Ferenc Gungl and Casino Tanz

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Ferenc Gungl (July 21, 1885 – Oct. 23, 1956) was a Hungarian composer of light music who was evidently active in the 1940s.  Apparently there does not seem to be much information available concerning him.  There was a Ferenc Gungl who was born on July 21, 1885, at Kisújbánya in Baranya, Hungary, the son of Fülöp and Anna (nee Schobert) Gungl.  He married Mária Pohli on Jan. 29, 1910, at Hosszúhetény in Baranya, Hungary.  His “Casino Tanz” (Casino Dance” was performed in 1946 by Ronnie Munro and his Orchestra for “Music While You Work” on the B.B.C. and recorded by Decca.  Gungl died on Oct. 23, 1956, at a location unknown, but probably somewhere in Hungary.  There was also a Dr. Ferenc Gungl, perhaps a descendant,  who co-wrote an applied science/business book published in 1977 and entitled History of the Pécs Glove Factory 1861-1976.  And there was, from an earlier era, a Joseph or Josef Gungl (December 1, 1809 – February 1, 1889), who was an Austrian-Hungarian composer, bandmaster, and conductor.  He had a nephew, Johann Gungl  (October 15, 1818 – November 23, 1883), who was also a Hungarian composer, conductor and violinist, but I don’t know if there was any relationship between them and Ferencc.

My collection includes the following work by Ferenc Gungl:

Casino Tanz for Pops Orchestra.

Pappy’s Schoolhouse Restaurant, Lehighton, PA

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Pappy’s Schoolhouse Restaurant

4740 Long Run Rd.

Lehighton, PA 18235

Formerly known as the Olde Schoolhouse Tavern and Restaurant established in 1955, Pappy’s Schoolhouse Restaurant in Lehighton, PA, was originally a one room schoolhouse for the locals.  It is located just a few miles from Beltzville Lake and Penns Peak.  New owner Terry Shaner, also known as “Pappy,” started cooking at age 12 and learned how to cook delicious foods from his mother and father. For many years he has enjoyed cooking for family and friends and has catered occasional small weddings and parties over the years.

Wynford Reynolds and Twinkle-Toes

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     Wynford Hubert Reynolds (1899- October, 1958) was a British composer and conductor of light music who was especially active in the 1930s and 1940s. Reynolds was born at Ebbw Vale, Wales, United Kingdom, in 1899. After studying the violin in Cardiff, he joined the Army during the First World War. Upon his return to civilian life he studied violin, viola, and composition at the Royal Academy of Music, later becoming musical director of a cinema.  Like so many of his contemporaries, he gained his early experience playing for silent movies. He later joined Sir Henry Wood as a violinist in the famous Queen’s Hall Orchestra.

It was as a member of a string quartet that Reynolds made his first broadcast from Savoy Hill. Subsequently he played viola in many broadcasting combinations, including those of Fred Hartley, Reginald King, and Jack Payne.  During the thirties he directed his own orchestra at the Spa, Felixstowe, his signature tune being his own composition ‘Spa Song,’ which was later re-titled ‘Cocktail of Happiness.’  Other delightful compositions from his pen include an exhilarating Viennese waltz entitled ‘Morning Glory’ and novelties such as ‘Twinkletoes.’  By the late thirties, Reynolds and his Orchestra were broadcasting regularly. This orchestra, which specialized in light, tuneful novelties and medleys, initially comprised 11 players but was later increased to 13. Around this time, Reynolds also joined the staff of the BBC as a producer.

When Music While You Work (MWYW) commenced in 1940, Reynolds and his Orchestra were early contributors, appearing nine times in the first year. In 1941, the BBC created the post of ‘Music While You Work Organizer’ and appointed Reynolds to take on this task. As part of his work would involve the selection and allocation of contributing orchestras to the program, he was not permitted to appear with his own orchestra whilst he held this appointment. He might have been seen to have an unfair advantage over other contributors, and there was the potential for difficulties to arise when dealing with disciplinary matters. In any case, he was kept busy visiting factories around the country, advising managers on suitable receiving equipment, ascertaining the views of the workers on the suitability of contributing bands, and even listening to programs in prevailing conditions to establish their audibility above factory noises.

Although independent of the BBC, the Decca Record Company produced some 420 records on their special ‘Music While You Work’ label, the majority of which were produced by Reynolds, whose own orchestra was well represented. Many of the recordings from this series have now been released on compact disc. Reynolds relinquished his appointment as MWYW Organizer in 1944 and his orchestra resumed broadcasting in the series. After the war, he continued to participate in various light music programs including ‘Bright and Early’, ‘Morning Music’, ‘Uninterrupted Music’, and ‘Time For Music.’  He also had a 19-piece combination called The Raeburn Orchestra, his pseudonym as a composer being Hugh Raeburn. This larger orchestra was also featured in ‘And So To Bedtime’ and ‘Time for Music’. The two orchestras collectively appeared in 109 editions of ‘Music While You Work.’  Many will recall the Raeburn Orchestra’s long association with ‘Marching and Waltzing’.

Other combinations directed by the Maestro Reynolds were The Wynford Reynolds Players and the 29-piece Wynford Reynolds Concert Orchestra, which was mostly used in breakfast-time programs.  Unfortunately, in 1956, Reynolds was told by the BBC that his original 13-piece orchestra was ‘dated’ and had ‘outlived its usefulness’. The BBC disliked his use of three saxophones at a time ‘when the public had become accustomed to the sound of five saxophones’, which (in their opinion) gave ‘an aura of the early thirties.’ It would seem that his style was considered redundant.  Graciously, the BBC told Reynolds that he could continue broadcasting with the Raeburn Orchestra. This he did until being taken seriously ill in 1958.

