Matt at the BBC

Audio CD April 27 2009.

DVD April 27 2009.

Label EMI Gold

Discs 2

Running Time Audio 74 minutes

Running Time DVD 57 minutes

DVD Region 0

Bar Code 50999 698912 2 9
Catalogue Number 698 9122



CD Running Order


1     The Nearness of You

2     Stardust

3     Let's Face The Music And Dance

4     Small Fry

5     Gone With the Wind

6     Rockin’ Chair

7    I Cried For You

8     Cheek to Cheek

9     Memories of You

10  Memphis in June

11  Love Walked in

12  I Should Care

13  The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else

14  Prisoner of Love

15  How Little We Know

16  Out of Sight Out of Mind

17  One Morning in May

18  Skylark

19  A Cottage For Sale

20 My Kind of Girl

21  Georgia on My Mind

22  I’m a Fool to Want You

23  Blue Orchids

24  Garden of Eden

25 That Old Feeling

26  I Get Along Without You Very Well

27  Something’s Gotta Give

Bonus Tracks from Saturday Club

28   How Do You Do

29  As Long As I'm Singing

30  It's Alright With Me


DVD Running Order

Matt Sings Monro

Born Free
Let Me Sing and I'm Happy
Walk Away
And You Smiled
From Russia With Love
Yesterday
We're Gonna Change the World
Maria
Softly as I Leave You

Saturday Night at the Mill

Born Free
Walk Away
Portrait of My Love
If I Never Sing Another Song

Cilla Black

Curiouser and Curiouser
Crowther, Monro and Black

Morecambe & Wise

Thanks

 

Matt at the BBC
with Ted Heath and his Music


During Matt Monro’s remarkable career he made nearly seven hundred television and radio appearances ranging from standard variety fare, talk shows, game shows, duet routines, comedy skits, commercial jingles to programmes he hosted himself. Sadly little of this material exists today with only a handful of appearances stored in dusty uncared for archives. In those early years the thought of archiving programmes for future use was not given consideration because tape was inordinately expensive. The solution to keeping costs down was to wipe the programmes and re-use the tape. Once a radio or television station was sold or closed, the material was categorised as disposable media commodities and destroyed without a second thought.


The British Broadcasting Corporation Transcription Service was set up in the 1930’s to package and sell BBC Radio programmes to overseas broadcasters who subscribed to the service. Initially it issued a cross section of material from all genres, but after the war they began to issue exclusive material that was not, as a rule, broadcast in the United Kingdom. This ranged from special editions of Hancock’s Half Hour and The Goon Show to whole series. The shows were always issued on disc, initially 78 rpm and later on 331/3 as this was considered the most universal format and playable all over the world.


The Star Show was made for transcription use only and never broadcast in the UK. The premise of the show was to have a regular orchestra, usually Ted Heath, a vocal group, a well-known resident vocalist and a different star guest each edition along with an announcer, more often than not Pete Murray.


Matt first appeared as a guest in 1961 and subsequently in 1963 took the place of Dickie Valentine as resident for a 13 show series singing two songs at each outing. To save on costs each show had little rehearsal and was recorded in as few takes as possible.


Aside from The Star Show Matt recorded one other series exclusively for the Transcription Services in 1959 called The Mood For Love with arranger Merrick Farran. That series survives in its entirety but is unsuitable for release due to uninspired arrangements. Matt recorded more than 300 performances for BBC Radio between 1956 and 1984 and nearly all of them have been wiped.


Top Of The Pops, no connection to the television series of the same name, was a transcription show which ran from the early 60’s and drew from editions of shows such as Saturday Club and Top Gear. Saturday ‘Skiffle’ Club, a pop music programme hosted by Brian Matthew and produced by Jimmy Grant, started life in 1957. It eventually dropped ‘Skiffle’ from its name and opened to the familiar theme music Saturday Jump. It broadcast between ten and twelve Saturday mornings on the BBC Light Programme later moving to BBC Radio2 and consisted mainly of ‘live’ pre recorded performances by artists and bands of the time until it went off the air on January 18th 1969.


None of Matt’s appearances on Saturday Club or Top Gear have survived but fortunately the Service retained copies of all the transcription programmes Matt appeared in including Top of the Pops.


Last year EMI announced a special agreement with the BBC allowing the release of archived performances. The question was how much material could we find? The BBC submitted a list of what they held but it was worrying sparse. It called for some serious research and there is no better than my trusty accomplice Richard Moore who has been responsible for helping bring Rare Monro, Matt Sings Nelson Swings, Yesterday and Live in Australia to the market. Richard is responsible for remastering the music to a high level of restoration and without his expert input some of these would not have been possible.


