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Monday, 19 March 2018

Bill Henderson born 19 March 1926

William Randall "Bill" Henderson (March 19, 1926 – April 3, 2016) was an American jazz singer and actor in television and film. 

Born in Chicago, Henderson made his show business debut as a singer and dancer at the age of four, winning in Phil Baker's Artist and Models amateur show. He did a two-year stint in the Army, serving in Europe with a Special Services orchestra and sharing vocal duties with Vic Damone. Returning to Chicago's musically rich South Side as a civilian, Henderson obtained a steady gig at a club called Stelzer Lounge, performing with the then little-known Ramsey Lewis Trio.

New York City beckoned Henderson in 1956. It was there he recalls that he "got my first sanction as a singer. I was singing at the Village Vanguard and Sonny Rollins was backstage with his sax. Before I knew it, he was onstage, sitting in and playing behind me. What a thrill!" Henderson's first big break came in 1957 when Horace Silver hired him to record a vocal version of Silver's popular instrumental "Senor Blues" for Blue Note Records. This recording still stands as one of the biggest selling singles in the label's history.
After touring with Silver and a second recording of "Angel Eyes" for Blue Note, this time backed by the Jimmy Smith Trio, Henderson started recording for the Vee-Jay label and remained with them from 1958 to 1961, "I got to work with musicians such as Ramsey, Tommy Flanagan, Eddie Higgins and Eddie Harris and arrangers like Jimmy Jones and Thad Jones. Also, during that time, I toured Japan with an edition of Blakey's Jazz Messengers that included Lee Morgan, Wayne Shorter and Bobby Timmons." A 1963 album with Oscar Peterson, which remains the biggest seller of his career, was followed by the more commercial When My Dreamboat Comes Home for Verve.

Then, in 1965 and at the recommendation of Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis, Henderson joined the Count Basie band. During his two years with the band, only one song featuring Henderson (an arrangement of The Beatles' "Yesterday") appeared on vinyl on the Verve album Basie's Beatles Bag.  
It was also during his time with Basie that he received his "second sanction". It was in New York City at the now defunct club Basin Street East and it came in the person of Frank Sinatra. It seems that Henderson was getting ready to go on and Sinatra appeared on stage. "It was a setup," he recalls. "The band had his arrangements ready and everything. So, Sinatra did four tunes and then introduced me!"
After this, Henderson stepped into his "second" career. At the suggestion of his friend Bill Cosby, he decided to pursue an acting career and in 1967 relocated to Hollywood. Henderson started with mostly voice-overs and commercials but they were shortly followed by a steady stream of TV and movie roles. His television credits include such shows as Sanford and Son, Happy Days, Hill Street Blues, In The Heat of the Night, NYPD Blue, ER, Cold Case and, most recently, My Name Is Earl. Henderson's movie work includes appearances in Silver Streak, Mother, Juggs & Speed, The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai, Fletch, City Slickers, White Men Can't Jump, Maverick, Conspiracy Theory, Lethal Weapon 4 and The Alibi.
Henderson was a fixture on the Playboy circuit in the 1970s and appeared often at many festivals, including Playboy Jazz at the Hollywood Bowl, Monterey Jazz and the Litchfield Jazz Festival in Connecticut. Later, he performed at The Kennedy Centre and in New York at the Hotel Algonquin's Oak Room and at Lincoln Centre.  He occasionally led a group containing both pianist Dave MacKay and pianist/vocalist Joyce Collins. Henderson (who recorded a couple of albums for Discovery in the 1970s) performed regularly in the Los Angeles area.
Henderson also recorded his own vocal tracks as "King Blues" for the comedy film Get Crazy (1983). He   made a guest vocal appearance on Charlie Haden's album The Art of the Song (1999). In his 80s, he released a self-produced album, Beautiful Memory, co-produced by Lynne Robin Green.
In his later years Henderson suffered from Alzheimer's disease. He died of natural causes at his home in Los Angeles, April 3, 2016, two weeks after his 90th birthday.
(Compiled and edited from various sources but mainly from All about jazz)

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Travis Pritchett born 18 March 1939

Travis Wilbon Pritchett (18 March 1939 – 18 October 2010) with Bob Weaver (born 27 July 1939) , were an American rock and roll duo from Jackson, Alabama who were one-hit wonders when they left their tiny mark on the pop world in 1959 with their Top 10 single ‘Tell Him No’.

Travis and Bob from Jackson, Alabama, a small town in Clarke County, with a population of 5,419 at the 2000 census. They attended the local grammar school together and had a common interest in making music. A DJ at WPBB, Jackson's hometown radio station, suggested that they go to Mobile to make a demo. A guy called Henry Bailey had a little sound studio there and was so enthusiastic about their song "Tell Him No" that he introduced Travis and Bob to Johnny Lee Bozeman and Paul Dubois, who owned the Sandy label in Mobile. Dubois and his brother Johnny recorded the duo in a garage in their hometown, Gulfport, Mississippi. "Tell Him No" was the first song Travis Pritchett ever wrote.

