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British Cinema and Theatre Orchestras
G. GROITZCH

The Juggler
Commodore Grand Orchestra Conducted By Joseph Muscant
Ernest BUCALOSSI

Grasshoppers’ Dance
Paramount Theatre Orchestra Conducted By Arthur Anton Featuring Al Bollington, Organ
Jerome KERN

"Show Boat" – Selection: Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man; Why Do I Love You; Ol’ Man River
Coventry New Hippodrome Orchestra Conducted By William Pethers
Felix ARNDT

Nola
Regal Cinema Orchestra Conducted By Emanuel Starkey
BARNES

Doll Medley: Dainty Doll, Lonesome Little Doll
Phil BOUTELJE

Rag Doll

Nacio Herb BROWN
Little Dutch Doll (Ravel), Doll Dance, Wedding Of The Painted Doll
John S. ZAMECNIK
China Doll Parade)
Paramount Theatre Orchestra Conducted By Arthur Anton Featuring Al Bollington, Organ 
Percy FLETCHER

Bal Masque – Valse Caprice (from Two Parisian Sketches)
Plaza Theatre Orchestra Conducted By Frank Tours
Noel COWARD

"Conversation Piece" – Selection: Brighton Parade; Danser, Danser; I’ll Follow My Secret Heart; There’s Always Something Fishy About The French; Regency Rakes; Nevermore; Dear Little Soldiers; English Lesson; Lady Julia’s Theme; Melanie’s Aria (Finale Act II); I’ll Follow My Secret Heart
His Majesty’s Theatre Orchestra Conducted By Reginald Burston
Lewis GENSLER

Speakeasy
Troxy Broadcasting Orchestra Conducted By Joseph Muscant
John BELTON

Ye Merry Blacksmiths
Granada Walthamstow Orchestra Conducted By Charles Manning
Jerome KERN

"The Cat And The Fiddle" – Selection: Entr’acte; She Didn’t Day "Yes"; Dance; Try To Forget
Palace Theatre Orchestra Conducted By Hyam Greenbaum
Albert W. KETÈLBEY

Bells Across The Meadow
London Palladium Orchestra Conducted By Richard Crean
John S. ZAMECNIK

Babylonian Nights
Gaumont State Orchestra Conducted By Alfred Van Dam
Brian HOOKER/ Rudolf FRIML

"The Vagabond King" – Selection : Only A Rose; Huguette Valse; Song Of The Vagabonds
Coventry New Hippodrome Orchestra Conducted By William Pethers
Percy FLETCHER

Fifinette – Intermezzo Gavotte (Three Light Pieces Suite)
Prince Of Wales Playhouse Orchestra Conducted By Frank Westfield
Vivian ELLIS (composed by, except ‘It’s d’Lovely’ ‡ by Cole PORTER) "The Fleet’s Lit Up" – Selection: They’ve A Way Of Doing It In The Navy, Guess It Must Be The Spring, Little Miss Go-As-You-Please, How Do You Do Mr. Right?, It’s d’Lovely , Change Of Address, I’m A Dictator, Hide And Seek, The Fleet’s Lit Up
Geraldo And His London Hippodrome Orchestra
Cecile CHAMINADE

Scarf Dance
Plaza Theatre Orchestra Conducted By Frank Tours
Gabriel SEBEK

In The Sudan
Gaumont State Orchestra Conducted By Alfred Van Dam –
Milton AGER/Jack YELLEN
King Of Jazz" – Selection: Ragamuffin Romeo (Harry de Costa/Mabel Wayne), It Happened In Monterey (Billy Rose/Mabel Wayne), I Like To Do Things For You, Happy Feet, A Bench In The Park, Song Of The Dawn (all by
Regal Cinema Orchestra Conducted By Emanuel Starkey With Quentin Maclean, Organ
Recorded 1927-39
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5108 [78.17]


It’s good to see some often-passed-by fare on this release. Regal Zonophones nestle close to Parlophones alongside the bigger fish on HMV, Columbia and Decca. And that’s part of the depth of this latest entrant in the Guild Light Music series, to go excavating in the cinema-lined suburbs and return with local bands and theatre orchestras that are now as familiar to us as coelacanths.

A good number of cuts have theatre organ and light orchestra, a popular genre combination in the days before cost cutting swept the orchestra forever out of the cinema. All are British bands, many fronted by prestigious band and theatre conductors, and the recordings take us from early electric discs to almost the outbreak of the Second World War.

Joseph Muscant’s Commodore Grand Orchestra belies its name with some rinkety-dink ersatz jazz – and none too disciplined at that, though Muscant was a big name in the field. One of the most amazing sonorities is that conjured by the inspired combo of organist Al Bonnington – you can almost see the cigarette cards as you say the name – and conductor Arthur Anton in a piece of fluff called Grasshoppers’ Dance. The theremin-like hallucinatory sound picture is bizarre and irresistible – for the length of the disc anyway. The Noel Coward selection is peppy and vibrant and Muscant turns up again, this time with the Troxy Broadcasting Orchestra, to dust down some dancing shoes in Speakeasy (it’s not very Cagney ‘n’ Edward G Robinson).

My erstwhile local, the Walthamstow Granada, once the haunt of Duke Ellington et al had its own band which recorded for Regal Zonophone and it turns in a creditability Handelian number but one of the most enjoyable and adrenalin-laced bands was that of the Palace Theatre conducted by Hyam "Bumps" Greenbaum, well known to those interested in heavier British music. Bags of verve from Bumps. There are moments culled from stage and film, with such as Babylonian Nights, which reeks of gaudy monstrosity but also English pastoral moments as well (Ketèlbey meets VW). Geraldo gives us some easy swing and then there are the evanescent and very real charms of the Chaminade (Frank Tours and the Plaza Theatre). The big finale is the King of Jazz selection – organ, percussion, orchestra and trumpet going Hell for leather.

An enjoyable, nostalgic by-way, this; well transferred with David Ades’ uncommonly helpful notes once more to the fore.

Jonathan Woolf



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