This popular 72 minute, 26 track CD album features original music from the classic BBC comedy series Dad's Army, including the immortal theme song performed by Bud Flanagan as well as popular songs from the 1930s and 1940s. All tracks have been carefully remastered using modern digital technology. The CD runs for 75 minutes and is fully authorized by the BBC. Booklet includes full recording details and liner notes by James Hayward. Also available as a digital download.
1. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE KIDDING, MR HITLER? Bud Flanagan
2. BLUE SKIES ARE 'ROUND THE CORNER Jack Hylton and his Orchestra
3. THE KING IS STILL IN LONDON Billy Cotton and his Band
4. TIGGERTY BOO Joe Loss and his Orchestra
5. KEEP YOUNG & BEAUTIFUL Harry Roy and his Orchestra
6. IT'S A HAP-HAP-HAPPY DAY Arthur Askey, with Orchestra
7. LET THE PEOPLE SING Geraldo and his Orchestra. Vocal by Evelyn Lane
8. CALLING ALL WORKERS Eric Coates and Orchestra
9. I'VE GOT MY EYES ON YOU Ambrose and his Orchestra. Vocal by Jack Cooper
10. FOOLS RUSH IN Carroll Gibbons and his Orchestra. Vocal by Anne Lenner
11. PENNIES FROM HEAVEN Ambrose and his Orchestra. Vocal by Sam Browne
12. RUN RABBIT RUN Ambrose and his Orchestra. Vocal by Jack Cooper
13. WISH ME LUCK (AS YOU WAVE ME GOODBYE) Gracie Fields
14. THE TEDDY BEARS' PICNIC Henry Hall and his Orchestra, with Chorus
15. THE DEVIL'S GALOP Charles Williams and his Concert Orchestra
16. LORDS OF THE AIR Harold Williams and Orchestra
17. ADOLF Billy Cotton and his Band
18. I CAME, I SAW, I CONGA'D Nat Gonella and his New Georgians
19. FOLLOW THE WHITE LINE Arthur Riscoe and Orchestra
20. WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK Billy Cotton and his Band
21. HEY LITTLE HEN Bunny Doyle with Orchestra
22. WHEN THEY SOUND THE LAST 'ALL CLEAR' Vera Lynn with Mantovani's Orchestra
23. BLESS 'EM ALL Billy Cotton and his Band
24. THERE'LL ALWAYS BE AN ENGLAND Jack Payne and his Orchestra. Vocal by Robert Ashley
25. FURIOSO No. 1 The Crawford Light Orchestra
26. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE KIDDING, MR HITLER? (MARCH) Performed by the Grand Massed Bands
The immortal BBC television comedy series Dad's Army ran for over 80 episodes between 1968 and 1977, as well as spawning a feature film, a radio series and a West End musical. Written by Jimmy Perry and David Croft, it established Captain Mainwaring, Segeant Wilson, Corporal Jones and Privates Pike, Godfrey, Walker and Frazer as comedy legends, spawning half a dozen deathless catchphrases such as "Don't panic!" and "Stupid boy".
In addition to drawing on his own experience as a youthful Home Guard in Barnes and Watford between 1940-1943 (reflected in the character of Pike), Jimmy Perry elected to use period music rather than library material, which is often somewhat sterile. This decision was also influenced by budgetary restrictions at the BBC - and thank goodness, since the use of nostalgic vintage recordings added immeasurably to the success and popularity of the show. A BBC survey as early as 1968 confirmed that "attention to detail and the inclusion of excerpts from wartime songs add greatly to the atmosphere of authenticity."
On this popular CD you will hear many of the best songs featured in the nine series filmed, as well as rare incidental music, and the immortal theme written by Jimmy Perry, and sung by Bud Flanagan. Said Jimmy Perry: "It didn't take me long to write Mr Hitler. I often tell people that I just put together a lot of wartime songs. This isn't quite true, but once I had decided on my theme - the brave defiance of the British people against one of the most evil forces the world has known - the words seemed to come quite easily. I sorted out the melody and then I contacted Derek Taverner to put the whole thing together for me." The song (together with the end title version, performed by the Band of the Coldstream Guards) was recorded at BBC Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, in February 1968.
