Musical Kaleidoscope – Volume 3
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5154
Musical Kaleidoscope – Volume 3
1 Winged Messenger (Charles Williams)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by SIDNEY TORCH
Chappell C 355 1948
2 Baden-Baden (Raymond)
BADEN-BADEN SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by HANS ROSBAUD
Ariola 36 809 C 1958
3 Holiday For Trombones (David Rose)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM 45-MGM 952 1957
4 Jalopy (Kermit Leslie & Walter Leslie real surnames Levinsky)
KERMIT LESLIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Epic LG 1019 1956
5 Just For Two (Raymond S. Ellis, arr. Angela Morley)
JEFF MORLEY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Epic EG 7030 1953
6 White (Victor Young)
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by FRANK SINATRA
Capitol LCT 6111 1956
7 Tales Of The Three Blind Mice (Ronald Binge)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Lang-Worth PC 132B c.1952
8 Shaftesbury Avenue (Jack Strachey)
LOUIS VOSS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Bosworth BC 1213 1948
9 The Boston Two Step (L.C. Everett)
SIDNEY BOWMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Felsted PDL 85016 1956
10 Vivaracho (Clements)
DON SESTA AND HIS TANGO ORCHESTRA
Decca LF 1201 1955
11 Twilight Reverie (Temple Abady)
LONDON PROMENADE ORCHESTRA Conducted by WALTER COLLINS
Paxton PR 456 1948
12 Lady Of The Evening (Irving Berlin, arr. Peter Yorke)
PETER YORKE AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Decca DL 8240 1954
13 Piano Playtime (Robert Farnon)
THE TELECAST ENSEMBLE featuring ROBERT FARNON, piano
Chappell C 595 1957
14 Domani (Ulpio Minucci, Anthony Velona)
RICHARD HAYMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury MG 20235 1956
15 Valse Bluette (Riccardo Drigo)
RAFAEL MENDEZ, trumpet with VICTOR YOUNG AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Brunswick LA 8657 1954
16 Banners Of Victory (Roger Barsotti)
HARRY FRYER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca MW 364 1946
17 That’s All (Bob Haymes)
ACQUAVIVA AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM D 120 1953
18 Ecstasy (Otto Cesana)
OTTO CESANA AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CL 631 1955
19 Swanee (George Gershwin, Irving Caesar)
GUY LUYPAERTS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca DL 8271 1956
20 Deep Night (Charles E. Henderson, Rudy Vallee, arr. Richard Jones)
THE PITTSBURGH STRINGS Conducted by RICHARD JONES
Capitol T 890 1957
21 Captain Of The Guard (William Patrick Donovan)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Chappell C 392 1950
22 La Muse Legere – March (The Younger Generation) (Marius Constant)
SIDNEY TORCH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Parlophone R 3418
23 Alla Marcia (from "Karelia" Suite, Op. 11) (Jean Sibelius)
THE DANISH STATE RADIO SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by THOMAS JENSEN
Decca 71089 1955
24 Rustle Of Spring (Christian Sinding, edited by Charles J. Woodhouse)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by CHARLES WILLIAMS
Columbia DB 2230 1946
25 Serenade (Gabriel Pierne)
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Philips BBL 7132 1957
26 Scherzo from "Concerto Symphonique No. 4" (Henry Litolff)
WINIFRED ATWELL, piano with THE NEOPHONIC SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA conducted by MANTOVANI
Decca F 9864 1952
BONUS TRACKS: Music from "The Phantom Raspberry Blower of Old London Town"
27 Desperate Moment (Kenneth Essex, real name Rufus Isaacs)
CELEBRITY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
De Wolfe DW 2551 1954
28 Sinister Street No. 1 (Peter Franklyn, real name Robert Gill)
CELEBRITY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
De Wolfe DW 2522 1954
The copyright dates after the catalogue numbers state when the original recording was first released, according to printed catalogues and/or information on disc labels or sleeves.
Our first two "Musical Kaleidoscope" CDs were well received, judging by the requests for more of the same. It seems that many people enjoy a wide variety of musical styles, rather than just one theme for a compilation – although it has to be said that there are strong supporters of the latter as well. But those of you who fall into the former category will certainly have a varied mixture served up for you on this occasion, largely selected from your particular suggestions.
