|Forgotten Esquire recordings - 7.....Melody Maker bands...|
|During the first half of the 1950s the Melody Maker, the trade newspaper of the British music business, and the Esquire record undertook an annual collaboration to record the winners of the papers ever popular Readers Poll. A pick up group, always called The Melody Maker's All Stars, was assembled and several records were made using as many of the winners as possible and 78rpm records were released as near to the poll results day as possible while the event was fresh in the record buyers mind.
In addition the paper sponsored other groups such as The Melody Maker's New Stars (1952) and The Melody Maker's Ideal Modern Group (1954).
In 1954 two 10" LPs were made under tne name of Aces Annonymous or Mike Nevard's Melody Maker All Stars for release in the US.
|Melody Maker All Stars: In 1951 one 78 rpm record was issued but the next year 1952 produced a 10" LP (20-001) which was the first Esquire LP. For 1953 there was an LP (20-008), and another for 1954 (20-031). By 1955 enthusiasm may have been waning because only an EP was released (EP56). The musicianship throughout was of a high standard with originals and arrangements from the pen of Johnny Dankworth.
The Melody Maker Modern Group produced an LP (20-030) and Aces Annonymous released two LPs in the US in 1954, one on MGM E3157 (The Cool Britons) and the other on Blue Note BLP5052 (New Sounds from Olde England.
Apart from a few tracks on some Ronnie Scott CD compilations none of this music is available on CD.
Around thirty years or so ago Esquire issued two 12" LPs containing all the Poll Winners All Stars tracks plus the New Stars titles (that had only ever been issued in 78 rpm format). The Ideal Modern Group that included Jimmy Deuchar, Tommy Whittle and Victor Feldman were not included on these compilation LPs and has never appeared elsewhere.|
The two LPs issued just in the US have not been issued in any other format.
These recordings are mostly over sixty years old now and are surely due a re-issue...
Some of us have transferred our own, worn LPs to CD, although none of us has all the non-vinyl 78s and while these are OK it would be marvellous to have them professionally restored to CD...