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We begin where we left off in Garland 235 with a few more light music Cook(e)s. Clare Cooke wrote, in 1982, a childrenís operetta after Hans Christian Andersen entitled Living Bird. Douglas Cook who lives in Cornwall, has penned film music, jazz scores, brass quintets and the Octave Variations, for a quartet of recorders. Waddington Cooke, active in the 1920s and after, composed ballads, like Visitors and Dream Ships and piano solos suitable for younger performers, among which we may exemplify New Tunes to Old Rhymes, Four Nursery Tunes, Youth and Three Pieces (separately entitled Organ Man, Her First Dance and Hornpipe). Another ballad composer from the inter-war period was John Cooke, jnr. Popular titles included Why Should London Wait? and Very Quickly. Too many Cook(e)s? But they do not spoil the light music broth, surely.

Now for mentions of a few more composers of incidental music for radio, television or films: Joe Walker, whose most recent (late 2001) score is for Rolf [Harris] On Art; Mike Christie and Ian Masterton for the Open University title music; and Nina Humphreys for the Radio 3 trilogy Democracy and Language (December 2001). And go back a little in time, a mention to actor/theatre manager/TV sitcom script writer Jimmy Perry (1924-) for his part in the composition, jointly with Derek Taverner (previously discussed), of the Dadís Army title song (Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr HitlerÖ?).

And so finally to Roger Jones, composer of sacred pop cantatas and musicals. I recently heard and enjoyed the latest of these, the tuneful, lively and up-tempo Simeon, telling the Nativity story. But Jones has been active in that particular field for upwards of two decades. Earlier similar works including Jerusalem Joy, A Grain of Mustardseed, published in 1979, Sounds Alive (1981), Greater Than Gold (1983) and The Chosen Few (1989). If Simeon is a guide, these have been popular and much enjoyed by those performing them.

Philip L Scowcroft

December 2001

Enquiries to Philip at

8 Rowan Mount



Philip's book 'British Light Music Composers' (ISBN 0903413 88 4) is currently out of print.

E-mail enquiries (but NOT orders) can be directed to Rob Barnett at

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