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Old 30-12-2011, 14:12
Brian Reynolds
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Thanks Logjam, I appreciate that! Hope you've enjoyed the two new additions.

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Old 17-02-2012, 00:37
Brian Reynolds
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I've added two more editions of ' Music While You Work' to my website http://www.mastersofmelody.co.uk which I hope you will enjoy. One is the continental style of Louis Voss and his Kursaal Orchestra and the other one features the accordion dominated style of the Gerald Crossman Players. Gerald, incidentally, is one of just a handful of musical directors from this show who is still alive!

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Old 17-02-2012, 01:04
Mike_1101
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Although it didn't mean much at the time, I can recall these programmes from when I was at junior school well over 40 years ago. It coincided with the morning break and the headmaster would feed it through to loudspeakers in the school hall. The staff seemed enjoy it, some of them were in their 50s and 60s and would probably not have appreciated The Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

It's only in recent years that I started being interested in pre 1960s music and that came from inheriting collections of 78rpm records from elderly relatives who had passed on. Having a machine to play them on does help.
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Old 17-02-2012, 11:05
logjam
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Brian - Yes, I am enjoying them immensely. Many thanks. Although initially designed to accompany activity, I find them equally useful for relaxation. The wireless frequently gets warmed up in an evening to play 'Music While You Work'.
I'll be sure to check out the 'new' recordings.

Mike, I find myself in exactly the same situation. Light music when it was force fed to teenagers, naturally became the enemy, but actually looking back on it, light music was just as much part of the 1960s as pop music was. Some of it is very good. I am pleased to be old enough now not to be prejudiced either way.
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Old 17-02-2012, 11:29
Mike_1101
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Brian - Yes, I am enjoying them immensely. Many thanks. Although initially designed to accompany activity, I find them equally useful for relaxation. The wireless frequently gets warmed up in an evening to play 'Music While You Work'.
I'll be sure to check out the 'new' recordings.

Mike, I find myself in exactly the same situation. Light music when it was force fed to teenagers, naturally became the enemy, but actually looking back on it, light music was just as much part of the 1960s as pop music was. Some of it is very good. I am pleased to be old enough now not to be prejudiced either way.
Have you seen this american version of "Music While You Work" on 16rpm records from Seeburg Corporation?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtKXmdFc45Y
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Old 17-02-2012, 12:07
logjam
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Very interesting Mike, I hadn't come across them before Very laid back! Relaxing, but probably not too good for enthusing the workers! 16 rpm records are a bit of a novelty.
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Old 17-02-2012, 13:12
Mike_1101
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Very interesting Mike, I hadn't come across them before Very laid back! Relaxing, but probably not too good for enthusing the workers! 16 rpm records are a bit of a novelty.
Well they are but many Garrard & BSR turntables had that speed. I wonder what happened to the Seeburg master tapes? Maybe someone will re-issue them on CD one day.

Having said that I wonder how many of the BBC recordings survived the various clearouts of their archives?

Now all you need is a nice cup of Empire tea - 1941 style!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnvYy...feature=relmfu
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Old 17-02-2012, 13:58
Miles Platting
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Brian, did you record these yourself and, if so, how many have you got altogether?
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Old 17-02-2012, 14:00
Brian Reynolds
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[QUOTE

Having said that I wonder how many of the BBC recordings survived the various clearouts of their archives?QUOTE]

The BBC Archives had no editions of MWYW until I gave them about 40 ten years ago.

Of course, MWYW was live until 1963 and then prerecorded the previous day, but the Musicians Union insisted on them being erased, so that they could not be rebroadcast again without payment to their members!
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Old 17-02-2012, 14:53
Mike_1101
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[QUOTE

Having said that I wonder how many of the BBC recordings survived the various clearouts of their archives?QUOTE]

The BBC Archives had no editions of MWYW until I gave them about 40 ten years ago.

Of course, MWYW was live until 1963 and then prerecorded the previous day, but the Musicians Union insisted on them being erased, so that they could not be rebroadcast again without payment to their members!
How charming of them, the same mentality from Equity meant many classic television productions suffered the same fate...

Here's something I found for another thread on here a year or two ago
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4k8r...feature=relmfu
not MYWY but Reginald Dixon on the Northern Home Service around 1953/54, private recordings.
Enjoy!
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Old 17-02-2012, 15:38
Brian Reynolds
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Brian, did you record these yourself and, if so, how many have you got altogether?
I've got about 630! Initially, I recorded them in my school holidays - thereafter on Saturdays or days off from work. My parents also recorded quite a few for me. In more recent years I have made contact with a number of fellow collectors who have made programmes available to me.

