A First A-Z Of Light Music
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD5169
A First A-Z Of Light Music
1 Alpine Pastures (Vivian Ellis, arranged by Sidney Torch)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by SIDNEY TORCH
Chappell C 377 1950
2 Baubles, Bangles And Beads (Robert Wright; George Forrest)
WARREN BARKER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Warner Bros. WB 1218 1958
3 The Christmas Tree (David Rose)
DAVID ROSE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
MGM SE 3748 1959
4 Durch Dich Wird Diese Welt Erst Schön (Through You This World Is Beautiful) (Jary; von Pinelli)
HANS GEORG ARLT AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Ariola 32721 1958
5 Escape To Monaco (John Scott Trotter)
JOHN SCOTT TROTTER AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Warner Brothers WS 1266 1959
6 Flowing Stream (Joyce Cochrane)
NEW CENTURY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ERICH BÖRSCHEL
Francis Day & Hunter FDH 202 1958
7 Going Concern (King Palmer)
THE GROSVENOR STUDIO ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOLF VAN DER LINDEN
Synchro FM 168 1958
8 High Flight (Eric Coates)
MICHAEL FREEDMAN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Oriole EP-7008 1958
9 It Wouldn’t Be Love (Allan Roberts; Buddy Bernier; Jerome Brainin, arr. Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA (LP label credits ‘Jack Saunders Orchestra’)
Everest SDBR 1011 1958
10 Jump For Joy (Henry Croudson)
THE CONNAUGHT LIGHT ORCHESTRA
Conroy BM 121-B 1958
11 The Kiss (Jose Belmonte, real name Philip Green)
ANGELA MORLEY AND HER ORCHESTRA (as ‘Wally Stott’ on 78 label)
Philips PB138 1953
12 Leo (Hal Mooney)
HAL MOONEY AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Mercury SR 60073 1958
13 Moonlight On The Ganges (Sherman Myers, real name Montague Ewing; Chester Wallace)
GORDON JENKINS AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Capitol ST 884 1957
14 Noche Amour (Joseph F. Kuhn)
THE RIO CARNIVAL ORCHESTRA
Stereo Fidelity SF-5900 1958
15 Over The Rainbow (Harold Arlen; E. ‘Yip’ Harburg)
FRANK CHACKSFIELD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca SKL 4048 1959
16 Parole E Musica (Words And Music) (Silvestri)
GEORGE MELACHRINO Conducting the Orchestra of the 6th San Remo Festival
HMV SCT 1519 1957
17 Quiet Night (Richard Rodgers)
ANDRE KOSTELANETZ AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia C2L-3 1958
18 Rose-Beetle Goes A-Wooing (José Armandola)
REGENT CLASSIC ORCHESTRA
Bosworth BC 1053 1938
19 Sunshine Express (Jack Coles)
GROUP-FORTY ORCHESTRA Conducted by ERIC COOK
KPM Music KP 004A 1959
20 Tip-Toe Through The Tulips (Al Dubin; Joe Burke, arr. Ronald Binge)
RONALD BINGE AND HIS ORCHESTRA
RCA LSP 1890 1959
21 Unless (Tolchard Evans, arr. Peter Yorke)
PETER YORKE AND HIS CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Delyse Envoy ES 7041 1959
22 Vanity Fair (Overture) (Percy Fletcher)
THE NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by JAY WILBUR
Boosey & Hawkes O 2082 1946
23 What Is There To Say (from "Ziegfeld Follies of 1933) (Vernon Duke)
MORTON GOULD AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Columbia ML 4451 1951
24 Xarafes (Guy Brain, arr. Dolf van der Linden)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA
Decca DL 8062 1955
25 Yellow (Jeff Alexander)
SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA Conducted by FRANK SINATRA
Capitol LCT 6111 1956
26 Zingara (Chaminade, arr. Arthur Wilkinson)
THE MELACHRINO ORCHESTRA Conducted by GEORGE MELACHRINO
HMV B 9610 1948
Stereo: tracks 2-5, 9, 12 & 13, 15 & 16, 20 & 21; all others mono.
If anyone ever thought that the term ‘Light Music’ described a small corner of the music scene appealing only to minority interests, then maybe the wide variety of styles on offer in this collection will raise some serious doubts. No two people would probably ever agree on the exact boundaries of the genre, which is in itself an indication of how far it stretches across other musical styles. So within the 79 minutes of music on this CD you will find works originally created for light orchestras in the concert hall rubbing shoulders with popular melodies from other fields, given a fresh appeal in the hands of talented arrangers and conductors. But do labels really matter? Surely it all comes down to whether or not music is enjoyable, and only the individual listener can be the judge of that.
When ‘A to Z’ was chosen as the idea behind this collection, there were initial doubts that suitable titles could be discovered for all the letters of the English alphabet. It was a close run thing (‘X’ was obviously going to be a problem!) but hopefully listeners will enjoy the result of our endeavours.
