Strings In Rhythm
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5167
Strings In Rhythm
1 Habanera (from ‘Natoma’) (Victor Herbert, arr. Percy Faith)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia C2S 801 1958
2 Swinging On A Star (Jimmy Van Heusen; Johnny Burke, arr. Roland Shaw)
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca SKL 4048 1959
3 You Do Something To Me (Cole Porter)
VICTOR SILVESTER AND HIS SILVER STRINGS
Regal SREG 1015 1959
4 In The Heat Of The Day (Gordon Jenkins)
GORDON JENKINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Capitol ST 884 1957
5 Greenwich Village (J. George Johnson)
NEW WORLD THEATRE ORCHESTRA
Stereo Fidelity SF-3000 1957
6 La Colpa Fu (Eros Sciorilli)
GEORGE MELACHRINO Conducting the Orchestra of the 6th Sanremo Festival 1956
HMV SCT 1519 1957
7 In A Sentimental Mood (Irving Mills; Manny Kurtz; Edward Kennedy (Duke) Ellington)
PHILIP GREEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia BTD 703 1956
8 Da Capo (Georges Boulanger)
HANS GEORG ARLT AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Ariola 32721 1958
9 In Love In Vain (from "Centennial Summer") (Jerome Kern)
PAUL WESTON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CS 8050 1958
10 Poor Little Rich Girl (Noel Coward, arr. Peter Yorke)
PETER YORKE AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Delyse Envoy ES 7041 1959
11 Sunset On The Tiber (Dave Dexter)
NORRIE PARAMOR AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Capitol ST 10190 1959
12 La Cumparsita (Gerardo H. Matos Rodriguez)
CARMEN DRAGON AND THE CAPITOL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
Capitol SP 8487 1959
13 Cancer (Harold (Hal) Mooney)
HAL MOONEY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury SR 60073 1958
14 Maria La O (Ernesto Lecuona)
HELMUT ZACHARIAS AND HIS MAGIC VIOLINS
Polydor 45151 LPH 1958
15 You Are My Heart’s Delight (from the musical "Land of Smiles") (Franz Lehár)
GEOFF LOVE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia SX 1060 1957
16 Sweetheart Of All My Dreams (Art Fitch; Kay Fitch; Herbert C. Lowe, arr. Ronald Binge)
RONALD BINGE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RCA LPM 1458 1957
17 Neapolitan Nites Mambo (Zamecnik; Kerr)
MONTY KELLY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Essex ESLP 208 1955
18 Rain (Eugene Ford, arr. Nelson Riddle)
NELSON RIDDLE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Capitol T 893 1958
19 La Cucaracha (Traditional)
PÉPÉ GONZALEZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Brunswick LAT 8128 1957
20 Let’s Beguine (Otto Cesana)
OTTO CESANA AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CL 631 1955
21 Tango Of Regret (Ray Martin)
RAY MARTIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Polydor 46076 LPHM 1958
22 La Petite Gavotte (Joseph François Heyne)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘VAN LYNN’ on LP)
Brunswick LAT 8125 1956
23 Horizonte (Lara)
BERT KAEMPFERT AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘BOB PARKER’ on disc label)
Heliodor 450110 1957
24 I Wished On The Moon (Ralph Rainger)
JACKIE GLEASON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Capitol W 627 1955
25 I Got Rhythm (George Gershwin)
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia CL 865 1955
26 Glamour – Tango (Jacob Gade)
WERNER MÜLLER AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘RICARDO SANTOS and his Tango Orchestra’)
Polydor 45054 LPH 1954
27 Sugar Loaf (Safranski; Lowe)
DAVID CARROLL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury MG 20086 1953
28 Fireworks Polka (Johann Strauss, arr. Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA (LP label credits ‘Jack Saunders Orchestra’)
Everest SDBR 1011 1958
Stereo: tracks 1-13 & 28; all others mono.
In the hands of a talented arranger, a touch of rhythm can transform an ordinary melody into something rather special. Some music couldn’t exist without it: most of the glorious melodies associated with Latin America have rhythm as an essential ingredient, and it is easy to understand how it swept the world in the middle years of the 20th century. Even the more sedate ballrooms of Europe from a much earlier period succumbed to the allure of ‘new’ sensations such as waltzes, which were regarded with suspicion when they first invaded the dance floor. Tastes may change, but it cannot be denied that even a modest touch of rhythm can cause a smile – not to mention a tapping foot. There is plenty on offer in this collection, from the afore-mentioned Latin American to quicksteps, slow foxtrots, polkas and loads of pleasant surprises.
