Geoff Love (AKA) Manuel of the Mountains (1917-1991)
Love was a prolific British arranger and composer of easy listening and pop versions of film themes. He became famous in the late 1950s, playing under the pseudonym of Manuel and his Music of the Mountains.
Love was born in England (Todmorden, Yorkshire). He and his older sister, Cornelia, were the only offspring of African American Thomas Edward (Kidd) Love and his English wife, Frances Helen Maycock (1892–1975), an actress and singer. The Loves travelled around Britain as entertainers. Upon the death of Geoff’s father, the family settled in their grandmother's house in Todmorden. Love learned the trombone as a youngster with a local brass band and after graduation worked as an auto mechanic while played trombone at dance halls during evenings. Turning professional at 17, Love joined Freddie Platt's band and later, in 1937, He learned to play jazz with Jan Ralfini’s dance orchestra in London.
During World War II, Love served honorably for six years with the British Army in the King’s Royal Rifle Corps where he also learned the orchestration skills required for writing for all the individual instruments of the orchestra. He married Cicely Joyce Peters, also known as Joy, on 4 April 1942. She aided him in organizing his recording sessions. They had two sons.
While Love played trombone during recording sessions, he more and more became involved in orchestrations. By the mid-fifties, he was doing orchestrations for dance bands, television and radio of several recording labels, moving from Philips to Polydor and PolyGram and finally settling at EMI.
In 1955, Love formed his own band for the television show On the Town, and soon afterwards started recording for Columbia Records with his Orchestra and Concert Orchestra. He had his first hit in 1958, with a cover-version of Perez Prado’s cha-cha-cha ‘Patricia.’ He made several albums including Enchanted Evenings, Our Very Own and Thanks for the Memory (Academy Award Winning Songs). In 1959, Love started to release some recordings under the pseudonym, Manuel and His Music of the Mountains, which proved be immensely successful.
However, it was difficult to keep his identity secret, especially due to their popularity in the U.S in 1959 and 1960. During the sixties and seventies, Love recorded many albums often featuring themes from film and television themes.
Besides his own orchestral records, Love provided the accompaniment and arrangements on record, and in concert, for many popular artists such as Connie Francis, Russ Conway, Paul Robeson, Judy Garland, Frankie Vaughan, Johnny Mathis, Des O’Connor, Ken Dodd, Marlene Dietrich and Gracie Fields. In the 70s, he formed yet another group, Billy’s Banjo Band, later known as Geoff Love’s Banjo Band, while still having hits under his own name. In the early eighties, he co-founded (with Bill Starling) the Young Persons Concert Foundation. Traveling Britain, he promoted music in schools and other venues. In the late eighties, Love participated in several brass bands.
Love’s compositions range from the Latin-styled ‘La Rosa Negra’ to the theme for the hit television situation comedy, Bless This House. Love received many music awards during his illustrious career. He received one platinum, fifteen gold, and thirteen silver discs, and a special trophy for selling in excess of 2.5 million records. Love died at the University College Hospital, Camden, London, on 8 July 1991 at the age of 73.
Geoff Love & His Orchestra
|1. Myers: Cavatina||3:01|
|2. Denver: Annie's Song||3:19|
|3. Burke & Garner: Misty||3:37|
|4. Steiner: Tara’s Theme (from Gone with the Wind)||2:36|
|5. Porter: Begin the Beguine||4:10|
|6. Rota, Kusik, Snyder: A Time for Us (from Romeo & Juliet)||2:32|
|7. King: Theme (from We’ll Meet Again –TV Series)||3:11|
|8. Legrand: The Summer Knows (from The Summer of ’42)||3:39|
|9. Rota: Love Theme (from The Godfather)||2:58|
|10. Steiner: A Summer Place (from A Summer Place)||2:48|
|11. Lai: A Man & A Woman (from A Man & A Woman)||2:56|
|12. Faine & Webster: Secret Love||2:46|
|13. Young & Heyman: When I Fall in Love||2:59|
|14. Young & Heyman: Love Letters||3:21|
|15. Rodgers & Hart: Falling in Love with Love||2:45|
|16. Lai: Where Do I Begin? (from Love Story)||3:00|
|17. Jarre & Webster: Somewhere My Love (from Dr. Zhivago)||3:09|
|18. Gershwin, G. & I.: Love Walked In||3:41|
|19. Trennet & Beach: I Wish You Love||3:09|
|20. Porter: True Love||2:55|
|21. Legrand & Gimbel: I Will Wait for You (from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg)||2:33|
Geoff Love & His Orchestra
In the Mood for Love
EMI CC 245
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