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Any musical by Rodgers and Hammerstein is an exciting theatrical event. THE SOUND OF MUSIC unites the famous team in one of their scores, one overflowing with an abundance of musical ideas of every kind, and full of melodic twists that only Richard Rodgers can bring. This instrumental setting of the score, splendidly played by Percy Faith and his orchestra, omits the sensitive lyrics of Oscar Hammerstein II, but so faithfully and imaginatively is the music presented that one can almost hear the words. (The original Broadway cast may be heard in Columbia’s recording on KOL 5450 or Stereo KOS 2020).

In this presentation, Percy Faith, already famous for his programs of music from “My Fair Lady,” “Kismet,” and other beautiful scores, has selected some of the highlights from THE SOUND OF MUSIC—the ballads, the cheerful tunes with overtones of Austrian themes, and all the rest—and brought them together in a delightful orchestral setting of one of Broadway’s biggest hits.

Percy opens the album with the title song describing the impressions of Maria, a young postulant at the Nonnberg Abbey, as she rejoices in the beauties of nature and its music. This is followed by Maria, a sprightly tune sung by the Mother Abbess and her assistants as they wonder how to bring Maria into line with the religious life, and My Favorite Things is sung by Maria and the Mother Abbess as they remember a song both had known in childhood.

The delightful Do Re Mi is a song sung by Maria to the children of Captain von Trapp, since the poor children have never learned to sing. (She has been sent to them by the Mother Abbess to become their governess.) No Way To Stop It is concerned with conformity—the world keeps spinning and there’s no way to stop it. It is sung by the Captain, his fiancée, and a friend. Climb Ev’ry Mountain, which closes the first act of the production, is sung by the Mother Abbess to Maria, as she tells her to reach out for the good things of life.

So Long, Farewell is a tune the Trapp children learn to sing as they go off to bed. An Ordinary Couple represents the deep affection that springs up between Maria and Captain von Trapp; at the behest of the Mother Abbess, Maria leaves the Abbey and marries the Captain. The Lonely Goatherd is sung by Maria to entertain the children when they are frightened by a thunderstorm, and Sixteen Going on Seventeen is the charming song sung by the oldest Trapp daughter and her young village suitor. How Can Love Survive has an ironic twist; the question is posed as to how the Captain and his fiancée can possibly be happy, since they are both wealthy and have no problems to beset them. And finally, The Sound of Music is heard again, as it is woven throughout the production.

Percy Faith was born in Canada in 1909 and became famous as an arranger, composer and orchestra leader with Columbia Records. In his years with Columbia Records he accompanied a stable of pop artists: Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis and Rosemary Clooney to name just a few. His biggest hits in Australia were “Swedish Rhapsody,” “Delicado,” “Song from Moulin Rouge” and “Theme From A Summer Place.”

Percy Faith was a regular visitor to Australia and appeared at Coronets Records’ Sales Conventions and also conducted at the Horden Pavilion in Sydney. This album features 28 great tracks highlighting the genius of this brilliant arranger and conductor. Many of the tracks have not been released since their original debut on 78s and Lps. One such track always in demand is “Bubbling Over.” Sony Music hopes you enjoy this feat of vintage Percy Faith. It is our tribute to one of the world’s most popular and respected musicians.

Percy Faith died on the ninth of February 1976. He was 67 years of age. Thankfully, with this vintage album the genius of Percy Faith will live on well into the next century.

Sony Music Australia – 1994

Percy Faith and his orchestraBorn April 7, 1908 in Toronto, Canada, Percy’s mother discovered his affinity for music and enrolled him in a series of violin lessons at age 8. Finding this tedious and embarrassing, (his friends made fun of him), he transferred his attentions to an upright piano owned by an aunt, and eventually his parents bought a 2nd hand piano for Percy to take lessons and practice on. And practice he did! By age 11 he had his first job accompanying silent films at the Iola Theater earning $3.00 a week plus carfare.

Percy’s career as a concert pianist progressed quite rapidly. At age 18, he suffered severe burns to his hands and was bandaged for six months. Frank Wellsman his professor at the Toronto Conservatory of Music, urged Percy to study Theory & Harmony during his long recuperation, fearing that Percy might forsake his music. So began Faith’s penchant for the full sound of an orchestra, and while his career as a concert pianist flourished, he could not erase these rich orchestrations from his mind.

