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Jonathan Woolf
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The Golden Age of Light Music - Light Music On The Move
rec. 1947-56

John MALCOLM (real name Malcolm John Batt)

Non Stop (arr. Ivor Slaney)
L’Orchestre Devereaux/Georges Devereaux

Main Line
Danish State Radio Orchestra/Robert Farnon

"Reach For The Sky" Film Theme
Sidney Torch and his orchestra
William Hill BOWEN

Paris Metro
The Melachrino Orchestra/George Melachrino
Robert FARNON and Philip BUCHEL

Jockey On The Carousel
Danish State Radio Orchestra/Robert Farnon
Herbert SPENCER and Earle HAGEN

Side Car
Spencer-Hagen Orchestra

Cycling Chimp
L’Orchestre Devereaux/Georges Devereaux

Jogging Along
Louis Voss and his orchestra

Canyon Canter
Charles Williams and his concert orchestra

"Airways" Suite
New Century Orchestra/Sidney Torch
Walter STOTT

Travelling Along
Danish State Radio Orchestra/Robert Farnon
K and W LESLIE (real names Kermit Levinsky & Walter Levinsky)

Walking On Ice
Kermit Leslie and his orchestra
Alfonso D’ARTEGA and Harry SYRACUSE

Drifting On A Cloud
Billy Vaughan and his orchestra
Richard HAYMAN

Skipping Along
Richard Hayman and his orchestra

Sleepwalker Of Amsterdam
Guy Luypaerts and his orchestra
Jack LAWRENCE and Georges Van PARYS

Merry Go Round (La Complainte de la Butte)
Eddie Barclay and his orchestra

Donkey Doodle
Ivor Slaney and his orchestra

Waltzing Bugle Boy (arr. Wally Stott)
Wally Stott and his orchestra
STANTON (real name Reginald Armitage)

Flanagan’s Mare (arr. Anthony Fones)
Harry Davidson and his orchestra
Sidney TORCH

Bicycle Belles
Sidney Torch and his orchestra
Dolf van der LINDEN

Blow The Horn
Dolf van der Linden and his orchestra
Domenico SAVINO

Holiday Express
Roma-Sympho-Pop Orchestra/Domenico Savino

Hiker’s Highway
Louis Voss and his orchestra

Horse And Buggy
Roger Roger and his Champs Elysees orchestra

Bob Sleigh
New Concert Orchestra/Frederic Curzon

Night Train
Otto Cesana and his orchestra

Busy Street
Dolf van der Linden and his orchestra

Air Display
Stuttgart Radio Orchestra/Kurt Rehfeld

Danish State Radio Orchestra/Robert Farnon

The peg on which this particular Guild release is hung is movement – in all its forms. It could be a carousel, or drifting on a cloud; then again you can journey via the Paris metro or take off on a jet plane. There’s room on this highway for buggy, hiker and cyclist; in the air you could meet clouds or voyage into space.

This flag of convenience harbours a wide cargo. Did you know that Malcolm John Batt alias John Malcolm was a mere seventeen when he penned Non Stop, the theme tune for Britain’s then brand-new 1955 ITV News. It began life as a piano piece in 1946 and was arranged some years later by Ivor Slaney; it was apparently chosen by ITN’s editor after some advice from the visiting John Barbirolli. But there is an array of talent here – some justly well known and others unjustly overlooked. Of the former John Addison’s theme for the film Reach for the Sky must be one of the most well remembered. It’s played with no little dash by Sidney Torch and his orchestra for Parlophone in 1956.

Side Car has some heraldic whoops of excitement and is a brassy and athletic salute. There are some whimsicalities in Bobby Pagan’s Cycling Chimp as one might predict but much more impressive is Leslie Bagueley’s Canyon Canter – with its wide open vistas and muted brass. There are some evocative things in the excitement of mass air travel exemplified by Len Stevens’s Airways SuiteStevens knows how to be immediately descriptive and how to paint colourfully with those aerial flutes and cumulus-evoking sonorities.

Then too there are the "icy pizzicatos" of Walking on Ice and the bluesy moments of the Sleepwalker of Amsterdam. There are amusing genre things as well – the Waltzing Bugle Boy and Flanagan’s Mare not excluded. Better is the feminine vitesse of Torch’s Bicycle Belles played by the composer with comprehensive wit. Then there’s the bustle and elegance of Otto Cesana’s Night Train and the insouciance of Roger Roger’s Horse and Buggy. And don’t forget the spooky last track where Farnon and his Danish orchestra do the honours.

The Light Music vaults are still pretty full and Guild is the company to do the rummaging, collate the themes, research the notes, effect the transfers and serve up to a new public.

Jonathan Woolf


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