peace a Chance, Footprints on the Moon, Light My Fire, Wichita Lineman, Paint It Black + bonus tracks Warner Bros 8122-73602-2 [also on vinyl as 2-LP set: 8122-73601-1]. 43:35 mins. This album really needs no introduction. It was big in its day but has become even bigger in recent years after it was rediscovered when tracks were sampled on modern dance records resulting in original copies changing hands for up to £50. And after just one listen it’s very easy to see why! The opening track is taken from the score of the obscure psychological thriller "Fragment Of Fear" and has a deliciously chilling melody that will weave its way into your brain and stay there. Over a distorted rhythmic shuffle a flute is joined by strings, wah-wah guitar and a bubbling Hammond Organ resulting in a non-stop groove with a warm, rich sound which is worth the cover price alone. However it is the next track "Stepping Stones" which usually gets most attention. This fast and frantic jazz piece was used for a chase sequence in the same movie and sees a repeated screaming flute motif (played by Harold McNeil) across a hard percussive backing offset by stabbing strings and guitar, resulting in a funky sound which wouldn't be out of place in the score to a black cop movie such as "Shaft" or "Superfly". There are some quieter moments too including the delicately haunting "Footprints On The Moon" complete with angelic choir choruses, and some superb covers including "Something" which Harris later reworked for Shirley Bassey, "Wichita Lineman" and a truly amazing arrangement of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black" which owes more than a little to "Night On A Bare Mountain". The CD also features a colourful 24-page booklet covering the composer's long career in music and there are two bonus tracks including the groovy Lulu's theme which was used for the "Happening For Lulu" show where Harris acted as MD. NB: There are plans to follow this up with a reissue of Harris' other Warner Bros album "All To Bring You Morning". David Noades
It is good to know that James Beyer’s concert with the Edinburgh Light Orchestra last November was a great success. James reports: "It was a most enjoyable occasion and I was extremely delighted with the performance. It was a great evening - everyone played really well and our large audience greatly enjoyed the concert. But above all, we managed to attract an audience of 751 (93% capacity 'house') - our largest for some time! We also presented a cheque for £1000.00 to Marie Curie Cancer Care." The next concert will be on Saturday 25 May at 7:30pm at the Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh. As usual James will be on the podium, and the ELO’s leader is Lawrence Dunn. Tickets: £10.00; £8.50 and £6.50. For bookings and programme details please telephone 0131 334 3140.
As advertised in our last issue (page 35) Gavin Sutherland will be conducting The Magic of Mantovani Orchestra at the Bournemouth Pavilion Theatre on Sunday 14 April at 7:30pm. If you don’t already have your ticket, you can telephone 0844 576 3000. But you’d better be quick – these hugely popular concerts sell out very quickly!
At the beginning of January ITV in Britain (and PBS in the USA) screened the first of ten episodes of "Mr Selfridge" about the American entrepreneur who founded the famous London store. The music immediately impressed, but as usual the credits were squeezed so small that they were impossible to read. Thanks to the internet, the composer was identified as Charlie Mole. He is clearly a talented musician, and someone to look out for in the future. He deserves a full feature in JIM … can any reader oblige?
As a result of the note in the last JIM (page 37) several members tell us that they have ‘discovered’ Radio Six International, which broadcasts a wide range of programmes. Following the death of Gerry Anderson on 26 December, Radio Six MD Tony Currie broadcast a tribute which included music from all the shows associated with the creator of Stingray, Space 1999, UFO and of course Thunderbirds. Before he died, Barry Gray had passed on to Tony some of his precious tapes of music from the many series he worked on, and these provided fascinating listening. It was a superb tribute, and should have been broadcast on the BBC to reach a far wider audience. But it could be heard around the world via the internet, and the added bonus of listening to Radio Six International is that it does not carry advertisements!
RFS member Philip Suffolk compiled an entertaining selection of Robert Farnon’s music for a meeting of the ‘Tuesday Music Group’ in Sutton Coldfield on 22 January. Unfortunately the severe weather conditions on the day forced the event to postponed, and it has now been rescheduled for Tuesday 30 April starting at 1:00pm. The good news is that Philip invites any RFS members within reach of Sutton Coldfield to join him on the day. The Sutton Coldfield Music Group would be pleased to see any of you, as would Philip. The venue is Sutton Coldfield Methodist Chuch, South Parade, Sutton Coldfield, and their meetings are held in Room 2 every fortnight. Philip’s presentation is called "Focus on Farnon" and he will begin with excerpts from Bob’s wartime exploits with the Canadian Band of the AEF, then move on to some of his early BBC broadcasts. Philip’s ‘Journey’ through Bob’s musical career continues through his big hits of the 1940s then focusses on his work with international ‘greats’ including Frank Sinatra, George Shearing and Lena Horne. It promises to be a very entertaining event, and we congratulate Philip on putting together such a well thought-out programme.
Keith Lockhart will be conducting the BBC Concert Orchestra in an attractive programme of British music at London’s South Bank on Friday 7 June at 7:30pm. The concert "The Home Front" will include: Warsaw Concerto (Richard Addinsell); Epic March (John Ireland); Seascape from ‘Western Approaches’ (Clifton Parker); Music from ‘Henry V’ (Walton); ‘Music While You Work’ – sounds of wartime broadcasting; ‘Sincerely Yours’ – music by the Forces’ Sweetheart Vera Lynn. (Thanks to Anthony Wills for this information).
Nigel Burlinson has pointed out that Vocalion catalogues from 2002 to the present date can be viewed and downloaded from the home page on their website – www.duttonvocalion.co.uk
Radio Six International is being mentioned several times in this issue – with good reason … because it regularly carries several programmes for Light Music fans, in addition to "The Golden Age of Light Music". The station’s MD Tony Currie presents his weekly "The Lively Lounge" where you can expect to hear music by the likes of Tony Hatch, Ronald Binge, Herb Alpert, Laurie Johnson, Helmut Zacharias and many similar recording artists from the 1960s onwards – including tracks from production music libraries like De Wolfe and KPM. And RFS member André Leon also crops up weekly with a varied selection of programmes, such as "Sounds Of The Century", "Carry On Crooning" and "André Leon’s Encores". If you have a computer with a broadband connection, you really owe it to yourself to investigate all the internet radio stations out there with some great specialist programmes.
