Fiddles And Bows

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Fiddles And Bows

1 Fiddles And Bows (Emile Deltour)
Vogue Mode MDINT 9080 1962
2 Close As Pages In A Book (Sigmund Romberg; Dorothy Fields, arr. Robert Farnon)
ROBERT FARNON AND HIS ORCHESTRA (LP label credits ‘Jack Saunders Orchestra’)
Everest SDBR 1011 1958
3 Blow Gabriel Blow (Cole Porter)
Mercury PPS 2024 1962
4 Nicola (Steve Race)
Parlophone 45-R 4894 1962
5 Always On My Mind (Philip Green)
Columbia 45-DB 4851 1962
6 Scenic Railway (Roger Roger)
Pacific STO-E 17002 1962
7 Chaconne (Edmund Kötscher)
Qualiton PSP 7109 1959
8 Poppycock (Cyril Watters)
Southern MQ 561 1962
9 The Lonely Dancer (Eric Parkin, arr. Robert Farnon)
Chappell C 735 1962
10 The End Of A Love Affair (Edward C. Redding)
Decca LK 4145 1956
11 The Bottle Theme (Robert Roger Maurice Chauvigny)
Top Rank 45-JAR 142 1959
12 American Hoe-Down (David Rose)
MGM C 788 1959
13 Ole Guapa (Ari Malando)
Polydor LPHM 46012 1957
14 Right As The Rain (Harold Arlen, arr. Percy Faith)
Columbia CS 8360 1960
15 Bubble Car (Felton Rapley)
Chappell C 739 1962
16 Chablis (Franck Pourcel)
Capitol T 10229 1960
17 The Strong And The Tender – Concerto (Bernie Wayne, real name Bernard Weitzner)
ABC Paramount ABC 182 1957
18 Out And About (King Palmer)
DOLF VAN DER LINDEN AND HIS ORCHESTRA (as ‘Paul Franklin’ on disc label)
Paxton PR 614 1954
19 Romantic Rhapsody (Felton Rapley)
QUEEN’S HALL LIGHT ORCHESTRA Conducted by ROBERT FARNON (as ‘David King’ on disc label)
Chappell C 401 1950
20 Joyeux Réveil (Roger Roger)
Vogue Mode MDINT 9080 1962
21 Anglesey (from ‘British Scenes’) (Trevor Duncan, real name Leonard Charles Trebilco)
NEW CONCERT ORCHESTRA Conducted by DOLF VAN DER LINDEN (as ‘Nat Nyll’ on disc label)
Boosey & Hawkes OT2341 1959
22 Shopping Tour (Bruce Campbell)
Impress IA 124-B 1956
23 Some Of These Days (Shelton Brooks)
Polydor LPHM 46091 1958
24 A Man With A Dream (from the musical "Seventh Heaven") (Victor Young; Stella Unger, arr. Jimmy Mundy)
MGM SE 3226 1961

Stereo: tracks 2, 3, 6, 14, 16, 24 ; rest in mono.

Guild Music begins its second Century of Light Music recordings with the tried and tested formula of old friends, plus some new names making their first appearance in "The Golden Age of Light Music" series. Roger Roger (1911-1995) sets the ball rolling with three attractive works, which will appeal to the many admirers of this French musician. The opening track, which gives the title to this collection, was composed by Belgian violinist Emile Deltour (1899-1956). The other two under the baton of Monsieur Roger are his own compositions: Scenic Railway paying tribute to a once popular attraction at many fairgrounds; and Joyeux Réveil, although one wonders if this ‘joyful awakening’ is an accurate portrayal of the emotions of those in the armed forces who have traditionally been awakened from their slumbers by a trumpet call.

Roger Roger was a leading figure on the French music scene for many years, and his fine compositions and arrangements also won him many admirers internationally. He started writing for French films towards the end of the 1930s (firstly documentaries, then feature films), and was responsible for the famous pantomime sequences in Marcel Carné’s "Les Enfants du Paradis"(1944). After the Second World War Roger played piano and conducted a 35-piece orchestra for a major French weekly radio series "Paris Star Time" (Paris a l’heure des Etoiles), which was sent all over the world and even broadcast in the USA. His own instrumental cameos that were featured in the show brought him to the attention of the London publishers Chappell & Co, who were rapidly expanding their Recorded Music Library of background music at that time. Roger’s quirky compositions soon became available to radio, television and film companies around the world, and seventeen have already appeared in this series of Guild Light Music CDs.

