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David Ades

(b Rouen, Aug 5, 1911; d France, June 12, 1995). French arranger, composer and conductor. The son of Edmond Roger, a well-known Paris opera conductor and friend of Debussy, he was attracted more to popular music and at 18 formed his first small group for a music hall. This encouraged him to develop his arranging skills, although he also showed a flair for composing. During a long career he accompanied almost every French singer, and his ‘Paris Star Time’ radio series was heard worldwide. He once claimed to have made over 2000 recordings, half of them his own compositions. The Roger style suited the requirements of production music companies, and he worked extensively for the Paris office of Chappells; his City Movement (1960) became well known in Britain as the theme for the BBC television programme ‘Compact’. During the 1950s he recorded several albums for the American market, but concentrated his career in France. He claimed to have drawn his inspiration from Wagner, Gershwin, Debussy and Ravel, yet developed a unique style, often using strings and brass in counterpoint, assisted by the particularly intimate sound qualities of his favourite recording studios....

Article

William A. Everett

(b Nagykanizsa, July 29, 1887; d New York, Nov 9, 1951). American composer and conductor of Hungarian birth. He was born into a cultured Jewish household: his father was an amateur pianist who spoke four languages, while his mother was a respected writer of poetry and short stories. Romberg studied at various places in the Austro-Hungarian Empire before eventually going to Vienna, where his parents’ intent was for him to study civil engineering. Instead, Romberg focussed on music, working as a coach and accompanist at the Theater an der Wien, and studying composition and orchestration with operetta composer Victor Heuberger, thereby absorbing the world of Viennese operetta. In 1909, he arrived in New York City and found work as a pianist at various restaurants. He formed and conducted a small orchestra at Bustanoby’s, a venue frequented by the theatre world, where he came to the attention of the Shubert brothers who, in ...

Article

David Ades

(b London, June 15, 1910; d Burbank, CA, Aug 23, 1990). American composer, arranger and conductor. His family emigrated from England when he was four, and he grew up in Chicago, absorbing the vibrant sounds of the emerging jazz scene. During the 1930s he worked with Benny Goodman and other dance bands, eventually moving to Hollywood to work in the film and recording industries. A long association with MGM resulted in many film scores (including Jupiter's Darling, 1955) and, after the introduction of LPs, regular record albums. In 1941 he became Judy Garland's first husband, and his radio show ‘California Melodies’ grew into something of an American institution, providing the showcase for his new compositions. In 1943 Rose startled the Light Music establishment with his Holiday for Strings, in turn inspiring a whole generation of composers including Anderson, Duncan and Farnon.

At the dawn of television he worked with all the leading singers and film stars, and is especially remembered for his Red Skelton, Jack Benny, Bob Hope and Fred Astaire shows. Rose received six gold discs, 22 Grammys, four Emmys and two Oscar nominations. In ...

Article

Ken Rattenbury

revised by Alyn Shipton

(b London, Jan 12, 1900; d London, Feb 1, 1971). English bandleader, clarinettist, singer and composer. From 1919 he organized dance bands with his brother Syd, including Syd Roy’s Lyricals; they performed in London at Oddenino’s, Rector’s, the Hammersmith Palais and the Café de Paris, and at Rector’s in Paris. In 1928 the brothers toured South Africa and Australia (1929), then returned to England to play in variety theatres before touring Germany. In 1931 Harry formed his own band and, after touring (1933), held residencies at the Café Anglais and the Mayfair Hotel in London. He continued to tour extensively in theatres until 1939 and throughout World War II but after 1945 never regained his former status in London’s clubland. Roy was essentially a show-band leader, an energetic front man, a light, sometimes comic, singer, and a clarinettist in the style of Ted Lewis. Although hardly a jazz musician himself he employed as sidemen a number of players who later became prominent in jazz. His signature tune, ...

Article

Philip L. Scowcroft

(b Ipswich, Dec 23, 1878; d Nutfield, Surrey, Dec 10, 1935). English composer, conductor, organist and teacher. He was an assistant to Sir Frederick Bridge, the organist of Westminster Abbey from 1897 to 1904. Sanderson was subsequently organist at various London churches before moving to Doncaster in 1904 to become organist at the parish church, a post he held until 1923. He also conducted the Doncaster Amateur Operatic Society (1910–35), the Doncaster Musical Society (1912–24) and the Doncaster Thespian Amateur Operatic Society (1922–31). His pupils at this time included the baritone Topliss Green, later to become Director of Singing Studies at the RCM. Sanderson went on to work for the publisher Cramer, examine for the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music and adjudicate at music festivals.

Most notably Sanderson composed songs, usually ballads, which became popular and are still performed: ...