Richard immediately suggested that we look at the transcription library. We knew that the transcription service still existed – now called BBC Radio International but how much it held was an unknown quantity. Rumours abounded that the library was missing large amounts of material. Richard spent a day huddled in the British Library scanning through old catalogues and submitted our request. Delightedly we found the rumours to be just that and all of Matt’s transcription recordings had survived. There was just one problem!


Back in the 1960’s tape stock was expensive and bulky, so master tapes of the vast majority of these recordings were often re-used and copies kept on vinyl disc only. Whilst the 45-year-old discs were in very good condition they were by no means perfect. They were expertly transferred to digital by BBC Radio International and sent to Richard who set about getting the recordings back to master quality. The recordings suffered mainly from surface noise, clicks and pops but there was also a small amount of low-level crackle and that was more of a challenge to remove.


The 1961 Star Show had a certain amount of groove wear and several recordings contained minor clicks, which could not be removed completely without harming the recording. However the vast majority of songs now sound as good as the original master tapes once did with no extra compression or tweaking required – a testament to the brilliance of the original BBC engineers.


The bonus Saturday Club tracks were not as well recorded. They sounded thin and lacked the same warmth as the Star Shows but after a little care and attention these now sound much closer to its counterpart.


What is additionally special with these recordings are that they are presented with either different arrangements or sung in different keys from the originals. When Matt first recorded for Decca his performance was confined as the record company had very set ideas about the way they wanted him to sing the lyrics. These BBC recordings have a much better feel, are more laid back and Matt’s artistic freedom shines through.


This bumper CD also features eleven tracks that were originally on Matt’s Hoagy Carmichael album but again most of the arrangements have been tailored to compensate for the lack of strings. There is also the wonderful adaptation of Something’s Gotta Give, the only known recording by Matt of this Johnny Mercer song.


The second part of this extraordinary bundle is equally impressive. EMI are bringing to the market for the very first time a dedicated DVD of some of Matt’s finest BBC television performances. Firstly the inclusion of Matt’s own television show Matt Sings Monro, a thirty-minute 1974 special produced by Peter Ridsdale Scott, highlighting all your favourites including the massive hits Born Free, Portrait of My Love and Walk Away.


Saturday Night at the Mill gives us nearly twenty minutes of Matt at his best and as well as a plethora of song it allows us access to an in-depth interview showcasing Matt’s warm gentle manner and keen sense of humour highlighting what made him such a popular return guest across all media formats.


The inclusion of an extract from the Cilla Black Show in 1972 gives us a rare opportunity of seeing the star perform Curiouser and Curiouser from the film Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Another guest on the show, Leslie Crowther, joins together with Cilla and Matt to entertain us with a rendition of the specially written skit Crowther, Monro and Black.


Rounding off this fantastic collection is an appearance from a 1971 Morecambe and Wise Show, which includes the track Thanks. Fans across the world have constantly asked where this is available but Matt never recorded the song. Other than this DVD performance the only other rendition Matt did features in the finale of LWT’s Whittaker’s World of Music but not as a solo.


Twenty-four years after Matt’s death we can finally say that these performances are being put to good use. Revived from the dusty depths of the BBC vaults they are at last being seen and with the advent of new media formats will hopefully be preserved for all time. One can only hope that we continue to unearth more of these hidden gems and I can promise you one thing – Richard Moore and I will never stop on our quest to uncover lost, hidden or forgotten rarities. With Richard’s innate extraordinary talent for bringing damaged, soiled and tainted material back to life – nothing is impossible.


What makes Matt Monro special is that he sang a song how it was written, he made people feel special and sang with true feeling. He made people feel good about themselves.  He chose good lyrics, great musicians and the best producers in order to give the song the best possible treatment. He didn’t try and fool an audience with a lacklustre or uninspiring performance, when he went on that stage he meant it and it came across.

I’m often asked what my favourite song is. This is actually not an easy question for me as my response changes all the time depending on my mood.  To me my father’s songs are like close intimate friends, something I grew up with.  Some I fell in love with instantly and some I learnt to love over time, some are passionate, some sad and some are breezy, bright and uplifting. I know them really well; they have seen me through my private nightmares, my highs and lows, my reveries and my demons. They are always there for me whether I want them or not but invariably they will elevate me to a better place.  They take me to a wonderland of imagination and sometimes I can quite easily live there for a while and when reality hits, I’m better for the song I’ve heard. A song is as changeable as my disposition and that is why my answer varies from day to day.

