Holidays For Strings
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5189
Holidays For Strings
1 Belle Of The Ball (Leroy Anderson)
LEROY ANDERSON AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca DL 78954 1959
2 Beyond The Blue Horizon (from the film "Monte Carlo") (Richard Whiting; W. Franke Harling)
JACK SHAINDLIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Brunswick STA 3055 1961
3 Love Is Sweeping The Country (George Gershwin)
FREDERICK FENNELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury CMS 18050 1961
4 Dance Of The Slave Maidens (also known as ‘Stranger In Paradise’) (from "Prince Igor")
(Borodin, arr. David Carroll)
DAVID CARROLL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury CMS 18045 1961
5 Thanks For The Memory (Leo Robin; Ralph Rainger)
GEOFF LOVE AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Columbia SCX 3527 1958
6 Serenade To Double Scotch (George Martin)
RON GOODWIN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Parlophone PCS 3019 1961
7 Gigi (Theme from the film) (Alan Jay Lerner; Frederick Loewe)
THE MELACHRINO STRINGS Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
RCA Victor LSP 2412 1961
8 Cumana (Barclay Allen; Roc Hillman)
THE CLEBANOFF STRINGS AND PERCUSSION
Mercury CMS 18053 1961
9 The Willow Waltz (Cyril Watters)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by MONIA LITER (as ‘Paul Hamilton’)
Boosey & Hawkes O 2381 1960
10 Perfidia (Alberto Borras Dominguez)
XAVIER CUGAT AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury PPS 2003 1961
11 Bouquet (Percy Faith)
PERCY FAITH AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Philips SBBL 615 1961
12 The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (Richard Rodgers; Lorenz Hart, arr. William Hill Bowen)
THE LIVING STRINGS Conducted by HILL BOWEN
RCA Camden CAS 637 1960
13 Adios (Enric Madriguera; Eddie Woods, arr. Geoff Love)
MANUEL AND THE MUSIC OF THE MOUNTAINS (‘Manuel’ is GEOFF LOVE)
Columbia SCX 3402 1961
14 Then You May Take Me To The Fair (from "Camelot") (Alan Jay Lerner; Frederick Loewe, arr. Brian Fahey)
CYRIL ORNADEL AND THE STARLIGHT SYMPHONY
MGM SE 3916 1961
15 Time Waits For No One (Cliff Friend; Charles Tobias)
REG OWEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RCA LPM 1908 1959
16 Spending Spree (Andy Thurlow, real name Harry Rabinowitz)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA (‘Paul Franklin’ on disc label)
Paxton PR 681 1957
17 Nurseryland (Angela Morley, as ‘Walter Stott’)
TELECAST ORCHESTRA Conducted by ANGELA MORLEY (‘Walter Stott’ on disc label)
Chappell C 699 1961
18 On The Loose (Pat Beaver; Tony King)
THE WESTWAY STUDIO ORCHESTRA
Southern MQ 506 1960
"The Rebel" – Music from the film (Frank Cordell)
19 Main Title Theme
FRANK CORDELL AND HIS ORCHESTRA
HMV 45-POP 852 1961
21 Vanessa (Bernie Wayne, real name Bernard Weitzner)
CHARLES WILLIAMS AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Columbia DB 3167 1952
22 Faraway Music (Steve Race)
STEVE RACE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Parlophone 45-R 4840 1961
23 The Singer Not The Song – Theme from the Film (Philip Green)
THE KNIGHTSBRIDGE STRINGS Conducted by PHILIP GREEN
Top Rank International JAR 532 1961
24 Strolling Home (Robert Farnon)
STRING ENSEMBLE Conducted by ROBERT FARNON
Chappell C 707 1961
25 Periwinkle (Frank Sterling, real names Stuart Crombie; Dennis Berry)
THE WESTWAY STUDIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by KING PALMER
Southern MQ 519 1961
26 Jeunesse (Anthony Mawer)
HILVERSUM RADIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by HUGO DE GROOT
De Wolfe DW 2676 1961
27 Romance In The Breeze (Edward White)
THE BOSWORTH ORCHESTRA
Bosworth BCV 1353 1961
28 Holiday For Strings (David Rose)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM SE 3748 1959
Stereo: 1-14 & 28; rest in mono
Two superb composer/conductors open and close this collection dedicated to the strings of the orchestra – although the other fine instruments are not exactly ignored! Leroy Anderson filled the airwaves of the 1950s with a succession of pleasing melodies that soon became firm favourites. And David Rose is widely credited as the man who injected short, bright pieces of instrumental music with an infectious string sound in the 1940s that would be emulated by many musicians during the following decades. Both have earned their place in Light Music’s Hall of Fame, but a glance through the list of numbers on this CD confirms that they were not alone in creating the pleasing sounds that once appealed to the majority of music lovers.
