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Other Composers

who made individual contributions

...to the field of Light Music, who are known best for certain specific pieces, include:


John Philip Sousa (November 6, 1854 -- March 6, 1932)

was born in Washington, D.C., of Portuguese-American parents. A versatile student in a military academy, at 17 he played violin in an orchestra led by French Can-Can composer Jacques Offenbach. His leadership of the U.S. Marine Band under five U.S. presidents (1880-1892) and the march compositions he wrote for the Band would have been enough to insure his fame. But he left the Marine Band post in order to form a civilian wind band of his own as a touring commercial enterprise, at the urging of promoter David Blakely.

Although Sousa--"the March King" may not be associated with "light music" per se, the Sousa Band was one of the first real popular instrumental stars of American music. They had phenomenol success touring the world over between 1892 - 1932, popularizing and playing the catchy melodies composed by their leader and others.

Sousa compositions are often put into the separate category of a "Brass Band" music. But they somehow rise above the mundane marching tune to the level of a light-classical composition, similar to those of Leroy Anderson. Sousa was a broader musician than many people realize.

He was a charter member of the performance rights society ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers.) Sousa's good-natured melodies are not always heavy and rigid as the marches of other composers who preceded him. Certain Sousa marches have such good memorable tunes, they can be considered as another part of the rainbow of "light music".

Recommended compositions of John Philip Sousa:

  • Semper Fidelis (1888)
  • The Washington Post (1889)
  • The Thunderer (1889)
  • High School Cadets (1890)


Link to David Lovrien's Web page on John Philip Sousa

Eric Coates (August 27, 1886 - December 21, 1957)

was born in Hucknall, England -- in a coal mining region of Great Britain. He studied music in Nottingham and at the Royal Academy of Music in London. He began his career playing violin in various orchestras. But soon specialized in creating arrangements and compositions.

Many in Great Britain feel that Eric Coates was the originator of what was called "Light Music" (as opposed to more serious concert music.) He certainly was among its most ardent practicioners in an era when purist music critics attacked any orchestral music that did not aspire to loftier goals such as those of the more traditional composers.

Although "Salon Music" for restaurants and dance halls were known, the blending of popular or folk-style melodies in a classical orchestration presented in a concert hall was at first vigorously resisted by critics. But the public on both sides of the Atlantic was eventually charmed with setting more accessible melodies in full orchestral arrangement. It was soon won over to the idea of lighter concerts in addition to the heavier fare heard in concert halls; so after this trend caught on there was no stopping the trend of "light music concerts" (or "pops concerts" as we would call them in America.)

Americans tend to view Coates as a composer of quintessentially British melodies, who is often confused with those of Edward Elgar. He is often underrated or under-recognized outside his home turf.

Recognition came first to Coates in England through his "light music" writing of Promenade concert music from 1918 - 1928. A 1930 composition inspired by a summer evening at the beach in Selsey was called originally "A Valse Serenade." But it resulted in spreading his music far and wide. A recording company known as Desert Island Discs recorded it under the title "By The Sleepy Lagoon" using it as a signature tune for a radio program, and it became an internationally known waltz. In the U.S., it was first popularized by trumpeter Harry James and his orchestra (Ray Anthony and Al Hirt later recorded cover versions.) A 1950s vocal version of "Sleepy Lagoon" with lyrcs by Jack Lawrence continued to spread its popularity through recordings by Vaughn Monroe, Alfred Alpaka and The Platters.

In 1932, a suite of three movements which he called "The London Everyday Suite" was premiered to popular acclaim. Two of its movements -- the opening tarantella "Covent Garden" and the concluding march known as "Knightsbridge" were to make his reputation solid. He wrote several other suites in characteristically British style -- including The Three Men Suite (1935), The London Again Suite (1936), The Springtime Suite (1937) and The Three Elizabeths (1944.)

Although perhaps best known as "the king of light music" in Britain, Eric Coates was a prolific composer who wrote in many forms -- including chamber music, piano pieces and songs; he also scored films -- notably "The Old Curiousity Shop" (1934) The Dam Busters" (1954) and High Flight (1956.)

