An astonishing number of British composers of light
music have contributed "production music" or "mood music" to the recorded
music libraries run by various publishers from early on this century,
many of which are still flourishing and on which film, TV and radio
producers have drawn. For example, CHRIS ELLIOTT has recently composed
a Millennium Theme, specially commissioned by Chappell's RML.
Three composers for Amphonic are the late PAUL READE, previously featured,
SUZANNE DAVIES (examples of her miniatures are Rainbow Way, Waterfall
and Rag Doll) and JOHN FOX (eg Pastoral Impressions and
Rural Impressions and many arrangements).
De Wolfe's portfolio has included PAUL LEWIS and IVOR
SLANEY, both previously discussed, JOHNNY HAWKSWORTH, composer of music
adopted as title and other music for TV shows like George and Mildred,
Man About the House, Mother Makes Three (five)) and Delia Smith,
ANTHONY MAIVER (1930-99): Mood Mediterranean, a five movement
"suite" from the 1960s, and the even earlier Blue Peter, which
is not the title music for the children's TV programme). ENA BAGA, a
talented pianist and organist (at the Tivoli and on the BBC) either
side of the last war, and H.M. FARRAR whose titles included Dress
Rehearsal and Housewife's Choice. Chappell's perhaps remain
the most prestigious of the RML's with, down the years, regular contributors
like Robert Farnon, Sidney Torch, Charles Williams and the recently
deceased Clive Richardson among many others. By no means all wrote exclusively
for one publisher.
PHILIP PROSPER SAINTON (1891-2969), remembered by
BMS members primarily for his songs and symphonic poems, did, in the
course of his relatively small surviving output dabble in light music
such as the "production music" miniatures Carnival, Caricature
and Mechanical Energy and of course his score, recently recorded,
for the 1956 film Moby Dick.
From the "production music" great age came ALAN MOORHOUSE,
active in the sixties and seventies, a prolific arranger and composer
of, for example "mood music" tunes like Corridors of Power, the
trumpet solo Hill on the Hill and the World Cup March
dating from 1966, which, as we never need to remind ourselves was the
year we won.
One military band conductor/composer we have not so
far noted is PAUL NEVILLE, a Royal Marines Director of Music of the
1960s and 1970s, whose compositions included two marches: the majestic
Sword of Honour (1973) and the quiet march Shrewsbury Fair
Finally our Victorian dance music composer this time
bears the name WHEELER, possibly the CLARENCE E. WHEELER who produced
ballads such as The Little Clock on the Mantel, but, his Chic
Polka and whose Daisy Waltz appeared in the programme of
the Doncaster Infirmary Ball of January 1884.
Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is
currently out of print.