Cyril Watters’ daughter Jill Coward has just launched a new website dedicated to her late father, who was a member of our Society for many years. If you have access to the internet, do visitwww.cyrilwatters.com where you can read all about Cyril – both his home life and his impressive list of compositions.
The final programme in the first series of "The Golden Age Of Light Music" was broadcast on Radio Six International at the beginning of June. The good news is that the programmes are going to be repeated later this year, and some new ones will be added after the first 32 have been heard again. The repeats might begin before you receive the next Journal Into Melody, and you can check the Latest News page of our website to discover more. Alternatively visit www.radiosix.com and click on ‘schedule’.
Light Music enthusiast and author Philip Scowcroft, RFS member and frequent writer for JIM and elsewhere, turned 80 on 8 June. Unsurprisingly the birthday was celebrated musically: on 12 June by a visit from the Fitzwilliam String Quartet in the Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery lunch hour concerts Philip has organised since 1966; and on 9 June, in an end-of-course concert by Doncaster’s Beechfield Youth Orchestra, which included the premiere of a piece composed by local musician James Belbin Wood in honour of the event – entitled Scowcroft’s Scherzo (Philip was presented with a handsome bound copy of the score). Philip tells us that its main section was cheerful and tuneful, befitting a light music man, but with just enough spicy harmonies to provide contrast!
We are very sorry to report that our good friend Frank Comstock died on 21 May aged 90. Frank has been a loyal supporter of the RFS for many years, and through him a number of great musicians from the glory days of Hollywood came to know about the RFS, not least Doris Day with whom Frank worked on "Calamity Jane" and other projects. Forrest Patten got to know Frank in recent years, and he has contributed an obituary in this issue.
Also in May the RFS lost another loyal and long-serving member, Stan Coates. At one time Stan used to travel down to London from the north-east of England to attend our meetings, and he first introduced the young John Wilson to our society around 18 years ago. Stan had an encyclopaedic knowledge of big band music, and one of his favourites was Geraldo. His diligence in seeking out rare manuscripts enabled John to include some great arrangements in his concerts, including some long-forgotten ones by Robert Farnon.
James Beyer tells us that his latest Edinburgh Light Music Concert on Saturday 25 May went extremely well; and everyone on both sides of the podium seemed to enjoy themselves. As is the norm at this time of year – the holiday season coupled with a particularly good day weather-wise slightly reduced attendance numbers. This pattern is nothing new and the shortfall is always compensated by a larger turnout at our winter programmes. It is a sad fact – but nevertheless something out-with anyone’s control – that the current economic situation is also affecting audience numbers in all branches of the performing arts. However, an audience totalling 672 (78% capacity) is still an excellent attendance in this day and age. The orchestra’s next concert is on 16 November at Edinburgh’s Queen’s Hall as usual. Website: http://edinburghlightorchestra.moonfruit.com E-mail:
The American copyright of Happy Birthday To You came into the news just recently. In June it was reported that Good Morning To You Productions Corp, a New York company said it was making a documentary about the song. Facing a penalty of $150,000 if it used Happy Birthday without permission, the company said it paid a $1,500 licensing fee in March. Happy Birthday to You has been performed around the world in tribute to everyone from toddlers to centenarians for nearly 120 years, but few people know that the ubiquitous song is owned by a private company. Now, the most famous ditty in the English language has found itself in the middle of a legal battle after a film production company filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the copyright protecting the song. The proposed class action asks a federal court to declare the song to be in the public domain and that Warner/Chappell Music Inc, the music publishing arm of Warner Music Group, return ‘millions of dollars of unlawful licensing fees’ it has collected for reproductions and public performances of the song. ‘More than 120 years after the melody to which the simple lyrics of Happy Birthday to You is set was first published, defendant Warner/Chappell boldly, but wrongfully and unlawfully, insists that it owns the copyright to Happy Birthday to You,’ the lawsuit said. Under a revised US copyright law, works created after 1923 are guaranteed 95 years of protection. Although the song was first published in 1893, according to Billboard.com, the song has been considered as protected by copyright because the lyrics appeared in a songbook in 1924 and a piano arrangement for it was released in 1935. Just another example of the crazy situation which afflicts music copyright, especially in the USA.
Recently seen on ebay: a seller offering ‘a rare 10" 78 recording of Robert Farnon’s Symphony No. 1’ for the bargain price of £188.13 plus £19.67 postage! This must be another copy of a direct from air recording of the first broadcast way back in 1941 by the Toronto Symphony; fortunately we already have this in the RFS archives.
Our friends in The Light Music Society are holding their annual AGM Weekend with plenty of music and feasting back in Lancashire this year, over the holiday weekend 24, 25 & 26 August. The familiar venue is Ernest Tomlinson’s home, Lancaster Farm, Longridge. On the Sunday morning Tony Currie of Radio Six International will be doing his hour-long show "The Lively Lounge" live from the Library of Light Orchestral Music at the farm. It will be broadcast from 10:00am to 11:00am BST and will be heard world-wide via the internet. Tony’s shows are always very varied and enjoyable, and RFS members with internet access are urged to listen in. The programmes enjoy several repeats, so wherever you are in the world it should be available at a time to suit you. Visit www.radiosix.com and click on ‘schedule’ to check when you can hear "The Lively Lounge". It’s sure to be fun!
Our US representative Forrest Patten has reported that the 1977 film "The Disappearance", with a music score by Robert Farnon, has been released on Blu-Ray in the USA by Twilight Time. Bob’s score is apparently going to be isolated on a separate track, so maybe it will be possible to hear it in its entirety. Jumping Bean has discovered that this film was previously issued on DVD in the UK in 2003. A well-known internet mail-order website has been offering new copies at a penny under £100!
The author Chris Way died in August. Some RFS members may remember meeting him at several London meetings around 20 years ago. Chris was an authority on Glenn Miller, and his first book in 1987, ‘In The Miller Mood’, was a day-to-day record of Miller’s Army AirForce Band. In 1991 ‘The Big Bands Go To War’ was published. It claimed to be the full story of the Allied Services Bands of World War Two, and Robert Farnon provided an introduction. There is a detailed listing of the broadcasts by Captain Robert Farnon and the Canadian Band of the AEF from July 1944 to December 1945. Despite a few inaccuracies, this is a valuable record of Bob’s work in programmes such as The Canada Show, Canada Show In Swing Time, Night Cap, Canada Dance Band, Piano Parade, Canada Sing Show, Variety Bandbox, Canada Guest Show, AEF Special, Empire Day Programme, Farewell AEFP, Canadian Caravan and Farewell AFN. In total the entries relating to Robert Farnon occupy 79 of the book’s 288 pages. The British Band of the AEF conducted by RSM George Melachrino is also featured prominently.