Although there were a number of popular conductors in the USA during the middle years of the last century, Leroy Anderson (1908-1975) is probably the best-loved American light music composer of his generation. For many years he was the chief arranger for the Boston Pops, and its famous conductor Arthur Fiedler introduced many Anderson novelties to an appreciative world. Several have already appeared on Guild CDs, and this time it is the turn of Belle Of The Ball which first delighted listeners when the composer’s own mono recording was released in 1951. Fortunately for posterity he made a new recording several years later when stereo arrived.
Beyond The Blue Horizon introduces Jack Shaindlin (1909-1978) to a Guild CD for the first time, but it should be noted that he was a big name in American music circles for most of his life. From his humble origins in the Crimea, Ukraine, he moved to America as a young boy after winning a music scholarship in Russia. He worked as a pianist for silent films, and his career eventually embraced composing, arranging and conducting (in the late 1940s he was musical director of the Carnegie Pops Orchestra). His music was used extensively in films and television, ranging from documentaries to cartoons. He was musical director of the March of Time newsreels which became a part of US culture.
Another Guild ‘newcomer’ from the USA is Frederick Fennell (1914-2004), who gained an international reputation as a conductor. He tended to specialise in wind bands, notably the Eastman Rochester Wind Ensemble, which he was reputed to have devised in 1952 when recovering from hepatitis. But his wide experience during his long life (he died aged 90) allowed him to participate successfully in many areas of the music scene, and Love Is Sweeping The Country is a delightfully feel-good version of one of the lesser known tunes from the songbook of George Gershwin (1898-1937).
David Carroll (1913-2008) – real name Rodell Walter ‘Nook’ Schreier – was well-known in his native USA as a conductor and arranger. In the mid-1940s he joined the newly formed Mercury Records where he spent the next 15 years. Initially employed as an arranger and conductor, he progressed to being a producer and was later promoted as head of artists and repertoire. His track in this collection (after ‘Kismet’ it became best known to the world as Stranger In Paradise) illustrates his versatility. He was particularly successful writing TV jingles for advertising, and became familiar to the public through his work with The Smothers Brothers, eventually becoming their General Manager.
The pendulum swings across the Atlantic to Britain for three of the top recording orchestras of the post-war years. Geoff Love (1917-1991) enjoyed a long musical career. He was accomplished in all aspects of music and was successful as a musical director, composer and arranger. He was a well-known personality in the 'easy-listening' music world, gaining international fame through his ‘Manuel’ alter-ego, under which guise he returns later conducting Adios.
Ron Goodwin (1925-2003) rose to prominence in Britain during the 1950s through a series of recordings that revealed a fresh and vibrant style of light music that greatly appealed to the public. Serenade To Double Scotch was penned by Goodwin’s recording manager George Martin (b. 1926), who also looked after The Beatles for Parlophone.
George Miltiades 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. After war service he built an orchestra which became of the finest in the world; when long playing records arrived, Melachrino’s sold in vast quantities, especially in the USA.
Chicago-born Herman Clebanoff (1917-2004) had a sound education in classical music and was an experienced violinist and concertmaster before he was 20. Usually just known as ‘Clebanoff’, he had a long association with NBC, and from 1945 he spent the next ten years as concertmaster of their Chicago-based orchestra, playing a wide repertoire from the classics to popular tunes.
Cyril Watters (1907-1984) was highly respected by many music publishers, and from 1953 to 1961 he was chief arranger with Boosey & Hawkes, often providing appealing arrangements for melodies supplied by other composers who were either too busy, or insufficiently skilled, to orchestrate their own creations. His compositions were accepted by several different publishers, but Boosey & Hawkes had the honour of introducing his most successful composition to the world – the sensuous Willow Waltz which created quite a stir in Britain when used as the theme for ‘The World of Tim Frazer’ on BBC Television in 1960. The orchestra is conducted by Monia Liter (1906-1988) who at the time was running the Recorded Music Library at B&H. Born in Odessa, he left his homeland following the 1917 Russian revolution, working as a pianist in a cinema orchestra in China. From there he moved on to many varied jobs in the Far East, finally ending up in Singapore where he spent seven years leading a dance band at the prestigious Raffles Hotel. While in Singapore he became a naturalised British subject, and came to Britain in 1933 where he worked with many of the top bands, including the famous vocalist Al Bowlly. In 1941 he joined the BBC as a composer, conductor and arranger, initially with the Twentieth Century Serenaders. After 10 years at the BBC, he left them to concentrate on concert work and composing.
Xavier Cugat (1900-1990) was a Spanish born bandleader who spent his formative years in Havana, but achieved fame in the USA. He provided the resident orchestra at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria before and after the Second World War, and he was also a cartoonist and successful businessman. His four marriages provided fodder for gossip columnists, but his lasting legacy is appearances in several Hollywood films and many fine recordings of Latin American music.
Percy Faith (1908-1976) hardly needs any introduction to Guild ‘regulars’. Born in Toronto, Canada, in 1940 he moved permanently to the USA where he quickly established himself through radio and recordings. From the 1950s onwards his fame spread internationally, due to the great success of his numerous long playing albums. Unlike most of his contemporaries, Faith arranged all his own material, and his composition Bouquet is a perfect example of the heights which orchestral music attained around 50 years ago.
