Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Edmundo Ros

Record found today at the Oxfam in Crewe for 99p.  Big band calypso with some nice pan playing. A bit MOR for my taste but an interesting addition to my ever growing calypso aquisitions.

Wikipedia says  -  “Edmund William Ross was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. His mother Luisa Urquart was a teacher, thought to be descended from indigenous Caribs, and his father, William Hope-Ross, was of Scottish descent. He was the eldest of four children, having two sisters, Ruby and Eleanor, followed by a half-brother, Hugo. His parents separated after Hugo was born, and after various false steps Edmund was enrolled in a military academy. There he became interested in music and learned to play the euphonium. From 1927 to 1937 his family lived in Caracas, Venezuela.
He played in the Venezuelan Military Academy Band as well as being a tympanist in the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra. As Sue Steward noted in his obituary: "His local name, 'Edmundo Ros', launched a lasting myth that he was Venezuelan." Later he received a music scholarship from the government, and, from 1937 to 1942, studied harmony, composition and orchestration at the Royal Academy of Music. At the same time he was the vocalist and percussionist in Don Marino Baretto's band at the Embassy Club, and also recorded several sides as a sideman to Fats Waller, who was visiting London in 1938.

In August 1940, Ros formed his own rumba band, performing as Edmundo Ros and His Rumba Band. In 1941 he cut his first tracks with Parlophone, the first number being "Los Hijos de Buda". The band played regularly at the Coconut Grove club in Regent Street, attracting members of high society.
Ros's bands were always based in London nightclubs or restaurants. The first was the Cosmo Club in Wardour Street; then followed the St Regis Hotel, Cork Street, the Coconut Grove and the Bagatelle Restaurant. At the Bagatelle a visit from Princess Elizabeth and party made his name. The future queen danced in public for the first time to Edmundo's music. In later years his orchestra was often invited to play at Buckingham Palace.
By 1946 Ros owned a club, a dance school, a record company and an artistes' agency. His band grew to 16 musicians and was renamed Edmundo Ros and His Orchestra. Among his percussionists was Ginger Johnson. His number "The Wedding Samba", 1949, sold three million 78s. His album Rhythms of The South (1958) was one of the first high-quality LP stereo records: it sold a million copies. He was with Decca Records from 1944 to 1974, and altogether he made more than 800 recordings.
In 1951 Ros bought the Coconut Grove on Regent Street and in 1964 renamed it Edmundo Ros's Dinner and Supper Club. The club became popular for its atmosphere and music, but it closed in 1965, when legalised casino gambling had drawn away many of its best customers. During the 1950s and 1960s the Ros orchestra appeared frequently on BBC Radio, continuing into the early 1970s on Radio Two Ballroom.
In 1975, during Ros's seventh tour of Japan, his band's Musicians' Union shop steward tried to usurp Ros's authority by making arrangements with venues behind his back. Upon their return to the UK Ros organised a celebratory dinner after a BBC recording session and announced the disbanding of the orchestra. He destroyed almost all the charts (arrangement sheets), which conclusively ended the orchestra's existence.”

Tracks are as follows  -  1. Saturday Night  2. Panther's Going To The Moon  3. All Night Tonight  4. Granpa's Advice  5. The Sky Jackers ( Calling Habana )  6. Simple Calypso

Edmundo Ros  -  Side One

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Kenneth Horne (Re-Up)

A 10" LP I found today at a boot sale. On the Concert Hall record label from 1962. Kenneth Horne is better remembered as the amusing a genial host of radio's Round The Horne which featured Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick and Betty Marsden etc. in the 60's. Interesting to hear him here narrating this tale set to the music of Prokofiev which I always thought was tinged with a certain undefinable melancholy. One can't help thinking - any minute now Rambling Syd Rumpo will appear to spoil the mood and regale us with a Swoggler's Nadgering Song! Wikipedia says - "Kenneth Horne (27 February 1907 – 14 February 1969) was an English comedian and businessman. The son of a clergyman and politician, he combined a successful business career with regular broadcasting for the BBC. His first hit series, Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh, written with his co-star Richard Murdoch, arose out of his wartime service as an officer in the Royal Air Force. Ill health forced him to choose between commerce and show business after 1958, and, choosing the latter, he made two further popular radio series, Beyond Our Ken (1958–1964) and Round the Horne (1965–1968) Charles Kenneth Horne was the seventh and youngest child of Charles Silvester Horne and his wife, the Hon. Katherine neé Cozens-Hardy. Silvester Horne was a Congregationalist minister, Liberal MP for Ipswich, and powerful orator. His maternal grandfather was Herbert Cozens-Hardy, the Liberal MP for North Norfolk who became both the Master of the Rolls and Baron Cozens-Hardy on 1 July 1914. Horne was educated at a preparatory school in Shrewsbury, followed by St George's School, Harpenden and the London School of Economics. His tutors at the LSE included Hugh Dalton and Stephen Leacock. Horne was dissatisfied there, and through the generosity of an uncle, Austin Pilkington of the Pilkington glassmaking family of St Helens, he was enabled to go instead to Magdalene College, Cambridge. He represented the university at tennis, partnering Bunny Austin, but was academically undistinguished and so neglectful of his studies that he was sent down in 1927. Austin Pilkington was aggrieved at Horne's failure to make the most of the opportunity he had provided, and he decided against offering him a post in the family firm. However, through his contacts within the industry, he secured for the young Horne an interview with the Triplex Safety Glass Company at King's Norton, a district of Birmingham. Horne's sporting record commended him to the manager of the Triplex factory, and he was taken on as a management trainee on a very modest salary. In 1930, despite his unimpressive finances, he married Lady Mary Pelham-Clinton-Hope, daughter of the 8th Duke of Newcastle. The marriage was happy at first, but they were sexually incompatible. His wife left him and returned to her family home. The marriage was annulled in 1933 on the grounds of non-consummation, although the two remained on friendly terms thereafter. When Horne's first marriage was dissolved, he was sought out by a former girlfriend, Joan Burgess, daughter of a neighbour at King's Norton. Unlike his first wife, she had much in common with him, including a liking for squash, tennis and golf and for dancing. A month before her 21st birthday they were married, in September 1936." Peter & The Wolf - Side One. Peter & The Wolf -Side Two

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Jake Thackray

The master of drollery and sly humour from an LP on the EMI label from 1969.  Reminds me of Paddy Roberts and singer songwriters of that ilk.

Wikipedia says  -  John Philip "Jake" Thackray (27 February 1938 – 24 December 2002), was an English singer-songwriter, poet and journalist. Best known in the late 1960s and early 1970s for his topical comedy songs performed on British television, his work ranged from satirical to bawdy to sentimental to pastoral, with a strong emphasis on storytelling, making him difficult to pigeonhole.
Jake Thackray sang in a lugubrious baritone voice, accompanying himself on a nylon-strung guitar in a style that was part classical, part jazz. His witty lyrics and clipped delivery, combined with his strong Yorkshire accent and the northern setting of many of his songs, led to him being described as the "North Country Noël Coward", a comparison Thackray resisted, although he acknowledged his lyrics were in the English tradition of Coward and Flanders and Swann, "who are wordy, funny writers". However, his tunes derived from the French chansonniertradition: he claimed Georges Brassens as his greatest inspiration, and he was also influenced by Jacques Brel and Charles Trenet.He also admired Randy Newman."

Tracks are as follows -

1. Country Girl  2. Family Tree  3. Sophie  4. Worried Brown Eyes  5. On The Shelf