British broadcasting legend David Jacobs presented the last of his long running Radio-2 Sunday evening programmes on 4 August. It was good to hear him include Robert Farnon’s beautiful arrangement of Dancing In The Dark. Sadly David died four weeks later on 2 September.
Gordon Gray, MD of Memoir Records (and other labels previously) told us recently that he remembers some session musicians telling him many years ago that they’d be willing to play for Bob Farnon for nothing, such was their admiration for him. Gordon now wishes that he had made some albums with Bob ... "rather than some others I could name!"
During the summer months there were rumours going around in the music business that the failure of some European Governments to ratify the legislation might be the death knell of the increase in sound copyright in the European Union from 50 to 70 years. Sadly our hopes were dashed when the UK Government issued a press release confirming that the change passed into law on 1 November, as originally planned. Any member states failing to ratify by this time would be punished, but this would not stop the increase to 70 years going ahead. So we are saddled with the situation which means that independent companies cannot reissue sound recordings made later than 1962, unless they pay to license the material from the copyright owners, thereby considerably increasing the cost of the CDs. Fortunately for Light Music lovers, there is a wealth of earlier untapped recordings still available for future releases by Guild Music, Sepia, Jasmine, Vocalion and other labels who specialise in this repertoire.
If you haven’t done so already, do make a point of visiting our President’s new websitewww.davidfarnon.com (there is a direct link from the home page of our own site). Before you do anything else, click on ‘Credits’ at the top of the page. You will be amazed at the number of times David’s music has been used all over the world. He now devotes himself exclusively to composition, and one of his latest projects is an Operatic Love Duet, for Soprano, Tenor and Orchestra.
During the compilation of Guild ‘Golden Age of Light Music’ CDs, David Ades and Alan Bunting take great care in trying to identify the composers and – where possible – the arrangers. Often emails go back and forth before decisions are finally made, and a recent message from Alan to David illustrates the problems they encounter! "While preparing the updated Composer listings I noticed that we had a discrepancy regarding the composer of Spanish Gypsy Dance. We have him as Mariano Marquina and Pasqual Marquina. After some thorough checking I discovered, much to my surprise, that his correct name is Pascual Marquina Narro. While I think we can regard Pascual and Pasqual as more or less the same thing, I had always believed his surname was Marquina as indeed it is on all the record labels I have seen. But Wikepedia and numerous scans of sheet music on the WEB clearly say Narro is his last name. However, ASCAP lists him as Pascual Narro Marquina and I found one entry which says the piece is ‘composed by Pascual Marquina Narro as Pascual Narro-Marquina’! No wonder getting things right is so difficult - if anyone asks me who wrote it I shall continue to answer simply ‘Marquina’!" Another problem that Alan didn’t mention is that it is not unusual for names of composers to be omitted entirely on American records. An added complication is variations in spelling. Titles with Gypsy can also appear as Gipsy, but that’s another matter!
André Leon has commissioned David Ades to provide 24 one-hour programmes for UK LightRadio. Twelve will feature recordings from "The Golden Age of Light Music" using the Guild CDs. The other twelve are in a series called "Journey Into Melody" which covers light music from many different sources. As we go to press, two of the "Journey Into Melody" programmes have already been broadcast on Radio Six International on Sunday afternoons. Other ‘friends of the RFS’ who have also been heard at this time (in syndicated UK Light Radio productions) include Brian Kay, Philip Farlow and Brian Reynolds. Radio Six International is available world-wide via the internet. Its programmes are also taken by numerous small local stations in the UK, USA and even New Zealand.
Andrew Lamb has recently published a bicentenary biography of William Vincent Wallace (1812-65), world traveller, virtuoso pianist and violinist, and composer of the once highly popular British operasMaritana and Lurline. The 237 pages of "William Vincent Wallace – Composer, Virtuoso and Adventurer" include 30 illustrations, and this paperback volume is available from usual retailers for £30. [ISBN 978 0 9524149 7 1]. It can also be purchased for £20 post-free (UK) direct from the author at 1 Squirrel Wood, West Byfleet, KT14 6PE, United Kingdom Tel. (+44) (0)1932 342566. e-mail: Your sterling cheque should be payable to ‘Andrew Lamb’. This is just the latest in an impressive list of titles from the same author, which include biographies on Henry Russell, Harry Fragson, Leslie Stuart and the Offenbach Family.
The Winter 2012 edition of "Freedom Today", the quarterly magazine of The Freedom Association, included an edited version of Alan Bunting’s article on Sound Copyright, which was published inJournal Into Melody last December. "Freedom Today" circulates among the major ‘shakers and movers’ in the British establishment, and it is to be hoped that the JIM article will alert them to the downside of the European Union’s directive. It is probably too late to expect a change of heart, although the proposals do not become legally binding until all EU states have ratified them; at the time of writing this has not yet happened.
There will be a swinging evening of jazz with the Nicola Farnon Trio on Wednesday 11 July at St Marys Church, Elsworthy Road, Primrose Hill, London NW3 3DJ. Featuring Nicola on piano and double bass, Piero Tucci on piano & teno sax and Phil Johnson on drums. This is a rare chance to hear Nicola (Robert Farnon's niece) in London. Tickets are £5 (£4 concessions) and can be obtained by email on , by ringing Celyn on 020 722 3238 or at the door on the night. Licensed bar.
It seems that Tony Bennett still has an endless supply of energy, for which his countless fans are eternally grateful. This year he is undertaking what would be a punishing schedule of performances for any singer, let alone one in his eighties. After tours in Australia and Europe he will be at several prestigious venues in the UK this summer, notably Symphony Hall, Birmingham – 24 June; Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow – 25 June; Liverpool Empire – 27 June; the Royal Albert Hall in London on 30 June and 1 July; and the Palace Theatre, Manchester, on 3 July. Thanks to Mark Fox for keeping us informed.
