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The Golden Age Of Light Music – The 1950s Volume 5: Sunny Side Up
Various composers and artists rec. 1955-57
Re-issues from 78s and early 33 rpm LPs ADD
For full track listing see below

GUILD GLCD5142 [78:28]


Experience Classicsonline

Ernest Tomlinson, the grand old man of British light music, once said that what makes light music what it is, is that it’s music where the tune is more important than what you do with it. This disk is full of great tunes with colourful orchestrations, and a real sense of fun and enjoyment. Starting with a bright and breezy Robert Farnon arrangement of Sunny Side Up – where Farnon proves that a full orchestra can really swing like a dance band - this disk is a delight.

One of the joys of this collection is the mixture of well known, and less well known, composers. The programme has been put together with such great care that one never tires of the fact that there is hardly any respite from the high spirits. And what high spirits they are. 

How does one even begin to give a flavour of such a collection? Well, let’s look at the better known composers. Ron Goodwin’s Red Cloak contains a reference to the music he was soon to write for Margaret Rutherford as Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple, mixing an animated piano solo with Spanish-suffused brass and percussion writing. Ronald Binge’s Mischievous Mac contrasts what seems to be a military quick-step with different, contrasting, episodes. As a young composer, Angela Morley came under the spell of Robert Farnon – which gave her the inspiration for A Canadian in Mayfair – and Starlight (here conducted by Farnon) is a lovely nocturne. Ernest Tomlinson is probably best known for the delicious Little Serenade, which grew out of incidental music he wrote to a BBC radio production of The Story of Cinderella, and this Fairy Coach is from the same source. It’s much in the manner of Benjamin Frankel’s Carriage and Pair, from the film So Long at the Fair (1948), but this coach has faster horses! Sidney Torch’s three movement London Transport Suite celebrates three modes of public transport – the Hansom Cab, the Bus (a Routemaster, no doubt, none of that bendy bus nonsense, this is real music for a real bus) and the train – and is a delightful concoction. Bert Kaempfert’s Las Vegas is a pizzicato scherzo of great lightness, with a lyrical middle section.

There’s much to enjoy from the lesser known composers – OK, they are lesser known to me, but perhaps not to you. 

I was particularly taken with Strop and Michel’s Clown on the Eiffel Tower, with its bucolic bassoon and flirty flutes, Ira Lee’s Toot Sweet is another pizzicato scherzo with lyrical middle section and Pares and Roger’s Holiday on the Road is one long delightful tune, with some great orchestrations for the brass. 

There isn’t one dud amongst these 28 pieces – they’re all winners! 

The recordings come from a variety of sources and the sound quality is excellent, but lacking the kind of sense of a concert hall we are used to today, so if you’re going to listen to the whole CD in one sitting it can be slightly tiring on the ears. But this is not a complaint for the discs are presented, without tampering, in their original condition and with their original sound. For this we must be grateful. Fantastic!

This disk is an absolute must for all lovers of light music and anyone who enjoys a good tune. A super issue.

Bob Briggs

Track Listing:

Buddy De SYLVA (1895–1950), Nacio Herb BROWN (1896–1964), Roy HENDERSON (1896–1970) Sunny Side Up (arr. Robert FARNON (1917–2005)) [1:57]
Bert KAEMPFERT (1923–1980) Las Vegas [2:36]
Luis GIUGLIEMI (aka Louiguy) (1916–1991), Jacques LARUE (1906–1961), Mack DAVID (1912–1993) Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White (arr. Johnny GREGORY–pseudonym for Giovanni GREGORI (b. 1924)) [1:51]
Nino RAVASINI Baffi (1957) [2:15]
Jacques STROP, Dany MICHEL Clown on the Eiffel Tower [2:31]
Robert KATSCHER My Friend Elizabeth [2:12]
Ira LEE Toot Sweet [2:30]
Ron GOODWIN (1925–2003) Red Cloak [2:36]
George SIRAVO Bumps-a-Daisy [2:38]
Bernie WAYNE (pseudonym for Bernard WEITZNER) (1919–1993) The Telegraph Operator and the Chorus Girl [2:30]
Georges BOULANGER (1883–1958) Pizzicato Waltz [2:26]
Marvin M WRIGHT Easy on the Eyes (1957) [2:15]
Moro MORALES Vuelve (arr. Laurie JOHNSON) [2:17]
Jack SAY (pseudonym for Jacques YSAYE) Madame Pompadour [2:41]
Angela MORLEY (at that time known as Wally STOTT) (b. 1924) Starlight [2:52]
Tony TAMBURELLO Party Dress (arr. Bruce CAMPBELL) [2:16]
Ronald BINGE (1910–1979) Mischievous Mac [2:54]
Peter (Gabriel Philippe) PARES, Roger ROGER (1911–1995) Holiday on the Road (1957) [2:47]
Len STEVENS Lido fashion Parade [2:49]
Cyril WATTERS (1907–1984) Flat Spin [2:40]
Ernest TOMLINSON (b. 1924) Fairy Coach (1955) [2:37]
Van PHILLIPS (1905–1992) Practical Joker (1956) [2:42]
Frank STERLING (pseudonym for Dennis BERRY) Bel Air [2:50]
Sidney TORCH (1908–1990) London Transport Suite (1957) [6:23]
LEWIS, COCHRANE My Last Love [3:03]
Mahlon MERRICK (1900–1969) Prairie Duster [2:48]
Nelson RIDDLE (1921–1985) Orange (1956) [2:56]
Nacio Herb BROWN (1896–1964) Dance of Fury [2:40]
David Carroll (Lee), Robert Farnon (Brown), Robert French (Say), Ron Goodwin (Goodwin), Bert Kaempfert (Kaempfert), George Liberace (Boulanger), Monia Liter (Ravasini), Geoff Love (Cochrane), Ray Martin (Katscher), Mahlon Merrick (Merrick), Cyril Ornadel (Giugliemi), Franck Pourcel (Strop/Michel), David Rose (Brown), George Siravo (Siravo), Dolf van der Linden (Sterling), Louis Voss (Watters) and Bernie Wayne (Wayne) all conducting their own Orchestras; Ambrose and his Orchestra with strings/Laurie Johnson (Morales), Crawford Light Orchestra (Binge, Stevens and Tomlinson), Danish State Radio Orchestra/Robert Farnon (Morley and Torch), Grosvenor Studio Orchestra (Wright and Pares/Roger), Stuttgart Radio Orchestra/Kurt Rehfeld (Phillips), Symphony Orchestra/Frank Sinatra (Riddle), Telecast Orchestra/Elliott Mayes (Tamburello).


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