If you have never heard of Matt Monro or are unfamiliar with his music then you are in for a treat as there is a wealth of material to chose from. My favourite has to be the live Australian concert. The diction and phrasing is letter perfect and his wonderful breath control show what made him unique. A fantastic performance from a wonderful entertainer, artist, father and friend – I miss him.


Extract from the forthcoming biography ‘The Singer’s Singer’ by Michele Monro

Details of future releases can be found on the dedicated Matt Monro website www.mattmonro.com


© Michele Monro 2009

 

Trivia Facts devised and written by Richard Moore

Ted Heath Orchestra – should be labelled “Ted Heath and His Music” which is the name his orchestra was called on record and announced during the programme.

The BBC Transcription Service was set up in the 1930’s Thirties to package and sell BBC Radio programmes to overseas broadcasters who subscribed to the Service.

Initially it issued a cross section of material from all genres, but after the war began to issue exclusive material that was not, as a rule, broadcast in the UK. This ranged from special editions of programmes such as Hancock’s Half Hour and The Goon Show to whole series.

The shows were always issued on disc as this was considered the most universal format and playable all over the world. These were initially 78rpm discs and later 33&1/3 vinyl discs.

The Star Show was made for transcription use only and never broadcast in the UK.

The premise of the show was to have a regular orchestra, a vocal group, a well-known resident vocalist (usually just for one series) and a different Star Guest each edition along with an announcer (often Pete Murray). The show was evidently a hit with overseas stations as it ran from around 1960 to the mid sixties

Matt appeared as a guest in 1961 and became resident (in place of Dickie Valentine) for 13 shows in 1963. The shows would have had very little rehearsal and recorded in as few takes as possible.

The resident singer and the star guest would always get two songs each.

Matt recorded two different series exclusively for the transcription services, one in 1959 called “The Mood For Love” with arranger Merrick Farran and the Star Show in 1963.

‘The Mood For Love’ survives complete but is unsuitable for release due to uninspired arrangements.

The Matt recorded more than 300 performances for BBC radio between 1956 and 1984. Near all of these have been wiped.

The transcription service has thankfully retained copies of all of the transcription programmes Matt appeared in.

‘Top Of The Pops’ was a transcription which ran from the early 60’s onwards and has no connection to the TV series of the same name.

‘Top Of The Pops’ was presented by Brian Mathew and performances were drawn from editions of shows such as Saturday Club and Top Gear. Neither of these shows were archived, so it is thanks to the transcription service that these recordings survive.

Saturday Club was a pop music programme which started life as Saturday "Skiffle" club in 1957 hosted by Brian Matthew and produced by Jimmy Grant. The Skiffle part was eventually dropped to become Saturday Club opened by the familiar Saturday Club theme music "Saturday Jump" The programme was broadcast from 10am to 12noon Saturday mornings on the BBC Light Programme from Oct 4th 1958 to Sept 23rd 1967 then BBC Radio2 from Sept 30th 1967 to Jan 18th 1969. The show consisted mainly of "live" pre recorded performances by artists and bands of the time as there were restrictions on the amounts of "Needle Time" (record playing) at that time.”

The Monro estate has been searching for lost performances for many years, and when EMI announced it was entering into an agreement with the BBC to release archive performances we jumped at the chance. The problem was, how much could we find? The BBC was asked to provide a list of what was in their archives. This was worryingly little. Richard suggested the transcription library might have something.

We knew that the transcription service still existed – now called BBC Radio International but how much it held we didn’t know rumours had it that the library was missing large amounts of material. Richard researched what there might be (including a day huddled in the British Library scouring old catalogues) and we put in our request. We were delighted to find that the rumours were not true and all of Matt’s transcription recordings survived.

Restoration information

Back in the 1960’s tape stock was expensive and bulky, so master tapes of the vast majority of these recordings were often re-used and copies kept on vinyl disc only. Whilst the 45 year old discs were in very good condition they were by no means perfect. They were expertly transferred into digital by BBC Radio International and sent to Richard Moore who set about getting the recordings back to master quality.

The recordings suffered mainly from surface noise and clicks and pops. There was also a small amount of low level crackle that was more of a challenge.

The 1961 show had a certain amount of groove wear and a few recordings contained minor clicks which could not be removed completely without harming the recording. However that vast majority of the songs should now sound as good as the original master tapes once did with no extra compression or tweaking required – a testament to the brilliance of the original BBC engineers.