André Leon missed our May London meeting this year, because he flew back to his original home in Johannesburg on 26 April. He writes: "During the time away I'll be celebrating my 50th Year in Broadcasting. It was in 1962 that the Natal Mercury in Durban wrote a half-page column In The Mood for Mood Music. ‘The Idler’ wrote the article about my unusual hobby of collecting signature tunes! (Now 50 years on I'm letting them know what's happened in-between!). The article led to an offer from a radio production Company, Herrick Merrill Radio Productions. They made programmes for SABC's National Commercial Service.... ‘Springbok Radio’. A year later I joined LM Radio, then on to the SABC in Johannesburg. I came to England in 1969 and found that the BBC was not exactly waiting for me!! But I've managed to make a few useful contributions since, and found good luck at Invicta Radio, Capital and later Classic fM! A few years at Decca Records, Carlin Music and Boosey & Hawkes and the rest (in a nutshell) is History! How nice, also to be involved with the Robert Farnon Society. And hopefully a future place will be found also for.... UKLightRadio! Where I'll be concentrating in early July to make more programmes. Next schedules via Radio Six International is now planned for August (Autumn season)." André Leon returns to London on 21 June.
We are sorry to learn that two more long-established music appreciation societies have recently closed down. The Dick Haymes and Glenn Miller societies have joined a growing list, indicating that younger music lovers are now seemingly unaware of the great musical heritage that is in danger of being neglected in future. Happily there are exceptions, and our friends in the Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby societies are still going strong. It is particularly sad that the Glenn Miller Society has closed down, because the Robert Farnon (Appreciation) Society had strong links with them back in the 1950s, through people like the late Geoffrey Butcher who was a walking encyclopaedia on Miller’s music.
John Wilson’s latest CD for EMI is due to be released on 1 October. It features music from the film versions of five of their top shows, originally produced on Broadway. For more details please see page 54 of this issue. The John Wilson Orchestra will take the new Rodgers & Hammerstein album on tour in the autumn and will play the following dates in Britain:
October 20 Birmingham Symphony Hall
October 22 Leeds Town Hall
October 23 Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Hall
October 24 Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
October 25 Gateshead The Sage
October 26 Nottingham Royal Concert Hall
October 27 Brighton Dome
October 29 London Royal Festival Hall
October 30 London Royal Festival Hall
November 1 Cardiff St David’s Hall
November 5 Manchester Bridgewater Hall
Our friends in the Light Music Society regularly hold a series of events over a weekend in late summer, including a concert where its members form an orchestra under conductor Gavin Sutherland, who also happens to be the LMS Chairman! This year they have moved the event from its usual Lancashire venue down to Cambridge, over the weekend 22-23 September. On the Saturday LMS members will be participating in an Orchestral Play-Day which commences at 9:30am and continues until 5:00pm. The orchestra will be led by Shelley van Loen. Members will then have a short break before Dinner at the Royal Cambridge Hotel. (These events are subject to advance booking). On Sunday there will be an afternoon Concert by the Cambridge Concert Orchestra at 3:00pm where everyone is invited to attend.
Our RFS member, Ron Hare, has written and prepared an excellent background piece on fellow RFS member Frank Comstock. It appears on Wikipedia : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Comstock (or simply search Google for ‘Frank Comstock’. Forrest Patten’s interview with Frank that originally appeared in JIM is also available on the Robert Farnon Society website.
Around two years ago David Ades was asked to assist the Imperial War Museum in recreating the original music that Rosie Newman chose to accompany her film shows, especially during and immediately following the Second World War. Alan Bunting also assisted by digitally remastering the original discs that were rediscovered in recent years, and the results appeared towards the end of last year in the DVD "Rosie Newman’s Britain At War in Colour" issued by Strike Force Entertainment in conjunction with the Imperial War Museum. The Federation Of Commercial Audio Visual Libraries (FOCAL) staged its 2012 International Awards in London on 2 May, and the Rosie Newman DVD won the Award for ‘Best Use of Footage in a Home Entertainment Release’. The DVD contains some amazing colour sequences from an era normally only shown in black and white. The film can be viewed as originally presented by Rosie Newman with the music soundtrack. It can also be seen with the music plus a commentary taken from Rosie’s writings. As a bonus feature there is a short documentary explaining how the DVD was prepared, including the restoration of the music soundtrack.
Serge Elhaik contacts us from France to tell us that he is enjoying his retirement, and putting it to good use! He writes: "I have finished for Marianne Melodie a CD of Paul Mauriat with 5 rare instrumentals of the 50s and the early 60s, together with 19 songs backed by Paul for various singers. Some are very popular singers, others are more obscure, and that is a collection which will please, I hope, the keen followers of Paul." Serge also hopes that he can devote more time to adding to his impressive list of books: he is currently thinking about a new project about French popular music.
The Edinburgh Light Orchestra, under its conductor James Beyer, is currently enjoying its 35thAnniversary Year, and its Spring concert on Saturday 26 May was a great success. Their next concert is on Saturday 3 November – as usual at the Queen’s Hall in Edinburgh commencing at 7:30, when the soloist with the orchestra will be the soprano Elizabeth McKeon. Programme details were not available as we went to press, but these are probably on the orchestra’s website by now -www.edinburghlightorchestra.moonfruit.com RFS members are also welcome to contact James Beyer direct at or by telephone – 0131 334 3140.
RFS member – and distinguished light music composer - Paul Lewis is now well advanced with work on From Armchair Theatre to "Woof!" by Way of Benny Hill - Memoirs of a Media Composer, an autobiography for Kaleidoscope Publishing. This is an anecdotal account of Paul's life, from childhood as the son of a half-Russian violinist mother, one of a generation of professional musicians, through teenage years avoiding Music College by working for music publishers (including Paxtons in Dean Street, Soho), his time as Assistant Musical Adviser to ABC TV at Teddington Studios and his subsequent freelance composing career. The book will be profusely illustrated and will include a CD of extracts from some of Paul's earliest Armchair Theatre scores and the first TV production of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe in 1967. More recently Paul enchanted children and their parents alike with his superb musical accompaniments for the ITV series Woof! which was so popular in the 1990s, and has been seen in many countries around the world. Each show (about the boy who could become a dog - and then a boy again!) had its own specially composed music score, played by musicians such as Tommy Reilly - something that would seem unimaginable for a children's drama series today. Publication of Paul's autobiography is scheduled for Spring 2013 to coincide with his 70th birthday and the 50th anniversary of his first TV credit. Other commitments permitting, Paul is hoping to renew friendships with fellow RFS members at our London meeting next May.
Joe DePaola contacted us from Texas to report that his local classical radio station WRR101 played two tracks from Robert Farnon’s Reference Recordings CD in June: A La Claire Fontaine and A Promise of Spring. It is a pity that these performances by Bob conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra are not heard more often.