As this Guild series of Light Music recordings has progressed the number of previously neglected recordings made available once again to collectors continues apace. Of equal interest to many is hearing for the first time in full many pieces originally locked away in the recorded music libraries. Although they remain an important part of the entertainment scene today, these particularly flourished in the middle years of the last century, and they were the source of many signature tunes and themes for vintage radio and television programmes.
Each new Guild Light Music CD now includes compositions specifically requested by our friends around the world, and this time is certainly no exception. Music lovers in Britain, Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the USA will all be hearing their special favourites, and it is our many friends in the USA who will particularly recognise the opening track. Winged Messenger by Charles Williams was used extensively behind NBC-TV programme promos in the late 1950s and early 1960s, including "The Shirley Temple Theater". It was also chosen as the opening theme music for two old time radio shows: "Doctor Six Gun" on NBC and "The Silver Eagle" on ABC.
Volumes could be written about Charles Williams (1893-1978) (real name Isaac Cozerbreit) who began his career accompanying silent films, then played violin under the batons of Beecham and Elgar. Right from the start of the ‘talkies’, he provided scores for numerous British films, but by far the greatest volume of his composing skills was employed in mood music, providing hundreds of works for Chappell alone, many of them also conducted by him.
Once upon a time all self-respecting resorts (both seaside and inland) boasted municipal orchestras, and some – such as at Baden-Baden – survived well into the 1950s. In fact the Baden-Baden orchestra still thrives today as the South West German Radio Symphony Orchestra, which has a fine reputation for attracting the cream of visiting guest conductors.
David Rose(1910-1990) caused a sensation with his own composition Holiday For Strings in 1943, which firmly launched him as a light music composer in the eyes of the public. Holiday For Trombones was popular in 1957, but he had a worldwide smash hit in 1962 with another of his own tunes, a humorous and satirical piece called The Stripper. In total he won five Grammy awards and six gold records.
Kermit Leslie(real name Kermit Levinsky)was born in New York City, and was working as a professional musician by the time he was fourteen. He was a prolific composer (often with his brother Walter) with over 50 published titles to his credit, although Walter’s total is even higher.
Angela Morley (b. 1924) made several recordings as ‘Jeff Morley’ which are now very rare. Her admirers will recognise her gift for arranging, which has stood her in such good stead during her impressive career, notably as an in-demand film composer.
"Tone Poems of Color" was an instrumental LP album conducted by Frank Sinatra to commemorate the new recording studios in the brand new Capitol Records Tower building (shaped like a stack of gramophone records.) For this ‘concept album’, a number of poems were written about colours by Norman Sickel. Several top Hollywood composers were asked to contribute a short instrumental fantasy piece based upon a poem, and Guild has already reissued Orange by Nelson Riddle (GLCD 5142) and Green by Gordon Jenkins (GLCD 5145). In Victor Young's case he was assigned the colour White for which he created a charming winter scene, derived from a pastoral background melody he had originally composed when he scored the 1954 film "Three Coins In The Fountain".
Sidney Torch (1908-1990) makes the second of three appearances in this collection with one of the transcription recordings he made for the American Lang-Worth library. Called "Lang-Worth Feature Programs Inc" these were 8-inch blue discs produced mainly for independent radio stations in the US. The light orchestral music in the library contains mostly re-recordings of well known pieces, although there were a few original works, such as Ronald Binge’s Tales Of The Three Blind Mice. Sidney Torch appears to have conducted more than one hundred titles for Lang-Worth and, given the fragile nature of the original discs, and the rough treatment many of them must have received, it is surprising that a few still exist today. Ronald Binge (1910-1979) is destined to remain forever remembered as the gifted arranger who designed the ‘cascading strings’ effect for Mantovani, but his true achievements deserve far greater recognition. This is his eighth appearance so far as a composer on Guild. The other Sidney Torch recording comes from his contract with EMI’s Parlophone, which produced many gems in the 1940s and 1950s. Roumanian-born, but French-based, Marius Constant (1925-2004) was musical director of Roland Petit’s ballet company from 1956 to 1966, later becoming musical director of the Paris Opera Ballet. He also wrote theme music for the cult television series "The Twilight Zone". La Muse Legere was popular for a while in Britain when used as the theme for a BBC radio feature "The Under-20 Parade".
