Eric Francis Harrison Coates (27 August 1886 – 21 December 1957) was an English composer of light music and, early in his career, a leading violist.
Coates was born into a musical family but, despite his wishes and obvious talent, his parents only reluctantly allowed him to pursue a musical career. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music under Frederick Corder (composition) and Lionel Tertis (viola), and played in string quartets and theatre pit bands, before joining symphony orchestras conducted by Thomas Beecham and Henry Wood. Coates's experience as a player added to the rigorous training he had received at the academy and contributed to his skill as a composer.
While still working as a violist, Coates composed songs and other light musical works. In 1919 he gave up the viola permanently and from then until his death he made his living as a composer and occasional conductor. His prolific output includes the London Suite (1932), of which the well-known "Knightsbridge March" is the concluding section; the waltz "By the Sleepy Lagoon" (1930); and "The Dam Busters March" (1954). His early compositions were influenced by the music of Arthur Sullivan and Edward German, but Coates's style evolved in step with changes in musical taste, and his later works incorporate elements derived from jazz and dance-band music. His output consists almost wholly of orchestral music and songs. With the exception of one unsuccessful short ballet, he never wrote for the theatre, and only occasionally for the cinema.
Coates died in Chichester, England at the age of 72.
Birth and Death Data: Born August 27th, 1886 (Hucknall), Died December 21st, 1957 (Chichester)
Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1914 - 1942
Roles Represented in DAHR: composer, conductor, lyricist
|Company||Matrix No.||Size||First Recording Date||Title||Primary Performer||Description||Role||Audio|
|Victor||BVE-40166||10-in.||10/11/1927||Bird songs at eventide||John McCormack||Tenor vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||BVE-41561||10-in.||1/17/1928||A song remembered||John McCormack||Tenor vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||BS-042785||10-in.||10/4/1939||Bird songs at eventide||Margaret Speaks||Female vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||BS-042786||10-in.||10/4/1939||A house love made for you and me||Margaret Speaks||Female vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||BS-051089||10-in.||6/7/1940||Tell me where is fancy bred||Marie Houston ; Frank La Forge||Female vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Victor||BS-073826||10-in.||4/9/1942||Sleepy lagoon||Dinah Shore||Female vocal solo, with jazz/dance band||composer|
|Victor||BS-074311||10-in.||4/8/1942||By the sleepy lagoon||Ralph Ginsburg ; Palmer House Ensemble||Instrumental quintet||composer|
|Columbia||140096||10-in.||10/10/1924||I heard you singing||Charles Hackett||Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Columbia||W142859||10-in.||10/22/1926||I heard you singing||Charles Hackett||Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Columbia||W149462||10-in.||11/1/1929||A song remembered||Alfred O'Shea||Male vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Columbia||W150497||10-in.||4/28/1930||Bird songs at eventide||The Rollickers||Male vocal quartet, with piano||composer, lyricist|
|Columbia||W150798||10-in.||9/12/1930||Sea rapture||The Rollickers||Male vocal quartet, with violin and piano||composer|
|OKeh||[OK cat 40171-b]||10-in.||1923||The fairy tales of Ireland||Gerald Griffin||Male vocal solo||composer|
|Brunswick||12991-12992||10-in.||4/24/1924||Thinkin’ of you||John Barclay||Baritone vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Brunswick||TC2352||10-in.||9/25/1928||I heard you singing||Kenyon Congdon||Male vocal solo||composer|
|Brunswick||DB11||10-in.||approximately Sept. 1928||A Dinder courtship||Stanley Holloway||Male vocal solo, with piano||composer, lyricist|
|Brunswick||DB71||10-in.||9/28/1928||Bird songs at eventide||Kathleen Hilliard||Female vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Brunswick||DB119||10-in.||10/30/1928||I heard you singing||Ernest Hargreaves||Male vocal solo, with piano||composer|
|Brunswick||E27563||10-in.||5/17/1928||Bird songs at eventide||Richard Bonelli||Male vocal solo, with orchestra, mandolin, and guitar||composer|
|Brunswick||E17772-E17774||10-in.||2/2/1926||I pitch my lonely caravan at night||Elliott Shaw||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Edison||3015||10-in.||May 1914||Melanie||Reed Miller||Tenor vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Edison||6248||10-in.||6/24/1918||Our little home||Thomas Chalmers||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Edison||18467||10-in.||5/3/1928||Bird songs at eventide||Westell Gordon||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
|Edison||N-233||10-in.||5/3/1928||Bird songs at eventide||Westell Gordon||Male vocal solo, with orchestra||composer|
Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Coates, Eric," accessed April 15, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102866.
Coates, Eric. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved April 15, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/102866.
"Coates, Eric." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 15 April 2021.
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