Our opening track will be familiar to people in Britain (and BBC World Service listeners) who remember the radio panel game "My Word!" which used Alpine Pastures as its theme during its entire run from 1956 to 1990. The composer, Vivian Ellis (1903-1996), was only 24 when he had his first big success in London’s West End with his show ‘Mr. Cinders’, and he devoted the major part of his illustrious career to the musical stage. However he also wrote several pieces of light music which have become ‘classics’ in their own right, the most famous being Coronation Scot (on GLCD5120) which was initially well-known in Britain through its use as one of the signature tunes for BBC Radio’s "Paul Temple" series in the 1940s. Like some of his contemporaries, Vivian Ellis possessed the precious skill of being able to conjure up a strong melody, although he preferred to leave it to others to orchestrate his tunes. In the case of Alpine Pastures it was Sidney Torch (1908-1990) who created the perfect arrangement, and it is appropriate that he conducts the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra in this 1950 recording.
As a schoolboy Warren Barker (1923-2006) learned to play the piano and trumpet, then studied under composer Mario Castelnuevo-Tedesco at the University of California in Los Angeles. His career was firmly rooted in the film, radio and television studios around Hollywood, and in the 1950s he was a musical director at Warner Bros Records. He also worked on many popular TV series such as "Hawaiian Eye", "Bewitched" and "Daktari" although (like so many indispensable ‘backroom boys’ in the music business) his name didn’t always appear on the credits. Barker has also been associated with the 20th Century Fox, Columbia and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer studios as composer/conductor for motion pictures and television and in 1969 was on the arranging staff for the Oscar-winning film "Hello Dolly". The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences honoured him in 1970 for his original music in the award-winning series "My World And Welcome To It", based on the life of James Thurber.
London-born David Rose (1910-1990) became one of the truly great light orchestra leaders in the USA, and his compositions such as Holiday For Strings (on Guild GLKCD 5120) and The Stripper sold millions. His composition The Christmas Tree was familiar to generations of Americans through its use each Yuletide season on the Red Skelton TV show.
German violinist Hans-Georg Arlt (b. 1927) began his distinguished radio career in 1946, 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.
In his native USA John Scott Trotter (1908-1975) will have been a familiar name through his work on radio in the 1930s, and on many TV shows from the late 1940s onwards. Although he worked as MD with several top singers, he was especially linked with Bing Crosby, and it is from seeing him credited as the orchestra on numerous Crosby 78s that music lovers elsewhere in the world would have picked up on his name. Happily Warner Bros. Records used his talents more widely on several LPs performing a mixture of standards and instrumental favourites including a few of his own compositions.
Flowing Stream was used in 1958 as the theme for a Southern Television series (screened in Britain on the ITV network) called "Mary Britten, MD", starring Brenda Bruce, who just happened to be the wife of the station’s controller, Roy Rich! The show’s theme was a piece of production music from Francis, Day & Hunter, composed by Joyce Reynolds Cochrane (1908-1988). Five of her works (notably Honey Child in a beautiful Robert Farnon arrangement on GLCD 5104) have already been featured on Guild Light Music CDs, but it has since been discovered that she was not the ‘Cochrane’ responsible for Call Of The Casbah on GLCD5151: credit for this belongs to pianist Peggy Cochrane (c.1902-1988), at one time wife of bandleader Jack Payne (1899-1969). Joyce’s father Frank Cochrane played the violin, but she was the only one of his five children with a talent for music. She left her home in the Manchester area to settle in Kensington, London, and wrote several attractive songs for shows and films, such as You’re Only Dreaming for the 1950 film "Dance Hall" featuring the Ted Heath and Geraldo orchestras. She contributed mood music compositions to several publishers’ libraries, and was also a fine pianist. The artists she accompanied at various times included household names like Benny Hill, Cliff Richard, Gracie Fields, Vera Lynn, Charlie Chester and Richard Hearne (Mr. Pastry). Joyce Cochrane never married.
Cedric King Palmer (1913-1999), responsible for Going Concern, was a prolific composer of mood music who, during a period of 30 years, contributed over 600 works to the recorded music libraries of several London publishers.
As a young man Michael Freedman (b. 1911) studied the violin, and at the age of 16 he was offered his first engagements in West End theatre orchestras. Thereafter he tended to concentrate more on studying the art of conducting, and at various times worked with Toscanini, Furtwängler, von Karajan and Cantelli. However, like all musicians needing to pay the bills he used his talents widely, and in the early 1950s he was a violinist in the Philharmonia Orchestra. Gradually he became known as a conductor through his BBC broadcasts, and made a few recordings for Oriole. Like so many musicians in the post-war years, Michael Freedman eventually had to seek other work, and he became a London taxi driver.
