quinta-feira, 30 de julho de 2009

Norrie Paramor, His Strings and Orchestra - In London, In Love

  1. The Nearness of You
  2. Stairway to the Stars
  3. Stardust
  4. Embraceable You
  5. Stars Fell on Alabama
  6. The Touch of Your Lips
  7. All the Things You Are
  8. I'll Get By (As Long As I Have You)
  9. Deep Purple
  10. Someone to Watch over Me
  11. Dearly Beloved
  12. The Very Thought of You
In London, In Love
IN LONDON, IN LOVE... Many have been there, many have loved. Others will, in time, experience the magic atmosphere of the rolling Thames, the green soft grassy carpet of Hyde Park in the dark, the sensual feel of fog against the face and fingers of one's adored.

Norrie Paramor lives in London. He has loved in London. And in his easy, subtle way with music Norrie has somehow - with great affection - transmitted the inevitable joys and despairs of boy meets girl to a record.

Under the impeccable Paramor baton are 28 violins, violas and 'cellos; a golden harp, a French horn (for the pinch of "amour" vital to romance in any land), guitar, string bass, drums, solo piano and solo voice - a warm, almost embarrassingly intimate woman's voice - an insistent voice which slips in and out of the violins like a sexy Ariel or Tinkenbell. The songs Norrie presents so lushly are all favorites everywhere, unforgettable and nostalgia - provoking gems from Gershwin, De Rose, Carmichael, Kern, Noble... the best. They are melodies, moreover, which one hears in the smartest West End clubs of merrie London and over the B.B.C. one after another even though a majority of them are North American in origin.

In London, in Love... The turntable spins easily, the rich Paramor music flows out from the speaker like thick, sweet, rare wine from an aged keg. Was it that evening in the Humber, with the clear, clean breeze blowing her hair? Was it after the theatre, while we walked along in the dampness of an autumn night and, finally, awoke from our enchantment when a massive, rumbling, red double-decked bus abruptly pushed us back to the curb?

Perhaps it happened to you. Perhaps it will yet happen some fine evening in London town. For London and lovers somehow fit together.

This is music for listening, for loving, for reminiscing... British music, if you please, by the British Norrie Paramor. Capitol is privileged to present it to American and Canadian listeners for the first time.

One of England's most popular musicians is Norrie Paramor, who came out of Trinity School in London as a fledgling dance orchestra leader and, as time passed, played piano with the Maurice Winnick, Jack Harris and Billy Gerhardt bands.

A halt to his career in popular music was abruptly experienced by Norrie in 1940 when he joined the gallant R.A.F. But even in service Norrie's superb musicianship became known to his fellow airmen. Norrie wound up as an R.A.F. musical director (with Ralph reader's famed "Gang") and toured military bases as far as India. "I suspect," he says, "I played every N.A.A.F.I. piano in the world before the war ended".

Free to resume his civilian career in 1944, Norrie formed a brilliant successful partnership with Harry gold in a jazz combo called the "Pieces of Eight". That lasted though '49. In My of the following year Norrie started recording regularly for the British Columbia label. Since then he has waxed more than 125 selections, and his name means good music on the B.B.C. Radio Luxembourg and in television.

But Norrie refusues to reveal the identity of the girl who sings so fetchingly on this record!

(From original liner notes)

Norrie Paramor (15 May 1913 - 9 September 1979) is best known as a record producer, but was also a composer, arranger, and orchestral conductor. Paramor was one of EMI's top producers in pop music and rock and roll through to the end of the 1960s.

Born in London and trained as a pianist, Paramor became a piano player and arranger for Jack Harris' and Maurice Winnick's dance bands. He served in an entertainment unit attached to the Royal Air Force starting in 1941, providing music for performances in Blackpool. He began his career as a music director with the Ralph Reader Gang Show, and later in World War II became an arranger for Noël Coward, Jack Buchanan (best remembered for his starring role in MGM's 1953 film, The Band Wagon, and Mantovani.

Paramor spent the period immediately after World War II playing piano with the Pieces of Eight band led by Harry Gold. Life as a performer did not appeal to him, however, and after five years he gave it up to concentrate on recording studio work, with an emphasis on arranging and conducting. His first work as a studio musician was playing accompaniment on singles by Marie Benson. He initially joined EMI Records as a conductor leading his own pop orchestra. Those recordings and the periodic ventures that followed, would keep Paramor's name before the public, with records that fit nicely alongside the work of Paul Weston and other easy listening band leaders of the period.

Although the term 'producer' was not in frequent circulation at the time Paramor started producing records (the usual term being 'artiste and repertoire manager' or "A&R man"), he effectively commenced this role in 1952 when he became 'recording director' for EMI's Columbia Records.

Late the following year, Paramor chalked up his first major hit with Eddie Calvert's single "Oh Mein Papa". Another Paramor discovery, Ruby Murray, was even more important to the label, scoring a hit in 1955 with "Softly, Softly" and numerous other chart successes during the mid 1950s. For most of the 1950s, Paramor was associated with pop music, including two good selling studio orchestras that he created, the Big Ben Banjo Band and the Big Ben Hawaiian Band, who recorded and appeared on the BBC. He also scored well with the pop recordings of Michael Holliday and the Ken Jones Orchestra.

