George Melachrino

Biography

Born: May 1, 1909; London, England   Died: June 18, 1965; Kensington, England  
British composer/arranger George Melachrino is famous for his Moods in Music series, which attempted to provide a soundtrack for everyday events like dining, working, and romance. Melachrino's records were distinctive for his lush, rich strings with gave his music a luxurious, romantic quality. In addition to his Moods in Music albums, he had a string of hit singles and recording albums consisting of movie themes, popular songs, and show tunes. Read more

Melachrino began playing music as a child. His Greek parents gave him a violin at the age of five and he immediately wrote his first composition. When he was 14 years old, he enrolled at the Trinity College of Music, where he studied strings and chamber music. Two years later, while he was still a student, he wrote a piece for a string sextette which was performed throughout London. Before he completed school, he decided to learn every orchestral instrument; by the time he graduated, he had fulfilled his goal, learning every instrument besides piano and harp.

Melachrino began a performing career in 1927 with a British Broadcasting Company session. As he continued to play, he began to expand his tastes from classical music, experimenting with jazz and pop music. He joined dance bands, including groups led by Ambrose, Harry Hudson, Carroll Gibbons, and Bert Firman. Melachrino formed a dance band in 1939, which played at the respected London theatre the Cafe de Paris; it disbanded in 1940.

When World War II began, Melachrino joined the British service as a military policeman. He would later earn the ranking of a Regimental Sergeant-Major, after which he joined the Stars of Battledress troupe. During the War, he was also the leader of the British Band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, as well as the leader of the British Orchestra in Khaki, which consisted entirely of serving soldiers, and the musical director of the Army Radio Unit. Melachrino also sang with the American and Canadian Allied Expeditionary Forces bands. With each of his wartime bands, he was working with bands that had large string sections, which would prove to be crucial to the music he made after the war.

Once the war was over, Melachrino led to separate outfits -- the George Melachrino Orchestra and the Melachrino Strings -- which were quite similar in sound. Both units featured sentimental, string-laden arrangements, with light brass and woodwind touches. In addition to leading these bands, he founded the Melachrino Music Organization, which provdied music for films, radio, and records. In the late '40s, he wrote scores for films, including Woman to Woman, No Orchids for Miss Blandish, Code of Scotland Yard, Story of Shirley Yorke, and Dark Secret; he also wrote the music for the musical Starlight Roof.

Melachrino began recording for RCA, making over 100 78s and over 50 LPs. Out of all of his albums -- which were frequently hits -- the most notable were his Music for Moods series, which included such records as Music for Dining, Music to Help You Sleep, Music for Two People Alone, Music for Faith and Inner Calm, Music for Daydreaming, and Music for Relaxation, among many others. All of the Music for Moods albums were produced by Ethel Gabriel, who helped mastermind their sound and direction.

