Eddie Calvert

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Albert Edward "Eddie" Calvert (15 March 1922 – 7 August 1978 [1] ) was an English trumpeter, who enjoyed his greatest successes in the 1950s. Calvert had his first United Kingdom number one single in 1954, with the instrumental "Oh, Mein Papa". [2]

An instrumental is a musical composition or recording without lyrics, or singing, although it might include some inarticulate vocals, such as shouted backup vocals in a Big Band setting. Through semantic widening, a broader sense of the word song may refer to instrumentals. The music is primarily or exclusively produced using musical instruments. An instrumental can exist in music notation, after it is written by a composer; in the mind of the composer ; as a piece that is performed live by a single instrumentalist or a musical ensemble, which could range in components from a duo or trio to a large Big Band, concert band or orchestra.

"O mein Papa" is a German nostalgic song, as related by a young woman remembering her beloved, once-famous clown father. It was written by Swiss composer Paul Burkhard in 1939 for the musical Der schwarze Hecht, reproduced in 1950 as Das Feuerwerk to a libretto by Erik Charell, Jürg Amstein, and Robert Gilbert. In 1954, that musical was turned into the film Fireworks with Lilli Palmer.

Contents

Biography

Calvert was born in Preston, Lancashire, England, [3] and grew up in a family where the music of his local brass band featured highly. He was soon able to play a variety of instruments, and he was most accomplished on the trumpet. [3] After the Second World War, invalided out of the Army, he borrowed money from his father to get his first job in a Manchester band [4] and graduated from playing as an amateur in brass bands to professional engagements with popular dance orchestras of the day, including Geraldo's plus Billy Ternent, [3] and he soon became renowned for the virtuosity of his performances. Following his exposure on television with the Stanley Black Orchestra, an enthusiastic announcer introduced him as the 'Man with the Golden Trumpet' – an apt description that remained with him for the rest of his musical career.

Preston, Lancashire city and the administrative centre of Lancashire, England

Preston is a city and the administrative centre of Lancashire, England, on the north bank of the River Ribble.

Lancashire County of England

Lancashire is a ceremonial county in North West England. The administrative centre is Preston. The county has a population of 1,449,300 and an area of 1,189 square miles (3,080 km2). People from Lancashire are known as Lancastrians.

Brass band musical ensemble generally consisting entirely of brass instruments

A brass band is a musical ensemble generally consisting entirely of brass instruments, most often with a percussion section. Ensembles that include brass and woodwind instruments can in certain traditions also be termed brass bands, but may more correctly termed military bands, concert bands, or "brass and reed" bands.

Calvert's style was unusually individualistic, and he became a familiar musician on BBC Radio and TV during the 1950s. He first recorded for Melodisc c. 1949–1951 before he started to record for EMI's Columbia label and his records included two UK number ones, "Oh Mein Papa" and, more than a year later, "Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White". He was the first British instrumentalist to achieve two number ones. "Oh Mein Papa" which also sold well in the United States, topped the UK Singles Chart for nine weeks (then a UK chart record), and he received the first gold disc awarded for a UK instrumental track. [5]

BBC Radio division and service of the British Broadcasting Corporation

BBC Radio is an operational business division and service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The service provides national radio stations covering the majority of musical genres, as well as local radio stations covering local news, affairs and interests. It also oversees online audio content.

BBC Television company

BBC Television is a service of the British Broadcasting Corporation. The corporation has operated in the United Kingdom under the terms of a royal charter since 1927. It produced television programmes from its own studios since 1932, although the start of its regular service of television broadcasts is dated to 2 November 1936.

Melodisc Records was a record label founded by Emil E. Shalit in the late 1940s. It was one of the first independent record labels in the UK, and the parent company of the Blue Beat label.

Further chart entries were "John and Julie", taken from the soundtrack of the film John and Juliet, and "Mandy", his last major hit. Other recordings included "Stranger in Paradise" (1955), "The Man with the Golden Arm" (1956) and "Jealousy" (1960). Calvert co-wrote the song "My Son, My Son", which was a hit for Vera Lynn in 1954. In spite of being an instrumental, his theme music for the film The Man with the Golden Arm was banned by the BBC "due to its connection with a film about drugs". [6]

"Stranger in Paradise" is a popular song from the musical Kismet (1953), and is credited to Robert Wright and George Forrest. Like almost all the music in that show, the melody was taken from music composed by Alexander Borodin (1833–1887), in this case, the "Gliding Dance of the Maidens", from the Polovtsian Dances in the opera Prince Igor (1890). The song in the musical is a lovers' duet and describes the transcendent feelings that love brings to their surroundings. Later versions were mostly edited to be sung by male solo artists.

