“ Jim is absolutely right. George Melachrino's recordings WERE played over the air here in the states, but unfortunately, a good many of them were not commercially available in this country, except through specialist record dealers who had their means of laying their hands on some of them for direct sale to interested customers.
Bob mentions "Woodland Revel" as one of Melachrino's original compositions. It is a very good piece, but I fail to hear anything in it that suggests anything of Vaughan Williams. "Winter Sunshine" is another one of my favorites, and interestingly, in this case a piano version was available of this piece, actually quite faithful to the orchestral version, which I quite enjoyed playing over.
But my favorite arrangement of Melachrino has to be that of "Autumn Leaves" which for some reason he appears to have recorded twice, as I thought I detected some slight differences between the two renditions. In any event, at least in my opinion, no other setting of this song, instrumental or vocal, quite captures the nostalgic sentiment implicit in this song. Just listen to that ravishing introduction at the outset (which reappears at the conclusion to perfectly frame the setting off) and you will see what I am referring to.
I would hope that Bob will undertake a similar article on Mantovani, whose career travelled along similar lines. His earliest recordings, all of which were available here in the USA at the time of release - I refer to those that came prior to his change of style with "Charmaine" - were a virtual education for me in that they introduced me to selections that I would not have been able to become better acquainted with, as not only the Melachrino recordings of the time but also virtually all those by Charles Williams were unavailable here. Mantovani in his early recordings covered a good deal of this repertoire that the other two I mentioned were offering, so that I was not left completely in the dark in accessing this material. What came later from Mantovani I would not care to go into at this point despite its undoubted commercial success.
Excellent article on Melachrino, Bob! ”