Robert Farnon works

Robert Farnon works
Robert Farnon works
Farnon's inventive ideas were quickly picked up by our own bandleaders. Farnon's scores were quickly added to the libraries of Lew Stone, Ambrose, and Ted Heath, and soon after his discharge, Farnon joined the Geraldo Organization as an arranger. Farnon took over the band for broadcasts and recordings while Geraldo was in the United States in 1947. It is perhaps surprising (and disappointing) that more of  Robert Farnon works scores from this period did not make it onto commercial recordings; after all, the aforementioned bandleaders all had lucrative recording contracts. Researchers cataloguing the Geraldo library have recently been astounded by the amount of Farnon material it contains Robert Farnon society.
The Robert Farnon Orchestra began to regularly broadcast on BBC radio and television, both in its own programmes and as a support act for big stars like Vera Lynn and Gracie Fields. Farnon was signed as a 'house conductor and arranger' by Decca, and his name appeared on numerous 78s backing Vera Lynn, Gracie Fields, Denny Dennis, Paul Carpenter, Beryl Davis, Reggie Goff, Dick James, The Johnston Brothers, Scotty McHarg, Donald Peers, Ronnie Ronald, Norman Wisdom, Anne Shelton... and even the Ilford Girls Choir. The Farnon Orchestra was also featured on Vera Lynn's first big US hit, "You Can't Be True Dear."

Robert Farnon orchestra

Naturally, he was eager to bring his own music to the attention of the public. British listeners began to notice him as a result of his radio broadcasts Ivor Novello awards & outstanding services. Because of his radio broadcasts, British listeners began to notice the bright, fresh Farnon sound, and Decca released one of the finest Light Music 78s ever recorded - "Jumping Bean" paired with "Portrait Of A Flirt" - near the end of 1948. These two Farnon originals have become part of British Light Music folklore, and they undoubtedly influenced a generation of composers in this genre. Farnon managed to do some "moonlighting" despite a very demanding schedule of broadcasts for the BBC's Allied Expeditionary Forces Programme. His coworkers recall him listening to American broadcasts on short-wave radio, writing down the notes of the latest hits as they were performed, and playing the trumpet.

Robert Farnon: musical arranger & best instrumental arrangement

Although he was never given the promotional support he deserved from his record label, his contract with Decca produced many fine albums that became models of orchestration, often imitated by leading arrangers on both sides of the Atlantic. Andre Previn referred to Farnon as "the greatest living composer for strings." John Williams (writer of "Star Wars" and many of Hollywood's best scores over the last 30 years of world war ii) and the late Henry Mancini both happily acknowledge their debt to Farnon. Johnny Mandel, Patrick Williams, Don Costa, Patrick Williams, Angela Morley, Marty Paich, and a long list of other top writers are unafraid of being labelled "Farnon sound-alikes war Farnon."

Canadian band: best instrumental arrangement

A Farnon score has been used in over 40 films, most notably "Spring In Park." Farnon's scores have appeared in over 40 films, including "Spring in Park Lane," "Maytime in Mayfair," and "Captain Horatio Hornblower R.N." Farnon has produced a steady stream of Light Music cameos since the 1940s, which have been used regularly by radio and television stations around the world by composer-conductor musical arranger- often as signature tunes:
  • "Colditz", "The Secret Army",
  • "Jumping Bean," "Portrait Of A Flirt,"
  • "Journey Into Melody," "A Star Is Born,"
  • "Westminster Waltz" have become standard, instantly recognisable even if the title may occasionally elude the listener.
  • "A La Claire Fontaine," "Lake Of The Woods," "Rhapsody For Violin and Orchestra," and "Cascades To The Sea" are among his more serious works.
He had established himself as a "name" in Britain by the end of the 1940s. He composed hundreds of pieces of Light Music over the next 20 years, mostly for Chappell's Recorded Music Library. During this time, he also arranged a plethora of popular songs for broadcasts and recordings, conducted his orchestra in a number of radio and television programes, and released a number of LPs that have become sought-after collectors' items jazz trumpeter. His concert tours took him throughout Europe and Canada; he briefly worked in the United States and was always in demand for film scores. Commissions from the BBC and others poured in. "The Frontiersmen," "Rhapsody for Violin and Orchestra," and "Prelude and Dance for Harmonica and Orchestra" (for harmonica virtuoso) were all notable works in this genre.


Farnon, in other words, was a busy working conductor/composer/arranger who was fortunate to be alive during a time when radio stations, in particular, were still actively supporting live music. This helped him gain public recognition, which enabled him to pursue many of his other interests. Nothing stays the same forever, and as the end of the 1960s approached, many of Farnon's colleagues discovered that broadcasters and record labels no longer required as many of them. Farnon's international reputation, however, ensured that his career would take a new – and possibly even more illustrious turn British music. Farnon was the musical director for "The Road to Hong Kong," a 1962 film starring Bing Crosby, Bob Hope, Dorothy Lamour, and Joan Collins.
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