GEORGE MELACHRINO (1909 - 1965)
George Melachrino (1909-1976) was a child prodigy on the violin, and earned a living in various dance bands of the 1930s. During the Second World War he was the British equivalent of Glenn Miller, gaining the title 'the sentimental Sergeant-Major' as the head of a fifty-piece orchestra, the British Band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces. After the War, he became one of the leading recording artists of the day with a string of best-selling albums with his Melachrino Orchestra. His training as a string player is very much in evidence in Les jeux (The games), a set of pieces for strings relating to everyday living. The music is anything but 'everyday' with its clever marriage of skittish good fun and emotional lyricism.
George Melachrino became one of the most successful recording artists of the 1940s and 1950s in the field of light orchestral music, alongside Mantovani, Ron Goodwin, Ray Martin and Frank Chacksfield. Winter Sunshine is probably his most popular original work and sets out to reflect the glamorous ski slopes and even more glamorous people who frequented them. His right-hand man was William Hill- Bowen who featured as solo pianist on many tracks and did many of the arrangements Melachrino recorded.
© 2006 Philip Lane