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Geoff Love

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b. 4 September 1917, Todmorden, Yorkshire, England, d. 8 July 1991, London, England. Love was a musical director, arranger, composer and one of the UK’s most popular easy-listening music personalities. His father, Kid Love, was World Champion sand dancer, and came to the UK from the USA. Geoff Love learned to play the trombone in his local brass band and made his first broadcast in 1937 on Radio Normandy. He moved to the south of England, and played with violinist Jan Ralfini’s Dance Orchestra in London and with the Alan Green Band in Hastings. After six years in the army during World War II, he joined Harry Gold’s Pieces Of Eight in 1946, and stayed with them until 1949, providing the vocal on their successful record, ‘Blue Ribbon Gal’. In 1955, Love formed his own band for the television show On The Town, and soon afterwards started recording for Columbia Records with his Orchestra and Concert Orchestra. He had his first hit in 1958, with a cover-version of Perez Prado’s cha-cha-cha ‘Patricia’, and made several albums including Enchanted Evenings, Our Very Own and Thanks For The Memory (Academy Award Winning Songs). In 1959, Love started to release some recordings under the pseudonym, Manuel And His Music Of The Mountains, which proved be immensely successful. Besides his own orchestral records, Love provided the accompaniment and arrangements on record, and in concert, for many popular artists such as Connie Francis, Russ Conway, Paul Robeson, Judy Garland, Frankie Vaughan, Johnny Mathis, Des O’Connor, Ken Dodd, Marlene Dietrich and Gracie Fields. In the 70s, he formed yet another group, Billy’s Banjo Band, later known as Geoff Love’s Banjo Band, while still having hits under his own name with Big War Themes, Big Western Movie Themes and Big Love Movie Themes. He also capitalized on the late 70s dance fad with several volumes of Geoff Love’s Big Disco Sound, while retaining his more conservative image with Waltzes With Love and Tangos With Love. He was consistently popular on radio, and on television, where, besides conducting the orchestra, he was especially effective as a comic foil to Max Bygraves on his Singalongamax, and similar series. Love’s compositions range from the Latin-styled ‘La Rosa Negra’ to the theme for the hit television situation comedy, Bless This House. His prolific album output included mostly film or television themes. His son Adrian (b. 3 August 1944, York, England, d. 10 March 1999, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England) was a well-known and popular radio broadcaster.

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1916 in Todmorden, Yorkshire, England

Years Active:

'40s, '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s