Percy Faith (1908-1976) excelled at arranging Latin American music, and his strings provide a splendid opening track. He was born in Toronto, Canada, and originally he expected that his musical career would be as a concert pianist. But he injured his hands in a fire, which forced him to turn to composing, arranging and conducting. During the 1930s his hit Canadian radio programme "Music By Faith" was also carried by the Mutual network in the USA, which prompted offers of work south of the border. He eventually succumbed in 1940, leaving Robert Farnon (previously his lead trumpeter and choral arranger) to conduct his CBC orchestra. Initially Faith concentrated on broadcasting, and his occasional recording sessions during the 1940s were for several different companies. Things were to change when he signed a Columbia (CBS) contract in 1950, and he soon discovered that his singles sold well and the new long playing records needed the kind of popular instrumental sounds that had formed the basis of his broadcasts for so many years. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Faith arranged all his own material, and his exciting and vibrant scores made his work stand out among the rest. Faith was always busy, whether working in the recording studios, radio, television or films.
Frank (Francis Charles) Chacksfield (1914-1995) conducted one of the finest light orchestras in the world, and during his long recording career with Decca alone it is estimated that his albums sold more than 20 million copies. In total he made more than 150 long-playing albums which were released in many countries, especially in Europe, Japan and Australia as well as Britain and America. Frank’s professional musical career began shortly before World War 2, playing at various local venues, before Army service found him working at the Royal Army Service Corp’s Southern Command Entertainment’s Section at Salisbury, Wiltshire. Later he became staff arranger for "Stars In Battledress" at the War Office in London and back in civilian life he soon became involved with various BBC Radio shows as arranger, composer and conductor; for a while he also worked as musical director of the Henry Hall and Geraldo orchestras. In 1953 he formed a 40-piece orchestra with a large string section. His very first 78 recorded for his new label Decca in April - Charlie Chaplin’s themes for his film "Limelight" - won him a Gold Disc through its big success in the USA. In Britain it earned him the New Musical Express Record of the Year award. His second 78 "Ebb Tide" became the first-ever British non-vocal disc to reach No. 1 in the American charts, providing a second Gold Disc. American juke-box operators, in a nation-wide poll, voted Chacksfield the most promising new orchestra of the year. A steady flow of long-playing records, plus regular broadcasts in many countries, ensured his continuing popularity and high public profile well into the 1970s. Although he was also an accomplished composer - his Candid Snap (GLCD 5156), Catalan Sunshine (GLCD 5161) and Prelude To A Memory (GLCD 5104) are on previous Guild CDs - he usually relied on some of the best arrangers such as Leon Young (1916-1991) and Roland Shaw (b.1920) to work on his albums.
Victor Marlborough Silvester OBE (1900-1978) sold over 75 million records from the 1930s to the 1980s. His style of music for ballroom dancing relied upon a solo violin (usually Oscar Grasso), two pianos and a strong rhythm section. In the 1950s he became a television personality, and his record company realised that his music ought to appeal to listeners, as well as dancers. So strings were added and his recording career entered a new phase. Cole Porter’s You Do Something To Me is a fine illustration of the ‘new’ Victor Silvester.
Gordon Jenkins(1910-1984) arranged for many of the top bands in America before carving out an impressive career for himself in radio and films. He signed with US Decca in 1945, and eventually became their managing director. Under his guidance the label had several big hits, and his large workload with singers possibly prevented him from making as many instrumental records as his fans would have liked. When he moved to Capitol he created some fine arrangements for Nat ‘King’ Cole (especially Stardust) and Frank Sinatra (the albums ‘Where Are You’ and ‘No One Cares’). Happily his new label did recognise his talent for orchestral arranging, and In The Heat Of The Day comes from an early stereo collection called ‘Stolen Hours’.
The special tribute to George Melachrino (1909-1965) in "The Hall of Fame – Volume 3" (GLCD5162) included Aprite le Finestre, a rare track which was one of the two Italian entries in the first Eurovision Song Contest back in 1956. It also won the 6th Sanremo Music Festival in the same year. Melachrino recorded all the Festival entries with the Sanremo Festival Orchestra and HMV released them on a ‘stereosonic’ tape and, later, as an LP on its International label. Another from those sessions was La Colpa Fu which, despite being a catchy number, did not manage to gain any of the first three places at Sanremo that year.
Philip Green (1910-1982) began his professional career at the age of eighteen playing in various orchestras. Within a year he became London’s youngest West End conductor at the Prince of Wales Theatre. His long recording career began with EMI in 1933, and he is credited with at least 150 film scores, and countless mood music compositions.
