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The Golden Age of Light Music - Here’s To Holidays
Full contents list at end of review
rec.1953-62
GUILD LIGHT MUSIC GLCD 5205 [71:10]

There’s an enticing booklet cover for this release in Guild’s gargantuan Light Music series. The summery feel announces holiday time in the decade between 1953 and 1962. We journey by air, boat, spaceship (to Venus, naturally), transcontinentally, and via camel, rickshaw, and highway. The wasp-waisted, bronze-skinned lovely on the cover seems to have stayed at home, but at least she’s blessed with good weather and pristine sand … and at least her pooch hasn’t disgraced itself.
 
Wally Stott gets us underway with Skyways - Stott has given the Guild team a number of headaches over his name but here they go formal and plump for Walter. Thence we arrive at a series of destinations or evocatively titled tracks that suggest the joys of wine and flirtation. Somewhat unexpectedly Red Nichols turns up - a first appearance from him in this series - to parade the praises of Indiana - an old Dixieland classic. If Nichols and his ‘Augmented Pennies’ - that is, there were more than the usual five - seem somewhat strange, but welcome, bedfellows for this marque, a more sleekly à la mode contribution comes from composer Iain Sutherland whose Here’s to Holidays gives the disc its title track and does so in bang-up-to-date School of ’62 fashion.
 
A Guild favourite - and mine - is Leonard Trebilco, who used the name Trevor Duncan. The Wine Harvest isn’t quite as distinctive as his best work but it’s well written and well played too, by Cedric Dumont and the New Concert Orchestra on the Boosey & Hawkes label. A note about the trawl through the various labels occasioned by a selection such as this: Vogue Mode, Charles Brull/Harmonic, Liberty, Pye, Southern, De Wolfe, Reader’s Digest, Chappell - and the expected bigger labels too. Just the names of the labels should act as a conduit to the past, let alone the pieces themselves.
 
It’s good to hear the all-Australian Holiday Bound, written by Clifton Johns and played by the Sydney Light Concert Orchestra on Columbia. Ivor Slaney is a more regular contributor and Midsummer Madness features Dolores Ventura doling out concertante Rachmaninovian asides galore. The Envoy Strings bring some sheen and glamour in Transcontinental and Steve Race paints a rather dapper Camel Train - rather more train than camel - and there’s a bit of cowpokery to Mantovani’s own opus Rickshaw. In contradistinction there’s a suave contribution from Hill Bowen in Domenico Modugno’s Volare. A truly big finish is unleashed in One Night in Monte Carlo, played - how appropriately - by the local Light Symphony Orchestra.
 
Glamour, the joys of travel and the lure of romance announce post-war unshackling in this astute selection.
 
Jonathan Woolf
 
Full contents list 
Skyways (Walter Stott) Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Walter Scott [2:51]
Arrivederci Roma (Renato Rascel, Carl Sigman) Richard Hayman and his orchestra [2:45]
Costa Brava (Philip Buchel) Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Robert Farnon [2:30]
Indiana (James Hanley, Ballard MacDonald) Red Nichols and the Augmented Pennies [2:10]
En Bateau Mouche (Alain Nancey) Roger Roger conducting The Mode Symphony Orchestra [2:16]
Here's To Holidays (Iain Sutherland) Symphonia Orchestra/Curt Andersen [2:32]
Venus And Back (Howard Shaw, real name Malcolm Lockyer) Bruce Campbell and his orchestra (‘Coronet Orchestra' on disc label) [3:06]
The Wine Harvest (Trevor Duncan, real name Leonard Charles Trebilco) The New Concert Orchestra/Cedric Dumont [3:13]
Holiday Bound (Clifton Johns) The Sydney Light Concert Orchestra/Hal Evans [2:54]
Midsummer Madness (Ivor Slaney) Ivor Slaney and his orchestra featuring Dolores Ventura, piano [2:20]
Jamaica Road (Dolf Van Der Linden) Dolf van der Linden and his orchestra (‘Harmonic Orchestra conducted by David Johnson' on disc label) [3:10]
Transcontinental (Robert Docker) The Envoy Strings [2:48]
The Only Way To Travel (featured in the film 'The Road To Hong Kong') (Sammy Cahn, James Van Heusen, arr. Robert Farnon) Robert Farnon and his orchestra [2:28]
French Flirt (John Carmichael) Telecast Orchestra/Charles Williams [2:33]
'Tiara Tahiti' - theme from the film (Philip Green) Philip Green and his orchestra [2:14]
Beachboy (Peter Dennis, real name Dennis Alfred Berry) Dolf van der Linden and his orchestra (‘Harmonic Orchestra conducted by David Johnson' on disc label) [2:48]
Camel Train (Steve Race) Peter Knight and his orchestra [2:25]
Water Skiing - from 'Summer' - Suite (Toni Leutwiler) Westway Studio Orchestra [2:34]
Rickshaw (Annunzio Paolo Mantovani) Mantovani and his orchestra [2:53]
The Olive Grove (Trevor Duncan, real name Leonard Charles Trebilco) The New Concert Orchestra/Cedric Dumont [3:17]
Holiday Highway (Anthony Mawer) Hilversum Radio Orchestra/Hugo de Groot [2:06]
Oo La La (Sidney Torch) Queen’s Hall Light Orchestra/Charles Williams [2:10]
Volare (Domenico Modugno, arr. William Hill Bowen) the Hill Bowen Concert Orchestra/Hill Bowen [3:27]
Haiti (Joseph F. Kuhn) The Rio Carnival Orchestra [4:41]
One Night In Monte Carlo (Werner Richard Heymann) Monte Carlo Light Symphony Orchestra/Erwin Halletz [3:42]