A 197th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
Hubert Gregg (1914-) is known, and indeed loved,
as an actor, lyricist, author, playwright, director, singer (I recall
him from an LP of My Fair Lady in the 1950s) and composer, truly
an all-round man of the theatre, who was involved with films and radio
as well. He was responsible for the lyrics and/or music of around 200
popular songs, the most popular of those he wrote music for being Iím
Going to Get Lit Up When the Lights Go Up in London, Maybe Itís
Because Iím a Londoner, Doctor at Sea and London in the Rain.
Adrian Welles Beecham was the eldest son of
Sir Thomas Beecham, who is for many the greatest-ever British-born conductor.
Between the 1930s and 1950s in particular the younger Beecham composed
many songs, not a few of them for productions of Shakespeare plays.
Some of his titles were better known in settings by others Ė for instance
Drakeís Drum and Outward Bound (cf. Stanford),
Go Lovely Rose (cf. Quilter), perhaps even Little Maid
of Arcady (cf Sullivan Ė but others were Sing to Me Dearest,
Quiet, The Balliol Rooks, Garden and Cradle and two extensive
volumes of settings of W.S. Gilbertís Bab Ballads). Sir Thomas
(1879-1961) himself almost merits an inclusion for his characteristic,
if unscholarly, arrangements of Handel.
Staying with the same period we mention Ann Driver,
popular childrenís broadcaster, for her Animal Songs For Young Children
and Roger Fiske (1910- ?), also a frequent broadcaster and a
writer, critic and musicologist, who arranged many traditional songs,
British and other, an extended suite of Pantomime Music, drawn
from his specialist period of 18th Century British music,
and vocal pieces, mainly for children (e.g. Alice in Wonderland Songs,
Henry Penny Songs, Jack and the Beanstalk Songs, Six Nursery Tunes,
Sam Sailorís Shanty, Cinderella Songs and Three Bearís Songs)
but others such as Weathers, Spring Song, Miss Cherry and Sweet
Echo. And Clive Carey (1883-?) lived within roughly the same
period; his ballad-type songs included In the Highlands, April Children,
Love on My Head From Heaven Fell, The Nightingale, Song of the Sirens
and To Violets.
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.