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Gerard Béhague

(do Prado Pereira de Oliveira)

(b Juazeiro, Bahia, June 10, 1931). Brazilian popular singer, composer and guitarist. He moved to Rio de Janeiro at the age of 18, singing mostly Romantic samba-canções in various groups and frequenting the nightclub Plaza in Copacobana and the Murray Recordshop in downtown Rio de Janeiro. His first solo recording came in 1952, but it was the July 1958 record containing Jobim's Chega de Saudade and his own Bim-bom that called attention to his new singing style, unassuming but secure and very intimate. In April 1958 he had accompanied on the guitar the pop singer Elisete Cardoso singing Chega de Saudade, and revealed for the first time his distinctive guitar beat that came to be known as the violão gago (stammering guitar), a trademark of the bossa nova made up of previously unknown syncopated patterns on the samba beat. In November of the same year he recorded Jobim's ...

Article

(b London, March 7, 1908; d Gosport, Aug 3, 1998). English jazz trumpeter, singer and bandleader. He performed and recorded with the dance bands of Billy Cotton (1929–33), Roy Fox (1931–2), Ray Noble (1931, 1933–4) and Lew Stone (1932–5); Georgia on my mind (1932), recorded with Fox, is a good example of his playing and singing and became extremely popular. From 1932 he worked as a leader in a style heavily influenced by that of Louis Armstrong; his band, the Georgians (1934–9), included his brother Bruts Gonella (b 1911), who was also a trumpeter. During a visit to New York in 1939 Gonella recorded with John Kirby and performed at the Hickory House. After returning to London he led the New Georgians from 1940 to 1942, but worked less frequently in the late 1940s and early 50s. In ...

Article

(b Vienna, Sept 1, 1879; d New York, May 30, 1944). Austrian composer, pianist and librettist. He studied at the Leipzig Conservatory with Salomon Judassohn, then was engaged as a coach at the Vienna Hofoper, also working at the Viennese cabaret Nachtlicht as a pianist and singer. His first major success was the operetta Bub oder Mädel (1908), which shows the influence of Lehár. By 1930 he had written 16 operettas, eight of which also credited him as librettist, and also the libretto for Oscar Straus’s operetta Die Königin. Der Orlow (1925) became his most popular work, with some 400 performances in major European cities, and he contributed the song Zuschau ’n kann i net to Benatzky’s Im weissen Rössl (1930). He went to Hollywood in 1930 to team up with Nacio Herb Brown and write the music for the film One Heavenly Night...

Article

Thomas L. Gayda

[Will; Williams, Hugh; Milos, André]

(b Vienna, Aug 11, 1894; d New York, Dec 10, 1939). Austrian composer, pianist and conductor. Born into a Jewish family of jewellers, he studied with the operetta composer Richard Heuberger, Robert Fuchs, the musicologist Guido Adler and Franz Schreker. After he left the Vienna Music Academy in 1919, his Zwei phantastische Stücke was given its first performance by the Vienna PO. The following year he received a doctorate in music from Vienna University. While he remained initially faithful to the late-Romantic, Impressionist line, he became the first Austrian composer to introduce jazz idioms into his music. His grotesque ballet-pantomime Baby in der Bar (1928) marked him as one of the prime exponents of the Zeitgeist of the Weimar era.

In 1927 Grosz moved to Berlin and became the artistic director of the new Ultraphon record company, quickly building up its catalogue as a conductor, arranger and pianist. He formed a well-known piano duo with Wilhelm Kauffman and toured Europe as a highly-sought accompanist and conductor. When the National Socialists seized power in ...

Article

Stanley Goscombe

[Joseph]

(b Zsámbék, Dec 1, 1809; d Weimar, Feb 1, 1889). Hungarian composer, bandmaster and violinist. At 15 he held the post of teacher’s assistant and later taught at a school in the Pest suburb of Franzen. At 18 he gave up teaching and joined the 5th Imperial Austrian Artillery Regiment in Pest, and in 1835 entered the 4th Imperial Austrian Artillery Regiment in Graz as an oboist, soon becoming its bandmaster. Here he became known as the ‘Graz Strauss’, and introduced orchestral music with stringed instruments into public entertainments. In 1836 he composed his first successful work, the Ungarischer Marsch; it was published in Berlin in 1839. In 1840 he married Cajetana Barbara Reichl, in whose honour he composed the Cajetana-Tänze op.116.

With 16 Styrian musicians, Gung’l left Graz in 1843 on his first concert tour of Austria and Germany, ultimately arriving in Berlin, where, assisted by his friend and publisher Gustav Bock, he became the resident conductor of his own 36-piece orchestra at Sommer’s Lokal (...