Making his second appearance on a Guild CD with Da Capo is Hans-Georg Arlt (b. 1927) who started learning the violin at the age of six, and later studied under Professor Max Strub in Berlin. In 1946 he began his distinguished radio career, and when the RIAS Dance Orchestra was formed in 1948 he led the string section for a while. In the following years he became a familiar name on German radio and television with his String Orchestra.
Paul Weston (born Paul Wetstein 1912-1996) was originally a pianist, although his particular favourites were saxes and clarinets. When recovering from an accident he was unable to perform so he tried arranging, and his scores were accepted by top bands such as Joe Haymes, Rudy Vallee and Phil Harris. Tommy Dorsey hired Weston as his chief arranger, an association which was to last for five years. In 1940 he started working on Hollywood films, and joined the staff at Capitol Records upon its formation providing backings for singers such as Jo Stafford, whom he later married. In due course he began making orchestral 78s, and collections such as ‘Music For Dreaming’ and ‘Music For Memories’ were to provide the springboard for many future albums. In Love In Vain is a typical example of the hundreds of tasteful arrangements he created during his long career. In 1971 the Trustees of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences gave its Trustees Award to Paul Weston.
Peter Yorke (1902-1966) is a regular contributor to this series of CDs, as composer, arranger and conductor. After learning his craft 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.
Norman William (Norrie) Paramor (1914-1979) tended to be better known by the public for his work with pop stars on EMI’s Columbia label, but he also made numerous instrumental recordings and wrote several catchy numbers that greatly appealed.
Carmen Dragon (1914-1984) achieved his first success in Hollywood collaborating with Morris Stoloff (1898-1980) arranging Jerome Kern’s score for the 1944 Rita Hayworth/Gene Kelly film "Cover Girl" which secured him an Oscar. He worked extensively in radio and television, and was a frequent visitor to recording studios conducting the Hollywood Bowl and Capitol Symphony Orchestras.
Hal (born Harold) Mooney (1911-1995) is making his fourth Guild appearance with his composition Cancer, which comes from a collection spotlighting each sign of the Zodiac – another was Gemini on Guild GLCD 5153. Upon the completion of his music studies in his native New York he was invited to join the arrangers' roster for the popular Hal Kemp Orchestra, alongside John Scott Trotter (who was about to leave the band) and Lou Busch. After war service in the US Army he moved to Hollywood where he worked with many of the top stars such as Bing Crosby, Judy Garland and Frank Sinatra. In 1956 Mooney finally swapped freelancing for an exclusive contract and became A&R Director and chief arranger at Mercury Records, where he remained until Philips phased out the label towards the end of the 1960s. Mooney then moved to Universal Studios, working as MD on many of the top TV shows of the period, before retiring in 1977.
Helmut Zacharias (1920-2002) was a German child prodigy who rose to prominence in the 1950s when the American Forces Network in Frankfurt described him as ‘the best jazz violinist in the world’. During his long career he composed over 400 works and his album sales exceeded 13 million. The Cuban composer of Mario La O, Ernesto Lecuona (1895-1963), – his full name was Ernesto Lecuona y Casado – wrote over 600 pieces and could claim to be one of the reasons why Latin American music was so popular during the last century.
Yorkshireman Geoff Love (1917-1991) succeeded in so many musical fields during his busy career. Internationally he also achieved success as ‘Manuel and his Music of the Mountains’ although his identity was a secret for many years.
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. He was a prolific composer in his own right - Elizabethan Serenade (on GLCD5162), The Watermill, Miss Melanie and BBC Radio-4’s closing music Sailing By are just four favourites. He also ventured into more serious territory with his Saxophone Concerto in 1956, and his Saturday Symphony a decade later. As LP sales mushroomed in the late 1950s he became in demand from international labels such as RCA.
Monty Kelly(1910-1971) was a trumpeter, arranger and bandleader who was a regular in the recording studios, and managed to secure some success with singles such as Tropicana and Three O’Clock In The Morning (both on Guild GLCD 5105). This persuaded Cash Box magazine to name him ‘most promising orchestra’ in 1953, but by then the era of popular instrumental singles was starting to wane in the USA although his albums continued to do well.
Nelson Riddle (1921-1985) was a trombonist who turned to arranging and conducting – with spectacular results. His work with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Dean Martin, Judy Garland and Peggy Lee possibly prevented him from fully realising what could have been a highly successful career making many instrumental albums on his own.
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. He has already become a Guild favourite through five of his compositions being rediscovered on recent releases.
Once again lack of space is the enemy, and the remaining orchestras in this collection (already familiar through previous Guild appearances) will have to wait for their due credit another time. The booklet notes for all Guild Light Music CDs are available via the internet on the Guild Music website.