Our committee member Brian Reynolds tends to hide his light under a bushel! From time to time he had mentioned that he has composed the ‘odd piece of music’, and we knew that Frank Chacksfield had included one of Brian’s works Souvenir de Montmartre occasionally in his BBC radio programmes. Just recently Brian confided in us that he had been surprised (and no doubt delighted) to discover that Frank had included this piece on one of his Decca LPs in the late 1960s. A recent letter to the Editor reveals that Brian’s composing activities have been far more extensive than he has previously revealed! He writes: "You may be interested to know that the Invicta Concert Band from Kent has approached me with an offer to make a complete CD of my compositions! The idea came from the band musicians (some of whom are RFS members) and has been approved by both the conductor and the Band Chairman. It's early days yet, but I hope it will come to fruition in the next few months. As the band ask me to conduct something at most of their concerts, I shall probably conduct one or two pieces on the CD. I recall approaching the Life Guards band with this idea years ago but was told (quite rightly) that my name would mean nothing to anyone and my pieces would not be familiar. I put the same argument to the Invicta band, but they would not hear of it and told me – ‘People like good tunes, and you compose good tunes’. So, as they say, - watch this space! Incidentally, I have found four of my pieces on 'Spotify' including Elizabethan Tapestry which I was asked to compose for the Queen's Silver Jubilee in 1975. Also, to my astonishment, I found mySouvenir de Montmartre from the Frank Chacksfield Orchestra! I had no idea that he'd ever commercially recorded it, although he often broadcast it!" As soon as we learn more about the proposed CD of Brian’s music, we will certainly give full details in JIM.
James Beyer recently sent us a cutting from ‘Projections’ – a privately published magazine for film (and DVD) collectors. The short feature relates that the notorious criminal and serial murderer John Christie was a film buff. He particularly admired Gregory Peck and Virginia Mayo, so he must surely have seen "Captain Horatio Hornblower, RN" in which they both starred. But Christie’s cinema-going days were numbered. Soon after he would have seen the film (and presumably enjoyed Robert Farnon’s stirring music) three of Christie’s victims were discovered in his former flat at 10 Rillington Place. He was hanged at Pentonville Prison on 15 July 1953.
RFS member/composer John McLain tells us that the renowned theatre organist Len Rawle, MBE, has recorded four of his marches, and John’s novelty piece The Wedding Train is now in Len’s performance repertoire. UK members may remember that Len appeared many years ago in the outstanding BBC documentary "Metroland" where he played the organ at his home in Chorleywood to an appreciative Sir John Betjeman.
In June BBC Four in the UK screened a short documentary series called "London on Film". The first programme was about the West End, and a short sequence showing Piccadilly Circus was taken from the 1950s colour travel film "This Is London", with Robert Farnon’s music clearly heard behind Rex Harrison’s commentary.
Paul Barnes (who presents one of the best popular music shows on BBC Radio in the East Anglia region) did his usual birthday tribute to Bob Farnon in his late-night Saturday programme on 21 July. Paul has recently interviewed John Wilson for Saga magazine. He told us at the end of July: "I interviewed JW (he was kind enough to say it was the best interview he’d ever done), and I sat in on a recording session for the new Rodgers/Hammerstein album at Abbey Road. I also interviewed Andrew Haveron, Matt Skelton and Mike Lovatt. Saga went to town with the photography and they tell me that words and pictures make for a great spread. I think it’s scheduled for the August edition, which means that it should appear any time about now. Of course, Saga is available on subscription only, but it has sales in excess of 600,000, and a readership of about three times that."
"THE GOLDEN AGE OF LIGHT MUSIC"
is currently being broadcast each Saturday evening at 20:00 GMT on Radio Six International, with a repeat the following Sunday morning. The programmes are compiled and introduced by David Ades, and feature music from the Guild series of Light Music CDs.
Radio Six International can be heard throughout the world via the internet: www.radiosix.com
The Guild "Golden Age of Light Music" series of CDs celebrated its 100th release in November 2012. For details of the latest collections, please visit the ‘Light Music CDs’ pages of this website, or visit guildmusic.com
Early in August we were in touch with Sam Jackson, Managing Editor of the UK classical music station Classic fm. Naturally the subject of the amount of Light Music played on national radio stations cropped up, and it was encouraging to hear Sam make these comments: "We're big fans of Light Music here, and we love to champion it on-air. There's always at least one Light Music piece on Alan Titchmarsh's Saturday programme (9am-midday) each week, and it forms a regular part of the rest of our output, too." John Brunning’s early evening ‘Drive’ programme presented several tracks from Iain Sutherland’s new CD "In London Town". We know that a number of RFS members get in touch with various radio stations from time to time. Unless they get some kind of feed-back from listeners, the presenters do not know if their audience enjoys what they are playing. It is not a bad idea to occasionally contact them to say "thank-you for playing light music!" Indeed Classic fm did do light music fans proud on Monday 17 September. The previous evening John Wilson conducted the Northern Sinfonia in a concert at the Sage, Gateshead, and Classic fm devoted two hours to it from 8:00pm onwards. Among the familiar works conducted by John were Calling All Workers, Summer Days Suite, Knightsbridge and By The Sleepy Lagoon (Eric Coates), Jumping Bean (Robert Farnon),Sketch Of A Dandy and London Landmarks Suite (Haydn Wood), Nell Gwyn Overture (Edward German), Dusk (Armstrong Gibbs), The Yeoman Of The Guard Overture (Sullivan), Devil’s Galop(Charles Williams) Coronation Scot (Vivian Ellis and Rouge et Noir (Fred Hartley).
The high cost of printing and distributing appreciation society magazines has taken its toll on yet another long established music society. The Spring 2012 issue (received in August) of ‘Pro Musica Sana’, the Miklos Rozsa Society publication which first appeared in 1972, is the last to appear in printed form. Like some others, its future existence will now concentrate on its internet website –www.miklosrozsa.org We are sure that John Fitzpatrick (in the USA) and Alan Hamer (in London) will continue to keep music lovers fully informed about this great composer, whose standing remains as high as ever among admirers of film music.
For those vintage film/documentary lovers amongst us, and we know there are quite a few, the British Council has put 80 of their films on line here :
Most of them date from wartime and there is some wonderful footage of London and the countryside more generally (some in colour) in many of these films. Some of the soundtrack music will appeal to light music lovers, and the quirkier topics include the origins of the English language, how the British Justice system works, etc. The film "Colour In Clay" has music by Jack Beaver; others feature music by William Alwyn, Richard Addinsell, Ralph Vaughan Williams etc.
