New Town : Production Music Of The 1950s

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New Town : Production Music Of The 1950s

1 New Town (Industrie Dans La Ville) (Roger Roger)
Chappell C 555 1956
2 Dance Of The Hailstones (Kenneth Essex, real name Rufus Isaacs)
Bosworth BC 1272 1952
3 Brave Prospect (Jack Beaver)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on disc label)
Chappell C 491 1955
4 Galavant (Frederic Curzon)
Boosey & Hawkes O 2211 1952
5 A Promise Of Spring (Robert Farnon)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on disc label)
Chappell C 462 1954
6 Garden City (Peter Dennis, real name Dennis Berry)
Bosworth BC 1322 1957
7 Sophisticated Lady (Anthony Mawer)
De Wolfe DW2571 1956
8 Flapjack (Peter Yorke)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on disc label)
Chappell C 425 1953
9 Trade Wind (Walter Stott, later known as Angela Morley)
Chappell C 502 1955
10 Sporting Occasion (Arnold Steck, real name Leslie Statham)
Chappell C 651 1959
11 Mink For Milady (Ronald Hanmer)
Bosworth BC 1313 1954
12 Luna Park (Eric Siday)
Chappell C 384 1950
13 Eldorado (Dolf van der Linden)
Paxton PR 542 1952
14 To The Brave (Charles Williams)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (‘Melodi Light Orchestra Conducted by Ole Jensen’ on disc label)
Chappell C 439 1954
15 Midnight Melody (Edward White)
Boosey & Hawkes OT 2258 1955
16 Afternoon Tea (Ken Warner)
STUTTGART RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by KURT REHFELD (‘Lansdowne Light Orchestra’ on disc label)
Josef Weinberger Theme Music JW 159 1958
17 The Galleon (Heinz Herschmann)
Boosey & Hawkes OT 2310 1957
18 Once Upon A Dream (Bruce Campbell)
TELECAST ORCHESTRA Conducted by ELLIOTT MAYES (probably Danish State Radio Orchestra)
Chappell C 501 1955
19 Chiming Strings (Clive Richardson)
Francis, Day & Hunter FDH 092 1952
20 Rainbow Caprice (Reginald King)
BC 1264 1950
21 Happy Town (Robert Mersey)
Synchro FM 231 1959
22 Red Square Review (Sidney Torch)
Chappell C 631 1959
23 Carefree (Van Phillips)
STUTTGART RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by KURT REHFELD (‘Lansdowne Light Orchestra’ on disc label)
Impress IA 131-B 1956
24 Pink Fizz (Albert Marland)
KPM Music KPM 006 1959
25 The Voyagers (Trevor Duncan, real name Leonard Trebilco)
Boosey & Hawkes OT 2292

All tracks mono

This collection can be considered a companion volume to Guild GLCD5220 which explored the production music of the 1940s. But to be precise it is, in reality, continuing a theme that has been established through many of the CDs in this Guild series, because the production music companies (especially those based in London) have created a vast reservoir of tuneful Light Music, and some of it has become very familiar through its regular use on radio and television. What is ‘Production Music’? In simple terms it is music provided by publishers for use by professionals mainly in the entertainment business. Most of it is especially composed and covers all kinds of moods from serious drama to frothy light situations – and everything in-between.

By the end of the 1940s the production music scene (in those days more commonly called ‘mood music’ – in the USA it was often called ‘stock music’) was well established in Britain, although there were still a relatively small number of publishers involved. The amount of music available, and the number of publishers involved in running their own libraries, increased considerably during the 1950s.

The literal English translation of the original French title of our opening track is Industry In The Town, but Chappells decided that New Town would be more appropriate. During the 1950s a number of new towns were being designed and built in Britain following the widespread destruction caused by the Second World War. A sense of optimism was emerging, and the French composer Roger Roger (1911-1995) perfectly captured the flurry of activity in his composition. In fact the majority of mood music composed during the 1950s reflected a happy atmosphere. The more sombre works were designed for dramatic purposes and there were many illustrations of endeavour and achievement – our final track is a good example.

Kenneth Essex (real name Rufus Isaacs) seemed to have a gift of being able to composer numerous bright and frothy numbers – Dance Of The Hailstones is a good example - and his works were published by many mood music companies. Some of his other pseudonyms include Derek Dwyer, Howitt Hale and Claude Vane. Jack Beaver (1900-1963) was born in Clapham, London, and in the 1930s and 1940s he was part of Louis Levy’s ‘team’ of composers, providing scores for countless feature films and documentaries, including Alfred Hitchcock's first huge international hit "The Thirty-Nine Steps" (for which Beaver received no credit). He was hired by Warner Bros. to run the music department at their British studio at Teddington in the early Brave Prospect is his twenty-first composition to be made available again on a Guild CD.

