BRUCE MONTGOMERY, AUTHOR AND COMPOSER.

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Bruce Montgomery was born on October 2, 1921 in Chesham Bios, Buckinghamshire, England as Robert Bruce Montgomery. He is know, for his work on the CARRY ON, movies mentioned previously, plus he also enjoyed a career as a successful author writing Under the pseudonym Edmund Crispin, he penned a series of mystery novels and short stories featuring the character Gervase Fen. Also, as Edmund Crispin, he edited several collections of science fiction short stories. The first, “Best SF” (1955), had a great influence on acceptance of the Sci Fi genre as serious writing in Britain. His Gervase Fen novel “Frequent Hearses” takes place in and around a British movie studio, and contains many insider jokes about actors, directors, musicians, and others in the business. Towards the end of his career his alcoholism became worse, which resulted in him not being able to meet deadlines and complete scores for movies, it was at this point that he enlisted the assistance of fellow composer Eric Rogers and CARRY ON producer Peter Thomas decided that Rogers should be the main composer for the films. Bruce Montgomery, passed away on September 15, 1978 in West Hampstead, London, England, which was a sad ending to a career that could have been even greater. Apart from his music for the CARRY ON, movies the composer wrote the scores to numerous other pictures, these included, THE BRIDES OF FU MAN CHU, DOCTOR IN LOVE, DOCTOR IN THE HOUSE, DOCTOR AT LARGE, TWICE AROUND THE DAFFODILS, THE KIDNAPPERS, RAISING THE WIND and many others. Bruce Montgomery’s CARRY ON scores too would be welcomed in their original form as releases onto compact disc I am sure. CARRY ON SERGEANT, NURSE, TEACHER, CONSTABLE, REGARDLESS and CRUISING. Were all typical of British films scores from the late 1950, s through to the first part of the 1960, s, with Montgomery’s style being more akin to and belonging to the era of the war years, with the music running continuously more often than not. However, there were some strong themes within all the scores, the march that Montgomery penned for CARRY ON SERGEANT for example ended up being the CARRY-ON THEME and endured throughout the series being heard in some form or another in each CARRY-ON outing, and alongside the serious music if you can categorize it as being serious that is, were jazz orientated pieces of light music which was at the time popular with most.

UNSUNG HEROES OF THE SILVER SCREEN- MARTIN SLAVIN.

 

The name of Martin Slavin is probably not one that is familiar to film music collectors, but it really should be. Slavin worked on numerous film scores providing the main score for many and also contributing songs and other cues as source or background music for scenes in bars and coffee bars which were the mainstay of British society during the late 1950’s through to the end of the 1960’s. Slavin was born in London on February 19th 1922, Like so many musicians composers and indeed film music composers during the 1950’s and into the 1970.s Slavin contributed numerous tracks to various music libraries, and was also well known as a jazz musician and composer/arranger. He served in the British army as a bandsman with the rank of sergeant, and soon after his de-ob formed a band of his own which comprised of seven members. It was during this period that Slavin and his band performed with many artists including, Kenny Baker and Eddie Calvert, having a hit in his own right in 1958 with a novel arrangement of KNEES UP MOTHER BROWN entitled CHA CHA MOMMA BROWN, which reached number 18 in the then British music chart or hit parade, the recording was released under the artist name of Martinas and his music.

 

 

 

It was however during the 1960’s that Slavin began to become better known, firstly as a session musician and then gradually moving into the area of writing music for film and television. He also worked on musicals one being NANCY WAKE, Slavin worked on a number of British movies, most notably INFORMATION RECEIVED, DANGER BY MY SIDE, SHERLOCK HOLMES AND THE DEADLY NECKLACE and PIT OF DARKNESS, the last two titles being directed by British film maker Terence Fisher. Slavin also worked on arrangements for THE COOL MIKADO working with John Barry, Frankie Howard, Stubby Kaye, Mike and Bernie Winters and Tommy Cooper.

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Some of the composers music that he had written for library use, was utilized on the DR WHO TV series for the BBC in the 1960’s, the most prominent piece being SPACE ADVENTURE which was used to accompany the dreaded CYBERMEN in the episodes under the title of THE TENTH PLANET and later tracked on future episodes including THE TOMB OF THE CYBERMEN and THE WEB OF FEAR amongst others.

The composer re-located to Canada during the early 1970’s, and then moved to Hollywood where he continued to write music for film and TV, sadly his own claim to fame whilst Stateside was an adult animated feature entitled ONCE UPON A GIRL which was released in 1976 and an erotic version of PINOCCHIO on which he acted as musical director.

 

He then decided to take up a position of musical director aboard a cruise ship. Slavin returned to England during the 1980’s but after being back for a while was killed in a car accident on May 25th, 1988.