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Concert Orchestra

"Melody of the Stars"



Crotchet Budget price

  1. Melody of the Stars
  2. Till the Clouds Roll By
  3. These Foolish Things
  4. Carnival in Costa Rica
  5. Humpty Dumpty
  6. Blue Skies
  7. Dawn Fantasy
  8. The Time the Place and the Girl
  9. How Deep is the Ocean
  10. It’s Magic
  11. I Only Have Eyes for You
  12. Night and Day
  13. No Orchids for My Lady
  14. Bambi
  15. Gentle Maiden
  16. Look for the Silver Lining

Steve Conway – vocals

Freddie Gardner – saxophone

Peter Yorke conducted one of Britain’s most popular broadcasting orchestras from the 1940’s to the 1960’s. He was a gifted composer and arranger and was able to use these talents to extract the best from the top broadcast session men of the era.

It seems a shame that this light orchestral music has now disappeared from the broadcasting schedules of the BBC, at the time it was one of their most popular outputs. I am sure that there must still be an audience for it, it was not my favourite kind of music, but it does not deserve to be ignored completely.

There should be a good demand for this record, because amongst older people the name of PeterYorke, is one that they will remember with pleasure. All the music is beautifully played with the alto sax of Freddie Gardner well to the fore. I was hoping there would be full personnel lists, as I’m sure many other famous musicians are involved. Steve Conway was a very polished vocalist, it is unfortunate that he passed on before ever reaching the level of fame his talents deserved, he died aged 31 just after his first BBC solo spot on Variety Bandbox.

Many of the tracks are medleys of songs, each well arranged and beautifully played by the orchestra, who could produce a Glenn Miller sound one minute and a string ensemble the next.

I Only have Eyes is a solo feature for Freddie Gardner, when you listen to it, it is easy to understand why Freddie was the top sax man of his day.

Of course the music sounds somewhat dated, but that is not really the point, it was immaculately played using interesting arrangements of good songs. An awful lot of it sounds like the film scores of that era, which are still imitated in the nostalgia films of today.

It is time for a revival of light orchestral music; it certainly had more going for it than a lot of today’s output from the ‘Beeb’.

Don Mather

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