1 Stringin’ Along (Victor Young)
VICTOR YOUNG AND HIS ORCHESTRA
2 Penthouse Serenade (Will Jason, Val Burton)
WERNER MULLER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
3 Mam’selle Moderne (Trevor Duncan)
STUTTGART RADIO ORCH / KURT REHFELD
4 Rainy Afternoon (Kermit Leslie & Walter Leslie)
KERMIT LESLIE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
5 Heading For Home (Reginald King)
REGENT CLASSIC ORCHESTRA
6 A New Born Love (Giraud)
GUY LUYPAERTS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
7 Man In A Hurry (Ronald Binge)
STUTTGART RADIO ORCH / KURT REHFELD
8 Wedding Of The Violins (Leo Lefleur)
ALFONZO D’ARTEGA AND HIS ORCHESTRA
9 Whirl Of The Waltz (Paul Lincke)
LONDON PROMENADE ORCH / ERIC ROGERS
10 Aperitif (Fontaine, Speguel)
EMILE DELTOUR AND HIS ORCHESTRA
11 Carioca (Vincent Youmans)
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
12 Devotion (Otto Cesana)
OTTO CESANA AND HIS ORCHESTRA
13 Fresh Up (Peter Dennis, real name Dennis Berry)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
14 By Heck (Gilbert L. Wolfe, Henry R. Stern)
GEORGE TZIPINE AND HIS SALON ORCHESTRA
15 I’m In Love With Vienna (Hammerstein, Strauss)
RICHARD HAYMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
16 Polka For Strings (Emile Deltour, Fud Candrix)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
17 Gay Romance (George Melachrino)
THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA
18 Tentacion de Amor (Xavier Cugat, Fausto Curbelo, arr. Laurie Johnson)
AMBROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA WITH STRINGS Conducted by LAURIE JOHNSON
19 Six Proud Walkers (Theme from the BBC TV serial) (Ray Martin)
RAY MARTIN AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
20 Flight 101 (Vivian Ellis)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCH / R. FARNON
21 Ballet Of The Bells (Ray Martin)
JACKIE BROWN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
22 Zsa-Zsa (Bernie Wayne, real name Bernard Weitzner)
BERNIE WAYNE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
23 The Frustrated Floorwalker (Frank Perkins)
FRANK PERKINS AND HIS ‘POPS’ ORCHESTRA
24 Bordeaux (David Rose)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
25 Moomin (Robert Farnon)
DANISH STATE RADIO ORCH / R. FARNON
26 Bobby Sox (George French)
27 Apple Flap (John Pi Scheffer)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
28 The Little Ballerina (Guy Pierre Lafarge)
DAVID CARROLL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Guild GLCD 5146
Once again Guild looks to the composing genius of Victor Young to launch a collection of tuneful orchestral cameos – the first such occasion was his piece Travellin’ Light (GLCD 5114). This time the spotlight falls on Stringin’ Along which reminds us that Victor Young (1900-1956 – some sources give his birth as 1899) was a musician of many talents. His early career was spent as a concert violinist and classical composer, but he decided to move into the popular music arena and joined Ted Fio Rito’s band. In 1928 his first big hit song Sweet Sue probably persuaded him to widen his musical horizons (you can hear the superb David Rose recording of this tune on Guild GLCD 5133). He settled in Hollywood in the mid-1930s, intending to concentrate on writing for films, but he also worked on radio and conducted many of Bing Crosby’s Decca 78s. Victor Young excelled as a violinist, arranger, film composer, songwriter, conductor and record producer. This wide experience in all forms of music was exceptional even by Tin Pan Alley and Hollywood standards, all the more so because his international reputation was achieved in such a short lifetime. Perhaps he enjoyed his greatest triumph shortly before his death, when he composed the score for "Around The World In Eighty Days", the 1956 big screen epic which won Victor Young an Oscar, although it was awarded posthumously. He didn’t orchestrate everything he wrote for the screen (surely he couldn’t have found the time), but used experienced arranger/composers such as Leo Shuken and Sidney Cutner to fill out his sketches. For a while his fellow orchestra leader in the US Decca stable was Gordon Jenkins, who is reported as having said that Victor was a lovely man and a wonderful composer, "but he always had a bad band - full of relatives and refugees from the old country who needed work". Although born in Chicago, Young had strong ties with his grandparents’ country Poland, where he spent some of his formative years (his widowed father abandoned him as a child) and studied at the Warsaw Conservatory of Music together with his sister Helen.