After a short spell as a bank clerk, Henry Croudson(1898-1971) began his musical career in 1925 as an organist playing for silent films at the Majestic Cinema in his home town of Leeds. He became one of England’s foremost players, eventually working at the top cinemas including the famous Gaumont State, Kilburn, and the Dominion, Tottenham Court Road, London. Henry also wrote many tuneful and well constructed pieces of light music, including Jump For Joy on this CD.
Philip Green (1910-1982), who used the pseudonym Jose Belmonte when composing The Kiss, 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.
Harold (Hal) Mooney (1911-1995) was an American composer, arranger and conductor who worked with most of the top bands and singers during a long career.
Another track gives us the opportunity to correct a likely error in an earlier booklet. The music for Moonlight On The Ganges is credited to ‘Sherman Myers’, which was a pseudonym for the English composer Montague Ewing (1890-1957). In the notes for GLCD5106 – "The 1930s" – misleading information in a reference book suggested that Herbert Carrington was the real name, but it was subsequently confirmed that ‘Carrington’ was yet another pseudonym for Ewing. No doubt it was his prolific output (or maybe his publishers) that persuaded Montague Ewing to adopt different names; such practices are common in the music business, much to the frustration of researchers. Ewing’s successes also included Policeman’s Holiday (on Guild GLCD5139), Fairy On The Clock and Butterflies In The Rain (GLCD5106 and GLCD 5137). Tolchard Evans was a contemporary of Montague Ewing, and in later years he told a reporter that the name ‘Sherman Myers’ was adopted because Ewing felt that the work of an American Jew would be more acceptable on the other side of the Atlantic – and he was right! 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. When he later moved to Capitol he created some fine arrangements for Nat ‘King’ Cole and Frank Sinatra. Happily his new label commissioned him to arrange and conduct his own albums.
Frank Chacksfield (1914-1995), George Melachrino (1909-1965), Andre Kostelanetz (1901-1980) and Ronald Binge (1910-1979) are Guild ‘regulars’ who are already familiar to light music lovers.
The afore-mentioned Tolchard Evans (1901-1978) has a string of song successes to his name, but it is for Lady of Spain (on Guild GLCD 5165) that he is best-known and remembered. Unless enjoyed some popularity in the 1950s, no doubt helped by Peter Yorke’s (1902-1966) charming arrangement.
Derby born Percy Eastman Fletcher (1879-1932) spent much of his career as a musical director in London’s theatreland. A prolific composer, he wrote numerous ballads as well as choral works and light orchestral suites. He is already well-represented on Guild CDs with pieces such as Bal Masque (on GLCD 5108 and 5137), Folie Bergere (GLCD 5128) and Pearl O’ Mine (GLCD5134), but this time the choice is a longer musical overture Vanity Fair.
The highly regarded American composer Morton Gould (1913-1996) generally arranged the works he recorded, and What Is There To Say is a fine example of the way in which fine melodies like this should be performed by a light concert orchestra.
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 made numerous recordings for the background music libraries of major music publishers. His commercial recordings (especially for the American market) were often labelled as ‘Van Lynn’ or ‘Daniel De Carlo’. Xarafes was composed by a wealthy Dutchman called Van Beuningen, who used the pseudonym ‘Guy Brain’. It seems he made his fortune in the oil business, and paid Dolf van der Linden handsomely for arranging and conducting his music.
In the summer of 1956 Frank Sinatra (1915-1998) conducted an album of orchestral music to celebrate the opening of the new Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood, supposedly built to resemble a stack of records. Like many creative artists before him, he wanted to do something completely different, so he engaged a team of top composers and arrangers to create short works based on poems by his radio scriptwriter, Norman Sickel. The poems were all about different colours, so the album was appropriately called "Tone Poems Of Color". Capitol assembled around sixty Hollywood musicians for their star singer, who proceeded to make one of the most unusual recordings of his long career. The line-up included some of Sinatra's well known arranger/conductors such as Nelson Riddle, Billy May, and Gordon Jenkins, as well as iconic figures like Elmer Bernstein and Andre Previn. Jeff Alexander contributed two works: Brown and the one chosen this time Yellow, depicting laughter – this is the fifth track from the album to appear on Guild. Jeff Alexander, born Myer Goodhue Alexander (1910-1989) was well-known in the USA for his work in radio ("The Lucky Strike Show" and "Amos ‘n’ Andy") and later films (around 35 such as "The Tender Trap" and "Jailhouse Rock"). His many television credits include "Columbo" and "The Twilight Zone".
George Melachrino returns with his own orchestra for the final track in this journey through the musical alphabet. ‘Z’ is represented by a charming work Zingara by the French pianist and composer Cécile Louise Stéphanie Chaminade (1857-1944), who has already appeared on Guild with her Scarf Dance. Despite considerable acclaim during her early years when she was an extremely prolific composer, she was largely forgotten during the second half of the last century.