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The Golden Age of Light Music in the 1950s Volume IV – Cornflakes
rec. 1951-56

Bernie WAYNE

Port-au-Prince (arr. Frank Cordell) [2:29]
Frank Cordell and his orchestra

Autumn Concerto (arr. William Hill Bowen) [3:05]
Melachrino Orchestra/George Melachrino

It’s A Lovely Day Tomorrow (arr. Ron Goodwin) [2:22]
Ron Goodwin and his concert orchestra
Peter de ROSE

American Waltz (arr. Laurie Johnson) [2:32]
Ambrose and his orchestra

Manhattan Serenade [2:52]
Werner Muller and his orchestra

Highway Patrol – Theme from the TV series [2:41]
Cyril Stapleton and his orchestra

Spirito [2:41]
Dolf van der Linden and his orchestra
Sidney NORMAN (real name Norman [‘Norrie’] William Paramor)

Cornflakes [2:36]
Les Baxter and his orchestra
Albert MCCARTHY and Richard FREITAS

Fiddlesticks 2:07]
David Carroll and his orchestra
Douglas FURBER and Philip BRAHAM

Limehouse Blues [2:30]
Ray Martin and his orchestra
Michael DURSO and Mel MITCHELL and Murl KAHN

Petticoats Of Portugal [2:36]
Walter STOTT

Quiz [2:45]
Danish State Radio Orchestra/Robert Farnon

Toyshop Ballet [2:20]
Mantovani and his orchestra

Theme from "The Proud Ones" [2:26]
Leroy Holmes and his orchestra
Edward WHITE

Show Girl [2:56]
Dolf van der Linden and his orchestra
The Polygon Light Music Legacy

Franz WAXMAN and Mack DAVID

Many Dreams Ago (from film "Elephant Walk") (arr. Laurie Johnson) [2:49]
Laurie Johnson and his orchestra

Muriella [3:02]
Ray Martin and his orchestra

Desire Tango [2:39]
Geoff Love and his orchestra

Elaine (arr. Johnny Gregory) [2:28]
Johnny Gregory and his orchestra

Letter To Virginia (arr. Laurie Johnson) [2:42]
Laurie Johnson and his orchestra

The Forget-Me-Not Waltz (arr. Johnny Gregory) [2:12]
Johnny Gregory and his orchestra
Benjamin FRANKEL

Lily Watkins Theme (from film "A Kid For Two Farthings") (arr. Laurie Johnson) [2:20]
Laurie Johnson and his orchestra

The Bridge Of Love [2:59]
Jackie Bond and his saxophone and orchestra

Tinkle Box Samba [2:36]
Bernard Monshin and the Concert Tango Orchestra

Episode [2:34]
Geoff Love and his orchestra
Heino GAZE

Song of the Pearlfishers – Tango (arr. Laurie Johnson) [3:14]
Laurie Johnson and his orchestra
Tolchard EVANS

The Watermill (arr. Johnny Gregory) [3:09]
Johnny Gregory and his orchestra

Petite Ballerina [2:24]
Michael Fredericks and his orchestra

Fiddlers’ Boogie [2:37]
Malcolm Lockyer and his orchestra

I have to admit that I’ve rather lost track of the series and volumes-within-series that pour out of the Guild Light Music foundry. But I’m not complaining when the results are so consistently entertaining and when they cannily push to the outer reaches of the fifty-year copyright period. The recording dates of this particular volume cover the years 1951 to 1956.

This disc concentrates on two things – popular instrumentals and the legacy of the Polygon Light Music series. Polygon was a small but potent addition to the recorded labels of the time and it captured a most interesting selection of songs and artists, of whom we have here a representative sample.

The range of instrumentals is much as before. There’s a mini-mini pocket piano concerto as an introductiuon to Autumn Concerto – complete with bossa percussion and "holiday strings" mood. A constant feature throughout is some of the sophisticated voicings fashioned by composers and especially arrangers – listen to Laurie Johnson’s articulate voice leading in the Peter de Rose song American Waltz. Many of the pieces evoke moods, dance or otherwise, and plumb the vernacular – try the bluesy sax in Manhatten Serenade. There are TV theme tunes, popular songs, vacation dreamscapes, and also of course the occasional genre piece to add piquancy.

The title track is the rather rinky-dink old time Cornflakes, written by Norrie Paramor here hiding under the name Sidney Norman - as well he might with this boogie and swirling strings confection. Ray Martin turns in a rather glutinous Limehouse Blues whilst Billy Vaughn comes on strong with some modish percussion in his Iberian jaunt – complete with mouth organ solo. Mantovani plumbs the generic for his contribution and Leroy Holmes goes West in The Proud Ones.

The Polygon tracks are invariably finely played. Ray Martin redeems himself with Muriella, which is the epitome of lyrical elegance, and there’s an equally well-turned Forget-Me-Not-Waltz from Johnny Gregory. The alto saxophone in light music encouraged some questionable taste; how you respond to Jackie Bond’s The Bridge of Love depends on how far you can take this kind of thing. Me, not at all – I’ll stick with Hodges and Benny Carter, thanks. Laurie Johnson infiltrates some intriguing sonorities to the tango from the Song of The Pearlfishers; the Tolchard Evans delight, The Watermill, is evocatively arranged and played by Johnny Gregory. And to finish the Guild compilers leave us on a high – Malcolm Lockyer’s scandalously good-time Fiddlers’ Boogie.

David Ades is doubtless getting thoroughly bored reading how well chosen his selections and notes are. More goodies from the Guild stable.

Jonathan Woolf


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