Werner Müller (1920-1998) was a bassoonist who became the first conductor of the RIAS (Radio In American Sector) Dance Band based in Berlin, which gave its first concert on 24 April 1949. It was not long before Müller began to realise that the public’s love affair with the swing era was gradually starting to wane, and sixteen strings were added to the line up. The band had built up a strong following through its Polydor recordings, and by the mid-1950s the labels dropped the ‘RIAS’ tag and simply credited ‘Werner Müller and his Orchestra’. A good example of the way in which strings became an integral part of the line up can be heard in Manhattan Serenade (GUILD GLCD 5130) from the LP "Holiday in New York", and Penthouse Serenade in this collection comes from the same source. Tangos also enjoyed a revival during the 1950s, and Werner used the pseudonym ‘Ricardo Santos’ for his recordings with a South American flavour. In 1966 he moved to Westdeutsche Rundfunk in Cologne, where he continued to make LPs – both purely orchestral and also accompanying popular singers such as Caterina Valente.
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 (during his career his number of broadcasts exceeded 1,400), and he made numerous recordings, often featuring his own attractive compositions. He made his last broadcast in 1964, but during a long retirement he continued composing until shortly before his death. One of his major works, the concert overture The Immortals, was featured on Guild GLCD5106 spotlighting music of the 1930s, and in a lighter vein his tuneful orchestra can be heard playing popular melodies such as Lullaby Of The Leaves (GLCD 5134) and Roses At Dawning (GLCD 5139) on several Guild CDs. Once again we feature him as a contributor to one of London’s production music libraries with his exciting Heading For Home for Bosworth.
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. This was in the era when live music featured prominently on the radio, and his broadcasts with this orchestra resulted in invitations to conduct other radio orchestras in European cities. 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 - their collaboration spanned 30 years and began when Trenet discovered him playing jazz at an officers’ mess early in World War 2. 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 A New Born Love finds him in yet another different mood.
Alfonso D’Artega (1907-1998) arrived in the USA from his native Mexico in 1918. Often merely known by his surname (spellings of his first name vary), he was educated in music and composition at the Strassburger Conservatory by Boris Levenson, who was a pupil of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. D’Artega became a conductor, arranger and composer of wide and varied musical experience, and conducted orchestras for radio, television, transcriptions, recordings, concert stage and motion pictures. In 1946 he originated and conducted in Carnegie Hall the Pop Concerts, with the members of the New York Philharmonic; other notable conducting assignments were with the Buffalo Philharmonic, Miami Symphony, St. Louis Symphony and the Symphony of the Air. He portrayed the role of Tchaikovsky in the 1947 United Artists production "Carnegie Hall" and also conducted the sound track for the film. In addition to conducting, D'Artega also composed well over 50 popular compositions, both alone and sometimes in collaboration with others. Perhaps his best known song was In The Blue Of Evening (on which he collaborated with Thomas Montgomery Adair), which was a hit recording for Frank Sinatra with the Tommy Dorsey Orchestra in 1943; the American public would have recognised him particularly for The NBC Chimes Theme. He has previously appeared on Guild with Victor Herbert’s Dagger Dance (GLCD 5140) and Tulips In Springtime (GLCD 5138). This time it is Leo Lefleur’s Wedding Of The Violins which receives the dazzling D’Artega treatment.
Belgian violinist Emile Deltour appears to have started his recording career as ‘Eddie Tower’, and some 78s he made in April 1940 of versions of Count Basie titles have received approval from jazz enthusiasts. During a career which began in the 1920s he worked with Django Reinhardt and the French singer Lucienne Boyer and is listed as having accompanied various singers in the Netherlands during the 1940s, but little seems to be mentioned in reference books about his light music recordings which briefly appeared during the 1950s. In this collection he appears as both conductor (Aperitif) and co-composer (Polka For Strings).
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), but this time the mood is more romantic and mellow, as the title Devotion suggests.
Georges Samuel Tzipine (1907-1987) is making his Guild debut in this collection with his orchestra’s recording of the catchy novelty number By Heck. He studied at the National Conservatory of Music in Paris, winning a first prize in 1926. Originally he became recognised as a virtuoso on the violin, but he progressed to composing and conducting (often with the Paris Conservatoire Orchestra) and made numerous recordings of both classical and popular music during his long career. From the mid-1920s he was musical director of France’s Gaumont Newsreel for which he composed a vast amount of varied background music to suit all kinds of documentary moods and themes. There are also references to him being commissioned by US publishers to record in France various cues for use in American TV series during the 1950s.