The record took off immediately and the Sandy label, which had never had a hit before, arranged a deal with Randy Wood's Dot label to ensure that the record would get national distribution. By
April 1959 the disc had climbed to # 8 on the Billboard charts. A cover version by Dean and Marc (the Mathis brothers, who had worked with Dale Hawkins and would later form the nucleus of the Newbeats) also charted, on the Bullseye label, peaking at # 42. There were other covers : by the Jackson Brothers (Atco 6139, issued in the UK on London HLX 8845) and in the UK by the Mudlarks and the Lana Sisters, a trio that included a youthful Dusty Springfield. The Travis and Bob version was released in the UK on Pye International N 25018, but did not chart there, though it was a hit in several other European countries, like my native Holland, where it went to # 2.

The follow-up, "Little Bitty Johnny" (Sandy 1019) was issued in May 1959 and is arguably their best record. However, in Billboard it got no further than a "Bubbling under" position at # 114, and it spent two weeks on the Cash Box Top 100, peaking at # 95. "Oh Yeah"/"Lover's Rendezvous" followed soon thereafter, but sold even fewer copies and "Wake Up And Cry"/"That's How Long" (Sandy 1029, March 1960) was their swan song on Sandy, though an album's worth of stuff was recorded. "They had quit trying on us", said Travis. "They'd made some bucks, and they were satisfied. It woulda meant puttin' more money into us".  

Travis and Bob are sometimes compared to the Everly Brothers, but they were not in that league. A comparison to the Kalin Twins is more appropriate and for Mercury they cut one song by the Kalins, "The Spider And the Fly" (recorded prior to "When"). Wesley Rose, hot for a duo after losing the Everly Brothers, tempted them with 10 grand if they would sign to his Hickory label. But Bob Weaver had developed a deep mistrust of the music industry and would not go along with the plan. 

He and Travis parted ways, with Travis continuing as a solo act and songwriter. In 1964 the duo reformed to tour with mark Dinning through the Southern States, but to no avail after which they went their separate ways.

Travis attempted a revival  in 1978 with a recording of  his own composition “Baby You’ve Still Got It” for the  Commercial Record Corporation label but would later work in insurance for many years retiring in 1985 as district manager. He later worked part time as a bank guard in Mobile.

 Travis died 18th October 2010 age 71.

(Edited from Black Cat Rockabilly and The Billboard Book of One-Hit Wonders by Wayne Jonick) 

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Elis Regina born 17 March 1945

Elis Regina Carvalho Costa (March 17, 1945 – January 19, 1982), popularly known as Elis Regina, was a Brazilian singer of popular and Jazz music.  
Elis Regina was one of the most ferociously talented singers to emerge from Brazil. A perfectionist who was frequently dissatisfied, Regina drove herself and members of her band relentlessly, leading to her being dubbed "Hurricane" and "Little Pepper" by musicians and journalists. Her tempestuous nature aside, she commanded the respect of Brazil's leading songwriters, who lined up for the chance to have her record one of their songs, and for much of her short life was the country's most popular female vocalist.
Born Elis Regina Carvalho Costa in Porto Alegre in 1945 to a working-class family, Regina began singing professionally at age 12 on a children's television show called Clube de Guri. For the next two years she was a regular performer on the program and became a local celebrity. It was during this period that she signed her first recording contract at the age of 13. 
 At 15 she relocated to Rio de Janeiro, where she recorded the first of three records, returning to Porto Alegre between each. Her initial recordings sold well and she was soon a teenage star, as well as the family's principal breadwinner. In 1963, at the age of 18, Regina and her father, in a move designed to further her career, relocated to Rio. Unfortunately, it was around this time that a military junta took over control of the country. 
Not long after her move to Rio, Regina became a fixture on Brazilian variety shows. Although the cool, supple, jazzy bossa nova sound was in vogue at the time, Regina preferred more raucous rhythms and full-throated singing. Adding to this was her dynamic, unsophisticated stage presence (which belied a career-long battle against near-paralytic stage fright) that, in American terms, might be best understood if one thinks of the tornado-like force that Janis Joplin could unleash.    