Article

(Robert)

(b London, May 2, 1898; d Eastbourne, Oct 28, 1989). English band-leader and trumpeter. In London he studied the trumpet and orchestration at Trinity College of Music and the RAM before World War I, and at the Guildhall School of Music in 1922. In 1914 he joined the music editorial department of the Salvation Army and after the war worked in music halls, as a cinema pianist, and as a member of provincial bands; from 1924 he led his first important band, at Gleneagles Hotel, Perthshire, with which he made his first recordings. By 1930 he was musical director for a hotel chain and controlling 32 bands. He replaced Jack Payne as leader of the BBC Dance Orchestra in 1932. As director of dance music for the BBC (1932–7) he had an unusually heavy broadcasting schedule, including (from 1934) a weekly ‘Guest Night’ show which ran until the late 1950s. In ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

[Rhodes (née Guy), Helen M.]

(b Château Hardelot, nr Boulogne, c1858; d London, Jan 7, 1936). French composer, pianist and singing teacher. She was the daughter of an English sea captain and the singer Helen Guy. At the age of 15 she was taken to Paris, where she studied at the Conservatoire under Renaud Maury, and success came in her early 20s with the song Sans toi (words by Victor Hugo). Gounod and Massenet were among those who encouraged her in composition, and those who introduced her songs included Nellie Melba, Victor Maurel and Pol Plançon, as well as Emma Calvé, with whom she went to the USA in 1896 as accompanist. After marrying an Englishman she settled in London, where she continued to produce sentimental songs, about 300 in all, notable for their easy melody and typical dramatic climax. They include Three Green Bonnets (H.L. Harris; 1901), Because (E. Teschemacher; ...

Article

Brian Priestley

revised by Alyn Shipton

[Edward]

(b London, March 30, 1900; d Virginia Water, nr Egham, Nov 18, 1969). English trombonist and bandleader. He studied the tenor horn with his father before taking up the trombone. After a period as a street musician (until 1922), he became a regular sideman with several prominent British dance bands, notably those of Bert Ambrose (1928–36), Sydney Lipton (1936–9), Geraldo (1939–44) and Jack Hylton. Though not a strong jazz soloist, Heath seized the chance in 1944 to form his own band, which made regular broadcasts, gave the ‘Swing Sessions’ concerts at the London Palladium and soon began to tour frequently. Employing the very best section players, Heath successfully emulated the precision and versatility of such American bandleaders as Tommy Dorsey and Woody Herman (American musicians were banned from performing in Britain from 1935 to 1956). The many jazzmen who worked with him included Kenny Baker, Jack Parnell, and (consecutively) Ronnie Scott, Tommy Whittle, Danny Moss and Don Rendell; he also commissioned such enterprising arrangers as John Dankworth, Tadd Dameron (briefly in ...

Article

Steven Ledbetter

(August)

(b Dublin, Feb 1, 1859; d New York, May 26, 1924). American composer, conductor and cellist of Irish birth. He was the most talented and successful American operetta composer and important also as an advocate of copyright and performance-rights protection for composers.

Herbert’s father died when the boy was an infant, and he grew up in London with his maternal grandfather, the celebrated Irish novelist, poet and composer Samuel Lover (1798–1868). In 1866 Fanny Lover Herbert married a German physician; the family settled in Stuttgart, where Victor received musical training as well as a strong liberal education. He retained a lasting pride in his Irish (Protestant) heritage, reflected in many of his operettas.

He turned to music when financial difficulties prevented him from pursuing medicine, studied the cello with Bernhard Cossmann (1874–6), then entered the Stuttgart Conservatory, where he studied with Max Seifritz. He spent a year in the orchestra of the wealthy Russian Baron Paul von Derwies and another year in Vienna as soloist with the orchestra of Eduard Strauss, who had succeeded his brother Johann. In the light of his operetta work, the time in Vienna must be regarded as a significant formative experience. In ...

Article

Thomas L. Gayda

(b Königsberg [now Kaliningrad], Feb 14, 1896; d Munich, May 30, 1961). German composer and pianist. From the age of 13 he studied theory and counterpoint with the conductor and composer Paul Scheinpflug, who gave the première of his first major composition, Frühlings-Notturno, in Berlin in 1917. The following year the Rhapsodische Symphonie was given its première by the Vienna PO under Felix Weingartner. After World War I he wrote stage music for Berlin, where he became acquainted with the leading exponents of Weimar cabaret and, along with Friedrich Hollaender and Mischa Spoliansky, is credited with creating the classic Weimar cabaret chanson. He wrote for the cabaret Schall und Rauch, and was musical director for the Wilde Bühne.

From 1925 onwards Heymann became involved in films and, with the advent of sound pictures, joined with lyricist Robert Gilbert to write extremely successful songs epitomizing the thriving culture of the pre-Nazi German film industry, with evergreens such as ...