Article

Lise Waxer

[Ramón]

(b Havana, April 7, 1927; d Miami, Feb 1, 2003). Cuban percussionist, bandleader, composer and arranger. He first began to learn the violin, but switched to percussion as a child. He left Cuba in 1948, moving to Mexico with his cousin, the bongo player Armando Peraza. They played in Pérez Prado’s mambo band, then moved to New York City in 1950, where they were known as the Black Cuban Diamonds. Santamaría soon found work with Tito Puente, working in the band for seven years alongside percussionist Willie Bobo. During this time he recorded various albums of authentic Cuban religious and secular drumming, both with Puente and under his own name. With Bobo he left to join Cal Tjader’s Latin jazz group in 1958. In 1961 Santamaría put together a charanga ensemble, and recorded with the Cuban vocalist La Lupe in 1963, helping to launch her US career. By the mid-1960s he turned to the Latin crossover vein, with widely popular hits such as ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

(b Marburg an der Drau [now Maribor], Nov 23, 1903; d Vienna, Dec 12, 1984). Austrian conductor, composer and musicologist. He studied with Hermann Frisch in Marburg and Roderich von Mojsisovics (composition) at the Graz Conservatory. From 1924 to 1928 he was double bass player, répétiteur and conductor at the Stadttheater in Graz and then successively conductor of a touring opera company (1928–9), at the Theater an der Wien and Vienna Stadttheater (1929–33) and at the Vienna Volksoper (1933–8). From 1931 to 1968 he conducted for Vienna Radio, giving many concerts with the Vienna SO during the 1930s and founding a radio orchestra in Vienna in 1945; he also made guest appearances on foreign radio stations. He came to specialize in light music, and his radio performances of Viennese operetta and dance music displayed a rare sense of Viennese style. He received the title of professor in ...

Article

(Michael O’Hara )

(b Bristol, Nov 1, 1930). English arranger, composer, conductor and performer. As a young man Scott was a highly respected flautist and arranger with bands such as those of Heath, Ambrose and Herman. For a while he was a member of the John Barry Seven, and played on several soundtracks by Barry, including some early films in the ‘James Bond’ series. He accompanied many leading singers on commercial recordings, including Matt Monro, Tom Jones and Shirley Bassey. Much in demand as a session player, he worked with Mancini on several film scores and the experience persuaded him to concentrate on composing for the cinema. An operation on his jaw in 1971 ended his playing career.

Scott’s first feature, A Study in Terror (1965), led to numerous commissions, including Antony and Cleopatra (1972), England Made Me (1973) and Greystoke (1984), and in the early 1980s he embarked upon a long series of Jacques Cousteau documentaries. He also contributed many short pieces to publishers’ mood music libraries, and several became well known as signature tunes, for example those of the television programmes ‘Tonight’ and ‘Nationwide’. His style seemed ideally suited to nature programmes, and was used by the BBC for ‘The World About Us’ and in Anglia Television’s ‘Survival’. Scott’s music for television has won him two Emmy awards....

Article

George J. Ferencz

[Schüldkraut, Naftule]

(b Queens, NY, Dec 25, 1889; d Long Island, NY, Feb 18, 1982). American conductor, composer and arranger. Details of his education are obscure, though an honorary doctorate was awarded by Bethany College (Kansas) in 1935. Pietro Floridia was his principal teacher of composition and orchestration. A fine clarinettist, Shilkret played with the Russian SO, as well as New York's SO, PO and Metropolitan Opera orchestra. He also performed in bands led by Sousa, Pryor and Goldman. Freelance recording engagements led to employment at the Victor Talking Machine Corporation (later RCA Victor) before 1920. He is best known for his work at Victor where, as Director of Light Music, he conducted recordings by his Victor Salon Orchestra and other ensembles, of which dozens were bestsellers in the 1920s and 30s. While most of his recordings were of a popular or light-classical nature, he also provided orchestral accompaniments for the singers Bori, Crooks, Gigli, Garden and McCormack. His conducting activities in New York included thousands of network radio broadcasts. He also wrote several popular songs, the most successful of which, ...

Article

Andrew Lamb

(b London, July 25, 1855; d London, Jan 22, 1895). English composer, conductor and pianist. A member of a family of theatre musicians, he began his career as a pianist at the Middlesex Music Hall in London; he was later the musical director at the New Royalty, Globe, Her Majesty’s and other theatres in London and New York. He wrote numerous parlour pieces for the piano and comic songs, and as a composer of comic operas he was one of the most accomplished contemporaries of Sullivan. Solomon’s melodies are usually in an English ballad or a march style with repeated melodic phrases and simple rhythms. His comic operas, many of which echo Sullivan’s, were all performed in London and include Billee Taylor (Imperial, 30 October 1880), Claude Duval (Olympic, 24 August 1881), The Vicar of Bray (Globe, 22 July 1882), Polly (Novelty, 4 October 1882...