Melachrino's career was going strong into the '60s, as he began recording for ABC Paramount. In 1965, he suffered a fatal accident at his home. He was still successful at the time of his death, and the Melachrino Strings and Orchestra continued without him under the direction of Robert Mandell. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 43 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: My Dream Is Yours
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5209 Release Date: 07/08/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Victor Herbert,  Harry Warren,  Mischa Spoliansky,  John Frederic Coots  ... 
    Conductor:  Percy Faith,  Johny Clegg,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Frank Cordell  ... 
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  • 2.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Ca C'est Paris
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5207 Release Date: 02/11/2014   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  José Padilla,  Vernon Duke,  Roger Roger,  Guy Lafarge  ... 
    Conductor:  Jos Cleber,  Robert Farnon,  Roger Roger,  Hal Mooney  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Telecast Ensemble
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  • 3.
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 1010022 Release Date: 12/24/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jerry Herman,  Arthur Schwartz,  Ralph Rainger
    Conductor:  George Melachrino
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  • 4.
    The Golden Age of Light Music: Great British Composers, Vol. 2
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5203 Release Date: 10/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wally Stott,  Charles Williams,  Haydn Wood,  Vivian Ellis  ... 
    Conductor:  Robert Farnon,  William Hodgson,  Sidney Torch,  Stanford Robinson  ... 
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  • 5.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: A Glorious Century Of Light Music
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5200 Release Date: 04/09/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jerome Kern,  Vernon Duke,  Ron Goodwin,  Jule Styne  ... 
    Conductor:  Cyril Ornadel,  Paul Mauriat,  Ron Goodwin,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani  ... 
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  • 6.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Melodies For The Starlight Hours
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5196 Release Date: 01/08/2013   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Katscher,  Jerome Kern,  Frederick Loewe,  Hubert Giraud  ... 
    Performer:  Steve Race,  Harry Pitch
    Conductor:  Laurie Johnson,  Buddy Bregman,  Percy Faith,  Andre Kostelanetz  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ferrante & Teicher
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  • 7.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Nature's Realm
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5194 Release Date: 12/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Johann Strauss Jr.,  Harold Arlen,  Peter Yorke,  Lothar Olias  ... 
    Performer:  The Wayfarers
    Conductor:  Sidney Torch,  Morton Gould,  Frank Chacksfield,  Ray Martin  ... 
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  • 8.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: The Art Of The Arranger, Vol. 2
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5193 Release Date: 10/09/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Richard Rodgers,  Jack Strachey,  George Forrest,  George Gershwin  ... 
    Performer:  Gordon Jenkins
    Conductor:  Buddy Bregman,  Angela Morley,  David Rose,  Cyril Ornadel  ... 
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  • 9.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Stereo Into The Sixties
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5192 Release Date: 09/11/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Herman Clebanoff,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Ron Goodwin  ... 
    Performer:  Russ Conway,  Neill Sanders
    Conductor:  Frederick Fennell,  Herman Clebanoff,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani,  Ron Goodwin  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Ferrante & Teicher
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  • 10.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Holidays For Strings
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5189 Release Date: 08/14/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Leroy Anderson,  Richard Whiting / W. Fran,  George Gershwin,  Alexander Borodin  ... 
    Conductor:  Leroy Anderson,  Jack Shaindlin,  Frederick Fennell,  David Carroll  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Clebanoff Strings,  Music of the Mountains
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  • 11.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: The Art Of The Arranger, Vol. 1
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5188 Release Date: 07/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Jacques Offenbach,  Con Conrad,  Frederick Loewe,  Ray Henderson  ... 
    Performer:  Jack Laroque
    Conductor:  Hal Mooney,  Buddy Bregman,  Cyril Ornadel,  Morton Gould  ... 
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  • 12.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Bright & Breezy
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5180 Release Date: 12/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Peter Dennis,  Bob Russell,  Frederick Loewe,  P. Roberts  ... 
    Performer:  Sir Chauncey,  Marjan Rawicz,  Walter Landauer,  Manuel & the Music of the Mountains
    Conductor:  Les Baxter,  Robert Farnon,  George Melachrino,  Phillipo Andez  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Knightsbridge Strings
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  • 13.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Christmas Celebration
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5185 Release Date: 11/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  James Pierpont,  John Henry Hopkins Jr.,  Felix Mendelssohn,  Traditional  ... 