At this time the orchestra was contracted do a series of ‘Marching and Waltzing’ as well as some MWYW programs. Violinist/conductor Bernard Monshin, who played in the orchestra as well as being its ‘fixer,’ offered to conduct the scheduled programs himself, to prevent the broadcasts being lost to another orchestra. Consequently, quite a number of the Raeburn Orchestra’s programmes were conducted by Bernard Monshin.  In August 1958, Reynolds informed the BBC that he hoped to return to broadcasting the following January and that, in the meantime, he was working on new arrangements in his hospital bed. Sadly, his optimism was ill-founded, as he died in October, 1958, aged 59.

The following work by Wynford Reynolds is contained in my collection:

Twinkle-Toes for Pops Orchestra

Cranberry Sample One-Room Schoolhouse, Cranberry Township, PA

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Cranberry Sample One-Room Schoolhouse

2525 Rochester Road

Cranberry Township, PA 16066

Visitors can step back in time, to the schooldays of 1874 with a visit to the Sample Schoolhouse. The Schoolhouse is located on the front lawn of the Cranberry Township Municipal Center on Rochester Road in Butler County, PA. This original one-room schoolhouse is one of six schoolhouses that served Cranberry Township.  There were no cell phones, computers, iPods, MySpace, IM or even writing tablets—none of the things students take for granted today. Students had to write on a piece of slate, thus the expression “starting out with a clean slate.”  Unlike schools today, which have classrooms and teachers by the dozen, the old schools had a single classroom and teacher. Cranberry Township had six such one-room schoolhouses evenly dispersed throughout the township.  The schoolhouse is open to visitors in May, June, July, August, and September on Wednesdays from 12:30 pm to 3:00 pm and Saturdays from 10:00 am to 12:30 pm. A docent will be on hand to answer all of your questions. Admission is free.  Special tours for groups and/or wedding photography may be scheduled year round at $1 per head with a $10 minimum, schedule and docent availability permitting.

Peter Anderson and Step Lightly

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Peter Anderson (fl. 1940s) was an English composer of light music.  There seems to be very little information available about him.  His best known piece, Step Lightly, was recorded in 1998 by Shelley Van Loen and The Palm Court Strings for an album entitled Step Lightly.  This composer is not to be confused with the Peter Anderson (born March 27, 1987), an American jazz composer, arranger, and ensemble leader, who plays tenor sax and clarinet with his identical twin brother Will, who plays alto sax, clarinet, and flute.

My collection includes the following work by Peter Anderson:

Step Lightly

Snodgrass One-Room Schoolhouse, Fairmont, WV

OLD SCHOOL OF THE DAY

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Snodgrass One-Room Schoolhouse

1201 Locust Ave.

Fairmont, WV 26554

In 1840 William Snodgrass erected a log building about 300 yards from his house for specific use as a schoolhouse and a church building—next to his home in Rymer, located approximately 8 miles from Mannington.  Three separate school buildings were to occupy this same level, one-acre site over the next 100 years or so.  The log school was succeeded by a frame building with board-and-batten siding of yellow poplar, painted a dark red, which was in turn succeeded, in 1871, by the 23 foot by 26 foot white frame schoolhouse that is now on the campus of Fairmont State University as the One-Room Schoolhouse Museum.  With roots reaching back to the creation of the first private normal school in West Virginia in 1865, Fairmont State University has a long history of providing high quality training for the state’s educators. The One-Room Schoolhouse Museum, a campus landmark, remains a visible symbol of the University’s continued focus on teaching and learning. The Snodgrass School began as a subscription school, where local children could attend for a fee. It later became part of the free public education system as Mannington District School Number 13. The Snodgrass School ceased operation sometime before 1950. The school was originally placed on Fairmont State’s campus in 1962 and was moved in 1992 to its current location.  Located near the Bryant Street Entrance to the main campus, the museum is also a significant artifact of regional and educational history.  Since its original dedication in 1962, the Snodgrass School has served Fairmont State and the community as a museum, complete with student desks, a brass handbell, a variety of early textbooks, and other period artifacts.  Efforts are under way to preserve the building for future generations.

Jesse Greer and Flapperette

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Jesse Greer (August 26, 1896 – October 4, 1970) was an American Broadway songwriter.  Greer was born in New York City, NY, on August 26, 1896.  During his life, he had over 200 published songs, including the 1926 “Sleepy Head” with lyrics by Benny Davis for the Paul Ash Orchestra. He composed “Just You, Just Me” for the 1929 musical film Marianne with lyrics by Raymond Klages, as well as “Kitty from Kansas City,” “Gonna Meet My Sweetie Now,” and “Baby Blue Eyes.” His musical Shady Lady was staged in 1933 with additional music by Sam H. Stept.  The Dining Hall of the June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation in Ashford, Connecticut, is named in his honor. Greer was an early financial contributor to the Boy Scouts of America and would often visit the camp until his death in Columbia, SC. at age 74 on October 4, 1970. The Camp Staff would sing his song “The Hills of My Connecticut” upon his arrival.

The following work by Jesse Greer is contained in my collection:

Flapperette for Orchestra