The Canadian composer/conductor Robert Farnon (1917-2005) also makes three conducting appearances this time. His talents as a top arranger are employed in Close As Pages In A Book which Sigmund Romberg (1887-1951) wrote in 1944 for the Broadway show "Up In Central Park". It was to be his last staged work produced during his lifetime. The pianist Eric Parkin (b. 1924) must have been delighted when Farnon was commissioned by Chappell & Co to arrange his charming The Lonely Dancer for their Recorded Music Library. In 1997 Parkin repaid the compliment by recording a CD of his own piano transcriptions of Farnon’s most popular compositions.

The third composer whose work is conducted by Robert Farnon is Edmund Felton Rapley (1907-1976) who graduated from being a church organist in Gosport, to a familiar name on the BBC especially during the 1940s and 1950s. He studied at Winchester Cathedral School, and was a regular organist for the Gaumont British Picture Corporation – sometimes being invited to perform the opening concert on newly installed organs such as the Wurlitzer in Hanley on 11 February 1929. He was a prolific composer and arranger, seemingly at home in varied styles although many of his arrangements were hymns and religious works. His own pieces included the Overture Down The Solent (on Guild GLCD5140), Southern Holiday (GLCD5157), the catchy Peacock Patrol (GLCD5143) and Young Man’s Fancy (GLCD5182) - the last two both written under the pseudonym ‘Peter Barrington’. Among other notable compositions of light music were Portrait of Claire (on GLCD5172 - based on Schumann’s song Devotion), Ecstasy, Evening in Capri and Romantic Rhapsody which appears on this CD. Into the 1960s he remained a celebrity, often being billed as "the famous BBC Organist" when appearing in concerts. Charles Williams (1893-1978) conducts Rapley’s other contribution, dedicated to that 1950s and 60s nightmare on the road - the Bubble Car.

The American musician Frederick Fennell (1914-2004) 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.

The British pianist, composer, radio and television presenter Steve (Stephen Russell) Race, OBE (1921-2009) first made his mark as a pianist and arranger with many top British bands of the post-war years. His wide-ranging career also embraced conducting for many TV shows, and he was a popular compere of panel games and music programmes. His charming composition Nicola was dedicated to his daughter.

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 was launched with EMI in 1933, and he is credited with at least 150 film scores. A compulsive worker, he appeared in countless radio programmes and also composed numerous pieces of mood music for major London publishers including Chappell & Co, Francis Day & Hunter, Paxton and EMI’s Photoplay Music, where he ultimately became the only contributor to the catalogue.

Hans Georg Arlt (1927-2011) 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, and was the Concert Master of choice for many leading German conductors, such as Werner Müller, Werner Eisbrenner, Heinz Kiessling and Hans Carste. In addition he recorded a vast amount of music for German radio stations with his own large string orchestra, employing the finest arrangers including Willy Hoffmann, Paul Kuhn, Jerry van Rooyen, Gustav Trost, Arno Flor, Günther Gürsch and Helmut Gardens.

Although not as well-known as most of the other composers on this CD, Henry Cyril Watters (1907-1984) was highly respected by music publishers, with his works such as Poppycock readily accepted for their unfailing high standards. At times he was employed as a staff arranger by Boosey & Hawkes and Chappell, but his prolific output was also accepted by several London publishers. For some years he generously devoted some of his energies in running the Light Music Society for the benefit of his fellow musicians.

During the 1950s and 1960s the English violinist and conductor Cyril Stapleton (1914-1974) was well-known in Britain, thanks to his many radio broadcasts and recordings. Before the second world war he gained much experience in the bands of Jack Payne and Jack Hylton. He enlisted in the Royal Air Force, and towards the end of the war was a member of the RAF Symphony Orchestra. This rekindled an earlier interest in symphonic music, and back in civilian life he decided to concentrate on this area of the music scene. At one particular time he was a member of three orchestras: the London Symphony, the National Symphony and the Philharmonia Orchestra. But he gradually drifted back into working with popular singers such as Dick James, who later achieved fame and fortune as publisher for The Beatles. In 1952 Cyril became conductor of the BBC Show Band, at the time the BBC’s most prestigious outfit in light entertainment.