Of Bud Flanagan, David Croft recalled: "We were very lucky to get him. It turned out he'd never recorded a song that he hadn't actually sung before. In the end that signature tune was an accumulation of about eight takes pieced together." Three months later Flanagan died, and a great music hall legend passed into the hall of fame. In 1970 the song won a richly deserved Ivor Novello award for best signature tune.
1. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE KIDDING, MR HITLER?
Performed by Bud Flanagan. Written by Jimmy Perry and Derek Taverner. Published by Veronica Music Ltd. Originally released as a single on Pye Records in 1969.
2. BLUE SKIES ARE 'ROUND THE CORNER
Performed by Jack Hylton and his Orchestra. Vocal by Evelyn Lane. Written by Hugh Charles/Ross Parker. Published by Dash Music Co Limited. First published in 1938. Featured in Command Decision. Blue Skies was written at the time of the Munich Crisis, at a time when it was hoped that war might be avoided. The partnership of Charles and Parker is best known for the evergreen song We'll Meet Again.
3. THE KING IS STILL IN LONDON
Performed by Billy Cotton and his Band. Written by R Hunter/H Charles. Published by Dash Music Co Ltd. First published in 1941. Featured in Battle School, The Royal Train. The song is an affectionate tribute to King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, who remained in residence at Buckingham Palace during the Blitz on London, and regularly visited the worst hit areas of the city.
4. TIGGERTY BOO
Performed by Joe Loss and his Orchestra. Written by Hal Hallifax. Published by Peter Maurice Music Ltd. First published in 1940. Featured in Operation Kilt, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker, Sgt Wilson's Little Secret, The Lion Has 'Phones. Subtitled The Forces' Thumbs Up Song, the slang term tiggerty or tickety boo dates from the late 19th century and means all is in order, or everything's OK. Some give its origin in the phrase "that's the ticket", others in the Hindustani word teega.
5. KEEP YOUNG AND BEAUTIFUL
Performed by Harry Roy and his Orchestra. Written by Harry Warren/Al Dubin. Published by B Feldman & Co Ltd. First published in 1933. Featured in Keep Young and Beautiful. From the 1933 Hollywood musical Roman Scandals, an Eddie Cantor vehicle jam packed with Busby Berkeley dance numbers.
6. IT'S A HAP-HAP-HAPPY DAY
Performed by Arthur Askey, with Orchestra. Written by Al J. Neiburg/Sammy Timberg/Winston Sharples. Published by Famous Music Publishing Ltd. First published in 1939. Featured in Command Decision, The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones, Fallen Idol. Diminutive British comedian Arthur Askey sprang to prominence in January 1938 with the debut broadcast of Band Waggon, the first British radio show to present its stars in situations, rather than simply as stand-up comics.
7. LET THE PEOPLE SING
Performed by Geraldo and his Orchestra. Vocal by Evelyn Lane. Written by Noel Gay/ Frank Eyton/Ian Grant. Published by Noel Gay Music Co Ltd. First published in 1940. Featured in The Man and the Hour, Museum Piece, War Dance, Let the People Sing. Born Reginald Armitage in Wakefield, Noel Gay was a prolific writer of show songs and light music. This rousing number first appeared in the musical Lights Up.
8. CALLING ALL WORKERS
Performed by Eric Coates and Orchestra. Written by Eric Coates. Published by Chappell Recorded Music Library. First published in 1940. Featured in All Is Safely Gathered In. Coates' stirring march was adopted by the BBC as the theme tune for the radio programme Music While You Work, first broadcast in June 1940, which undoubtedly increased morale and output on wartime production lines. The programme played at 10.30 am and 3 pm, the times of day when workers' concentration was found to slip. His other famous (and similar) composition is The Dam Busters March from the classic 1954 film.
9. I'VE GOT MY EYES ON YOU
Performed by Ambrose and his Orchestra. Vocal by Jack Cooper. Written by Cole Porter. Published by Warner/Chappell North America. First published in 1939. Featured in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker, The Deadly Attachment. From the musical film Broadway Melody of 1940. Bert Ambrose led what is considered by many to be the best British dance band of its era, playing dance music with a strong Ellington-inspired jazz flavour.