Coates also wrote two ballets which were never staged called "The Jester At The Wedding" and "The Enchanted Garden." But ballets suites from them were eventually performed and recorded.

Coates wrote a charming rhapsody in 1936 for a new instrument invented by Adolph Saxe "to imitate the sound of the negro voice" called the Saxo-phone. Coates' "Saxo-Rhapsody" was to bring the concert-going audience to meet what must have sounded like an exotic instrument at the time. In contrast to its uses in jazz bands, the Saxo-Rhapsody is a dream-like concert work which showed the lyrical side of this instrument.

During World War II, another Coates composition found use on radio during two daily broadcasts. "Calling All Workers" was the signature tune that introduced a program intended to be heard in factories during their morning and afternoon break times, to raise the spirits of those working so hard during those very dark days.

And after the war, when the BBC was allowed to resume its experimental broadcasts of a new medium known as "Television" in 1946, Coates also commemorated the event with his "Television March."

And in 1948 his march tune "Music Everywhere" was adopted as the signature for a British radio/TV cable company with the name "Rediffusion" (In the U.S. we might say "Re-transmission"); Coates composition became known as "The Rediffusion March."

And in the 1970s a piece he composed was adapted as the theme for the TV mini-series "The Forsyte Saga".

Eric Coates died in a hospital in Chichester around Christmas, 1957 -- just a month after he conducted a royal command performance for the Queen of England. He was 71.

Recommended compositions by Eric Coates:

  • Covent Garden, first movement of the "The London Suite" (1932)
  • Saxo-Rhapsody (1936)
  • Calling All Workers - March (1940)
  • Television March (1946)
  • Music Everywhere -- The Rediffusion March (1948)

Benjamin Frankel (January 31, 1906 - February 12, 1973)

was born in London, England. He played piano and violin, and studied composition at London's Guildhall School of Music.

Known first as a jazz violinist in night clubs, he soon found work arranging musical theatre shows in the West End of London. These shows included those of C.B. Cochran and Noel Coward.

Recognition came late (while he was in his 40s), after he wrote a series of serious compositions including a violin concerto in the early 1950s. This led to some later work scoring films.

His "Carraige and Pair" is from a film he scored in 1950 called "So Long At The Fair" starring Jean Simmons and Dirk Bogarde. The haunting melody is used throughout during carraige rides, and the public soon requested recordings of it, and its use on "light music" radio programs in England.

Recommended compositions by Benjamin Frankel:

  • Carraige And Pair, by Benjamin Frankel (1950)

Ken Warner (1902 - 1988)

was born Oslow Boyden Waldo Warner in the Chiswick region of London, England. His father was a music professor and violist with the London String Quartet.

Ken was given a private education at the respected Guildhall School of Music in London where his father taught music.

After graduation, he used the "professional name" Oslow Kent, playing saxophone, clarinet, and violin in various British dance bands of the 1920s.

He joined the BBC light orchestra in 1940, using yet another "professional name" of Ken Warner. He not only performed in the orchestra, but began arranging for it as well. He continued to arrange music for the BBC through 1959. He was an active composer of "mood music" for British production music libraries.

The piece for which he is well known--"Scrub, brothers, Scrub!"-- is a vernacular allusion to the bowed tremelo string technique, which is demanding on string players when played for prolonged periods of time. Originally this piece was composed for piano and strings, but winds and percussion instruments were added in a 1945 re-arrangement.

In 1946, the British musical film "I'll Turn To You" included this novelty played (without screen credit) by Albert Sandler and His Palm Court Orchestra; Sandler's version was released on a commercial 78-rpm single where it achieved popularity in Europe and Australia and was used on 1950's television in the United States (mostly as station break music and as a theme for local daytime talk shows.)