The composer, arranger and conductor Robert Chauvigny was a well-known figure in post-war French popular music circles, working with the likes of Charles Aznavour and Edith Piaf. His own composition The Bottle Theme is also known by the intriguing alternative title The Bottle Hymn.

David Rose (1910-1990) was one of the biggest names in American light music circles during the middle years of the 20th century. Born in London, England ‘lost’ him when the family moved to the USA when he was aged just four, but he retained a love for his birthplace and in his later life his fascination with steam railways often brought him back across the Atlantic. A prolific composer and arranger, he is an established Guild favourite, and American Square Dance,one of his own brilliant creations, reveals the lush string sound of his magnificent orchestra at its very best.

Werner Müller (1920-1998) was a bassoonist who became the first conductor of the RIAS (Radio In American Sector) Dance Band based in Berlin. 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’. He also recorded under the pseudonym ‘Ricardo Santos’ when playing Latin American music, such as Ole Guapa. A good example of the way in which strings became an integral part of the dance band can be heard in the number made famous by Sophie Tucker Some Of These Days. It is likely that the solo violinist is the afore-mentioned Hans Georg Arlt.ans Geoth

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.

Franck Pourcel (1913-2000) is recognised as one of the big names in French popular music. During his long career he recorded over 2,000 songs, and achieved world-wide success with I Will Follow Him which he co-composed with Paul Mauriat. Chablis comes from an album devoted to French wines he recorded for the American market.

The 1950s seems to have been a very busy period for the American Bernie Wayne (born Bernard Weitzner 1919-1993), composer of The Strong And The Tender. In the USA he is best known for his "Miss America" Beauty Pageant theme, and the hit song Blue Velvet. His string of instrumental successes included Vanessa (GLCD5189), Port-au-Prince (GLCD5130) and Veradero (GLCD5111).

The Dutch maestro Dolf van der Linden (real name David Gysbert van der Linden, 1915-1999) conducts two tracks in this collection, by two distinguished British composers who contributed a vast amount of music to various recorded music libraries. Cedric King Palmer (1913-1999) was able to adapt his writing to many different styles, and Out And About finds him in a decidedly busy mood. To survive in the music business meant accepting many varied commissions, and King Palmer could turn his hand to making popular arrangements of the classics which he often conducted with his own orchestra on the BBC Light programme in the 1940s and 1950s. His many bright and tuneful pieces disguised the fact that he possessed a serious knowledge of music: at the age of 26 he completed a study of the work of Granville Bantock (1868-1946), and in 1944 Palmer wrote ‘Teach Yourself Music’ for the Hodder and Stoughton Home University Series which ran to several editions. He ceased composing mood music in the 1970s, and towards the end of his life he became a patient and popular piano teacher, with sometimes over 60 pupils on his books. Trevor Duncan (real name Leonard CharlesTrebilco, 1924-2005) was working as a BBC sound engineer when one of his first compositions, High Heels (on Guild GLCD 5124) made the light music world sit up and take notice. Eventually his successful and prolific output mushroomed to such an extent that he had to give up his ‘day job’ at the BBC, and also find several different publishers simply because he was writing too much for just one to handle.

Bruce Campbell was one of several writers who owed much to his association with Robert Farnon. He was a fellow Canadian, who actually came to Britain some years before Farnon, and played trombone with various British bands during the 1930s including Ambrose, Jack Harris, Jack Hylton, Sid Millward, Hugo Rignold and Lew Stone. Campbell assisted Farnon on his post-war BBC radio shows, and eventually became a frequent contributor to various mood music libraries. Shopping Tour was written for the Inter-Art (Impress) Mood Music Library, and it joins nine of his own works already on Guild.

The American composer and conductor Tony (Anthony) Acquaviva (his name is also given in reference works as Nicholas Paul Acquaviva - 1925-1998) - although not a frequent visitor to the recording studios, gained recognition in the USA through his involvement with the Symphony of the Air orchestra and as conductor of the 135-strong New York ‘Pops’ Symphony Orchestra which promoted new works by young composers. A Man With A Dream comes from the 1955 Broadway revue "Seventh Heaven" composed by Victor Young (1900-1956). He already had a glittering reputation for his many fine songs, and his Oscar-winning score for the film "Around The World In Eighty Days" was only a year away. Sadly the show (based on a classic silent film from the 1920s) closed after only 44 performances, and its failure was reported to have broken Victor Young’s heart.

David Ades

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