London-born Frederic Curzon (1899-1973) was a charming, unassuming man who devoted his early career to working in the theatre, and providing music for silent films. As well as being a fine pianist and conductor, he also played the organ, and his first big success as a composer was his "Robin Hood Suite" in 1937. This encouraged him to devote more of his time to writing and broadcasting, and several of his works have become light music ‘standards’, notably March Of The Bowmen (from "Robin Hood Suite") on GLCD5106, and The Boulevardier (GLCD5177). Frederic Curzon was eventually appointed Head of Light Music at London publishers Boosey and Hawkes (where his Galavant originated), and for a while was also President of the Light Music Society. Canadian-born Robert Joseph Farnon (1917-2005) is widely regarded as one of the greatest light music composers and arrangers of his generation. His melodies such as Portrait Of A Flirt (on Guild GLCD 5120) and Jumping Bean (GLCD5162) are familiar to millions around the world. His A Promise Of Spring reveals his ability to create a tender, pensive melody - something that would become more evident in his later work.

Peter Dennis hides the true identity of Londoner Dennis Alfred Berry (1921-1994), who also composed (sometimes in collaboration with others) under names such as Frank Sterling, Charles Kenbury and Michael Rodney. For part of the 1950s he ran the Paxton library, but also contributed titles to other publishers – Garden City is one of the very few he offered to Bosworths. Eventually he was asked by Southern Music to launch their new Mood Music Library which issued its first recordings on 78s in 1960. The English composer Anthony Mawer [1930-1999] started contributing occasional mood music pieces to De Wolfe in 1955 before joining the staff in 1959, where he remained until 1965. During this period he composed almost 500 titles exclusively for them, including Sophisticated Lady. Peter Yorke (1902-1966) is a regular contributor to this series of CDs, as composer, arranger and conductor. After working initially as arranger and pianist 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. His compositions, such as Flapjack, were accepted by many of the British production music libraries.

Walter ‘Wally’ Stott (born in Leeds, Yorkshire, 1924-2009) is today regarded as one of the finest arrangers and film composers. When Wally became Angela Morley she left England for the USA where she worked on several big budget movies (one example is the "Star Wars" series assisting John Williams), and on TV shows such as "Dallas" and "Dynasty". But during the 1950s and 1960s she made numerous recordings under her former name, also contributing many light music cameos, such as Trade Wind, to the Chappell Recorded Music Library. Arnold Steck is a pseudonym used by Major Leslie Statham (1905-1974), conductor of the Band of the Welsh Guards, who retired from the regiment in 1962 to concentrate fully on composing. Not surprisingly he was a master of concert marches, and his composition on this CD, Sporting Occasion, became familiar through its regular use on BBC Television. It can still be heard as the closing theme for broadcasts of Wimbledon tennis. Mink For Milady is the brainchild of Ronald Hanmer (1917-1994) who could make a legitimate claim to being the most prolific of all the composers featured on this CD. His career stretched from the 1930s (he was a cinema organist) until the end of his life, and over 700 of his compositions were published in various background music libraries.

Luna Park is a name shared by dozens of currently operating and defunct amusement parks that have opened on every continent except Antarctica since 1903. Londoner Eric Siday (1905-1976) was a violinist and composer; during the 1920s and 30s he played violin, and occasionally doubled on the alto saxophone, in many British dance bands, including those led by Ambrose and Ray Noble. In 1939 Siday moved to New York City where he initially worked as violinist and arranger for Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians. He remained in the USA so it is likely that his composition Luna Park related to the famous one at Coney Island. Dolf van der Linden (real name David Gysbert van der Linden, 1915-1999) was the leading figure on the light music scene in the Netherlands from the 1940s until the 1980s. As well as broadcasting frequently with his Metropole Orchestra, he conducted numerous recordings for the background music libraries of major music publishers. Eldorado for Paxton is an example of his close working relationship with the aforementioned Dennis Berry.

Volumes could be written about Londoner Charles Williams (born Isaac Cozerbreit, 1893-1978) who began his career accompanying silent films, then played violin under the batons of Beecham and Elgar. By far the greatest volume of his composing skills was employed in mood music, providing hundreds of works for several libraries (especially Chappells), and over 40 have already been included on Guild CDs. His stature as a major composer and conductor as part of Britain’s Light Music scene is beyond question, and To The Brave reveals one of his specialities as a writer of heroic themes. Edward White (1910-1994) enjoyed considerable acclaim with his Runaway Rocking Horse when it emerged as one of the most popular pieces of light music in the immediate post-war years – the version by the Orchestre Raymonde can be heard on Guild GLCD5102. But he was to achieve even greater success a few years later with Puffin’ Billy (GLCD5101), thanks to its use in Britain as the signature tune of "Children’s Favourites", and as the theme for "Captain Kangaroo" in the USA. Many other White originals found their way into the recorded music libraries of several London publishers, and the choice this time is Midnight Melody from the Boosey & Hawkes Library.

