British Radio Studio Orchestras, Bands and Ensembles from the '30s to the '60s

The Robert Farnon Orchestra

I'm Brian Reynolds and I would like to welcome you to 'Masters of Melody' - an antidote to the rock and pop scene which has virtually removed melodic music from the airwaves. The light orchestras and dance bands of yesteryear are missed by many people. As an amateur musician I have composed a number of light pieces which used to be broadcast by orchestras and military bands and possess a substantial collection of vintage music broadcasts. I have also undertaken extensive research at the BBC Written Archives and elsewhere.  

In these pages you will be able to recapture memories of many vintage programmes, some of which have disappeared into the mists of time. You will also be able to read about the lives and careers of some of the 'men behind the music'. Although additions will be made from time to time, the emphasis will be on poorly documented artists who were prolific broadcasters as opposed to major recording artists such as Mantovani about whom much written material exists.

Over the years I have co-presented a number of light music programmes with Howard Leader. These can be heard here:
The Howard Leader Show

The website is still under construction, so expect more information to be added as time permits.


As You Were
Bright and Early
Continental Serenade
Grand Hotel
Home to Music
Just William
Kings of the Keyboard
Listen to the Band
Make Way for Music
Marching and Waltzing
Melody Hour
Melody Mixture
Melody on the Move
Morning Music
Music Box
Music in the Peter Yorke Manner
Music on the Move
Music While You Work
 On The Lighter Side
Piano Playtime
Show Band Show
Those were the Days


Raymond Agoult and his Players
Fred Alexander and his Players
Anton and his Orchestra
Ken Beaumont and his Sextet
Sidney Bowman and his Orchestra
Geoffrey Brand and his Orchestra
Claude Cavalotti and his Orchestra
The Albert Cazabon Orchestra
Jack Coles and his Orchestre Moderne
Harold Collins and his Orchestra
Fredric Cooper and his Tipica Orchestra
The Richard Crean Orchestra
The Gerald Crossman Players
Henry Croudson and his Strings in Rhythm
Sidney Davey and his Players
Harry Davidson and his Orchestra
William Davies
Syd Dean and his Band
The Albert Delroy Sextet
Jack Dorsey and his Orchestra
Ralph Elman and his Bohemian Players
The Jack Emblow Sextet
Falkman and his Apache Band
Michael Freedman and his Orchestra
Harry Fryer and his Orchestra
Marcel Gardner and his Serenade Orchestra
Harold C. Gee and his Maritza Players
Isy Geiger and his Viennese Music
Harold Geller and his Orchestra
Fred Hartley and his Music
Jan Hurst and his Orchestra
Hugh James and his Orchestra
Iain Kerr and his Keyboards
Felix King and his Orchestra
Tommy Kinsman and his Dance Orchestra
Henry Krein and the Montmartre Players
Jimmy Leach and his Organolian Quartet
Harry Leader and his Band
Jack Leon and his Orchestra
Reginald Leopold and his Orchestra
Bernard Monshin and his Rio Tango Band
Ronnie Munro and his Orchestra
Joseph Muscant and his Orchestra
Jack Nathan and his Band
Cecil Norman and the Rhythm Players
Eugene Pini and his Tango Orchestra
Ronnie Pleydell and his Orchestra
Bob Potter and his Orchestra
Lou Preager and his Orchestra
Reg Pursglove and The Albany Strings
The Regent Orchestra conducted by John Thorpe
Wynford Reynolds and his Orchestra
Jack Salisbury and his Salon Orchestra
Bill Savill and his Orchestra
Primo Scala and his Accordion Band
George Scott-Wood and his Accordion Band
Ian Stewart and his Quartet
Eddie Strevens and his Quartet
Phil Tate and his Orchestra
Nat Temple and his Orchestra
Billy Ternent and his Orchestra
Troise and his Banjoliers
Jacques Vallez and his Septet
Van Dam and his Orchestra
Louis Voss and his Kursaal Orchestra
Jack White and his Band
Norman Whiteley and his Sextet
Peter Yorke and his Concert Orchestra

Further editions of 'Music While You Work' by Orchestras and groups not listed above  can be found on the 'Music While You Work' page


The BBC Midland Light Orchestra
The BBC Northern Dance Orchestra
The BBC Northern Ireland Light Orchestra
The BBC Scottish Variety Orchestra
BBC West of England Orchestras
The BBC Show Band
The London Studio Players


The Band of the Royal School of Military Music, Kneller Hall
Band of The Grenadier Guards
Band of The Coldstream Guards
Band of The Scots Guards
Band of The Irish Guards
Band of The Welsh Guards
Band of The Corps of Royal Engineers (Aldershot)
Band of The Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers
Band of The Royal Corps of Transport
Band of The Royal Army Service Corps
The Royal Artillery Mounted Band
Band of The Women's Royal Army Corps
Central Band of The Royal Air Force
The Metropolitan Police Band

Carlton Main Frickley Colliery Band
The Cory Band

The Fairey Band
The G.U.S. Band

Although most pages contain a short audio clip, pages showing this symbol contain full programmes

If anybody has any recordings of programmes featuring any of the above musical combinations, I am always looking for examples to add to my collection. Please contact me using the e-mail address below.

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Links Page

'Music While You Work' Book Click here for details of my book
'Music While You Work - An Era in Broadcasting'

along with reviews and ordering information.


'Team Spirit' Compact Disc Click here for details of a CD of my compositions
along with ordering information.


Text by Brian Reynolds : e-mail
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