A 213th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
The popular songs of this country, whether of "traditional"
provenance or not, are rich sources for the manufacture of light music.
To take (for the moment) just one example, Ilkley Moor (or Ilkla
Mooar), the "Yorkshire anthem", though the tune is of
Kentish origin, has furnished several pieces of light music, including
Eric Fenby’s brilliant overture, Rossini on Ilka Moor,
Sam B Wood’s West Riding March, written for the Brighouse
and Rastick Band, plus the piano piece Ilkley Moor (1933) and
an Ilkley Moor March, both by Paul Windrush. Many people
have set the song for varying choral or instrumental forces, most interestingly
Alan Bush, for SAB voices, and Christopher Gunning for
YTV purposes. The tune has appeared in countless light selections by
such diverse figures as Debray Somers, George Formby, Burl Ives and
Gordon Langford (in his North Country Fantasy for brass band)
and many, many more.
Now for yet another little handful of musical comedy
"singletons", post Great War this time: T Vaughan-Lawton
for his musical comedy A Manchu Maid, toured in 1921; Ernest
Woodville, for his musical extravaganza, The Buccaneers,
also toured in 1921; and C. Gibbs-Seymour, for his romantic musical
play Love and Laughter, produced in Leeds in 1923.
The ballad composer Donald O’Keefe, active in
the post Second War period, is worth our memory for the titles At
the End of the Day, Wher’er You Go (1951) and Give a Helping
Finally, we go back to the Victorian era for a mention
for Herbert J. Ellis, a banjo player of the time who arranged
prolifically for banjo(s) with or without piano: operatic airs, popular
songs and a few more or less original compositions: Ellis’s Excelsior
Banjo March (banjo and piano), Ellis’s Banjo Galop for two
banjos or banjo/piano or two banjos and piano, Ellis's Wild Rose
Polka (banjo/piano or two banjos) and, for banjo and piano, Ellis's
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.