Ken Warner (1902-1988 full names Onslow Boyden Waldo Warner), was born in Chiswick, London, into a musical family. From 1921 onwards he played saxophone and violin in various dance bands, and graduated to arranging. In 1940 he joined the BBC and remained with them until 1959, after which he retired to Cornwall to raise pigs. His best known work is probably Scrub Brother Scrub (GLCD5150), but the violins have a much easier time performing his Afternoon Tea. Heinz Herschmann (b. 1924) moved to England from his birthplace, Vienna, at the outbreak of the Second World War. He completed his musical education at London’s Royal College of Music, where he gained diplomas for composition, theory of music, teaching and piano. He also studied the clarinet and learned about conducting. His early professional work often involved ballet companies, and he progressed into the fields of musical shows and seaside entertainments, both as a pianist but also as a conductor. Gradually he developed his composing skills, and his nautical cameo The Galleon was specially commissioned by Boosey & Hawkes for their recorded music library. It was particularly successful during the 1950s and 1960s. In complete contrast to his music, Heinz is also an acclaimed international chess player.

Bruce Campbell was one of several writers who owed much to his association with Robert Farnon. The fruits of this meeting of talents have already been experienced on Guild CDs on eleven occasions in titles such as Cloudland (GLCD5145), Windy Corner (GLCD5150) and Skippy (GLCD5125). Once Upon A Dream is typical of his smooth, melodic style. Clive Richardson (1909-1998) was best-known as a pianist during his early career, but working on many pre-war British films (usually without any credit on-screen) honed his talents as an arranger and composer. London Fantasia (on GLCD5120) was a big success in the 1940s, when mini-piano concertos were all the rage. Other Richardson compositions to succeed were Melody On The Move (GLCD5102), Running Off The Rails (GLCD5156) and Holiday Spirit (GLCD5120). Chiming Strings can be added to this impressive list. Occasionally he composed under the pseudonym Paul Dubois.

Reginald Claude McMahon King (1904-1991) was an accomplished pianist, who performed under the baton of Sir Henry Wood at the Proms soon after he completed his studies at London’s Royal Academy. In 1927 he took an orchestra into Swan & Edgar’s restaurant at their Piccadilly Circus store, where they remained until 1939. During this period he also started broadcasting regularly (throughout his career his number of broadcasts exceeded 1,400), and he made numerous recordings, often featuring his own attractive compositions. Once again we feature him as a contributor to one of London’s production music libraries with Rainbow Caprice which is his tenth composition on Guild. New Yorker Robert David ‘Bob’ Mersey (1917-1994) who, as well as being a composer and musical director, produced some of US Columbia Records’ most successful 1960s vocals, such as the Andy Williams hit Moon River. He provided incidental music for US TV shows, and Chappells also accepted his work to expand their catalogue of American-themed mood music. However Happy Town was written for the Synchro library.

Sidney Torch, MBE (born in London, Sidney Torchinsky, 1908-1990) is well-known in Britain for his numerous Parlophone recordings, as well as his long tenure as conductor of the BBC Concert Orchestra in the "Friday Night Is Music Night" BBC radio programme. He wrote some excellent light music cameos for the Chappell Recorded Music Library, and he conducted the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra for many of them, although on this occasion his Red Square Review is conducted by Robert Farnon. The American Van Phillips (1905-1992) was a respected member of London’s dance band fraternity from the late 1920s onwards, but after the Second World War he discovered a new talent for writing background music. Many of his works such as Carefree were accepted by Inter-Art Music Publishers (Impress), and some admirers have noted possible influences of Robert Farnon and Bruce Campbell. He also worked on a major BBC Radio series "Journey Into Space", first broadcast in 1953. When composing failed to satisfy his creative instincts he eventually became a highly regarded professional photographer. One of the early 78s from the new KPM Music Library in 1959 featured Pink Fizz by James Albert Marland (1904-1976). As Bert Marland he was a pianist in Percival Mackey’s Band in 1928 and later played with Henry Hall’s BBC Dance Orchestra, where he also contributed some arrangements. Post-war he worked in London’s West End and also fronted his own band. He composed the music for the film "Sunshine In Soho" (1956).

Regular collectors of this Guild series of CDs will already be familiar with the music of Trevor Duncan (real name Leonard Charles Trebilco, 1924-2005). No less than 37 of his original compositions have now been reissued, and among the best-known are his first success High Heels (GLCD 5124), Grand Vista (GLCD 5124), The Girl From Corsica (GLCD5164) and Panoramic Splendour (GLCD5111). He had the ability to write in many different styles, which no doubt endeared him to the publishers of mood music who needed to have music readily available to cover any kind of situation. He is represented on this CD by his suite The Voyagers, which has been slightly edited to make a fitting finale as a tribute to those talented composers of production music during the 1950s.

David Ades

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