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July 2020

Radio 2 goodies!

Radio 2 is excelling itself on Sunday:

At 5 pm there's a two hour tribute to Andy Williams hosted by Jimmy Osmond.

At 7 there's a repeat of a Friday Night Is Music Night celebration of Frank Sinatra with the BBC Big Band and singers Liane Carroll, Claire Martin and Ian Shaw. The interval feature is a celebration (by saxophonist and rising Radio 3 presenter Jess Gillam) of Ol' Blue Eyes' arrangers - Nelson Riddle, Don Costa Gordon Jenkins and Billy May.

At 9 in his excellent series The People's Songs Stuart Maconie recalls Winifred Atwell's Coronation Rag and the music of 1953.

At 10 there's Clare Teal as usual and at 11 Don Black - in his final series for Radio 2 - includes a tribute to master lyricist Gus Kahn.

Tell your friends!

Regards Anthony Wills

PS. There's a letter in next week's Radio Times regretting the departure of Don Black and making a plea for Our Kind Of Music to continue to be represented on the network.

July 2020

RIP Johnny & Annie

We have lost two major figures in Our Kind Of Music in the space of a month.

The arranger Johnny Mandel died on 29th June aged 94. He worked with all the greats including Frank Sinatra, Peggy Lee, Barbra Streisand, Tony Bennett and Natalie Cole. He also wrote The Shadow Of Your Smile and the Theme from Mash.

And Annie Ross of Lambert, Hendricks and Ross (and sister of Jimmy Logan) died in New York last week aged 89, four days short of her 90th birthday. She was born in Mitcham (Surrey) in 1930.

Anthony Wills

July 2020

Don Black's final series starts on BBC Radio 2

On Sunday 12th July, Don Black began what he announced would be his final series in the form of 13 new programmes in the former "David Jacobs slot" on BBC Radio 2 (11 pm - midnight).

If you are unable to listen live, you can catch up via BBC Sounds:

July 2020

Ennio Morricone (1928-2020)

Obituary by Chris O'Reilly on Presto Classical website

The Oscar-winning Italian composer, who wrote over 400 film scores and around 100 concert works, has died in Rome aged 91.

Morricone was born in Rome in 1928, and received his first music-lessons from his father Mario, a professional trumpet-player; as an undergraduate at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, the trumpet was initially Ennio's first study, but following postgraduate work with Goffredo Petrassi (to whom he would later dedicate his Concerto for Orchestra) his focus shifted to composition and arrangement.

Throughout the 1950s, Morricone worked as a jazz musician and an arranger for Italian radio and television, as well as ghost-writing for cinema. His first big-screen success in his own right came in 1961, when he composed the score for Lucian Salce’s Il federale; Morricone and Salce went on to work together on films including Crazy Desire (1962), El Greco (1963), and How I Learned to Love Women (1966) as well as on several projects for the theatre.

Read on ....

June 2020

It is our sad duty to record the deaths of two more former members of the Robert Farnon Society, both of which have occurred during the last few months.

John White was a regular attendee at RFS and then LLMMG meetings. By profession a Group Manager for London Underground, latterly at Kings Cross Station, John passed away at West Middlesex Hospital in December 2019, having unfortunately suffered two strokes. He was a great devotee of Frank Sinatra and possessed a huge collection of recordings of the latter. He would be seen taking copious notes throughout our meetings and was always on the lookout for new CDs that interested him.

Ralph Thompson will be remembered by many for his video recordings of RFS meetings, particularly those which had taken place on special occasions. A civil engineer in professional life, Ralph had a number of interests, including photography and videography, cycling and old London buses, in addition to Light Music and record collecting. Regrettably, he had suffered kidney failure towards the end of 2019 and died during February of this year.

Another of our supporters, Peter Luck, was a friend of both John and Ralph, and we are obliged to Peter for providing this information.

Tony Clayden

June 2020

Vera Lynn [1917-2020]

The cover of Radio Pictorial - August 1938

One of the most highly regarded figures in the world of entertainment during World War II - and for many years thereafter – has finally left us after an amazingly long life of 103 years.

Dame Vera, the Forces’ Sweetheart, captured the hearts and minds of our nation, and her voice was regularly heard on radio broadcasts almost up until the present day.

For our own special LLMMG tribute to Vera, we are pleased to present a rare recording dating from 1958 – The Vera Lynn Show – with the Eric Robinson Orchestra, together with guests Bill McGuffie (piano) and vocal group The Keynotes.