The orchestras performing on Library Music recordings often contained some of the finest session players, and Bosworth was fortunate in being able to employ Louis Voss (1902-1980). He formed the Louis Voss Grand Orchestra during the 1930s, which made many records for Bosworths; they also recorded under the pseudonym ‘The West End Celebrity Orchestra’. The leader was the famous violinist Alfredo Campoli. Eventually Louis Voss became one of the BBC’s regular broadcasters, and he combined this with theatrical engagements. Jack Strachey (1894-1972) has ensured his musical immortality by composing These Foolish Things. In the world of light music he is also remembered as the composer of In Party Mood, the catchy number he wrote for Bosworths in 1944 which was later chosen for the long-running BBC Radio series "Housewives’ Choice"(the original recording is on GLCD 5120). This is just one of a series of catchy instrumentals that have flowed from his pen, and Shaftesbury Avenue (which leads from Piccadilly in the heart of London’s Theatreland) is his ninth on Guild so far.
Olde-Tyme dance music remained popular in Britain well into the 1950s, and several conductors enjoyed success specialising in this repertoire. Violinist Sidney Bowman was one who also made commercial records, but most reached their ‘sell by’ date during the 1960s. The Boston Two Step was a permanent fixture at dances of that era.
The English composer Temple Abady (1903-1970) contributed scores to several Crown Film Unit documentaries ("Railways" 1946, "The Three A’s" and "Boy Builders" both 1947) before he became established in feature films – most of them during a busy period from 1947 to 1953. Among the best remembered today are "Miranda" starring Glynis Johns and Griffith Jones (1947), "Dear Mr Prohack" featuring Cecil Parker, Hermione Baddeley and Dirk Bogarde (1949), "Miss Robin Hood" with Margaret Rutherford, Richard Hearne and James Robertson Justice (1952) and "Folly To Be Wise" starring Alastair Sim (1952). One of the few works he contributed to production music libraries is the sensitive Twilight Reverie.
Peter Yorke (1902-1966) is a regular contributor to this series of CDs, as composer, arranger and conductor. After a grounding in British Dance Bands of the 1920s and 1930s, he graduated to arranging for Louis Levy before eventually forming his own concert orchestra for recording and broadcasting.
During the 1950s Robert Farnon (1917-2005) made many visits to Denmark conducting recordings for the Chappell Recorded Music Library. A long-running British Musicians’ ban prohibited such work in the UK, and Chappell was just one of many publishers who were forced to employ orchestras on the continent of Europe. Chappell used musicians from the Danish State Radio Orchestra and called them ‘The Melodi Light Orchestra’. When a smaller group was needed, the name sometimes changed to ‘The Telecast Orchestra’ or ‘Ensemble’ and on a visit in 1957 Robert Farnon was conducting several pieces featuring the piano. The pianist engaged for the session had great difficulty in playing Piano Playtime, so Farnon himself eventually had to step in. He never claimed that the performance was perfect, but it captured the carefree mood intended in the tune’s title. Later in this collection Farnon returns in more familiar style waving the baton for yet another special request – W.P. Donovan’s Captain Of The Guard.
Richard Hayman (b. 1920) is a respected American arranger and conductor, who happily has remained in demand for new recording projects at the dawn of the 21st century. He was regularly commissioned to orchestrate Broadway shows and film soundtracks, and followed Leroy Anderson as an arranger for the Boston Pops Orchestra over a period of more than 30 years.
Rafael Mendez (1906-1981) was regarded as one of America’s finest trumpeters of his time and he also composed many pieces, often designed to show off his instrument. Following his performance of Hejre Kati on Guild GLCD 5126 we have finally had to bow to requests for another example of his brilliant technique. Riccardo Drigo (1846-1930) would surely have been impressed if he had lived to hear Rafael’s version of his Valse Bluette.
Room could not be found in the two "Light Music While You Work" compilations for Roger Barsotti’s Banners of Victory, so we are pleased to present the fine Harry Fryer recording – to satisfy public demand, as the saying goes!
The American composer and conductor Nick (Nicholas Paul) Acquaviva (1925-1998) is already a firm favourite on Guild CDs. Although not a frequent visitor to the recording studios, he gained recognition in the USA through his involvement with the Symphony of the Air orchestra and as conductor of the 135-strong New York ‘Pops’ Symphony Orchestra which promoted new works by young composers. That’s All, composed by Bob Haymes (his vibrant Curtain Time is on GLCD 5149) is given the lush setting which this beautiful standard fully deserves. Acquaviva was married to singer Joni James.