Recommended compositions by Ken Warner:

  • "Scrub, brothers, Scrub!", by Ken Warner (1941, 1945)


Sidney Torch (1908 - July, 1990)

was born in East London. He began his career in Great Britain as a pianist and theatre organist. But following service in the Royal Air Force during World War Two, he switched to conducting, and developed a reputation for high quality as conductor of the Queen's Hall Light Orchestra, the New Century Orchestra, and his own Sidney Torch Orchestra. These ensembles often used the same studio musicians, under the somewhat demanding baton of Mr. Torch. His commercial recordings were often made for the British Parlophone label.

In 1947, he began recording for the Francis, Day & Hunter Mood Music Library, primarily at the EMI Abbey Road Studios in London. Some of the library tracks he recorded eventually found their way into commercial pressings by popular demand, after their use as radio or film themes.

One of Sidney's greatest abilities was the ability to choose the best tempo for a pop arrangement or composition. His orchestral recordings took the 78rpm technology of the day to the limits with their superb musicianship.

Recommended arrangements and compositions recorded by Sidney Torch:

  • All Strings And Fancy Free, by Sydney Torch (1947)
  • Going For A Ride, by Sydney Torch (1950)
  • High Heels, by Trevor Duncan (1950)
  • Just One Of Those Things, by Cole Porter (1952)
  • A Canadian In Mayfair, by Angela Morley (1953)


Wallingford Riegger (April 29, 1885 - 1961)

was born in Albany, Georgia but moved to New York city as a child. He studied at what was to become the Julliard School of Music. His post-graduate studies were at Berlin's Hochschule für Musik. For a time following graduation he found work in Germany as an assistant opera conductor.

In 1917 he returned to New York, where he was active as a contemporary concert composer and administrator. In the 1930s he began experimenting with a more "neo-romantic idiom", which proved popular with audiences and critics alike. His Symphony No 3 was performed widely. He found a number of enthusiastic supporters in Europe including Leopold Stokowski.

His delightful piece "Dance Rhythms" composed when he was 69, is a graceful light concert piece with charming syncopations, sometimes used as theme music and credits for television programs featuring the arts.

Recommended compositions by Wallingford Riegger:

  • Dance Rhythms, Op. 58, for orchestra (1954)


Ray Martin (October 11, 1918 -- February 7, 1988)

was born in Vienna, Austria. His birth name was "Kurt Kohn." Later he changed it to Raymond Stuart Martin. As a music student, he studied the violin and music composition.

He came to England at the age of 19, in 1937. His early experiences in English Vaudeville Theatre and a bit of pre-war performing on radio were handy when he joined the Royal Air Force Central Band during World War II.

Following the war, he was tapped to conduct an orchestra in Hamburg, Germany in performances broadcast from there over BBC radio. He also began working for the British Columbia label, writing arrangements for vocalists, and for such orchestras as Geraldo, Mantovani, and Stanley Black during the late 1940s. He also led his orchestra on a British radio series named "Melody From The Sky."

It was during the early 1950s that he composed a prolific number of compositions and arrangements, some under pseudonyms including Lester Powell, Marshall Ross and Tony Simmonds. Among them were British pop instrumentals "Blue Violins" and "Marching Strings." He also led his orchestra in British hit cover recordings of "Blue Tango" and "Swedish Rhapsody."

For the British EMI Records label he recorded several mood music albums conducting a studio group named "The Piccadilly Strings".

He came to the United States in 1957 where he first found work writing vocal background arrangements for the Imperial Records label. He did instrumental arranging for the RCA "Stereo Action" series, which used sound effects and music in combination. He also created arrangements for the RCA "Living Brass" series.

During his later years, Ray Martin returned first to Great Britain (in 1972), and then settled in South Africa (in 1980) where he lived for the next 8 years until his death at age 69.

Recommended compositions by Ray Martin:

  • Melody From The Sky (his British radio program theme)
  • Begorrah (used as a TV theme for "Uncle Al", an ABC-TV children's show)

"Skip" Martin (May 14, 1916 -- February 12, 1976)

Lloyd V. "Skip" Martin was raised in Indianapolis, IN. He is sometimes confused with the Austrian-born composer Ray Martin. Although he began his musical career playing clarinet and saxophone, he went on to achieve success as an arranger for swing bands and vocal groups during the 1930's and 1940s.

