George Melachrino

George Melachrino (born George Miltiades; 1 May 1909 – 18 June 1965) was a musician, composer of film music, and musical director who was English born of Greek and Italian descent. He was an accomplished player of the violin, viola, oboe, clarinet and saxophone.

George Melachrino was born in London, England. As a young boy, he had a love of music. At the age of five, he began composing and by the age of fourteen he enrolled in the Trinity College of Music. In 1927, he began his career by singing and playing at the Savoy Hill Studios in London. For the next twelve years, he played in many different bands and orchestras. In the 1930s, Melachrino started working for bands led by Ambrose singing and playing saxophone with Carroll Gibbons at the Savoy Hotel London, and Bert Firman, and started playing on radio for the BBC. By 1939, he started his own band and secured a contract at the Café de Paris. He joined the Army a year later, and received training at the Corps of Military Police where he became a P.T. Instructor. Melachrino also gained experience as a military musician at the Army Broadcasting Department, as Musical Director for the recording of entertainment for overseas forces, leading the British Band of the Allied Expeditionary Forces and the Orchestra Khaki. After the war, in 1945, he formed the George Melachrino Orchestra, an orchestra that became synonymous with lush string arrangements. From 1945 to 1947, he conducted for Richard Tauber in most of his Parlophone recordings and BBC broadcasts.

In 1956, his orchestra's track "Autumn Concerto" reached number 18 in the UK Singles Chart, and remained in the chart for nine weeks.

Melachrino frequently performed on BBC and American Armed Forces Radio.

The "Starlight Roof Waltz", as performed by the George Melachrino Strings, was the signature tune of the radio programme Moeders wil is wet (1949–1974), the Dutch equivalent of Housewives' Choice.

His lead arranger during the British Band of the AEF and later with the Melachrino Strings was Bert Thompson, who also arranged "Little White Bull" and "The Young Ones".

Melachrino has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Birth and Death Data: Born May 1st, 1909 (London), Died June 18th, 1965 (London)

Date Range of DAHR Recordings: 1967

Roles Represented in DAHR: leader

Recordings

Company Matrix No. Size First Recording Date Title Primary Performer Description Role Audio
Decca 118526 2/1/1967 Winter wonderland The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118527 2/1/1967 The first Noel The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118528 2/1/1967 Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118529 2/1/1967 Silent night The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118530 2/1/1967 Sleigh ride The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118531 2/1/1967 Love's old sweet song The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118532 2/1/1967 Jingle bells The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118533 2/1/1967 Hark! The herald angels sing The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118534 2/1/1967 The angel on the Christmas tree The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118535 2/1/1967 Skaters' waltz The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118536 2/1/1967 Adeste fideles (O come, all ye faithful) The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118537 2/1/1967 A perfect day The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118538 2/1/1967 Masquerade The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118539 2/1/1967 Flirtation waltz The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118540 2/1/1967 Fascination The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118541 2/1/1967 Charmaine The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118542 2/1/1967 By the sleepy lagoon The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118543 2/1/1967 Moonlight and roses The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118544 2/1/1967 Mattinata The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118545 2/1/1967 Serenade The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118546 2/1/1967 Kiss me again The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118547 2/1/1967 Waltz of Paree The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118548 2/1/1967 Pink lady waltz The Melachrino Strings leader  
Decca 118549 1967 I love Thee The Melachrino Strings leader  

Citation

Discography of American Historical Recordings, s.v. "Melachrino, George," accessed March 5, 2021, https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108067.

Melachrino, George. (2021). In Discography of American Historical Recordings. Retrieved March 5, 2021, from https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108067.

"Melachrino, George." Discography of American Historical Recordings. UC Santa Barbara Library, 2021. Web. 5 March 2021.

DAHR Persistent Identifier

URI: https://adp.library.ucsb.edu/names/108067

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