    Conductor:  Billy Vaughn,  Percy Faith,  George Melachrino,  Angela Morley  ... 
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  • 14.
    The  Golden Age Of Light Music: Portrait Of My Love
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5179 Release Date: 10/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Cyril Ornadel,  Eric Coates,  Cole Porter,  Sammy Fain  ... 
    Performer:  Cyril Ornadel,  Danish State Radio Orchestra,  Victor Silvester,  Mantovani & His Orchestra  ... 
    Conductor:  Cyril Ornadel,  Robert Farnon,  Victor Silvester,  Annuncio Paolo Mantovani  ... 
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  • 15.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - The Composer Conducts Vol 2
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5178 Release Date: 09/13/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Alfred Newman,  Don Gillis,  Robert Farnon,  Peter Yorke  ... 
    Performer:  Arthur Sandford,  Montague Ewing,  Albert William Ketèlbey,  Harriet Cohen
    Conductor:  Alfred Newman,  Don Gillis,  Robert Farnon,  Peter Yorke  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Neapolitan Novelty Band
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  • 16.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Confetti
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5175 Release Date: 06/14/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Bronislaw Kaper,  Joseph Kuhn,  Robert Farnon,  Härtel  ... 
    Performer:  Mitch Miller,  Dolores Ventura
    Conductor:  Johnny Green,  Leslie Jones,  Hans-Georg Arlt,  Robert Farnon  ... 
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  • 17.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: The Lost Transcriptions, Vol. 1
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5174 Release Date: 05/10/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  George Gershwin,  Jerome Kern,  Edward B. Claypoole,  David Rose  ... 
    Performer:  Lou Whiteson
    Conductor:  Sidney Torch,  Percy Faith,  David Rose,  Dolf van der Linden  ... 
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  • 18.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: The Pianist In The Spotlight
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5173 Release Date: 03/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Francis Craig,  Nicholas Brodszky,  Marvin Fisher,  David Rose  ... 
    Performer:  Roger Williams,  Paul Weston,  George Shearing,  David Rose  ... 
    Conductor:  Roger Williams,  Paul Weston,  Billy May,  David Rose  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Billy Mayerl Rhythm Ensemble,  Pall Mall Revellers,  Carroll Gibbons & His Boy Friends
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  • 19.
    Golden Age Of Light Music - Lightly Classical
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5172 Release Date: 02/08/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov,  Claude Debussy,  Gustav Holst,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Conductor:  Pierre Challet,  Angela Morley,  Sir William Walton,  Frank De Vol  ... 
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  • 20.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: War And Peace - Light Music Of The 1940s
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5171 Release Date: 01/11/2011   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Belton,  Hoagy Carmichael,  Eric Coates,  Sir William Walton  ... 
    Performer:  Laurance Turner,  Peggy Cochrane,  Henry Bronkhurst,  Guy Fletcher
    Conductor:  Charles Shadwell,  Percy Faith,  Eric Coates,  Sir William Walton  ... 
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  • 21.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: A First A-Z Of Light Music
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5169 Release Date: 12/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Vivian Ellis,  George Forrest,  David Rose,  Aldo Von Pinelli  ... 
    Performer:  Queen's Hall Light Orchestra,  Warren Barker and His Orchestra,  David & His Orchestra Rose,  Hans-Georg Arlt Orchestra  ... 
    Conductor:  Sidney Torch,  Warren Barker,  David Rose,  Hans-Georg Arlt  ... 
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  • 22.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music - Magical Melodies
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5170 Release Date: 11/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Farnon,  Joseph Kuhn,  Josef Myrow,  Willy Berking  ... 
    Performer:  Dolores Ventura
    Conductor:  Leslie Jones,  John Scott Trotter,  Hans-Georg Arlt,  Buddy Bregman  ... 
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  • 23.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Strings In Rhythm
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5167 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Victor Herbert,  Cole Porter,  Gordon Jenkins,  Lennie Hayton  ... 
    Conductor:  Percy Faith,  Victor Silvester,  Gordon Jenkins,  George Melachrino  ... 
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  • 24.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: Orchestral Gems In Stereo
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5165 Release Date: 08/10/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Tolchard Evans,  Jerome Kern,  Jule Styne,  Charles Trenet  ... 
    Conductor:  Carmen Dragon,  Paul Weston,  Warren Barker,  Xavier Cugat  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Victor Silvester & His Silver Strings,  101 Strings (Orchestra)
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  • 25.
    The Golden Age Of Light Music: A Trip To The Library
    Label: Guild   Catalog: 5164 Release Date: 07/13/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Harry Rabinowitz,  Trevor Duncan,  Paul Dubois,  Bruce Campbell  ... 
    Conductor:  Cedric Dumont,  Robert Farnon,  Dolf van der Linden,  Kurt Rehfeld  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hudson Ensemble
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