Jealousy generally refers to the thoughts or feelings of insecurity, fear, concern, over relative lack of possessions.

"My Son, My Son" is a traditional popular music song written by Gordon Melville Rees, Bob Howard and Eddie Calvert in 1954. A recording of the song by Vera Lynn reached number one in the UK Singles Chart in November that year. It was Lynn's only number one hit, reached towards the end of her peak of activity. Earlier, in 1951, she had reached #1 in the U.S. Billboard chart with her recording of "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart". "My Son, My Son" was Lynn's fifth chart hit in the UK, following on from "Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart", "Forget-Me-Not", "The Homing Waltz" and "The Windsor Waltz" (1953).

In 1960 he was invited by orchestra leader, Norrie Paramor and their mutual friends Ruby Murray and Michael Holliday to record an extended-play single with four tracks. Calvert played Silent Night and on another track he, Murray and Holliday teamed up in a version of Good Luck, Good Health, God Bless You. The single, released by Columbia Records achieved some success in Britain but was more popular in Australia and South Africa.

Norrie Paramor English record producer

Norman William Paramor, known professionally as Norrie Paramor, was a British record producer, composer, arranger, pianist, bandleader, and orchestral conductor. He is best known for his work with Cliff Richard and the Shadows, both together and separately, steering their early careers and producing and arranging most of their material from the late 1950s to the early 1970s. Paramor was a composer of studio albums, theatrical productions, and film scores.

Ruby Florence Murray was a Northern Irish singer and actress. One of the most popular singers in the British Isles in the 1950s, she scored ten hits in the UK Singles Chart between 1954 and 1959. She also made pop chart history in March 1955 by having five singles in the Top Twenty in a single week.

Norman Alexander Milne, known professionally as Michael Holliday was a British singer popular in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

As music began to change in the 1960s with the worldwide popularity of groups like the Beatles and the rock n' roll genre, Calvert's musical renditions became less popular among record buyers. By 1968 Calvert had become disillusioned with life under the Labour government of Harold Wilson and was especially critical of London's policy towards Rhodesia. After a world tour that included several stops in Africa, he left the UK, making South Africa his home. He continued to perform there, and was a regular visitor to Rhodesia. He continued to record for the local market and performed a version of "Amazing Grace", retitled "Amazing Race" specially adapted for Rhodesia. [7]

The Beatles English rock band

The Beatles were an English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. With members John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr, they became regarded as the foremost and most influential band in history. Rooted in skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, the group were integral to pop music's evolution into an art form and to the development of the counterculture of the 1960s. They often incorporated classical elements, older pop forms and unconventional recording techniques in innovative ways, and later experimented with several musical styles ranging from pop ballads and Indian music to psychedelia and hard rock. As the members continued to draw influences from a variety of cultural sources, their musical and lyrical sophistication grew, and they were seen as an embodiment of the era's sociocultural movements.

Harold Wilson former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, was a British Labour politician who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1964 to 1970 and 1974 to 1976.

Rhodesia former country in Africa

Rhodesia was a country in southern Africa from 1965 to 1979, equivalent in territory to modern Zimbabwe. Rhodesia was the de facto successor state to the British colony of Southern Rhodesia, which had been self-governing since achieving responsible government in 1923. A landlocked nation, Rhodesia was bordered by South Africa to the south, Bechuanaland to the southwest, Zambia to the northwest, and Mozambique to the east.

On 7 August 1978, Calvert collapsed and died of a heart attack in the bathroom of his home in Rivonia, Johannesburg. He was 56 years old.

Early recordings

UK singles chart discography

See also

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References

  1. The Dead Rock Stars Club website @efortress.com/doc-rock Archived 28 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine .
  2. 1 2 Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 90. ISBN   1-904994-10-5.
  3. 1 2 3 Allmusic.com biography by Sharon Mawer
  4. The Windmill. 1953. p. 115.
  5. Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 63. ISBN   0-214-20512-6.
  6. Tobler, John (1992). NME Rock 'N' Roll Years (1st ed.). London: Reed International Books Ltd. p. 23. CN 5585.
  7. Denselow, Robin (1989). When The Music's Over: The Story Of Political Pop. London: Faber. p. 135.