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  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

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

June 2001


Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount

DONCASTER

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 rob.barnett1@btinternet.com


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