Moving to the West Coast, he found work orchestrating music for the movies. Among the movies on which he worked were "Singin' In The Rain", "Guys and Dolls" and the Judy Garland classic "A Star Is Born."

He arranged several jazz-style albums for the Somerset label including series named "Perspectives In Percussion" and "TV Jazz Themes."

Mr. Martin also arranged a pair of classic TV Theme LPs for Buddy Morrow and his Orchestra, produced by Ethel Gabriel on RCA-Victor, called "Impact" (1959) and "Double Impact" (1960). In creating the arrangements for these LPs, he had to expand the material of short themes into 2 1/2 and 3-minute cuts, which he did with quite a bit of craft and savoir faire. These LPs were re-released on CD from BMG Spain in 1998.

Recommended recorded arrangements by "Skip"" Martin:

  • Highway Patrol, by Ray Llewellyn (on "Impact" RCA-Victor LP)
  • Men Into Space, by David Rose (on "Double Impact" RCA-Victor LP)
  • Moonfleet, by Ray Martin (on "Pop Concert" Columbia LP)
  • Riff Blues, by Dave Kahn (on "Impact" RCA-Victor LP)
  • Riverboat, by Elmer Bernstein (on "Double Impact" RCA-Victor LP)

Felix Arndt (May 20, 1889 -- October 16, 1918)

was born in New York City. He was a charter member of the performing rights society ASCAP, and organist of New York's famed Trinity Church. He made over 3000 piano roll recordings. His most famous composition--the keyboard novelty Nola-- was named for his wife, who was also a composer, singer, and teacher who traveled as solist with the St. Louis Symphony.

Although the composer died young, at age 29, his novelty tune "Nola" was used as a theme song by Vincent Lopez, a popular pianist who had his own radio show in the 1930s. It was also recorded by Les Paul in a multi-tracked arrangement featuring electric guitars which became a "top ten" hit in 1950.

Recommended compositions by Felix Arndt:

  • Nola (1916)

Paul Weston (March 12, 1912 -- September 20, 1996)

was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. After college at Dartmouth and Columbia University, he found work in the new medium of radio, arranging for the Fleischman Hour show, and for Rudy Vallee. He spent five years with the famed Tommy Dorsey big band between 1935-40.

For the extraordinary vocal talents of his wife, singer Jo Stafford, Paul wrote many beautiful vocal background arrangements which became classics of the pop vocal genre in the 1940s. Of course, by the mid-1940s, Paul had become the "Musical Director" of Capitol Records, a newly-formed collaboration of composers Johnny Mercer, Buddy DeSylva, and record retailer Glen Wallichs.

In this capacity he wrote and arranged many vocal backgrounds. But marketing executives at Capitol worked with Weston to define something more distinctive to make their record albums stand out in the mind of the public--they developed the marketing concept of "Mood Music".

Although the term of "light music" had been around for a decade or more (especially in Europe) this term was usually related to European Light Concert Music, or American Pops Concert pieces by composers such as Leroy Anderson, the arranger for the Boston Pops Orchestra. What Weston and the marketing executives at Capitol Records did in defining "Mood Music", was to bridge the gap between the Pops Concert style and the waning Big Band style, to create a sub-category which could be used to sell records. Rather than lightening up the concert hall, they were "dressing up" pop music in an elegant new way which eventually would take advantage of the LP length and sound quality. In the process they also indirectly helped define the concept of "concept albums", which were built around a thematic idea, rather than around the talents of a particular recording artist or composer.

Weston's first 78-rpm album of Mood Music was called "Music For Dreaming" (1944), which was followed by "Music For Memories", "Music For Romancing", and "Music For the Fireside". The contents were slow sentimental ballads using a big band foundation, but with the addition of a string section and concert harp.

The cover art and liner notes promoted the concept of music designed to stimulate moods of escapism within the listener. Such self-conscious promotion may have caused music critics of the day to gag, and even raise a bit of mild amusement today. But this end of the "light music" spectrum, survived as a model for the romantic string orchestras which followed, such as those of Clebanoff, Melachrino, Mantovani, and the Jackie Gleason Orchestra. It also did something of even more significance: it established further the role of "light music" into the mainstream of recorded pop music in America.