William Hill-Bowen (1918-1964) was George Melachrino’s right-hand man in the years immediately following World War 2, often appearing on piano but, perhaps, more importantly as a brilliant arranger who managed to recreate his master’s famous style to perfection. Later as simply ‘Hill-Bowen’ he was to receive due recognition for his talents, partly thanks to a series of LPs commissioned by RCA.
From the late 1950s onwards Cyril Ornadel (1924-2011)) made many fine orchestral albums with his ‘Starlight Symphony’, aimed primarily at the American market. His regular arranger was Brian Fahey (1919-2007), well-known in Britain as a musical director, arranger and composer. Their contribution is a catchy tune from ‘Camelot’ that seems to have been forgotten.
Reg Owen (born George Owen Smith, 1921-1978) studied at the Royal College of Music in London. Following RAF service he became arranger for the Ted Heath orchestra from 1945, then arranged for other conductors including Cyril Stapleton.
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 was regularly commissioned by the background music libraries of leading London music publishers to conduct their new works. He also made transcription recordings for Dutch radio and other companies. His commercial recordings (especially for the American market) were often labelled as ‘Van Lynn’ or ‘Daniel De Carlo’. Spending Spree comes from the pen of South African Harry Rabinowitz (b. 1916) who became well-known in Britain from his work in radio and television.
During the 1950s Angela Morley (1924-2009, at the time working as ‘Wally Stott’) composed many light pieces for Chappell & Co., the leading London publishers of background music. Nurseryland is typical of the pleasing, tuneful pieces that became her trademark.
On The Loose introduces us to a rare composition co-written by Pat (Patrick) Beaver, one of the sons of Jack Beaver (1900-1963) who was a leading figure in British production music circles for many years.
Frank Cordell (1918-1980) was a fine English composer, arranger and conductor whose work first became noticed through the tuneful backings he often supplied to some contract singers on HMV singles in the 1950s. Occasionally he was allowed his own 78s, and he was also responsible for several distinctive LPs which quickly became collectors’ items. The cinema beckoned with some prestigious projects and he was nominated for an Oscar for his work on "Cromwell" (1970). One of his early commissions for the big screen was "The Rebel" (1960) starring Tony Hancock (1924-1968) who was the top British comedian of his era, with millions adoring his radio and television shows. Like some other comedians before and since, he did not find it easy to translate his humour to the cinema, but "The Rebel" still contains many priceless moments, especially when he ‘spars’ with his landlady Irene Handl. Cordell’s score was superb, which HMV issued on both sides of a 45. From time to time Frank Cordell contributed to publishers’ production music libraries, and also composed (and conducted) under the name Francis Meillear (or Meilleur).
The American composer Bernie Wayne (born Bernard Weitzner 1919-1993) is best known at home for his "Miss America" Beauty Pageant theme, and the hit song Blue Velvet. His string of instrumental successes became popular worldwide, and included Port-au-Prince (GLCD5130) and Veradero (GLCD5111). Vanessa was also widely recorded by the top orchestras, and we have selected the Charles Williams (1893-1978) version for this CD.
Steve Race (1921-2009) first became noticed as a pianist and arranger with many top British bands of the post-war years, and he was a prolific contributor to production music libraries. His wide-ranging career also embraced conducting for many TV shows, and he was a popular compere of panel games and music programmes.
Philip Green (born Harry Philip Green 1911-1982) 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, including "The Singer Not The Song" (1960).
During his long career (from the mid-1930s to the 21st Century) the Canadian composer Robert Farnon (1917-2005) became involved with many kinds of music, from the classics to jazz. Although his forte was undoubtedly in light music circles, Strolling Home finds him very much at ease with the melodic opportunities on offer from the small ensemble he conducted for the Chappell Recorded Music Library back in 1961.
The next three pieces from production music libraries are by composers who made significant contributions to this area of the music business. In particular Dennis Alfred Berry (1921-1994) who worked, at various times, for Francis, Day & Hunter, Boosey & Hawkes, Paxton and Southern; Anthony Mawer (1930-1999) who was a staff composer at De Wolfe from 1955 to 1965; and Edward White (1910-1994) the creator of two light music ‘standards’ – Runaway Rocking Horse (on Guild GLCD5102)and Puffin’ Billy (GLCD5101) as well as many other appealing melodies.
The final number in this collection features the talented musician whose famous composition, while still a young man, would ensure him lasting fame for the rest of his life. David Rose (1910-1990) created a unique string sound with his Holiday For Strings in the early 1940s that would inspire many fellow composers for years to follow. From time to time he made subtle changes in the orchestration, and during the 1950s he decided to extend and rework his best-known (at the time – The Stripper came a little later) melody, without spoiling its original ‘feel good factor’. It’s incredible to think that dots on a music manuscript could give so much pleasure to so many people for so long!