Today on Radio Riel we bring you more classic lounge music from Britain in the 60s and more. One artist we’ll be featuring today is Mark Wirtz, an extraordinarily talented composer and arranger, born in Cologne in the mid-40s, who
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From the Library: Return to the English Lounge

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by Elrik Merlin on Saturday, 20 March, 2010

Today on Radio Riel we bring you more classic lounge music from Britain in the 60s and more.

One artist we’ll be featuring today is Mark Wirtz, an extraordinarily talented composer and arranger, born in Cologne in the mid-40s, who moved to the UK and produced some quite remarkable music during the period, from super-orchestrated pop hits like the Teenage Opera series to instrumental “easy listening” recordings — under various names such as Mood Mosaic — that caught a different aspect of the essence of “Swinging London” of the Sixties.

Like a lot of lounge music, some of the tracks were covers of hits of the time, with lush strings and/or female vocals; others were original instrumental compositions, at least one of which became popular as a theme for a DJ on one of Britain’s ship-based so-called “pirate” stations that were so popular through much of the 60s. Wirtz is now living in Los Angeles and still producing amazing things — and most of his material is available today.

We’ll also be hearing from a wide range of composers and arrangers from the UK and Europe, some known (like John Barry, Tony Hatch, John Keating, Raymond Lefevre, Paul Mauriat, James Last, Bert Kaempfert and more) and some you’ve probably never heard of (unless you’re a British Test Card Music aficionado) like Heinz Kiessling and John Cacavas. Yes, there will be quite a lot of Test Card and production library music today.

You’ll probably hear a good few tunes from TV shows and commercials as well: for example, Tony Hatch’s sister Ninette at 15 singing Push A Little Button from 1966 — now revived for a TV Licensing spot. Hmmm… a Dresden Dolls cover of that song would be awesome…

We’ve included a unique collection of 60s TV themes and other contemporary pieces of KPM production music played live by the KPM All Stars at a gig at the Jazz Café in London in 2006.

From the Library is produced by Radio Riel in conjunction with the Alexandrian Free Library Consortium of Second Life. You can listen to the programme now at http://main.radioriel.org — or click here to link straight to your player if your browser is set up to do so. Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin.

For more information on the Alexandrian Free Library, current exhibits and the work of Consortium members in general, please visit the Alexandrian Free Library website, or one of their branches in-world.

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