The label of "Mood Music" described above was a marketing gimmick which was used from the mid 1940s to the early 1950s in the pop album field. It is not to be confused with the same term often applied to "Cue Music" or "Production Music" used as background scoring for films and television shows. Admitedly there might be some overlap, since some of the same composers and arrangers who wrote for Production Music Libraries found their music in demand as the public became more interested in instrumentals of all styles. Commercial recordings were often made of these novelties which originated as a library track. Robert Farnon's "Jumping Bean" was a case in point.

After a seven year stint at Columbia records, Paul Weston returned to Capitol in 1958. Such was the popularity of his Mood Music albums of over a decade before, that one of his first assignments was to re-record some of those albums in the new Stereo sound technology.

After the use of the "Mood Music" moniker began to wear thin, Paul Weston's subsequent concept albums were presented more as "suites" which had geographic themes. These included Western Americana ("Gateway To The West"), and the city of New Orleans ("Crescent City") which were both for the Columbia label. He wrote some of the melodies for such "suites" himself. But his greatest strengths as a orchestra leader and arranger were always his claim to fame.

Weston was active in the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS), and served as its first president. He was music director of NBC-TV from 1957-62. During the last years of his life, he and his wife resided in Century City, a suburb of Los Angeles. He created a record label called Corinthian for re-releasing his music on CD. He passed away at St. Johns Hospital in Santa Monica, California, at the age of 84.

Recommended arrangements and compositions recorded by Paul Weston:

  • I'll Be Seeing You, by Sammy Fain (1944/1958)
  • Gateway To The West, by Robert Farnon ()
  • Crescent City, by Paul Weston (1957)


Robert Maxwell (born April 19, 1921)

was born in New York City. He studied the concert harp at Julliard School of Music with famed harpist Marcel Grandjany, and was a member of the NBC Symphony Orchestra. He recorded as a harpist, and composed several popular instrumentals as well.

His compositions include the 1950s standards "Ebb Tide", "Manhattan Skyline", and the song "Shangri-La" (with collaborator Matty Malneck) used by comedian Jackie Gleason in his TV Show to introduce "The Great One" sketch. Hit vocal versions of "Shangri-La" (with lyrics by Carl Sigman) were recorded in 1957 by the Four Coins, and again in 1969 by The Lettermen.

The "Song of the Nairobi Trio" was a comedy sketch theme Maxwell composed for the Ernie Kovacs Show, in which three chimpanzees appeared to perform the tune on musical instruments. This memorable tune was made into a vocal called "Sol-feg-gi-o". Although neither instrumental nor vocal version made the top of the charts, it is one of those silly tunes which are hard to get out of one's head once you have heard it.

Recommended arrangements and compositions by Robert Maxwell:

  • Song of the Nairobi Trio (vocal title "Sol-feg-gi-o"), by Robert Maxwell

Bernie Wayne (March 6, 1919 -- April 18, 1993)

Bernie Wayne was born Bernard "Bernie" Weitzman in Paterson, New Jersey. His birth name appears on some of his copyrights from the early 1950s.

Two of his best-known songs were "Blue Velvet" which was a number-one hit single for Bobby Vinton, and "(There She Is) Miss America" sung by Bert Parks during the crowning moments of the Miss America beauty pageant.

Some of his other well-known songs were "Laughing on the Outside, (Crying on the Inside)", and the 1965 movie theme "Patch of Blue." He earned a total of 11 "gold records" for sales of 500,000 copies each.

He also collaborated on commercial jingles, perhaps the most famous of which was "Chock Full O' Nuts Is The Heavenly Coffee."

But it was for three of his instrumentals which light music fans will remember him. They are three of the most familiar melodies in American light music -- "Vanessa", "The Magic Touch" and "Port-Au-Prince".

