Morning Music
During its 20 year reign on BBC radio, 'Morning Music' probably gave more air-time to light music than any other programme. It started in November 1945, broadcast between 7.15 and 7.50 a.m every day except Sunday on the Home Service and was an important vehicle for the many light music combinations on the air, which included major recording artists such as Mantovani, Charles Williams and Sidney Torch. Dance bands such as those of Lew Stone and Felix King also contributed as did all of the BBC's Staff light orchestras. The programme had brief announcements and time checks every ten minutes.

In 1949 the programme moved to a later slot - between 8.15 and 9.00a.m. again using a mixture of theatre orchestras such as Harold Collins, speciality orchestras formed essentially for radio such as those of Louis Voss and Anton, plus large recording orchestras under the direction of the likes of Ron Goodwin, Frank Chacksfield, Norrie Paramor etc.  

1957 saw a major overhaul of BBC schedules and 'Morning Music' transferred to the Light Programme, running from 7.00 to 9.00 a.m.  and consisted of unannounced studio-recorded instrumental music from three or four contrasting orchestras or ensembles every day.  The programme varied in length over the years and by January 1965 was running from 5.30 to 9.00 a.m and utilising over 35 musical combinations each week!. For clarity it should be pointed out that at certain times during the early sixties, similar styled programmes such  as 'On Your Way',  'Melody On the Move', 'On with the Bands' and 'The Bands Play On'  occupied the last  section  of this marathon and at certain times the day opened with the 30 minute programme 'Bright and Early'. 

But from January 1965 it was three and a half hours of 'Morning Music' - undoubtedly the longest daily programme on radio . In October 1965 the programme was re-named 'Breakfast Special' - added ingredients being a presenter and vocalists on record,thus reducing the need for so many studio orchestras.

It continued until 1972 when it was replaced by the 'Terry Wogan Show'  which used records to the exclusion of studio recorded music and must have come as a severe blow to the studio musicians for whom breakfast time radio had for so long represented a major part of their livelihood. 

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Listen to an excerpt from Morning Music played by The BBC Midland Light Orchestra, conductor Jack Coles
The Jack Emblow Sextet
The Denny Boyce Band
The Cedric West Sextet
as broadcast on the BBC Light Programme at 7.00am on 7th August 1964.

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Listen to Morning Music played by The BBC Northern Ireland Light Orchestra, conductor David Curry
as broadcast at 6.34am on 13th January 1962.

MORNING MUSIC at 6.34am to 7.15am. on 13th January 1962
played by the BBC Northern Ireland Light Orchestra
Leader: David Adams, Conductor: David Curry

March: Viennese Ladies
Waltz Medley:
. Dancing with tears in my eyes
. Together
. Charmaine
Jig: The Kinnegad Slashers
The Man from Madrid
The Dancers of El Paso
Selection: The Desert Song
Waltz: Ask Papa
Hornpipe: Flowers of Antrim
Lady Chatterbox
Bella Bella Maria
C'est Magnifique
Green Turtle
Reel: The Mooncoin Reel
Selection: The Music Man
Franz Lehar
Dubin, Burke
De Silva/Brown /Henderson
Trad: arr. David Curry
Tony Osborne
Harold Geller
S.Romberg arr. Higgs
W.Morressy arr.Piercy
Trad: arr. David Curry
Cole Porter
Cecil Norman
Trad: arr. David Curry
Meredith Wilson arr. Rapley

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Listen to 'Morning Music' played by Jack Leon and his Orchestra
as broadcast on 30th September 1954 at 8:20am.

Home Service 30th September 1954 at 8.20am.
played by Jack Leon and his Orchestra

Blaze of Glory
Love's Dream After the Ball

Selection: Hans Christian Anderson
Marionette in Mayfair
La Ronde
Tin Pan Alley Tunes:
. Someone Else's Roses
. Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer
. The Story of Tina
. Tennessee Wig Walk
Mexican Hat Dance
Song of Songs
Rip Van Twinkle
Selection: The Love Parade
Abe Holzmann
Alphons Czibulka
Frank Loesser
Guy Desslyn
Oscar Straus

Al Hoffman
Cy Coleman
Trad. arr. Ronald Hanmer
David Nelson (Tommy Reilly)
Victor Schertzinger

MORNING MUSIC at 8.15am. on 8th August 1952
played by
The Regent Orchestra
Conductor: John Thorpe

Seventeen Come Sunday
(from the Folk Song Suite)
Overture: Susanna's Secret
Prelude to a Memory
Morning Glory
Demoiselle Chic
Nautical Fantasy
In the Shade of the Palms
The Last of the Dandies
Intermezzo No.2
(from The Jewels of the Madonna)
Londonderry Air
The Red Sombrero

Vaughan Williams
Frank Chacksfield
Wynford Reynolds
Percy Fletcher
Cyril Watters
Reginald King
Frederic Curzon
Tony Lowry

Trad. arr. Coles
Ronald Binge

MORNING MUSIC on Saturday 22nd. October 1960 from 6.34am. to 8.15am
BBC Northern Ireland Light Orchestra
Conductor: David Curry
Louis Voss and his Kursaal Orchestra
Edward Rubach and the Novelairs

March: With the British Colours
Waltz: The Grenadiers

El Novillero
Paris Palace Hotel
Budgerigar Polka

Winter Sunshine

Sergeant Cahill's Favourite
Selection: The Vagabond King

Canzone d'amore
Georgian Rumba
Zsa Zsa

Blue Mantilla
Horse and Buggy
Plantation Mood

Spanish Violins
Mr. Lucky

Selection: Irving Berlin Melodies
. The Piccolino
. Isn't it a lovely day
. The song is ended
. We saw the sea

Frasquita Serenade
Happiness Ahead
Valse du Diable

John Gilpin's Ride

Yakity Yak
Selection: Free as Air
. The Man from the Mainland
. Free as Air
Set tune: Madame Bonaparte

Phil the Fluter's Ball
Pizzicato Waltz
Pop Gun Parade

Medley: Singing in the Rain
. You are my lucky star
. All I do is dream of you
. Singing in the rain
The Governor's Reel

Theme from 'The Threepenny Opera'
The Happy Mountaineer
Bella Venezia

Von Blon

Edward Rubach
Paul Durand
Harry Dexter

G. Melachrino
David Raksin

Trad. arr. Curry
Rudolf Friml

Chas. Kalman
Ivor Slaney
David Wolfsthal

Leroy Anderson
Reginald King

H. Zacharias
Henry Mancini arr. T. Fones

Irving Berlin

Franz Lehar
Louis Voss
Charley Bazin
Louis Gaste

Matyas Seiber
Ferde Grofe

Reg Wale Arr. R.Jones
Julian Slade


Trad.arr. Hope
G. Boulanger
Frank Perkins

arr. Bolton

David Curry

Hans Schlapfer
Roger Barsotti

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Text by Brian Reynolds : e-mail brian@mastersofmelody.co.uk