By 1928, silent films were nearing their end and Percy started playing in dance bands. In 1931 his studies came to fruition when he wrote his arrangement, “Body and Soul” for Toronto’s leading Orchestra, and in 1932 made his debut conducting performance.

He joined CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company) in 1934, and in ensuing years had several major radio shows including “Streamline” and “Music By Faith,” the latter of which received many accolades in Canada and the US.

In 1940 Joseph Pasternak, famed conductor of Chicago’s Carnation Orchestra died suddenly and Faith was asked to guest conduct for three performances. He was subsequently signed as the permanent Director.

Percy’s first recordings were for Decca in 1944. These were Latin numbers of which fans constantly asked “where does a Jewish boy from Toronto come up with such an affinity for Latin music?”

In 1944, another big break occurred while continuing the Carnation Show. In the summer, Percy commuted to New York on Sundays to replace Andre Kostelanetz on the Coca Cola “Pause The Refreshes” show. In 1945 the Carnation Show brought Faith to New York, and two years later, he signed a four year contract with Coca Cola. This ended his seven year stint on the Carnation Show and began his prestigious position on the “Pause That Refreshes” show. In the same year, Faith recorded one album for the Majestic label.

Percy continued to garner accolades when in 1949 the US Steel Summer Concerts landed him with the NBC Symphony Orchestra, and he signed a one year contract with RCA Records.

Nick PeritoIn 1950 he signed a contract with Columbia Records, later known as CBS Records, where he remained as a contract artist until his death in February, 1976. Part of his agreement with Columbia was to arrange and conduct for some of the “new young singers” on the label like Johnny Mathis, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, Jerry Vale, Rosemary Clooney and Sara Vaughan, just to name a few.

Percy enjoyed 25 successful years on the Columbia label with hits like “Moulin Rouge,” “Delicado,” and “Summer Place.” Among his many contributions to music, Faith also did the film score for “The Oscar” and “Love Me Or Leave Me.” The latter landed him an Oscar Nomination in 1955. He also composed the theme for the TV show “The Virginian” and scored the first three episodes. Faith continued to enjoy performing live at concerts in his native Canada, as well as the US, Australia, South America, and several tours in Japan.

Percy Faith’s indelible style has marked the ears of the world with his rich orchestral sounds, the sounds that haunted him from his early childhood, and those timeless sounds are now available for the first time in an all digital recording, of all original arrangements by the Percy Faith Orchestra.

Percy FaithTHEMES FOR YOUNG LOVERS presents a big orchestra with a young sound for young people! These are the songs that young America is listening to today. Conductor-arranger Percy Faith leads them in an album filled with youthful exuberance and a sense of adventure.

In a swirling interplay of musical ideas, Percy’s large string sections, myriads of wind instruments and horns bring vividly to life a dozen of the best of the new hit songs. I Will Follow You, Rhythm of the Rain, Go Away Little Girl, Can’t Get Used to Losing You and a notable Faith original, Theme for Young Lovers, brilliantly reflect the exciting tastes of young moderns.

Percy’s creative originality has never been bolder or more gratifying. His harmonies and counterpoints are aimed at the ears—and the hearts—of a musically discriminating and discerning generation. As only he can, Percy Faith makes all the songs THEMES FOR YOUNG LOVERS.

One of the high spots in the business of producing records occurs when two artists meet musically for the first time. At Columbia, I’ve been a fortunate witness to many such moments—including these memorable performances by Percy Faith and Eileen Farrell. The combination of these two is magic arithmetic—the whole is equal to more than the sum of its parts.

Percy’s arrangements have often flattered great singers, but none has been greater than Eileen Farrell. She warms a dozen ballads about the joy and sadness of love as only the best singer of torch songs can. Listening, you hear how much Eileen Farrell loves these songs, which words and phrases move her most. And you can also hear the inner melodies Percy wrote to complement her voice.

André Previn, who came to hear Eileen sing his composition, The Faraway Part of Town, paid her the ultimate compliment.

“When she sings,” he said, “you feel that you’ve never really heard these songs before.”


Percy FaithSounds
for right now
this very moment:
Percy Faith's
replendent orchestra-with-chorus
arrangements of
The 59th Street Brudge Song
(by Paul Simon of Simon & Garfunkel)
Yellow Days
(a melodic sunburst)
(fresh and bracing)
A World of Whispers
(a great Faith original)
Somethin' Stupid
(somethin' else!)
and half a dozen
more hits
are bold
and satisfying.
are as big and bright
as the summertime sun.

