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Friday, May 3, 2019

Holiday For Strings - Living Strings

Holiday For Strings
Played By Living Strings
Arranged and Conducted by Johnny Douglas
A&R Coordinator: Ethel Gabriel
Recorded in England
RCA Camden CAS-760

From the back cover: In effect, this album is a salute to David Rose and Leroy Anderson, two composers, arrangers and conductors who have influenced a whole style of popular music. Both are big-band specialists, writing lovely, sweeping mood melodies or intriguing novelties that make full use of massed strings, whole brass choirs – instrumentation in the largest sense.

This is music which precisely and beautifully fits the style of the famed Living Strings – and consequently the Strings have never been better than in the thrilling performances in theses grooves. Eight of the album's ten songs are Rose or Anderson originals.

The opener and our title song, Holiday For Strings by David Rose and Sam Gallop, was an instant hit in 1943. In many ways, it inaugurated a whole era and influenced a generation of arrangers and conductors.

Three other Rose originals, reflecting changing musical moods, are excitingly explored by the Living Strings. In Dance Of The Spanish Onion the familiar "lush" middle theme has been lengthened in this album, brightening the effect of this lovely music. The Strings then turn lush and romantic for the tender Our Waltz, written in 1943 by Rose with Nat Burton, and the lovely One Love, a 1946 composition with words by Leo Robin.

Among the four Leroy Anderson originals in Blue Tango, here given a gentle swing treatment. Popular music fans will remember the song as a big single-record hit as performed by Hugo Winterhalter and his orchestra in the early Fifties. It was written in 1952 with a Mitchel Parish (Stardust) lyric.

The Anderson-Parish Fiddle Faddle is arranged with a lush string sound replacing the familiar pizzicato middle section.

Serenata, written by Anderson in 1949 with a lyric by Mitchell Parish is intriguingly arranged here as a Bossa Nova. Sleigh Ride, another Anderson-Parish collaboration (1950) is vigorously updated in Twist rhythm.

Movie fans will recognize one of our selections as a two-way hit. When You Wish Upon A Star, a 1940 hit written by Ned Washington and Leigh Harline, was later the highly popular theme of Walt Disney's "Pinocchio," for which it received an Academy Award.

Holiday For Strings
Our Love
When You Wish Upon A Star
Dance Of The Spanish Onion
Our Waltz
Fiddle Fiddle
Blue Prelude
Sleigh Ride
Blue Tango


  1. hello. how may I clean my old lp s? I nned some advise. thanks.

    1. Many of the LPs I find need cleaning. I pump about 5 dabs of hand soap onto each side of the disc from a foaming dispenser (which I refill as needed). I spread the soap around one side of the disc by hand, lightly rotating the disc about 3 times and then do the other side and then rinse the disc off (I've got a faucet tall enough to comfortably accommodate the disk). I rinse the bottom of the disc, away from the label while I turn the disc around. I have had no issues with modern labels being being damaged by water, so I don't worry much if some water runs across the label. I then lay the disc on a towel to blot some of the water and then turn it over before I use a soft, absorbent cloth or hand towel to wipe with the grooves (any direction is OK, but with the grooves)... I do this around the record maybe three of four times. By the time you return to your turntable you disc will probably be, for the most part, dry. Dust and finger prints will be gone. Infrequently you may find a disc that looks really dirty. These LPs might require more attention because the grime has settled deep into the grooves, rather than just onto the general surface area of the disc. My method works best for quick, light cleaning needs.


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