A 229th GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
First, two further "singleton" composers
of musical comedies, this time from around 1920. Herbert Barnes
was responsible for the modest musical Charles Goes East, produced
at Redditch in 1920. The following saw the production in Hammersmith
of a musical entitled Mutt and Jeff; its composer the much more
famous, Lancashire-born Jack Hylton (1892-1965) was pianist,
cinema organist, bandleader (his bands, variously named, were prolific
recording artistes and eclectic as to repertoire, anything from jazz
to classical) and finally theatre impresario for many popular musical
Alf(red) Edwards was a concertina player who
indeed published an instruction book thereon in 1960, rather after the
heyday of this archetypally Victorian instrument. Edwards’ compositions
– or perhaps arrangements would be a more accurate description, as many
were settings of traditional material – included Crafty Clara’s Hornpipe,
Dugald’s Strathspey and Reel, the country dance Peggy Seeger
and the The Wallace Selkirk, all for concertina with orchestra
and The Peter Polka for ocarina and orchestra.
Another Edwards, not related so far as I know, was
Clara, who composed ballads around the time of the Second War,
the titles of these included My Shrine (1948), A Hunt of Spring,
The Fisher’s Widow, Into the Night, My Homeland, My Little Brown Nest
By the Sea, Sometimes at Close of Day, Spain and With the Wind
and the Rain in Your Hair.
And so finally to J. G. Callcott, sometimes
spelt with one l, (1827-?, a mid-Victorian composer of songs and dance
music, of which one of the most popular titles was the Rose of Castile
Polka, based on themes from Balfe’s opera, popular in the 1850s.
He should not be confused with John Wall Callcot (1766-1821),
musical theorist and composer, especially of glees (the once popular
Ye Mariners of England is by him), nor with J.W. Callcott’s son,
William Hutchins Callcott, also apparently, like J.G. Callcott,
a popular composer and compiler of his day.
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.