Vanessa was a 1952 hit recording for Hugo Winterhalter and His Orchestra. What is notable is that the "B" theme of Vanessa changes into a slower tempo 3/4 meter in the middle before returning to the perky original tempo of the "A" theme in 2/2 meter. (This type of tempo change is also heard in Robert Farnon's "Portrait of a Flirt", but it is relatively rare for Easy Listening tunes.)

The Magic Touch is from a little-known 1953 film named "More About Love" produced by Georgie Hale Versailles. The film seems to have sunk without a trace, since there is no mention of it in the Internet Movie Database (imdb.com.) The tune has some similarities with "Vanessa", but has it's own delightful melody. It was recorded by Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra on RCA-Victor.

Port-Au-Prince (named for the city which is the capital of Haiti) achieved modest chart success in a 1956 recording by Nelson Riddle and his Orchestra.

Bernie Wayne passed away in 1993 at the age of 74 from heart failure, at his home in Marina del Rey, California.

Recommended compositions by Bernie Wayne:

  • Vanessa (1952), by Bernie Wayne
  • The Magic Touch (1953, from the film "More About Love"), by Bernie [Weitzman] Wayne
  • Port-Au-Prince (1956), by Bernie Wayne

Milton DeLugg (born December 2, 1918)

was born in Los Angeles, California. After studies at UCLA, he worked for many years in radio and film studios in Los Angeles. He was a pianist and accordian player in addition to being a composer and conductor.

His prolific pen composed such songs as "Orange Colored Sky", and the polkas "Hoop Dee Do", "The Happy Wanderer (Val-der-ri, Val-der-ra)", and "Just Another Polka".

His novelty instrumental composition "Roller Coaster" was the familiar end credits theme for one of the first network TV Quiz Shows in the U.S.--"What's My Line?". He also wrote the theme music for other American radio and TV shows including "Two For The Money" with comedian Herb Shriner, and 1960's TV game show themes for Chuck Barris Productions, including the "Dating Game" and the "Gong Show."

Recommended compositions by Milton DeLugg:

  • Roller Coaster, by Milton DeLugg and Louis Busch

Louis Busch (aka: Joe "Fingers" Carr) (July 18, 1910 - September 19, 1979)

was born in Louisville, Kentucky. By the age of 12, he had organized a small orchestra which he conducted. During the big band era, he played piano with Clyde McCoy, Henry Busse, Vincent Lopez (who used a second uncredited pianist), and Hal Kemp.

After Capitol records was organized, Lou Busch became an A&R (Artists and Repertoire) executive, another name for a record producer.

He produced the Allan Sherman comedy records, for which he composed the parody song "Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah" to the tune of the Ponchielli's "Dance of the Hours" from "La Gioconda" (1876).

He co-wrote the novelty instrumental "Roller Coaster" with Milton DeLugg. This piece was used as the closing credits theme for the well-known 1950's US television quiz show, "What's My Line?". It was also re-discovered and included on several "Bachelor Pad/Lounge Music" CDs of the mid 1990's.

Busch recorded several honky-tonk piano albums using the pseudonym Joe "Fingers" Carr.

He passed away at his home in Camarillo, California in 1979.

Recommended arrangements and compositions recorded by Louis Busch (aka: Joe "Fingers" Carr):

  • Roller Coaster, by Milton DeLugg and Louis Busch
  • Portofino, by Louis Busch
  • The Portuguese Washerwoman, by Roger Lucchesi, Andre Popp, and Charles Tobias

Albert Harris

was born in England. He emigrated to the West Coast of the U.S. where his reputation as a composer, conductor and teacher grew. He was music director of NBC during the 1950s. He also taught music as a guest lecturer at UCLA in Los Angeles.

He wrote episode scores for TV series including "Death Valley Days", "The F.B.I.", "Cannon", "The Dick Van Dyke Show", "The Joey Bishop Show", and "The Incredible Hulk".

His 1960 suite "Bacchanale" was recorded by Frank De Vol and his orchestra on a Columbia LP, and is a delightful example of a light music concept album.