When the show returned for a year in 1983, I got permission to attend about 30 of them, meeting some of my favourite musicians and sometimes sitting in with the orchestras - an unforgettable experience!
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Old 17-02-2012, 16:17
Miles Platting
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Wow, you must hold some sort of record for having so many recordings of the one programme?
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Old 17-02-2012, 16:29
Brian Reynolds
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Wow, you must hold some sort of record for having so many recordings of the one programme?
You're probably right, although I do have plenty of other vintage programmes as well. I also researched MWYW very thoroughly at the BBC Written Archives. reading policy files as well as the artists' own flies - hence the detail in my articles and my published book about the series.
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Old 17-02-2012, 17:26
logjam
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The notes on your web site make interesting reading, Brian In particular I noted the tragic fate of Cecil Norman, whose 1959 performance is a favourite of mine. I was however heartened to hear that Gerald Crossman is still around and entertaining others.
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Old 17-02-2012, 22:37
Brian Reynolds
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Nice of you to say so, Logjam !
At the age of 91, Gerald Crossman doesn't play much these days. Cecil Norman did indeed die lonely and forgotten - all the more sad when you think that he probably had approaching 1000 broadcasts - as piano soloist and bandleader. His many compositions were played by most of the broadcasting orchestras.

25 years ago I obtained his address and sent him a tape of a couple of his broadcasts; he telephoned me the next day to express his appreciation. I recall him telling me that I should feel free to call him at any time but if he didn't answer it was because at 91 he had to rest a lot. He died a few months later.
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Old 19-03-2012, 19:24
Brian Reynolds
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I have now put two more MWYW programmes onto my website http://www.mastersofmelody.co.uk/.

The first is a 45minute edition by Bill Savill and his Orchestra, a popular 'high society' dance orchestra which broadcast hundreds of times during the forties, fifties and sixties. The second is by Anton and his Orchestra. Anton (real name Arthur Sweeting) became famous in the thirties making many records with the Paramount Theatre Orchestra. He formed an orchestra specifically for radio in 1944 and was heard regularly over the following twenty five years. Anton was also the main reserve conductor for the BBC's own house orchestras during this period.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:22
Brian Reynolds
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Two further editions of this programme now added to my website http://www.mastersofmelody.co.uk/ .These are by Hugh James and his orchestra and Ken Beaumont and his Sextet. Hugh James formed his first orchestra in the early twenties and retired in 1975. I kept in contact with him until his death and subsequently inherited his music library.
Ken Beaumont was originally an actor and dance band singer. He formed his sextet for broadcasting in 1948 and was heard regularly until the late sixties.
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Old 11-04-2012, 17:16
logjam
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Brian, thank you once again for bringing these classic programmes to our attention. I was rather surprised by the performance by Ken Beaumont and his Sextet. Although bracketed by traditional melodies, many of the songs included were from the contemporary pop charts. Among others were songs made popular by Billy Fury, Freddie and the Dreamers, and Billy J Kramer & The Dakotas. I don't recall so many being featured in one broadcast. I wonder if any workers were tempted to bang their spanners to the rhythm of The Shadows' "Shindig" !
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Old 11-04-2012, 18:51
Brian Reynolds
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Logjam, in the fifties publishers were pestering band leaders to play their latest publications to the extent that the BBC had to impose a ruling requiring dance bands such as this to play eight current tunes. By the sixties this had changed and a maximum of five 'pops' was allowed per programme.

I think Ken Beaumont included six on this broadcast - but i don't suppose anyone was counting!
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Old 11-04-2012, 20:02
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[QUOTE

Having said that I wonder how many of the BBC recordings survived the various clearouts of their archives?QUOTE]

The BBC Archives had no editions of MWYW until I gave them about 40 ten years ago.

Of course, MWYW was live until 1963 and then prerecorded the previous day, but the Musicians Union insisted on them being erased, so that they could not be rebroadcast again without payment to their members!
And they shot themselves in the foot with that attitude.
Music on the BBC network was a nasty closed shop until Easter 1964 when Caroline changed the landscape.