Can a 52-year-old arranger-conductor cut one of the best-selling instrumentals of the rock era? The answer for Percy Faith was a resounding yes. The man known for Theme From A Summer Place was well into middle-age when he did an easy listening version of the theme from the popular movie. He already had a long string of hit albums and singles, had provided instrumental backing for other artists on their successful recordings and was a noted radio and TV arranger.

He was born April 7, 1908, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. By the time he was 6, Faith had demonstrated musical abilities, drumming out rhythms on family chinaware. Unwilling to encourage his drumming interests, Faith’s dad responded to his son’s musical interests by buying him a violin and paying for lessons. After three years of fiddling, Faith turned to the piano, which provide to be his forte.

By the time he was 11, Faith was working professionally, providing “Cowboys and Indian” music for silent films in a Toronto theater. The youngster was so short he had to sit on a stack of sheet music to reach the piano. For his efforts, he took home $3 a night and carfare. When he was 15, Faith debuted as a concert pianist and at 18 was writing special arrangements for other musicians and touring with a small concert group.

In 1928, Faith and Joe Allabough, who would go on to manage a radio station in Chicago, formed a radio team they called “Faith and Hope.” Faith was responsible for the music and Allabough, or “Hope,” was the comedian. By 1933, Faith was a staff conductor, arranger and pianist for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a position he would hold for seven years. His duties included writing music for special programming including coverage of a visit to Canada by the King and Queen of England.

Faith’s work in Canada was not unnoticed by broadcasters in the United States, and, in 1940, he left his home country to serve as musical director for NBC. By 1950, he was working for Columbia Records, charting with Cross My Fingers, featuring a vocal by Russ Emery. He went Top 10 that year with All My Love, followed by the holiday themed Christmas In Killarney, done with the Shillelagh Singers.

Besides arranging and producing hits for himself, Faith worked his musical magic as an arranger and producer for a number of artists including Tony Bennett, Johnny Mathis, Doris Day and others. He was also an accomplished writer and his My Heart Cries For You was a hit for Guy Mitchell, Dinah Shore and Vic Damone in the ‘50s.

Although he was busy with other Columbia artists, Faith continued to have his own hits. In the spring of 1951 he went Top 10 with On Top Of Old Smoky, an old folk song that featured a Burl Ives vocal. He also did well with When The Saints Go Marching In and its flip-side, I Want To Be Near You. In the spring of 1952, he topped the charts with Delicado, featuring Stan Freeman on harpsichord.

In the spring of 1953, Faith had a hit with Swedish Rhapsody. After about a month, the B-Side, Song From ‘Moulin Rouge’ (Where Is Your Heart), with a strong vocal by Felicia Sanders, charted and went all the way to No. 1, where it stayed for 10 weeks, earning Faith his first gold record. He followed with another movie theme, Return To Paradise, and closed out the year on the charts with Many Times.

Faith continued to score popular singles with his lush instrumental sound even as rock ‘n roll took over the pop charts. In 1954 he did well with Dream, Dream, Dream and The Bandit. In ’56, he charted with Valley ValparaisoWe All Need Love and With A Little Bit Of Luck. He continued to do well with albums, especially the romantic “Passport To Romance,” issued in 1956, and a collection of songs from “My Fair Lady” that went Top 10 in 1957. His albums were also popular in the ‘60s, as he opened the decade with the Top 10 “Bouquet.” Faith also went Top 10 in 1960 with “Jealousy” and did the same in early ’61 with songs from “Camelot.”

Faith would go to #1 again with another movie theme. “A Summer Place” was a 1959 film that starred veterans Richard Egan and Dorothy McGuire as disapproving parents while teen stars Sandra Dee and Troy Donahue played misunderstood young lovers. The theme was written by Max Steiner and recorded by Faith in September 1959.

There was some radio play for Theme From “A Summer Place,” but it took almost six months for the record to finally catch on. It charted in the second week of 1960 and headed to the top of the Billboard pop charts, where it remained for nine weeks, selling more than a million copies. It also won a Grammy as record of the year and picked up nominations for best performance by an orchestra and best arrangement.

