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The name Eric Coates evokes substantial memories and no concert programme would be complete without his music.
Eric says in his autobiography that much of the inspiration for his music came on those occasions when he cycled around the highways of Hucknall and through the lanes leading to the A60 and the winding lanes into Southwell.
He describes the contact with nature when seeing the mist which formed when a sunny day turned into warm rain showers and the aroma of leaves in the adjacent woodland.
After Eric Died in 1957 his style and popularity has not diminished.
His music still stirs the emotions.
One of his master pieces,used for the score of the film The Dam Busters is seen as a very patriotic work and is played at many concert programmes.
The Long running BBC Radio programme Desert Island Discs still opens with the well aired Sleepy Lagoon written in 1930. (The BBC added the sound of a seagull )
The first programme was broadcast on January 29th 1942. (N.B. 2017 is 75th anniversary)
Calling All Workers introduced Music While You Work which went out at ten times a week on the Light Programme from 1940 and Knightsbridge March which heralded the first proper chat show,when In Town Tonight burst forth from the valve radios.
The TV series The Forsyte Saga used Halcyon Days from The Three Elizabeths Suite.
’ Oxford Street’ from ‘London Again’ was used as the signature tune for a BBC Radio series called Taxi.
It was the adventures of a taxi driver called ‘Shorty’ during the 1950’s.
The ‘Television March’ was written for the re-start of the BBC Television Service after WW 2.
‘Sound and Vision’ was written for the start up of the Independent Television Company ATV in 1955.
Was his music used for “Mrs Dales Diary” ?
Thanks to Mr.Tony Clayden who writes :-
“Mrs. Dales Diary underwent a metamorphosis into The Dales in 1962, to modernise the programme and make it more relevant to the 1960’s,
A new signature tune [to replace the original harp arpeggio intro] was composed by John Dankworth, but was considered to be far too ‘jazzy’ for the very staid listeners, who made such a fuss that it was fairly soon discarded and replaced by the first few bars of Dance in the Twilight.
This was at a time when Eric Coates’ signature tunes on the BBC still reigned supreme !
This piece was used until it was replaced with a new specially commissioned composition by Ron Granger and
which was used until the show was finally taken off the air in 1968.”
According to Geoffrey Self in his book, In Town Tonight, Spring time, suite for orchestra comprised of
1) Fresh Morning , Pastoral
2) Noonday Song, Romance
3) Dance in the Twilight, Valse
First performance BBC Orchestra 1937
Published by Chappell
Over the Years we have produced a number of Concerts
The programmes are shown on the pages above..
The House where Eric Coates was born, next to the Community
Centre, Watnall Road, Hucknall,Nottinghamshire.
Eric Coates at the BBC Proms.
1930 23rd Aug. Prom 13
1934 8th Sept. Prom 25
1940 17th Sept. Prom 33
1954 4th Sept. Prom 37
Royal Albert Hall
1956 18th Aug. Prom 39
Royal Albert Hall
Eric Coates was born in Hucknall, Nottingham on 27th August 1886 and died on the 21st December 1957.
This December (2018) marks the 61st anniversary.
Eric made his last conducting appearance at the Royal Concert with the BBC Concert Orchestra playing before Her Majesty the Queen on the 26th November 1957.
Three weeks later he suffered a stroke and was taken to Chichester hospital, where he died three days later on 21st December.
His funeral was on Christmas eve at Golders Green crematorium London.
The BBC announced the death of “The uncrowned king of light music”.
Sir Charles Groves wrote of Eric Coates:-
…….(He) was a gentle and quietly spoken man but his music crackled with vitality.
He could write tunes and could clothe them in the most attractive instrumental colours.
He did not, as far as we know,aspire to writing symphonies or oratorios.
He knew what he could do and he did it superbly well.
Someone once said that the marches of Souza would make a man with a wooden leg step out; a man would have to have a wooden heart not to respond to the music of