George Melachrino (1909-1965) was one of the big names in British light music from the 1940s to the 1960s. Born in London, he became a professional musician, competent on clarinet, alto and tenor saxophone, violin and viola, and he worked with many British dance bands in the 1930s. He was also in demand as a singer, and can be heard on recordings with Carroll Gibbons and others. During World War 2 he became Musical Director of the Army Radio Unit, and his 50-piece ‘Orchestra in Khaki’ toured with the ‘Stars in Battledress’. When the Allied Expeditionary Forces Programme of the BBC began broadcasting to Allied troops on 7 June 1944 (one day after D-Day), George Melachrino was featured conducting the British Band of the AEF; his colleagues were Glenn Miller and Robert Farnon (whose recordings can be heard on many Guild CDs), fronting the American and Canadian Bands. After the war Melachrino built on his service band to form the magnificent orchestra that went on to achieve worldwide fame, mainly through its superb long-playing record albums which sold in millions. One aspect of his work which was not known to the majority of his fans was his involvement with the short-lived EMI recorded music library. Melachrino composed and arranged a number of pieces intended for use by radio, television and films, and several of these have already appeared in this series, for example Spring Morning (GLCD 5104), London - March (GLCD 5118), There Is A Tavern In The Town (GLCD 5118), Cockney Girl (GLCD 5139), Gracious Gown (GLCD 5120), Bobbysox Bounce (GLCD 5140) and Little Brown Jug (GLCD 5129). To this impressive list we now add Gay Romance, which has been requested by several collectors of this series of CDs.
Ray Martin (1918-1988) was one of the biggest names in British popular music during the 1950s. He conducted his orchestra regularly on radio and television, and was also an Artists and Repertoire Manager at EMI’s Columbia label, where he produced many hit records by their top contract stars. His own compositions were among some of his biggest successes (notably Marching Strings), and two of his lesser known works are included here. "The Six Proud Walkers" was a BBC TV drama series for which Ray Martin was commissioned to compose the theme. At the time he was a familiar face on British TV screens, through his regular appearance with his orchestra in programmes such as "Quite Contrary". Ballet Of The Bells is typical of many short pieces which seemed to flow effortlessly from Martin’s pen; on this occasion (wearing his A & R hat) he passed it over to his colleague Jackie Brown to wave the baton, although the musicians employed are probably the ones who usually played for Martin’s sessions. Jackie’s own output as a composer was relatively sparse, although light music aficionados regard his Metropolis (on Guild GLCD 5102) as one of the finest pieces of its kind. He worked on around a dozen films, and was the unseen conductor who used to direct the Billy Cotton Band for its television shows while Bill himself performed on-screen. Jackie also became a household name in Britain thanks to his regular appearances on Hughie Green’s (1920-1997) "Double Your Money" TV quiz show.
Special mention should be made of Robert Farnon’s Moomin, because some people assume that it relates to a pleasurable activity, such as ‘spooning’! In fact ‘Moomin’ is a cartoon character dreamed up by Tove Jansson, who first appeared in the 1950s. He remains popular today, and even has his own Theme Park in Finland. As a ‘thank-you’ for his catchy novelty, Robert Farnon (1917-2005) was presented with a tie covered in Moomins, which he proudly wore for many years.
George French was a British violinist who broadcast frequently on the BBC in the happy times of the last century (roughly until the 1960s) when radio stations actually employed ‘live’ musicians. He contributed to many popular series ("Music While You Work" being one prime example) and performed (often as leader) for most of the well-known conductors. He also had a gift for composing, as evidenced by Bobby Sox from the Francis, Day & Hunter mood music library.
John Pi Scheffer (1909-1988) will be unfamiliar to most light music admirers. His composition Apple Flap could almost be considered a one-off in this genre, since he concentrated mainly on composing and conducting brass music in his native Netherlands.
The American David Carroll(b. 1913) has the honour of providing our final track this time with Guy Lafarge’s The Little Ballerina. He was musical director of Mercury Records from 1951 to the early 1960s, accompanying many of the label’s contract singers as well as making some instrumental recordings of his own. Several of his LPs had a ‘dance’ theme, often including his own compositions, and he employed the cream of Chicago’s session musicians.