Italian born Otto Cesana (1899-1980) spent much of his early career in California where he lived from 1908 to 1930. His piano studies commenced at the age of ten, and he became an accomplished organist; he also learned about orchestration and harmony which he put to good use working in radio and Hollywood film studios. Most critics regarded Cesana’s work as being ‘easy listening’, although the distinguished jazz critic Leonard Feather considered him worthy of an entry in the 1960 Encyclopaedia Jazz through his acclaimed composition Symphony In Jazz. By then Cesana had returned to Italy, although he was living in New York when he died in 1980. Guild has previously featured his exciting and vibrant Night Train (GLCD 5131) and the dreamy Devotion (GLCD 5146), but this time the mood is definitely romantic as the title Ecstasy clearly suggests.
Guy Luypaerts (b. 1917) first appeared on a Guild CD playing music by Cole Porter (GLCD 5127). He was born in Paris to Belgian parents during the First World War and became well-known in French musical circles through conducting an orchestra called the Nouvelle Association Symphonique de Paris. Luypaerts is listed as providing the music for the 1945 film "Etoile Sans Lumière". He worked with Edith Piaf (he arranged her 1946 world-wide hit "La Vie En Rose"), Georges Guetary, Yves Montand and most notably with Charles Trénet. Guild has previously included his imaginative sounds in the Cole Porter tribute (GLCD 5127) and conducting quirky cameos such as The Sleepwalker of Amsterdam (GLCD 5131) and Masquerade In Madrid (GLCD 5132). This time he gives a novel interpretation of the George Gershwin classic Swannee.
There was a time when record companies thought that the word ‘Strings’ added to an orchestra’s title would enhance sales. It didn’t seem to matter if there were other instruments as well, but a few were genuine string ensembles - such as The Pittsburgh Strings, for which Capitol Records engaged Richard Jones. He conducted and arranged for the complete string section of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, led by their famous concertmaster Samuel Thavin. Their albums were highly appreciated, and are much sought-after today. With Deep Night they make their seventh appearance on Guild.
Jean Sibelius would not have regarded himself as a light music composer, yet many of his works have instant appeal – such as Alla Marcia. Generations of budding pianists struggled with Rustle of Spring, but it needs the orchestral touch to reveal its full beauty. Gabriel Pierne’s Serenade exudes peace and harmony when conducted by Andre Kostelanetz, and Winifred Atwell confirmed that there was much more to her talents than her popular ‘honky-tonk’ piano ever allowed her to demonstrate. Taken together, these four contrasting works demonstrate that the borders between the so-called classics and light music are impossible to define.
To conclude Guild Music’s second "Musical Kaleidoscope" collection (GLCD 5140) we took our courage in both hands and offered four pieces under the sub-heading ‘Drama, Menace and Excitement’. It was in response to a number of requests for several pieces of dramatic music that were familiar to some through their use in radio and television productions. The reaction was far from negative: in fact we have been asked for more, and a number of titles have been suggested. Top of the list is undoubtedly the music used by the BBC way back in 1976 when "The Phantom Raspberry Blower Of Old London Town" (a Jack the Ripper pastiche) was an eight-week comic serial as part of the hugely popular "The Two Ronnies" comedy series, which are still being repeated regularly today. (In actual fact it first appeared as one of "Six Dates With Barker" on ITV in 1971 written by Spike Milligan, and Ronnie Barker adapted the original half-hour version). An important ingredient was the choice of music for which the producers resorted to production music from London publishers De Wolfe to create just the right atmosphere for the ‘Raspberry Blower’. The two main pieces heard throughout the serial are offered as ‘bonus tracks’ on this CD. The composers Rufus Isaacs and Robert Gill were regular contributors to recorded music libraries, but each chose to work under pseudonyms. Rufus Isaacs often composed as ‘Kenneth Essex’, but he also used names such as ‘Claud Vane’, ‘Derek Dwyer’ and ‘Howitt Hale’. His many short works often had a ‘show business’ or holiday feel, and his previous Guild pieces include Travel Centre, Big Dipper and Palace of Variety (GLCD 5115), and Gay and Glamorous and Chorus Girl (GLCD 5149). Robert Gill (1916-1955) makes his Guild debut (as ‘Peter Franklyn’) with Sinister Street No. 1. He was busy as a film composer in the early 1950s, with movies such as "So Little Time" (1952), "Twenty-Four Hours Of A Woman’s Life" (1952 – with Philip Green), "Men Are Children Twice" (1953), "The South Of Algiers" (1953), "Valley Of Song" (1953) and "They Who Dare" (1954) to his credit.
© David Ades 2009