In mid 1958 Paramor signed Cliff Richard and his backing band the Drifters (later re-christened The Shadows). It had been Paramor's original intent to sign Richard as a solo act, backed by the Ken Jones Orchestra, but The Shadows impressed him sufficiently with their clean, professional sound, the tightness of their playing with Richard, and their serious attitude toward music to keep the group together as a performing and recording unit. Beginning with "Move It", Richard inaugurated a career of 40 years and running, leading to a knighthood for himself and decades of stardom for the Shadows.

Once it was a hit, Paramor lost no time in recording Richard's first album, Cliff. Paramor did something unheard of at the time, in the United Kingdom or the United States, and made it a live album, cut by Richard and the band in front of several hundred screaming fans in February 1959, albeit in the relatively controlled conditions of EMI Studio No. 1. That album proved a landmark in the history of rock and roll, as well as the first major live album by a white rock and roll performer, and it served as the blueprint for an idea that Paramor's younger contemporary, Parlophone' George Martin, had four years later, when it was time to record The Beatles' debut album. To get them to play the set they did at their shows (although Martin never did follow through on his original notion of cutting them live at The Cavern Club).

In the early 1960s, as Richard's sound evolved, some of his sides were cut with the Norrie Paramor Strings and other studio groups under the direction of Paramor. Paramor also played piano on some Cliff Richard and Shadows recordings.

He added other top acts to the list of talent that he discovered, including Helen Shapiro and Frank Ifield. He also produced recordings by Judy Garland, Gene Vincent, and Al Martino. Indeed, Paramor produced hit singles for Richard, The Shadows, and Ifield among others, scoring 27 number ones, according to the Guinness Book Of 500 Number One Hits,(although this incorrectly attributes Richard's "The Minute You're Gone", which was produced by Billy Sherrill). Until George Martin produced "Candle In The Wind 1997" for Elton John, Paramor and Martin jointly held the record for having produced the most number one hit singles, despite Paramor's death 18 years earlier.

Paramor recorded one of the biggest selling albums from Capitol Records' "Capitol of the World" import series: In London in Love, which featured the floating voice of the soprano Patricia Clark, who was used in many subsequent selling albums. This became his trademark orchestral signature sound.

Paramor also composed music for several films, including Serious Charge, The Young Ones, Expresso Bongo and The Frightened City.

In 1968, he was the musical director for the Eurovision Song Contest, staged at the Royal Albert Hall, the first to be broadcast in colour. He also conducted the UK entry, "Congratulations", performed by Cliff Richard.

His style is seen by some as being old-fashioned; however, the raw rock and roll of early Richard or Shadows numbers belies this myth, and Paramor was as at home with an economic production featuring three guitars and a small drum kit, as he was with a large orchestra.

Paramor was considered one of the EMI's greatest assets, a successful recording artist as well as a producer who had generated many millions of dollars for them, and was treated well, but even he left in early 1968, to become an independent producer with his own company. That same year, he scored a No. 1 hit with The Scaffold's "Lily the Pink".

He became the music director of the BBC Midland Radio Orchestra in 1972, and held the post until 1978. During his tenure there he produced the theme to the long-running BBC television situation comedy Last of the Summer Wine.

Paramor died of cancer, on 9 September 1979 in Barnet, aged 66 His death came a couple of weeks after his protege, Richard, returned to the top of the UK Singles Chart with "We Don't Talk Anymore", his first number one single in over ten years. Paramor and Richard had worked together professionally from 1958 to 1972.

Richard dedicated his next album to Paramor's memory.

Paramor's work can be heard regularly on the Music Choice easy listening channel.

Discography:

* "Oh Mein Papa" - Eddie Calvert (1954)
* "Softly, Softly" - Ruby Murray (1955)
* "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White" - Eddie Calvert (1955)
* "The Story of My Life" - Michael Holliday (1958)
* "Living Doll" - Cliff Richard and The Drifters (1959)
* "Travellin' Light" - Cliff Richard and The Shadows (1959)
* "Starry Eyed" - Michael Holliday (1960)
* "Please Don't Tease" - Cliff Richard and The Shadows (1960)
* "Apache" - The Shadows (1960)
* "Tell Laura I Love Her" - Ricky Valance (1960)
* "I Love You" - Cliff Richard and The Shadows (1960)
* "You Don't Know" - Helen Shapiro (1961)
* "Kon-Tiki" - The Shadows (1961)
* "Walkin' Back to Happiness" - Helen Shapiro (1961)
* "The Young Ones" - Cliff Richard and The Shadows (1962)
* "Wonderful Land" - The Shadows (1962)
* "I Remember You" - Frank Ifield (1962)
* "Lovesick Blues" - Frank Ifield (1962)
* "The Next Time" / "Bachelor Boy" - Cliff Richard and The Shadows (1963)
* "Dance On!" - The Shadows (1963)
* "Wayward Wind" Frank Ifield (1963)
* "Summer Holiday" - Cliff Richard and The Shadows (1963)
* "Foot Tapper" - The Shadows (1963)
* "Confessin'" - Frank Ifield (1963)
* "The Minute You're Gone" - Cliff Richard (1965)
* "Congratulations" - Cliff Richard (1968)
* "Lily the Pink - The Scaffold (1968)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

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