This has been made available to us by kind courtesy of The Golden Sounds Collection and may be heard below:

June 2020

Obituary : Jim Palm

It is with regret that we record the death of former Robert Farnon Society member Jim Palm, on April 6th.

Many LLMMG supporters may remember Jim, who, back in the 90s, used to attend our London meetings. For several years he assisted David Ades with the editing of Journal Into Melody, to which he was also a regular contributor.

He hailed from Edgware, Middlesex [on the NW periphery of London] and in professional life worked for the BBC in the latter’s gramophone library.

Upon his retirement from the Corporation, he moved to Salisbury, where he amassed his own sizeable collection of recorded music, much of it comprising discs from the libraries of publishers such as Chappells and Boosey & Hawkes.

Jim had an encyclopaedic knowledge of Light Music, which was put to good use
in the many articles he wrote for JIM and also for newspapers and periodicals in his locality.

Tony Clayden
June 2020

June 2020

Award Winning singer Robert Habermann
sings daily on Facebook at 6.05pm

To chase the Covid Virus Blues away Award Winning singer Robert Habermann is singing 'live' everyday, one popular song from The Great American Songbook on Facebook at 6.05pm. So far he has sung over 100 songs on Facebook since the start of the lockdown!

Thanks to the wonderful world of technology, Robert is accompanied by big bands / orchestras, using the original arrangements and also introduces each song.
Songs include: You Make Me Feel So Young, That Old Black Magic, Summer Wind, I’ll Be Seeing You, Close To You, I Won’t Dance, Unforgettable, All Of Me, Magic Moments as well as current hits, Skyfall, She Bangs etc.

Tune into Facebook everyday at 6.05pm under Robert Habermann, and you will hear one of your favourite songs from The Great American Songbook to take your mind off this unprecedented time by one of the country’s most popular singers

May 2020

"Heather on the Pampas"

As the Aspidistra Drawing Room Orchestra's Whit Monday Concert had to be cancelled due the COVID-19 problem, they have compensated by producing a "lockdown" performance of "Heather on the Pampas" by Sydney Del Monte which you can view below.

Also, Adam Bakker, the organiser of the orchestra, has sent us a podcast entitled "Beguine and Bugatti" which you can find within the Streaming Audio section of our website here.

May 2020

Johnny Gregory (1924 – 2020)

It is with regret that we record the death of the conductor, composer and arranger Johnny Gregory, who died at his home in Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire on April 23rd 2020, about six months short of his 96th birthday.

During his long career, he wrote the scores for fourteen films, (the last in 2000) and TV shows, and was principal conductor of the BBC Radio Orchestra between 1973 to 1974.

He made numerous recordings, both under his own name and (possibly more famously) as Chaquito.

Gregory used a number of other pseudonyms and his orchestra often appeared under the name of The Cascading Strings.

A comprehensive article about his life and work is in preparation and will be published on the LLMMG website in due course.

Tony Clayden

May 2020

May 2020 Update

We were very sorry to be unable to present our May Meeting due to the ongoing COVID-19 problems. We trust that you and yours are all well and are staying safe. It is hoped that we will be able to go ahead with our planned October meeting and will keep you informed as soon as we have any further details.

In the meantime, we have added a new section to the website where you can listen to past programmes of Light Music courtesy of our member David Corbett whose 'Light Programme' is streamed over the web on Sundays.

This section will be updated and expanded to include other presentations over the coming months, including some programmes specially created for London Light Music Online.

Tony Clayden

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held in October 2019

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New CD reviews added:

Yo-Yo Ma (cello)
Roma Sinfonietta Orchestra, Ennio Morricone


The Countess of Wessex's String Orchestra

Sinfonia of London- John Wilson

Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov


Jennifer Pike : Maria Forsström
The Swedish Chamber Choir / Simon Phipps

The David Snell Trio

The London Light Music Meetings Group was formed in 2014 to continue to hold the meetings which were formerly organised by the Robert Farnon Society.

Each of these takes the form of a Sunday afternoon event during which recorded musical items are presented and discussed; they are held in May and October of each year.

The range of music genres is broadly as before embracing Light Orchestral, Film, TV and Theatre - related, Big Band and similar material.

The previous successful format is retained with a central feature/guest speaker and includes live performances from time to time.

We have now expanded this website to include news items, details of other musical events, CD and book reviews, and obituaries.

We welcome contributions in respect of any of the above, also comments and articles.

Please contact our webmaster
or Tony Clayden
- telephone 020-8449 5559.