Recommended compositions by Albert Harris:

  • Pegasus from "The Bacchanale Suite", by Albert Harris (1960)
  • Mercury from "The Bacchanale Suite", by Albert Harris (1960)

Frank Denny De Vol (September 20, 1911 - October 27, 1999)

Frank De Vol was born in Moundsville, West Virginia. He attended college at Miami University. He is known as a composer/arranger for radio and TV series (including "The Brady Bunch"). But his show business career has been much longer and more versatile than most people know.

It began in 1925 with Frank playing violin in silent movie and vaudeville orchestra in Canton, Ohio. He later performed with the Emerson Gill orchestra in Cleveland. Thereafter, he toured the US with the Alvino Rey orchestra.

In the 1940s he began a recording career, first as an arranger for vocalists Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett, Doris Day, Vic Damone and Nat "King" Cole. His arrangement of "Nature Boy" sung by Nat "King" Cole became a number one hit in 1948. That earned him an executive position at Columbia Records. He recorded quite a few 1950's "mood music albums" with his orchestra for Columbia records, under the moniker "Music By De Vol".

One such notable Columbia concept album is the "Bacchanale" suite composed by Albert Harris, which was recorded by Frank De Vol and his orchestra in 1960. Each track is a melody named for a god or goddess of Greek Mythology.

In the 1950s his own Hollywood orchestra, called "Music of the Century", played frequently at the Hollywood Palladium, and featured vocalists Jaye P. Morgan and Helen O'Connell.

His theme music for "My Three Sons" featured a piano playing a triplet obligato over the melody in 4/4 meter. It became a popular instrumental single in 1961. His also wrote many other TV episode scores, and the familiar Screen Gems Logo Signature, which was heard frequently at the end of many TV shows.

His many motion picture scores included the following which were all nominated for Oscars: the Doris Day/Rock Hudson comedy "Pillow Talk" (1959), "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte" (1964), "Cat Ballou" (1965), and "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner" (1967.)

He also made guest appearances as a TV character actor in "I Dream of Jeannie", "Bonanza", "Peticoat Junction" and as the bandleader in Martin Mull's "Fernwood Tonight" TV talk show spoof.

He died of natural causes at his home in Lafayette, California (East of Berkeley, CA) in 1999. He was 88.

Recommended arrangements and compositions recorded by Frank De Vol:

  • Pegasus from "The Bacchanale Suite", by Albert Harris (1960)
  • Mercury from "The Bacchanale Suite", by Albert Harris (1960)
  • Theme from "My Three Sons" TV show, by Frank De Vol (1961)

Andre Popp

was born in France. He worked as a composer and orchestra leader for French radio in the 1950's and 60's. He also recorded several albums of "easy listening" and some experimental arrangements using sound effects and tape loops in combination with music (his album "Delirium in Hi-Fi", for example).

Several of his tunes became light music classics. The Portuguese Washerwoman was recorded in an arrangement featuring the "barrel-house" (tack piano) sound of Lou Busch (aka Joe "Fingers" Carr.)

Recommended arrangements and compositions by Andre Popp:

  • The Portuguese Washerwoman, by Roger Lucchesi, Andre Popp, and Charles Tobias

Ernest Tomlinson (born September 19, 1924)

was born in the Rawtenstall region of Lancashire, England. As a boy he had the good fortune to be born into a musical family which encouraged his compositional instincts as early as age 9. The precocious lad won a scholarship to Manchester, University at age 16, where he played organ, piano, and clarinet. His musical studies were interrupted by World War II, and he completed his Bachelor of Music in composition afterwards.

Following college, he moved to London and found work as a staff arranger for Arcadia and Mills, Music Publishers. They provided scores for radio and TV as well as the stage. Although he was an organist of some skill, his composition duties took up most of his time.

He performed on British radio conducting the ensemble known as the "Ernest Tomlinson Light Orchestra". During this period he wrote several serious works for orchestra and choir. He also found time to become composer-director of the British Performing Rights Society (PRS), which is affiliated with BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) in the United States.

His many projects included forming the "Light Library of Orchestral Music" in 1984, whose contents are housed in a huge barn at his farmhouse in Lancashire, England.