Surfing members might also like to visit:http://landofllostcontent.blogspot.fr/search/label/Robert%20Farnon
(Thanks to Nigel Burlinson for this information).
An essential piece of information from Tony Clayden: Did you know that Brian Kay was the lowest ’frog’ on Paul McCartney’s recording of We All Stand Together [The Frogs’ Chorus ] ?
Norman Jackson is a big fan of the Scarborough Spa Orchestra. He tells us that the versatility of the players is amazing, and their library of ‘our kind of music’ is immense. As an example, Norman has sent us just one day’s programme of music performed by the orchestra (musical director Paul Laidlaw). Among over 30 pieces during two shows (at 11:00 am and 7:45 pm) the wide choice of music included Barnacle Bill (Ashworth Hope), Mam’selle Mannequin (Percy Fletcher), Vanity Fair(Anthony Collins), Devil’s Galop (Charles Williams, Jumping Bean (Robert Farnon), Blithlely Along(Paul Fenoulhet), The Girl From Corsica (Trevor Duncan), Penny Whistle Song (Leroy Anderson),Sailing By (Ronald Binge),Samum (Carl Robrecht) and the march Oxford Street (Eric Coates). Some years ago the orchestra was threatened with closure, but thousands of members of the public (Including Norman and his wife) joined forces to protest – and were successful at Keeping it alive. With a repertoire like this, perhaps we should all make a pilgrimage to Scarborough next summer!
For some years Philip Scowcroft’s book "British Light Music" has been out of print. Originally published in 1997 by Thames Publishing, it remains sought-after by light music aficionados and music students alike. The good news is that another publisher is interested in making it available once again. Dance Books Ltd (Southwell House, Isington Road, Binstead, Hampshire, GU34 4PH) are planning to issue a facsimile edition of the original, but Philip will be allowed to make a few amendments and there is likely to be a new cover. He would have preferred to undertake a complete update, and add many more composers, but this is not possible, no doubt for financial reasons. The new edition is likely to cost in the region of £12.50 and we will let you know when it becomes available.
Volume 3 of the British Transport Films Collection contains the 1956 film ‘Making Tracks’. The music haunted me but no details were included in the credits. It seemed to be folk inspired but my guess that it might have been written by Vaughan Williams proved unfounded. I didn’t want to give up and recently discovered that it was taken from Gustav Holst’s Suites Number 1 and 2 which were based on English folk songs. Although first published in 1909 and 1911 respectively, they had just been recorded by Frederick Fennell and the Eastman Wind Ensemble and it is their version which was used on the film. These, along with The Planets, and other pieces are available on the Decca double CD 480 2323. Howard Ripley
We love to tell you about our talented fellow members, and a new book is warmly recommended. "It Shouldn’t Happen To A Teacher" is written by David Franklin, a retired deputy headmaster who kept a diary of incredible but true stories. Written in a highly engaging style and with a cynical irony born of decades of dealing with children, parents and fellow teachers, he has produced a work of both charm and wit, yet full of pathos. Hundreds of anecdotes include losing pupils at Alton Towers and on the Underground in London, catching a band of petty thieves while the Queen was driving past, discovering two pupils sleeping in a school wheelie bin, trying not to laugh when a colleague dressed as a frogman tripped over his flippers in assembly, and many more. Illustrated with several brilliant cartoons by JIM’s own talented artist, Ken Wilkins, this hilarious book will bring a smile to the face of all who remember their school days with affection and makes an ideal stocking filler for both parents and grandparents. For reasons you will understand when you read the book, ‘David Franklin’ is a pen name, and we have been sworn to secrecy regarding his true identity! The book is a softback (160 pages) published by Bretwalda Books Ltd - ISBN 978-1-909099-15-9, price £7.99. As a special offer to RFS members, the author has asked Peter Worsley (of ‘This England’ and ‘Evergreen’ magazines) to handle sales for him at a special price of ONLY £6 (which includes UK p&p) or £11 for two books. If you would like to take advantage of this offer, act quickly (supplies are limited!) and send a cheque, payable to P.R. Worsley, direct to him at Karakorum, Sunnyfield Lane, Cheltenham, GL51 6JE, England.
In the notes accompanying the first volume of ‘Great British Composers’ (GLCD5195) the true identity of the conductor ‘Eric Johnson’ was the subject of speculation. Reference was made to researches on the internet which pointed to the likelihood of ‘Johnson’ being Dr Kurt List, but thanks to further investigations by music academics, prompted by Guild’s CD, it appears that the recordings were not made in London, but in the Mozart-Saal of the Vienna Konzerthaus between May and July 1960 by the Vienna State Opera Orchestra. The conductor of the Eric Coates recordings was Josef Leo Gruber, a violinist with the Vienna Volksoper Orchestra. He conducted the Vienna State Opera Orchestra for several Westminster recordings, when this orchestra comprised musicians from its own members and also those of the Volksoper Orchestra. The recordings were produced by Kurt List, the Music Director for New York-based Westminster Records. Thanks to Andrew Lamb for this information.
The thorny subject of the raising of sound copyright from 50 to 70 years in the EU is continuing to concern many members, who realise that their hopes that more light music from the mid-1960s might be made available once more are likely to be dashed. Alan Bunting is in regular correspondence with the Intellectual Property Office regarding the UK’s response, and it seems that the Government plans to implement the legislation in the autumn of 2013. This means that recordings from 1963 onwards will no longer be available to independent record companies to reissue, unless they pay the large fees demanded by the major companies to license the material. But the preparatory work on the legislation is throwing up all kinds of problems regarding implementation, as we predicted in JIM. If similar difficulties over interpretation are being experienced by all the other EU countries which have this matter forced upon them, goodness only knows what the outcome will be. If Alan can make any sense of future developments, he promises to pass them on to us!
