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The Golden Age of Light Music

Honey Child (Joyce Cochrane arr. Farnon)
Gypsy Fiddler (Raphael)
Carnavalito (Linda, Zaidiver)
Romantic Interlude (Clive Richardson)
Magic Circles (Ray Martin)
Oh Dear What Can The Matter Be (Trad., arr Cordell)
Television March (Eric Coates)
April in Portugal (Ferrao)
Cactus Polka (Trad., arr. E. H. Plumb, G. Waiter)
Kashmiri Song - from 'Four Indian Love Lyrics' (Amy Woodforde-Finden)
Rainbow Run (Edy Mers)
Prelude To A Memory (Frank Chacksfield)
Goodwood Galop (Robert Farnon)
The Roundabout (Edward White)
Spring Morning (George Melachrino)
Songs My Mother Taught Me (Dvorak, arr. Yorke)
Sand In My Shoes (Victor Schertzinger)
Canadian Capers (Chandler, White, Cohen - arr. Morley)
Rhapsody In Rhythm (Henry Croudson)
The Jolly Brothers (Robert Volistedt)
From Here To Eternity (Karger Wells)
Parade Of The Clowns (David Rose)
One Summer Day (Reginald King)
Ragamuffin (Joe Rixner)
Valencia (José Padilla)
Oklahoma Selection (Rodgers, Hammerstein II- arr. Torch)
I cain't say No, Oh what a Beautiful Mornin', People will say we're in Love,
Surrey with the Fringe on Top, Out of my Dreams, Oklahoma!
Recorded in London, England 1946-55

GUILD: GLCD5104 [78.04]

There has been a current interest in transferring 78rpm to CD by major recording labels. Perhaps it is unusual to see that Guild, principally a Swiss company, have now followed suit and picked on a genre essentially 'everyday' English.

The titles will not be readily known by many under the age of 45, but in the forties and fifties the BBC saturated the airwaves with this style of music in their regular 'Music while You Work' programmes or interludes in some of the BBC comedies. Equally unknown may be the names of some of these small-time composers who often ran radio variety orchestras like Stanley Black and Ron Goodwin. Coates, Farnon and Torch were established composers in their own right but in this compilation it would have been nice to represent Black and Torch. (Has Farnon's catchy tune 'Jumping Bean' recorded on a 78 ever been transferred?)

Not only has Guild's sound restoration and transfer of these 78s by Alan Bunting been excellent, with no hiss or clicks and a wide frequency range, but also the original recordings by Decca, Parlophone, EMI, Columbia, Philips, and Polygon must be admired. The recordings were made at the start of the tape recording era when companies like Decca held fast to the direct cutting method until tape stability had been fully researched.

For me this music certainly evokes memories, but I find its style somewhat monotonous where melody is thin and orchestral texture hallmarked by off-beat brass chords. Listeners who have not been saturated by this music in their youth will find its immediacy pleasing.

Raymond J Walker

Great American Light Orchestras

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