Several of his tunes became known largely in Great Britain. The folk tune "Dick's Maggot" is a movement from his First Suite of English Folk Dances, taken from a collection of pieces edited by John Playford in 1650 called "The English Dancing Master". Mr. Playford's book included the dance steps and the melodies of popular tunes of the day. However unfortunate the title, the piece is a charming example of light music, which was used on the BBC radio as a signature piece for a program called "Invitation to Music."

Mr. Tomlison continues to record CDs with several performing ensembles in Europe.

Recommended compositions by Ernest Tomlinson:

  • "Dick's Maggot" from the First Suite of English Folk Dances, by Ernest Tomlinson (1952)


Robert Lamar ("Bob") Thompson (born August 22, 1924)

was born in San Jose, California. Thereafter the family settled in Auburn, CA. Bob started out as a drummer in high school, and then switched to playing piano. At first he played in small black bands. At the tender age of 18, he played with Barney Bigard (of Duke Ellington's band). He worked his way through college at UC Berkeley, including a job as a page for radio station KGO. He then worked his way up to apprentice orchestrator and finally became chief orchestrator at KGO. He also worked at station KMBC.

After college, worked as a musician and travelled to see a bit of the world in the process. He accompanied singer Jacqueline Francois in Paris and played piano for President Wilson (who was on his way to the Far East.)

Returning to the U.S. in the early 1950s, he moved to Hollywood, where he continued to learn orchestration "on the job." His arranging and conducting clients for records included Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, Rosemary Clooney, the Hi-Lo's and others.

Bob was an active pioneer in the field of production music for radio and TV, including "jingles" for advertising. Two examples: "Go, go, go, go, Goodyear", and scored a long-running nostalgic western instrumental used in a commercial featuring a slow-motion stagecoach for Wells Fargo Bank in California. He wrote a memorable orchestral THEME with a subtle jazz-laced melody for "General Electric Theater" used in the late-1950s.

Some of his instrumental pop orchestral albums released in the late 1950s--"Just for Kicks", "Mmm, Nice" and "The Sound of Speed" found their way into the production libraries of many radio stations across America. Perhaps part of their appeal was novelty, but they were scored with solid craft that combined jazz and classical arranging concepts. Thompson's originals were interesting tunes which made good backgrounds for commercials and THEMEs for local TV shows in the 1960s.

A couple of these recordings including "Starfire" and "Early-Bird Whirly-Bird" from "The Sound of Speed", have been re-discovered by the "Bachelor Pad" music crowd, and re-released on CD.

Recommended arrangements and compositions recorded by Bob Thompson:

  • Starfire, by Bob Thompson
  • Early-Bird Whirly-Bird, by Bob Thompson
  • General Electric Theater, by Bob Thompson [4th THEME for the T.V. series]
The Bob Thompson Music Page
(on the Thompson family Web Site -- has more info and some LPs for sale)


Richard Hayman (born March 27, 1920)

was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is a versatile man, known as a symphony pops conductor, arranger/orchestrator, harmonica player, and composer of light pieces. He followed in the footsteps of Leroy Anderson as arranger for the Boston Pops Orchestra for over 30 years, during the tenure of Arthur Fiedler. He also orchestrated broadway shows and film soundtracks including "Meet Me In St. Louis", "Girl Crazy", and "State Fair".

He also served as Music Director of Mercury Records for a number of years. Later he went on to make recordings with his own Richard Hayman Orchestra, including some of his own light music compositions. He continues to conduct pop concerts and record, even in the current age of CDs.

A haunting arrangement of the film theme "Ruby" in which he played the melody on harmonica, was a memorable hit for him in 1953, followed by a similar treatment of "April in Portugal", both of which reached the top ten of the Billboard Charts. He also composed the tune "Dansero" which was also released in 1953 and became a Latin-style standard.

Recommended arrangements recorded by Richard Hayman:

  • No Strings Attached, composed by Richard Hayman (1952)
  • Skipping Along, composed by Richard Hayman (1952)
  • Ruby, from the film "Ruby Gentry", by Heinz Roemheld (1953)


















































































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