A 256TH GARLAND OF BRITISH LIGHT MUSIC COMPOSERS
Three brief mentions to begin with. First, a recall
of the name Harvey Richards, a "mood music" purveyor
of a generation or so ago, whose titles include the orchestral miniature
Plain Sailing. Second, a mention for a present day composer of
marches in the shape of Martyn Hancock, especially for The
Jolly Roger. And thirdly, there is the name Malcolm Bennett,
who writes, among other things, music for brass, of which many exemplify
the atmospheric euphonium solo, Rutland Water.
The name Harry Morley Acres was a notable one
in the English musical stage between the 1920s and the 1950s though
primarily as a conductor, notably for shows by Ivor Novello and Noel
Coward. He did however compose in a modest way, with contributions to
The Yellow Mask (1927, mainly by Vernon Duke), the Gaiety successes
Darling I Love You (1930) and The Love Race, with its
motoring background and revues like Shake Your Feet, from which
came Acres’ best known hit song Anybody But You.
Bert Lee was also long connected with the English
musical stage, as librettist and lyricist (and later as film scriptwriter),
often with the Waller and Tunbridge shows, up to the Second World War,
rather than as composer; but he is credited with the music for a number
of songs: I Feel So Lonely for the musical The Island
in 1910, Wild Oats for For the Love of Mike (1931) and
numbers for sundry revues (like Sunshine and Laughter and Razzle-Dazzle)
and for the touring musicals Mr Tickle MP
(1924) and Billy Blue (1928). Generally speaking,
his songs were best suited to revue or the older-style musical hall,
examples being Fares Please! (The Tram-Conductor Girl),
I Love Zomeone in Zummerset (with T.C. Sterndale Bennett), On
the Nancy Lee (with Reg Low) and Fancy You Fancying Me!
with Robert P. Weston, long Lee’s partner as lyricist and librettist
in the theatre.
Philip L Scowcroft
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.