A 190th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
We start this latest bouquet with Felix Powell,
whose fame primarily rests on that song Pack Up Your Troubles in
Your Old Kit Bag, beloved of so many British soldiers during the
Great War and in the Second World War as well. He wrote other songs
as well, including Moon of the Ocean and, from a revue entitled
Son, Have You Seen the Ducks?
We move forward a generation, to encounter the name
of Kenneth Pakeman, active in the post Second War period and
more of an arranger (of folk and popular tunes, separately and in potpourris)
but who composed A Village Suite and music for sundry radio and
film features, most noteworthy of the latter being "Rendezvous
in Berlin" from Beyond the Curtain. That period spawned
a lot of "mood music" writers who were known for just one
or two miniatures; one such is P. McCain, composer of the orchestral
Junior Miss, dated 1951.
Staying in the same era, Michael North (1902-60),
a BBC producer I have, I think, mentioned before, for his march It’s
That March Again, based on the "ITMA" signature tune.
He also composed a number of songs – examples are Give Me the Spice
of Life, I Know That We’ll Meet Again, Such Lovely Things, Summer Time,
They and If you’ve Got Nothing at All – and orchestral scores
for various radio features: Mr Ponsonby’s Fancy and at least
five adaptations of Beatrix Potter stories, Jemina Puddleduck, Johnny
Town Mouse, Mrs Tittlemouse, Pigling Bland and The Tale of Little
We conclude with two more "singleton" musical
comedy composers from the 1980s. Sharon Burgett wrote the music
for The Secret Garden, produced in 1983 at the Salisbury Playhouse.
In the same year Nick Munns was commissioned to write the score
for the musical Swan Esther, for the Young Vic. It achieved a
meagre 26 performances; in a revised version it later toured the provinces,
in a reversal of the usual procedure with musicals, but it enjoyed no
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.