CD REVIEWS – 'This England' Magazine range

‘This England’ Magazine has produced an extensive and attractive range of CDs.

The following examples will be of particular interest to Light Music enthusiasts :-

Classic Swing, Yesterdays Music C157. Music changes and so do listeners’ tastes. For some, however, altering well-known musical pieces and giving them an up-tempo beat is anathema but to others it shows a healthy regard for a fine original tune. Such is the case with this compilation where several musicians have altered the tempi of various popular classical favourites to give them a new dimension. Bach Goes to Town – Benny Goodman, Moonlight Sonata – Glenn Miller, Entrance of the Little Fauns – Jack Payne, Bach Up to Me – Fats Waller, March of the Toys – Geraldo, Who is Sylvia? - Maxine Sullivan with John Kirby, Humoresque – Glenn Miller, Can-Can Polka – Billy Cotton, Pathetique – Stephane Grappelli & Django Reinhardt, Skaters Waltz – Bob Crosby, Song of India – Tommy Dorsey, Liebestraum – Sammy Kaye, Heykens’ Serenade –Sydney Kyte, No Other Love – Jo Stafford, On the Road to Mandalay – Bon Bon, Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind  - Al Bowlly, Hungarian Dance No. 5 – Claude Thornhill, Blue Danube – Les Brown, Prelude in C-Sharp Minor – Nat King Cole Trio, Double Violin Concerto in D-Minor – Eddie South, Stephane Grappelli & Django Reinhardt, It Was a Lover and His Lass – Al Bowlly, Flight of the Bumble Bee – Harry James, Galloping Comedians – Geraldo, Anvil Chorus – Glenn Miller, Humoresque – John Kirby, Swinging Bizet at the Met – Les Brown.

Mood Music, Yesterday’s Music C158. Mood Music first emerged when classical pieces began to be named but the early days of radio and television spawned commercial music libraries with pieces for specific purposes. Most were less than three minutes in length, many much shorter and some only a few seconds. Amongst the more famous companies were Francis Day and Hunter (FDH), Boosey and Hawkes, Paxton, Synchro, Harmonic (Charles Brull), Weinberger, Bosworth, Conroy, Keith Prowse Music (KPM), and De Wolfe. The biggest and most prolific, however, was Chappell which recorded hundreds of tunes by the Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra, their major in-house ensemble conducted post-war by Charles Williams, Sidney Torch and Robert Farnon. Some of the following have never been heard on CD before, including Baby Jumbo, the play out tune to The Clitheroe Kid and Tyrolean Sketches by former BBC producer, Trevor Hill.Devil’s Galop, Barwick Green, Coronation Scot, Top Dog, Golliwog’s Serenade, Theatreland, Midnight Express, Penguin Parade, Ten Days Leave, Here They Are, Eighth Army March, Merry as a Grig, Fun Polka, Jokers Wild, Baby Jumbo, Pedestrian Crossing, In the Saddle, Brush Off, Toytown Parade, Waiata Poi, Bent for Glory, Piccadilly Spree, They’re Racing, Motorway, All the Fun of the Fair, The Odstock Curse, Tyrolean Sketches.

Strictly Come Dancing, Yesterday’s Music C159. At the turn of the 21st century it was estimated as many as 75% of retired married couples had met on the dance floor. This is not surprising because immediate post-war society offered little in the way of mixed live entertainment and the obvious place for fraternisation was he local palais or village hall. Here are 27 different dances. Fred Astaire Medley (Quickstep), Black Bottom, Spanish Gypsy Dance (Paso Doble) Edmundo Ros, Tea for Two (Cha Cha) Tommy Dorsey, The Breakaway Jack Hylton, The Cokey-Cokey (aka Hokey-Cokey) Billy Cotton, Wedding Samba Joe Loss, Poor Little Angeline (Palais Glide)Victor Silvester, Lambeth Walk Ronnie Munr0, Shake, Rattle ‘n’ Roll (Rock ‘n’ Roll) Bill Haley, Ocean Dreams (Bossa Nova), Sailors Hornpipe Jack Byfield, I’ll Get By  (Foxtrot) Joe Loss, Millionaire’s Hoedown, Loveliest Night of the Year (Waltz) Victor Silvester, Peanut Vendor (Rumba) Jack Payne, Choo Choo Boogie Louis Jordan, Conga Victor Silvester, Brown Sugar (Charleston), I am a Courtier, Grave and Serious (Gavotte from The Gondoliers) Sidney Thompson, Hear My Song, Violetta (Tango) Victor Silvester, Mambo Jambo Lester Lanin, Jive at Five Count Basie, Bluebell Polka Jimmy Shand, Gay 20s (Two-Step) Harry Davidson, The Continental Lew Stone, Minuet (theme tune to The Ladykillers film).

Sing Something Simple, Yesterday’s Music C160. The brains behind this long-running programme was Cliff Adams, and for most of its 42 year existence - the longest continuous running music show ever - it was the Cliff Adams Singers who serenaded us, firstly on the Light Programme and later on Radio 2. The debut broadcast in 1959 was billed by the Radio Times as “Songs simply sung for song-lovers”. Rock and roll had already made its mark and in theory it should have attracted mainly older people. However, perhaps surprisingly, it quickly attracted a much wider age range, which it continued to do for the next four decades. There are 27 medleys on this CD, topped and tailed with the theme: Sing something simple, As cares go by, Sing something simple, Just you and I.

Ray Martin, Yesterday’s Music C161. One of the biggest names in British popular music, especially during the 1950s, Ray Martin conducted his own orchestra on radio and television.  Jewish-born,  he had a narrow escape from Austria, but his brother did not survive a concentration camp. Ray never talked about it and always had a smile on his face. According to two musical experts who knew him well, this CD is spectacular and includes all his best-known tunes. “If he was still alive then Ray would have been delighted”. Marching Strings, Blue Tango, Lady of Spain, Petticoats of Portugal, Tango of the Bells, Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend, The Tender Trap, Waltz of Paree, Veradero, Begorrah, Belle of the Ball, Around the World, Ecstasy, Lazy Cowboy, Colonel Bogey, Serenade to Eileen, Carousel Waltz, Woodpecker’s Waltz, Davy Crockett, The High and Mighty, In Old Lisbon, Moonlight and Roses, Waltzing Bugle Boy, Love is a Many Splendoured Thing, The Waltzing Cat, True Love, Three Coins in the Fountain, High Noon, Bavarian Wedding March.

The Churchill Music, Yesterday’s Music, CMM. When Churchill died in 1965, composer Norman Harvey Rutherlyn decided to write a substantial piece of music about him. It took eight years to complete but the result was a memorable 72-minute 11-movement epic tracing Churchill’s life history from his nursery at Blenheim Palace; school days at Harrow; Sandhurst; the Boer War; engagement to Clementine Hozier; Spithead review as Lord of the Admiralty; the First and Second World Wars; and finally a suite about his country home at Chartwell in Kent. The melodic work was premiered on the 50th anniversary of VE Day and now, in memory of its late patriotic composer, it has now been re-released enhanced by contemporary sound effects,.  Good modern music can be hard to find but this is a good example of what it sounds like.

These, and the whole range, may be obtained from :-

This England (Sales)
PO Box 814
Haywards Heath
RH16 9LQ

Telephone  0800 074 0188  (Free from UK landlines)

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Edmund Whitehouse - April 2016

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