The MU were the biggest impediment to radio in the 1960's and 70's with their severe restrictive practices. Needletime was a method to employ musicians employed by the BBC to
cover other composers works. In the case of pop music it meant Top of The Pops having to use staff musicians to cover hit songs.
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Old 11-04-2012, 20:40
logjam
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By the sixties this had changed and a maximum of five 'pops' was allowed per programme.
Someone must have been turning a blind eye on that occasion! I've counted at least 9 tunes from the 1963 pop charts included in the broadcast. (A few obscure ones in there, I admit)

In Summer - Billy Fury
I'm Telling You Now - Freddie and the Dreamers.
It's My Party - Lesley Gore
Bad to me - Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas
It's All in the Game - Cliff Richard
Applejack - Jet Harris and Tony Meehan
Charmaine - The Bachelors
The Cruel Sea - The Dakotas
Shindig - The Shadows

I am divided on it myself. I associate MWYW with more traditional tunes, but at the same time this broadcast gave an upbeat feel to the programme which I really enjoyed. I wonder how it was received at the time?
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Old 11-04-2012, 20:50
Ray266
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And they shot themselves in the foot with that attitude.
Music on the BBC network was a nasty closed shop until Easter 1964 when Caroline changed the landscape.

The MU were the biggest impediment to radio in the 1960's and 70's with their severe restrictive practices. Needletime was a method to employ musicians employed by the BBC to
cover other composers works. In the case of pop music it meant Top of The Pops having to use staff musicians to cover hit songs.
Your right, as 10 or 12 year old back then I remember Music While You Work on the BBC Light & to be honest it got on my nerves it harked back to the war, The Beatles were at the top Motown was just taking off & The Stones were happening we had MWYW on BBC Radio enough said, But as seen on this thread some people must have liked it.
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Old 11-04-2012, 23:25
Brian Reynolds
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Someone must have been turning a blind eye on that occasion! I've counted at least 9 tunes from the 1963 pop charts included in the broadcast. (A few obscure ones in there, I admit)

In Summer - Billy Fury
I'm Telling You Now - Freddie and the Dreamers.
It's My Party - Lesley Gore
Bad to me - Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas
It's All in the Game - Cliff Richard
Applejack - Jet Harris and Tony Meehan
Charmaine - The Bachelors
The Cruel Sea - The Dakotas
Shindig - The Shadows

I am divided on it myself. I associate MWYW with more traditional tunes, but at the same time this broadcast gave an upbeat feel to the programme which I really enjoyed. I wonder how it was received at the time?
I think that 'Charmaine', being an old standard, would not have counted as a 'new' number,(albeit that The Bachelors revived it) but certainly there are eight 'new' pops in the selection. I'm not quite sure when the requirement was reduced to five but it is possible that the eight tunes criteria still existed at the time of this 1963 broadcast . Having said that, it did seem that Ken Beaumont played more 'pops' than most bands. The BBC were obviously happy with his programmes as he contributed 289 editions to MWYW alone! His style was certainly much more reserved in the fifties - but most bands updated their styles during the sixties, probably because they realised that their broadcasting careers depended on it. What the general public was not aware of were the stringent rules that existed for the programme. As far as repertoire was concerned music had to be familiar, and was actually stamped in red with the words 'Passed for Music While You Work'. I've actually got some of it! Quite apart from its captive audience in the factories (for which it was primarily aimed) it boasted listening figures of 4million in the home, to which must be added the burgeoning number of people listening in their cars. When the programme was axed in 1967, the BBC was deluged with complaints from the factories.
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Old 12-04-2012, 19:26
Brian Reynolds
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As it was some posts ago, perhaps I should reiterate the fact that the two newly-added programmes (by Ken Beaumont and Hugh James) can be found on http://www.mastersofmelody.co.uk/
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Old 14-04-2012, 21:00
logjam
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I think that 'Charmaine', being an old standard, would not have counted as a 'new' number
You learn something new everyday - I didn't realise that 'Charmaine' had such a pedigree. A little research showed it was written way back in the 1920s! I have come across quite a number of re-treads in the 1960s, but that must have been one of the older ones.

I guess there must have been some pressure to at least acknowledge that the factory floor would have had some people in their teens and twenties as well as older workers. I think that was fair enough, and should have ensured its future.

It wouldn't be the first time that a programme was ditched because it didn't fit in with the 'vision' of the contollers rather than abandonment by the audience - mores the pity.
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