Theme From “A Summer Place” was followed by the Top 40 Theme For Young Lovers. Meanwhile, Faith’s albums continued to reflect his more adult-oriented sound, as “Mucho Gusto! More Music Of Mexico” sold well in 1961 and “Bouquet Of Love” and “The Music Of Brazil!” were hits in 1962. In 1963, Faith tried something different. That summer, the “Themes For Young Lovers” album was issued, featuring 12 current pop hits that got the warm Faith treatment, including Go Away Little GirlOur Day Will Come and I Will Follow Him. It became an immediate best-seller, was certified gold and nominated for a Grammy in the best performance by orchestra category.

After “Shangri-La” in 1963 and “Great Folk Themes” in ’64, Faith was back in the summer of that year with “More Themes For Young Lovers.” He would continue into the ‘70s with popular albums that focused on movie themes and pop hits of the day, from “Dr. Zhivago’s” Somewhere My Love to Santana’s Black Magic Woman. His last charting album, “Day By Day,” was issued in 1972.

Faith died of cancer on February 9, 1976, not long after overseeing an updated disco version of Theme From “A Summer Place.” He left a rich legacy of music for humself and other artists that covered 50 years and hundreds of records. This collection of two of his best albums for Columbia clearly demonstrates his talent and versatility.

–Mark Marymont

Billboard chart numbers courtesy of BPI Communications and Joel Whitburn’s Record Research

Viva! . . . the many faces of Mexico, all enchanting . . . The low-lying valleys blooming with luxuriant tropical growth . . . The snowcapped volcanoes standing guard over the capital city . . . The wide yellow beaches and the shimmering blue waters of the Pacific at Acapulco.

The stamping, whirling gaiety of the Mexican hat dance . . . The sizzling, spectacular brilliance of the fireworks at a fiesta in Taxco . . . The breathtaking daring of the boys diving from the rocks in Acapulco . . . The magnificence of the fighter’s red and gold costumes, the rhythmic olés of the crowd at a bull fight.

Sunset behind the enormous pyramids that were old when Cortez conquered Mexico . . . Lantern-lighted patios where voices and guitars are sounding the soft, rich romantic ballads of Mexico . . . A stroll through the lovely Chapultepec Park in the heart of Mexico City under trees so ancient that they also gave shade to the last of the Aztec emperors.

The tireless beasts of all work, the burrows, clip-clopping over the cobblestones of the square of a tiny sunlit town . . . The purple bougainvillea pressing heavily against the walls surrounding houses in Cuernavaca . . . Groups of beautiful flashing-eyed Mexican girls in Sunday finery circling the red and blue bandstand in the square at Oaxaca . . . Viva!

In another of the series of Long Playing Records designed and recorded especially for dancing, Columbia presents Percy Faith and his orchestra in eight melodious selections. These medlies are intended to give dancers a complete dance set on one side of a 3313 Long Playing Record, and to provide nondancers with music that is as exciting to listen to as it is to dance to.

Rarely do dancers find themselves provided with the sort of music that Percy Faith presents in this collection. For here is a full concert orchestra, playing arrangements of extraordinary color and complexity, in strict dance tempo. Such full-bodied music is generally reserved for “listening” programs, where the conductor may take liberties with the tempo. But instead Percy Faith has designed two medlies for his large orchestra that exploit their full resources and yet give the dancer a series of toe-tickling beats. Each medley contains a fox trot, a waltz, a samba, and a rumba, and two of the numbers — Flight 3313 and Brazilian Sleigh Bells — are Faith originals.

The conductor of these rich orchestrations, Percy Faith, was born in Toronto, Canada. At the age of seven he began studying the violin, and soon added the piano to his musical accomplishments. At ten he gave his first concert, and later played in movie houses, accompanying silent films. After his graduation from high school, he began playing with various Canadian orchestras, and slowly discovered that he was appearing more and more frequently on radio programs. Along with all this, he continued to study with classic masters. In 1931, he formed his own orchestra, and shortly thereafter became staff arranger and conductor for the CBC. In 1940, he came to the United States as conductor of The Contented Hour, and in 1947 added The Pause That Refreshes On The Air to his distinguished musical contributions, joining Columbia Records in 1950. His home is now on Long Island, and when he is not busy in recording and radio studios, he devotes considerable time to photography, golf, model trains and fishing.