The Golden Age of Light Music - A First A-Z of Light Music
Alpine Pastures [3:15]
Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Sidney Torch
Baubles, Bangles And Beads [3:24]
Warren Barker and his Orchestra
The Christmas Tree [2:26]
David Rose and his Orchestra
Durch Dich Wird Diese Welt Erst Schön (Through You This World Is Beautiful) [2:38]
Hans Georg Alt and his Orchestra
Escape To Monaco [2:28]
John Scott Trotter and his Orchestra
Flowing Stream [2:50]
New Century Orchestra/Erich Börschel
Going Concern [3:10]
The Grosvenor Studio Orchestra/Dolf van der Linden
High Flight [3:19]
Michael Freedman and his Orchestra
It Wouldn't Be Love [3:59]
Robert Farnon and his Orchestra (LP label credits ‘Jack Saunders Orchestra')
Jump For Joy [1:34]
The Connaught Light Orchestra
The Kiss [3:00]
Angela Morley and her orchestra (as ‘Wally Stott' on 78 label)
Leo [2:30]
Hal Mooney and his Orchestra
Moonlight On The Ganges [2:25]
Gordon Jenkins and his Orchestra
Noche Amour [3:43]
The Rio Carnival orchestra
Over The Rainbow [3:35]
Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra
Parole E Musica [2:30]
George Melachrino conducting the Orchestra of the 6th San Remo Festival
Quiet Night [3:14]
Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra
Rose-Beetle Goes A-Wooing [2:42]
Regent Classic Orchestra
Sunshine Express [2:53]
Group-Forty Orchestra/Eric Cook
Tip-Toe Through The Tulips [2:04]
Ronald Binge and his Orchestra
Unless [2:24]
Peter Yorke and his Concert Orchestra
Vanity Fair (Overture) [5:47]
The New Concert Orchestra/Jay Wilbur
What Is There To Say (from Ziegfeld Follies of 1933) [3:27]
Morton Gould and his Orchestra
Xarafes [2:44]
Dolf van der Linden and his Orchestra
Yellow [2:35]
Symphomy Orchestra/Frank Sinatra
Zingara [3:13]
The Melachrino Orchestra/George Melachrino
rec. 1938-59
The rationale here is a sequential one, A-Z, starting with A for Alpine Pastures and ending with Z for Zingara. Imagine call-signs recalibrated to Light Music tastes; instead of Foxtrot Golf we’d have Flowing Stream Going Concern. Might be more entertaining after a few drinks.
Guild has been reduced to alphabetising its wares after having pursued every creative rabbit down its hole, every compilatory bat to its roosting nook and cranny. This indefatigable outfit has now turned to the building blocks of language to sell its product.
There are a number of sprightly favourites on show, not least Alpine Pastures itself, a Vivian Ellis song played by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra under Sidney Torch. An ultra romantic Baubles, Bangles And Beads follows, courtesy of Warren Barker. The Christmas Tree was a U.S TV perennial and it’s played with familiar artistry by one of the maestri di maestri of the genre, David Rose. There is some rather kitschy percussion – a volatile and occasionally besetting sin of this genre in the late 50s especially – in Durch Dich Wird Diese Welt Erst Schön, played by Hans Georg Arlt, a very on/off director as far as I’m concerned.
John Scott Trotter’s Escape To Monaco doesn’t entirely escape censure, if I can put it that way, being rather corny in places too. To compensate we have King Palmer’s Going Concern, a genial offering. Michael Freedman and his orchestra essay Eric Coates’s splendid High Flight, a sprightly march, in good style. Freedman had been a very capable violinist, playing in the Philharmonia in the 1950s, before gradually moving away from music. He ended up driving a cab. A sumptuous reverie appears when Farnon plays It Wouldn't Be Love whilst there’s a taut, percussion-heavy tango at work in The Kiss (Angela Morley’s band – the song is by Philip Green, masquerading as the olive skinned lothario Jose Belmonte).
Veering from a ‘Saharan’ march to skittishness is the slightly weird Leo, written by Hal Mooney who plays it with his own band. Moonlight on the Ganges is a moody little number that gets the Gordon Jenkins treatment. Let’s forget Noche Amour as paraded by The Rio Carnival Orchestra – ugh! It might seem superfluous to have yet another version of Over The Rainbow – how many times can one listen to this in a rational life? – but if there is to be yet another time let it be mediated by Frank Chacksfield and his crack bunch of musos. There’s a pre-War track in the shape of Rose-Beetle Goes A-Wooing played by the Regent Classic Orchestra for Bosworth in 1938, and delightful it is too, if inconsequential. Who were the Group-Forty Orchestra, under Eric Cook, who play Sunshine Express?
Ronald Binge turns up with a saucy arrangement of Tip-Toe Through The Tulips and that estimable bandleader Jay Wilbur appears in a 1946 recording of Percy Fletcher’s quite Elgarian Vanity Fair overture. Sinatra, no less, conducts Yellow, by Jeff Alexander, from an album of all Sinatra-directed tunes from 1956. Finally we have Zingara written by the exceptional French pianist Cécile Chaminade and arranged by Arthur Wilkinson. Her Paris 78s cost a packet.
Another full to brim disc, then, encapsulates a wide variety of music from the Light genre, in good style.
Jonathan Woolf

Another full to brim disc encapsulates a wide variety of music from the Light genre, in good style. ... see Full Review