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
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’.