April 2003 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Gary S. Dalkin
Managing Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Curio Corner

Compilation: George Melachrino and his Orchestra - Great Film and Show Tunes  
Selections from:
Call Me Madam (Irving Berlin)
Kiss Me Kate (Cole Porter)
Show Boat (Jerome Kern)
Carousel (Rodgers and Hammerstein II)
The Dancing Years (Ivor Novello)
Three Little Words (Bert Kalapr and Harry Ruby)
You're My Everything (Various) Cole Porter Fantasy
Gershwin Fantasy
  Available on: Living Era CD AJA 5469  
Running Time: 75:06
Crotchet   Amazon US

melachrino film

London born, George Melachrino, singer and performer on clarinet, alto and tenor saxophone, violin and viola, worked with many dance bands through the 1930s. Quoting David Ades' notes, "During World War II he became Musical Director of the Army Radio Unit and his 50-piece 'Orchestra in Khaki' toured with the 'Stars in Battledress'. When the Allied Expeditionary Forces Programme of the BBC began broadcasting to Allied Troops on 7 June 1944 (one day after D-Day), George Melachrino was featured conducting the British Band of the AEF; his colleagues were Glen Miller and Robert Farnon, fronting the American and Canadian Bands. After the war Melachrino built on his service band to form the magnificent orchestra that went on to achieve worldwide fame, mainly through its superb long-playing records which sold in millions."

This album is a compilation of recordings issued on 78s from 1950-52. They demonstrate the quality and exuberance of Melachrino's tasteful arrangements. All the familiar hit songs from Call Me Madam, Kiss Me Kate, Show Boat and Carousel are here and it is good to hear a British musical, Ivor Novello's The Dancing Years included. You're My Everything was filmed by 20th Century Fox in 1949. It starred Dan Dailey and Anne Baxter and the songs included 'I May be Wrong', Ain't She Sweet', 'On the Good Ship Lollipop' and 'California Here I Come'. Three Little Words featured Fred Astaire and Red Skelton and the songs, 'Who's Sorry Now' and 'Three Little Words'.

The two fantasies are brilliant romantic arrangements of some of the best-loved melodies of the 20th century. The Cole Porter Fantasy comprises: 'Just One of Those Things'; 'What is This Thing Called Love'; 'You Do Something To Me'; 'Easy to Love'; 'Night and Day' and 'Anything Goes'. The Gershwin Fantasy has: 'The Man I Love'; 'Fascinating Rhythm'; 'Embraceable You'; 'Lisa'; 'Summertime'; 'Let's Call The Whole Thing Off'; 'Love Walked In'; 'Rhapsody in Blue'; and 'I Got Rhythm'.

Nine brilliant 8-minute big band arrangements of some of the most treasured tunes from film and show musicals. A wonderful nostalgic treat for ever-young over 60s and for all those who enjoy TV re-runs of these shows.

Ian Lace

**** 4

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