10. FOOLS RUSH IN
Performed by Carroll Gibbons and his Orchestra. Vocal by Anne Lenner. Written by Johnny Mercer/Rube Bloom. Published by Lafleur Music Ltd. First published in 1940. Featured in The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker, Battle School. One of the all-time great lyricists, Johnny Mercer wrong songs for more than 90 motion pictures, winning no less than four Oscars for songs including Moon River and The Days of Wine and Roses.
11. PENNIES FROM HEAVEN
Performed by Ambrose and his Orchestra. Vocal by Sam Browne. Written by Arthur Johnston/Johnny Burke. Published by Campbell Connelly & Co Ltd. First published in 1936. Featured in The King Was In His Counting House, The Miser's Hoard. A rare recording by Ambrose, the song first appeared in the 1936 film of the same name starring Bing Crosby, but gained a new lease of life thanks to the acclaimed television series written by Dennis Potter, broadcast in 1978.
12. RUN RABBIT RUN
Performed by Ambrose and his Orchestra. Vocal by Jack Cooper. Written by Noel Gay/Ralph Butler. Published by Noel Gay Music Co Ltd/Campbell Connelly & Co Ltd. First published in 1939. Featured in Operation Kilt, Mum's Army. Written with the war effort in mind, the song was also recorded by Bud Flanagan.
13. WISH ME LUCK (AS YOU WAVE ME GOODBYE)
Performed by Gracie Fields. Written by Harry Parr Davies/Phil Park. Published by Chappell Music Ltd. Featured in The Man and the Hour. Written for the 1939 Gaumont film Shipyard Sally, and reprised in the 1943 two-reeler Young and Beautiful. Harry Parr Davies was the Rochdale songbird's accompanist of choice. In 1940 Fields married Italian-born comedian/dancer Monty Banks, and left Britain for the USA after he was threatened with internment, leading to questions in Parliament and general furore. This number remained a popular wartime rallying song nonetheless.
14. THE TEDDY BEARS' PICNIC
Performed by Henry Hall and his Orchestra, with Chorus. Written by Jimmy Kennedy/John W Bratton. Published by B Feldman & Co Ltd. Recorded in 1932. Featured in The Big Parade. American composer and publisher John Bratton conceived the song as a novelty instrumental around 1906. Only later were lyrics added by Jimmy Kennedy, one of the most successful British composers of his day, though he received no royalties for this part in creating a perennial childrens' favourite until much later, by which time it had sold over four million copies. Almost a million of these were this recording by Henry Hall, who directed the BBC Dance Orchestra until 1939.
15. THE DEVIL'S GALOP
Performed by Charles Williams and his Concert Orchestra. Written by Charles Williams. Published by Chappell Recorded Music Library. First published in 1946. Featured in several episodes to accompany chase sequences. The piece is better known as the signature tune to Dick Barton-Special Agent, which ran on BBC radio between 1946 and 1951. Born Isaac Cozerbreit, Williams was a prolific composer of light and film music, notably the piece Dream of Olwen. Note that there's only one 'l' in galup - it being a dance, rather than a horse race.
16. LORDS OF THE AIR
Performed by Harold Williams and Orchestra. Written by Michael North/Davy Burnaby. Published by Noel Gay Music Co Ltd. First published in 1939. Featured in Battle of the Giants, A Soldier's Farewell, Knights of Madness. Michael North was a producer and composer, Davy Burnaby a noted actor who often played aristocrats and army officers.
Performed by Billy Cotton and his Band. Written by Annette Mills. Published by EMI Music Limited. First published in 1939. Featured in The Desperate Drive of Corporal Jones, If the Cap Fits, Come In-Your Time Is Up. Sister of actor Sir John, Annette Mills was a pianist, scriptwriter, singer and songwriter. As a dancer, Mills is credited with introducing the Charleston to England, although her dancing career was cut short by a car accident early in the war. Boomps-A-Daisy, the big production number on the 1939 film version of Band Waggon, was written by Mills, who would go on to create Muffin the Mule the following year.