If you fancy a weekend by the sea, and at the same time enjoy some light music, Morecambe is the place to be at the beginning of September. The late summer weekend organised by The Light Music Society is now a well established part of Britain’s light music scene, and each year it seems to get better. On Saturday 3 September the Society will hold its Annual General Meeting at Heysham Methodist Church at 11:00am, followed by lunch. At 2:00pm the LMS Orchestra will be rehearsing (members can observe) and there will be a talk and exhibition of Light Music Memorabilia. In the evening a Festival Dinner will be held at the Clarendon Hotel, Morecambe at which the guest speaker will be Philip Lane. On the Sunday morning the LMS Orchestra will have another rehearsal, with the concert taking place at The Platform, Morecambe at 3:00pm with Gavin Sutherland conducting. For more information please visit the LMS website – www.lightmusicsociety.com – or email the secretary, Hilary Ashton:
If you are one of the many people now on Twitter, you’ll be glad to know that Debbie Wiseman posts regular updates about her latest work, albums and concerts on there. Her username (which you need to find the correct page!) is @wisemandebbie. On June 2nd Debbie is conducting a suite from "The Promise" at the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s Film Gala Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
Alan Willmott was delighted with the recent Dutton Epoch CD of film music by Doreen Carwithen (reviewed on page 59 of our last issue). She was the wife of William Alwyn and, although many of her film scores were for dramatic subjects, she also wrote the music for the British Transport Films travelogue "East Anglian Holiday" in 1954. Alan (who worked for British Transport Films) reckons that he must have screened it about 150 times, and it remains one of his particular favourites for its melodious score. Some years ago Alan mentioned this film to Philip Lane, who has reconstructed the score for this CD by the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Gavin Sutherland. Alan is still active in documentary film circles: The London Film School of the University College of London is making a documentary about his work with the British Rail Cinema Coaches, and later this year Alan is planning presentations about Hammer Films (1957-1972) with a tribute to the late Ingrid Pitt, who he had the pleasure of meeting at various times. Music composers James Bernard, Malcolm Williamson and Harry Robinson will also be featured.
Brian Reynolds visited the Chelsea Flower Show on 27 May - but not to admire the flowers! He tells us: "I went to the Chelsea Flower Show primarily to hear one of the daily concerts by the band of the Guards Association. You'll be pleased to know that they played Robert Farnon's Jumping Bean. They had apparently only bought it a couple of days ago and, despite sight reading it, gave a very good performance to an audience of hundreds! Some of the parts had been reduced to the point of being barely legible, to get the music on one page - and the principal clarinet came over to me, exclaiming ‘How am I expected to read this - it's so small!’ Light music was clearly alive and well in Chelsea as there were quite a few pieces of light music in the concert, such as Jack Strachey's In Party Mood, Jack Coles' Mexican Serenade and Frederic Curzon's Robin Hood Suite."
The jury is still out regarding the BBC TV documentary "The Joy of Easy Listening", screened on BBC Four in May. David Ades had chatted with the producer the previous February, and he had gained the impression that the programme makers were unsure how light music should be mentioned – if at all. Apparently the first version of the show did try to place light music as part of the general popular music scene of the post-war period, but this section was later consigned to the cutting room floor. The documentary did pick up on the fact that "easy listening" began in the 50s with light orchestral music but skated over this period. Nevertheless Percy Faith got a good screening even thought it compared his appearance to that of a bank manager! Of Robert Farnon there was no mention alas, although Portrait Of A Flirt was heard at one point, but not identified. As Colin Mackenzie commented to us: "what do you expect when you have a plonker like Joseph Lanza involved in the early part of it? I took him to task in my Mantovani book about a couple of serious Mantovani errors he had made in his less than classic 1994 volume ‘Elevator Music’, but here he was again, this time telling us that it was Paul Weston who was the catalyst for all the orchestral music of the 50s. It's news to me. It was an irritating, rather condescending programme which tried to cover too much ground in an hour and a half, but there was some quite good footage of some old favourites. Mantovani even made an all too brief cameo at the start and, curiously, Charmaine was played as background to a film of 1960s rioting!" A highly respected BBC radio producer told Journal Into Melody that he found himself frequently shouting "NO!" at the screen in response to some of the comments from so-called ‘experts’. It is good that the BBC is trying to make its audience aware of something other than the classics or rock’n’roll, but "The Joy of Easy Listening" was merely a frothy 90 minutes which was enjoyable to watch for much of the time, but lost its way when it tried to be factual. Let’s hope that someone will one day make a series of television documentaries about light music that concentrates on the real composers and conductors who were involved, and ignores the likes of Englebert Humperdinck, James Last and The Carpenters. The 2005 BBC production "A Little Light Music" (expertly narrated by Brian Kay) was a good example of how light music can be covered in a television documentary, in a highly enjoyable and factually accurate manner. But this is such a wide subject that one occasional programme can only scratch the surface.
A record label in Japan has bought 20 tracks from Reader’s Digest to produce a CD of recordings by Rosemary Squires. No doubt they will include some of the marvellous arrangements that Angela Morley (then working as Wally Stott) did for her. There are still many collectors in Japan who enjoy quality popular music from 40-odd years ago, and Rosie’s CD should sell very well.
BBC Radio 3’s "Live In Concert" on Friday 10 June treated listeners to a superb programme of film music played by the BBC Philharmonic from their new studio in the BBC’s growing Salford complex. Conductor Robert Ziegler concentrated mainly on films from the USA, with John Williams’ Star Wars, Korngold’s Adventures of Robin Hood, Herrmann’s Taxi Driver and Vertigo, Elfman’s Batman and Badalamenti’s Blue Velvet, Twin Peaks and Fire Walk With Me. From Italy we heard a suite based on Nino Rota’s memorable themes for La Strada. But can anyone at the BBC explain why such a concert was broadcast at the same time as "Friday Night Is Music Night" on Radio 2? Goodness knows there are few opportunities to enjoy music like this on the radio these days, so why cannot those in charge of the schedules ensure that clashes like this do not happen. But there was a bonus! As well as being available the following week on the usual ‘Listen Again’ facility via the BBC website, UK viewers with Freeview who happened to tune in to channel 301 during the following week were treated to TV pictures of excerpts from the concert, screened at various times from 6:00am in the morning and repeated until the evening. This isn’t the first time that a radio concert has appeared unannounced in a TV version, so it is always worth wondering what may be lurking when you press the red button!
British members will be familiar with the magazine ‘Evergreen’. Anthony Wills writes to say that the summer edition has a feature on the popular vocal group The Stargazers, founded by Dick James in 1949, who in addition to a prolific career on radio became the first British group to top the British record charts in April 1953 with Broken Wings. There are also brief mentions of The Keynotes, The Johnston Brothers and The Cliff Adams Singers. A CD (C135) containing tracks recorded by The Keynotes and The Stargazers can obtained from Evergreen, PO Box 52, Cheltenham, GL50 1YQ for £9.95 inc. p & p (telephone 01242 515156 for credit card purchases). Evergreen is rather a good read. It is the size of the old Reader’s Digest magazine and comes out 4 times a year, price £3.75 (UK).