The bonus Saturday Club recordings were not as well recorded. They sounding thin and lacking in the warmth of the star show recordings. After a little care and attention these now sound much closer to the other material featured on this set.

Recording Information - The Star Show - with Ted Heath and His Music.


Recorded - 22nd February 1961

  1. Something’s Gotta Give

Only known recording by Matt of this Johnny Mercer song– originally sung by Fred Astaire in the film “Daddy Long Legs”

Recorded - 16th April 1963

  1. Stardust

Originally recorded for Hoagy album, similar arrangement but brass led than string led. Starts in better place lyrically. “Sometimes I wonder.....” rather than “.......and I am once again with you”

  1. Let’s Face The Music And Dance

Originally recorded for “Love is The Same Anywhere” Same Arrangement (Johnnie Spence)

  1. Memories Of You

Originally recorded for Decca. Taken slower, new arrangement, up a semitone.

  1. Small Fry

Originally recorded for “Hoagy” album Same Arrangement (Johnnie Spence) Much faster tempo wise.

Recorded – 15th July 1963

  1. The Nearness Of You

Originally recorded for “Hoagy” album Same Arrangement (Johnnie Spence) Missing Opening Verse.

  1. Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

Originally recorded for Decca. New arrangement and new key

Recorded – 21th June 1963

  1. Gone With The Wind

Originally recorded for Decca. New arrangement and new key

  1. I Cried For You

Originally recorded for Decca. Swingier than Decca and new key

Recorded 26TH – 27TH April 1963

  1. A Cottage For Sale

Originally recorded for Decca. Same key and arrangement (Malcolm Lockyer)

  1. Prisoner Of Love

Originally recorded for Fontana. New slower arrangement.

  1. I Should Care

Originally recorded for “Parade Of The Pops”. LP similar arrangement.

  1. Cheek To Cheek

Originally recorded for “Love is The Same Anywhere”. Same Arrangement (Johnnie Spence)

  1. I’m A Fool To Want You

Originally recorded for “Parade Of The Pops”. LP similar arrangement.

  1. My Kind Of Girl

Originally Parlophone single. Same Arrangement (Johnnie Spence).

  1. Rocking Chair

Originally recorded for “Hoagy” album. Same Arrangement (Johnnie Spence) .Much faster tempo wise.

  1. I Get Along Without You Very Well

Originally recorded for “Hoagy” album. Similar, but brass led arrangement.

  1. Memphis In June

Originally recorded for “Hoagy”, same arrangement.

  1. Love Walked In

First Parlophone single – Similar arrangement, swings more

  1. Georgia On My Mind

Originally recorded for “Hoagy” - similar arrangement.

  1. One Morning In May

Originally recorded for “Hoagy” - similar arrangement.

  1. Skylark

Originally recorded for “Hoagy” - similar arrangement.

  1. How Little We Know

Originally recorded for “Hoagy” - similar arrangement.

  1. Blue Orchids

Originally recorded for “Hoagy” - similar arrangement.

  1. Garden Of Eden

Originally recorded for Decca. Same key and arrangement (Malcolm Lockyer)

  1. That Old Feeling

Originally recorded for Decca. New key and new arrangement

  1. The One I Love Belongs To Somebody Else

Originally recorded For Decca. Same key. Similar, but adapted arrangement, swings more!


Summary:

11 of the 12 tracks featured on his Hoagy Carmichael album – Arrangements often adapted due to no string section.

8 Tracks originally recorded for Decca. Most songs were re-arranged and in different keys. Matt sings these very differently to the original Decca recordings where he sings very straight. These BBC recordings have a much better feel; more laid back, much more his own style.

1 Track originally recorded for Fontana

2 Tracks originally recorded for from “Parade Of The Pops” LP

The two standards recorded for the “Love Is The Same Anywhere” album

2 tracks issued as singles

1 song released nowhere else.

Bonus tracks: Saturday Club

Recorded 25th January 2966

  1. How Do You Do

  2. As Long As I’m Singing

Probably Recorded - 8th December 1964

  1. It’s Alright With Me

Arranged as per Parlophone recordings

Conducted By Johnnie Spence.


The track listing running order shown above is how it originally appeared in the shows; it is NOT the running order on the album


 

PREVIOUS CD's

Matt Monro with Love

The Rare Monro

The Heart of the Man

A Touch of Class

The Collection

Tesco Exclusive

The Very Best Of

The Singers, Singer

His Finest


 



   
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