From the Library: More from The English Lounge

Today on Radio Riel we bring you anoth­er selec­tion of 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, Andre Brasseur, 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 Out­side the Unit­ed States you can tune in on 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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