A 130TH GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
First, four more figures from the 1920s British stage musical scene. Louis Jeromeís biggest success was Suzette (1917) for which most of the music was composed by Max Darewski; Jeromeís own later show, Patsy from Paris (1927) did not get beyond the provinces. Harris Weston, or Harry Weston composed a large number of music-hall type songs, among them Stop and Shop at the Co-op Shop and Mammaís Gone Dancing, and monologues like Harmonica Dan and Signalman Sam. Several of the songs were incorporated into films such as The Flag Lieutenant and The Mayorís Nest, or revues like Stop Go, whose hit was the song Olga Pullofski, By the Way and Hit the Deck. Of his musical comedies, King Rags (1927), starring Wee Georgie Wood, was toured provincially; Weston also contributed to the successful musicals by Jack Waller and Joseph Tunbridge, Merry Merry (1929) and Virginia.
Hubert W. David composed the musical The Island Princess, premiered at the (still extant) Lyceum Theatre in Sheffield in 1928 and toured through the provinces, and contributed to Sweet Seventeen (1933) which had a handful of performances on the South Coast. He was the son of Worton David, librettist of many musicals of the post-1914 era and co-composer of revue songs such as I Want to be Somebodyís Baby, I Do Like a SíNice SíMince SíPie, I Want to Sing in Opera and The Rest Of the Dayís Your Own. Christabel Marillier rose to at least modest fame with her music for The Rose and the Ring (1928), a light opera/musical fantasy after Thackeray, similar to a ballad opera in style, which was premiered at Eastbourne then reached the West End (Apollo, then the Playhouse) for 52 outings. Malcolm Sargent conducted some of the earlier performances; in 1929 it was revived at the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith under Alfred Reynolds. Marillier was, seemingly, virtually a "one work" composer, but songs like The Lent Lily did achieve publication.
Wilfred Heaton, who died in May 2000, I met in the years around 1970 when he conducted the Yorkshire Concert Orchestra. But he was more particularly associated with brass bands, Salvation Army and other; his compositions included the marches Praise and Concert March (not performed until 2000), a Toccata and, his main work, Contest Music (1974, published, but not in fact used as a contest test piece) all ideal for brass band.
Finally, back to the 1920s. John Kinrossís works for young performers, vocal (e.g. Gretna Green) or instrumental, like A Sea Shanty for piano solo, enjoyed some popularity. And Molly Carew was quite a prolific composer of ballad-type songs, most popular of which were The Market and Loveís A Merchant; other titles included April is in Sight, The Dorothy Perkins Rose, Fairy Cradles, Springís a-coming to Town, Tiptoe, Loveís a Merry Auctioneer, Over the Meadow and The Piper of Love.
Philip L. Scowcroft
Enquiries to Philip at
8 Rowan Mount
S YORKS DN2 5PJ
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.
E-mail enquiries (but NOT orders) can be directed to Rob Barnett at firstname.lastname@example.org