The letter from Sidney Torch reproduced in our last issue prompted American organist Lew Williams to send us a cutting from the Daily Mirror which reported that Torch had suffered an accident at the end of a performance in 1940 at the Gaumont State Theatre, Kilburn. Under a banner headline TRAPPED BY ORGAN – PLAYED ON the report stated that Sidney had trapped his foot between the steel-plated stage and his half-ton organ as it rose so that he could take a bow. This was at the end of his recital, but he simply bowed to the audience as usual and pressed a button to lower the organ which released his crushed foot. He then collapsed, saying "Look what I’ve done" and was taken to Willesden General Hospital, where it was discovered that he had broken a big toe and others were crushed. He was unable to play again for several weeks, and told the newspaper: "To think I’ve been going up and down on that organ for two and a half years and now this happens. I should have been used to it by now!" Lew says that it was the only organ he played regularly that had a turntable lift. The space allotted for the console lift was very small; indeed, the console had to be built to very narrow specifications. It sat on the turntable, and there wasn't space for a proper organ bench. A "Howard Seat" (two oblong pads to sit on, supported by a steel pipe anchored into an iron plate which slid under the backside of the pedal board) had to suffice. Lew used to think that the story might have been apocryphal, as it was long a part of cinema organ legend: "Oh, Sid caught his foot, that's why he stopped playing, etc." Torch himself never spoke of this event to anyone, as far as Lew knows. He tells us: "I myself played Kilburn in 1987, but by then, the console had been repositioned from the far right side of the pit to just under the chamber openings. One heard it much more clearly in that spot. Perhaps you know that Torch had a small speaker installed in the centre of the music rack. A feed from a microphone placed in front of the chambers enabled him to hear the organ more clearly, despite the considerable distance from the chambers across the auditorium." Lew Williams was a friend of Angela Morley when she was living in Scottsdale, and she used to visit to hear him play. He says: "Fortunately, the crowds keep coming to Organ Stop where I play, so the downturn in the economy hasn't really affected us at all. I guess it's a blessing to be able to work in Light Music in times such as these."
In the booklet notes with the recent Guild CD "Bright and Breezy", mention is made of the few discrete passages in "South Of The Alps" where an organ is heard. This is usually absent in later recordings, where woodwinds often take over the organ passages. Ralph Harvey has confirmed to us that the organist on these 1937 German HMV 78s is actually the composer of the suite, Ernst Fischer. He used the pseudonym ‘Marcel Palotti’ for his organ recordings, many of which were once available in Britain on Parlophone.
Debbie Wiseman MBE will be conducting the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a special festive concert in aid of the Breast Cancer Campaign – "The Magic of Christmas". This takes place on Sunday 4 December at London’s Cadogan Hall, commencing at 3:30 pm. Debbie will be joined by presenter Simon Bates, and special guests Nigel Havers, Cherie Lunghi, George Layton, James Loynes, Gary Lineker and Sir Bobby Charlton. The magical programme will be suitable for all the family, with Christmas favourites such as The Nutcracker Suite, Sleigh Ride and White Christmas alongside Debbie Wiseman’s own lyrical setting of Oscar Wilde’s fairy story The Selfish Giant. Telephone bookings - 020 7730 4500; online bookings – www.cadoganhall.com
We continue to receive comments from readers in praise of Angel Radio, which is based in the south of England. If you are on the south coast roughly between West Sussex and East Dorset you may be able to receive it on your digital radio, but if you have internet access visit www.angelradio.co.uk. It was the first community radio station to be honoured with the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. Many hospital radios also benefit from tireless volunteers, and our committee member Chris Money is involved with Radio St Helier, at the St Helier Hospital in Carshalton, Surrey. In the past Chris has interviewed John Fox on his regular Light Music programme.
Back in June (JIM 188, page 11) we wished our good friend Nick Farries well in his future endeavours, following the sale of Carlin Music. At our recent London meeting we learned from David Farnon that Nick is setting up again in London, and David’s son Tom is also getting involved with him. Nick has promised to let us know more about his exciting plans next year!
In our last issue Jim Palm asked if anyone knew the date of a broadcast in celebration of Sidney Torch’s 80th birthday (page 18). David Daniels was quick off the mark with the information that the date was 10 July 1988 – around six weeks after his actual birthday which was 5 June.
Boosey & Hawkes Production Music has now been rebranded as Imagem Production Music. Their address is still: Alywych House, 71-91 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4HN.
In David Ades’ report of his "Light Fantastic" experiences in our last issue (page 64) he mentioned I Concentrate On You which had been arranged by Robert Farnon. We have now learned that this did not come from the libraries of Ted Heath or Geraldo, but was one of two scores that Bob did for the publishers – it was intended that there would be a whole series of such numbers, but in the event only two were completed.
Many readers will have discovered Brian Reynolds' website http://www.mastersofmelody.co.uk/ which gives accounts of the careers of many musical directors, often accompanied by actual radio programmes by their orchestras, to which you can listen. Now Brian has a YouTube channel http://www.youtube.com/user/MastersofMelody1 which features hundreds of his video recordings made at bandstands - brass bands, military bands and a considerable amount of light orchestral material from three orchestras which used to play on bandstands until fairly recently. Of particular interest to members of this society will be Romando and his Gypsy Orchestra whose vast repertoire of music from the turn of the last century to the early sixties will reveal many long forgotten delights. In similar vein are the repertoires of the Ladies' Palm Court Orchestra (Ann Adams) and the London Theatre Orchestra (Peter Civil). You can either type the names of these orchestras in to Google or go to the above URL and type the orchestra/ band name into the search box, whereupon you will have all their videos at your fingertips. There is everything from the Brighouse and Rastrick Brass Band and the Grenadier Guards to the Charleston Chasers!
Andre Leon, boss of UK LightRadio is still working to hard to launch his internet radio station on a permanent basis, and his latest press release announces further progress. From 6 November two hours of UKLR output have been broadcast by Radio Six International on Sunday afternoons, from 4:00pm GMT onwards. Hopefully these will still be available by the time this magazine is published; the site to visit is– www.radiosix.com