18. I CAME, I SAW, I CONGA'D
Performed by Nat Gonella and his New Georgians. Written by Frank Weldon/James Cavanaugh/John Redmond. Published by Redwood Music Ltd/Campbell Connelly & Co Ltd. First published in 1941. Featured in The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones, Boots Boots Boots. Other hits by the writing team of Weldon, Cavanaugh and Redmond included Winter Wonderland, 32 Feet and 8 Little Tails and Christmas in Killarney. Nat Gonella's jazz-orientated dance band were so named due to the great popularity of his version of Georgia On My Mind.
19. FOLLOW THE WHITE LINE
Performed by Arthur Riscoe, with Orchestra. Written by Davy Burnaby/Michael North. Published by Noel Gay Music Ltd. First published in 1940. Featured in Round and Round Went the Great Big Wheel, Is There Honey Still For Tea?, High Finance. Yorkshire-born actor and comedian Arthur Riscoe starred in films such as The Street Singer, Public Nuisance No. 1, Paradise for Two and Going Gay.
20. WHISTLE WHILE YOU WORK
Performed by Billy Cotton and his Band. Written by Frank Churchill/Larry Morey. Copyright Control. First published in 1937. Featured in The Deadly Attachment. Taken from the 1937 Disney animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Private Frank Pike's immortal adaption ran as follows: "Whistle while you work / Hitler is a twerp / He's half barmy / So's his army / Whistle while you work."
21. HEY LITTLE HEN
Performed by Bunny Doyle with Orchestra. Written by Noel Gay/Ralph Butler. Published by Noel Gay Music Co Ltd/Campbell Connelly & Co Ltd. First published in 1941. Featured in The Armoured Might of Lance Corporal Jones, All Is Safely Gathered In. Noel Gay's best-remembered hits were The Lambeth Walk, The Sun Has Got His Hat On, Leaning on a Lamp Post, Me and My Girl, Run Rabbit Run, Hey Little Hen, The Fleet's in Port Again, Let the People Sing and There's Something About a Soldier.
22. WHEN THEY SOUND THE LAST 'ALL CLEAR'
Performed by Vera Lynn with Mantovani's Orchestra. Written by Hugh Charles/Louis Elton. Published by Dash Music Co Ltd. First published in 1941. Featured in Room at the Bottom, When You've Got To Go. A plumber's daughter from East Ham, Vera Lynn was dubbed the Forces' Sweetheart after topping an on-air poll conducted by the BBC among the BEF in France. The programme Sincerely Yours rocketed her to fame and brought in 2000 requests a week.
23. BLESS 'EM ALL
Performed by Billy Cotton and his Band. Written by Jimmy Hughes/Frank Lake. Published by Keith Prowse Music Publishing. First published in 1940. Featured in Menace From the Deep. Also known as The Service Song, and often corrupted by soldiery as Sod 'Em All.
24. THERE'LL ALWAYS BE AN ENGLAND
Performed by Jack Payne and his Orchestra. Vocal by Robert Ashley. Written by Ross Parker/Hugh Charles. Published by Dash Music Co Ltd. First published in 1939. Featured in The Man and the Hour, The Showing Up of Corporal Jones, Shooting Pains, The Battle of Godfrey's Cottage, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Walker, The Test, Battle of the Giants, Turkey Dinner and Never Too Old. During the First World War Jack Payne had served in the Royal Flying Corps.
25. FURIOSO No. 1
Performed by The Crawford Light Orchestra. Written by Tony Lowry. Published by JW Media Music Ltd. Recorded in 1957. Featured in The Day the Balloon Went Up, Brain Versus Brawn.
26. WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE KIDDING, MR HITLER? (MARCH)
Performed by the Grand Massed Bands, conducted by Harry Mortimer. Written by Jimmy Perry and Derek Taverner. Published by Veronica Music Ltd. Released under licence from Brass Magic Music.
Dad's Army soundtrack CD produced by James Nice for CD41. Liner notes by James Hayward. CD41 logo by JustWizard. With thanks to James Hayward, Bryan Webb, Zoe Lawrence, Vicky Mitchell, Alan Littlemore, Richard Webber, Bill Pertwee and Jimmy Croft.