In 1965, Regina sang the controversial (and nearly censored) song "Arrastao" at Rio's first big popular music festival. In a performance that may well have been the defining moment of her career, she posed in Christ-like crucifixion, tears streaming down her face at the song's conclusion. From that moment on, her popularity rocketed; she went from being one of many successful Brazilian singers to the most popular and highest-paid singer in the country -- at the age of 21. 
Although not as overtly political as other singer/songwriters of her generation (e.g., Caetano Veloso, Gilberto Gil), Regina was not shy about criticizing Brazil's military rule. While touring Europe in 1969 she told a journalist that her country was "being run by guerrillas." Normally this sentiment would lead to either jail or exile, but Regina's enormous popularity protected her somewhat from any public government retaliation. However, the military junta used more insidious strong-arm tactics, such as forcing her to sing the Brazilian national anthem at a ceremony to celebrate the anniversary of the country's "independence." She was roundly attacked by leftist performers for such a public display of pro-government sentiment, and it was years later that her husband revealed that she was threatened with jail if she did not comply with the government's wishes. As the mother of a young child at the time, Regina could not afford to become a martyr. 
Regina's career showed no signs of slowing as the 1970s came to a close; some of her best records were recorded during this time, and one album simply called Elis & Tom (recorded in Los Angeles with Antonio Carlos Jobim) has been called by many journalists and musicians one of the greatest Brazilian pop records ever made. However, while her career was in full swing, her personal life was in disarray -- two marriages ended in divorce, and she was raising three children as well as providing for her parents. 
In the late '70s, after the end of her second marriage, she began using cocaine regularly, but managed to keep her increasing dependence on the drug well hidden from her friends and family. Regina began 1982 by marrying for a third time, signing a new recording contract, and in general, planning for the future. All of this came to a halt on January 19, 1982, when she was found dead of alcohol and cocaine intoxication at age 36. Initially, her death was rumoured to be a suicide, but there is no evidence indicating that it was anything more than a tragic accident. 

A few days after her death, a memorial concert was held in São Paulo featuring many of Brazil's most famous singers. Over 100,000 grieving Brazilians came to pay their final respects to this gifted, mercurial singer who remains as popular after death as she was in life.
(Artist Biography mainly by John Dougan @ AllMusic)

Friday, 16 March 2018

Jerry Lewis born 16 March 1926

Jerry Lewis (born Joseph Levitch, March 16, 1926 – August 20, 2017) was an American comedian, actor, singer, humanitarian, film director, film producer and screenwriter. He was known for his slapstick humor in film, television, stage and radio and was nicknamed the "King of Comedy". Lewis was one-half of the hit popular comedy duo Martin and Lewis with singer Dean Martin from 1946 to 1956.

After the team split, he became a solo star in motion pictures, nightclubs, television shows, concerts, musicals and recordings. Lewis served as spokesman and national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association and host and emcee of the live Labor Day weekend TV broadcast of The Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon for 44 years.
He was born Joseph Levitch in Newark, N.J. Both his parents were in show business and, at the age of 5, Lewis made his debut at a Borscht Belt hotel singing “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?” Perhaps because his parents spent a great deal of time on the road, Lewis was demanding attention through humour by the time he was attending Irvington High School in New Jersey. By age 15 he was pantomiming operatic and popular songs and was booked into a burlesque house in Buffalo. 
But his career really began on July 25, 1946, when the 20-year-old Jerry teamed up for the first time with a singer by the name of Dean Martin. Martin and Lewis were an instant hit. They wowed audiences at nightclubs, on the radio, even on the infant form of TV and especially, in the movies. By 1949, Jerry and Dean were among the biggest stars in Hollywood. It seemed like they could do no wrong. The critics may not have liked them, but the public always did. Their movies were box-office smashes, their radio performances and TV specials earned high ratings, their live shows were mobbed. Martin and Lewis made 16 feature films together before the partnership broke up in 1956.  

After the breakup with Dino, Jerry continued on with his solo career. He made movies, put out records, and expanded his charity activities with the Muscular Dystrophy Association.   Jerry recorded many humorous songs for Capitol, but none of them were hits. Which is not a reflection of their quality, because most of them are quite good.

Jerry had always been interested in the technical aspects of moviemaking, and in 1961 he made his first film as director as well as star, The Bellboy. He went on to direct such inventive and interesting movies as The Ladies' Man, The Errand Boy, and The Nutty Professor (generally regarded as his masterpiece). All of these date from the early 60s, but Jerry continued to make films throughout that decade and then again in the early 80s.  

Lewis has long remained popular in Europe: he was consistently praised by some French critics in the influential Cahiers du Cinéma for his absurd comedy, in part because he had gained respect as an auteur who had total control over all aspects of his films, comparable to Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock. In March 2006, the French Minister of Culture awarded Lewis the Légion d'honneur, calling him the "French people's favourite clown".   

Lewis had suffered years of back pain after a fall when he flipped off a piano on March 20, 1965 while performing at the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas that almost left him paralyzed. He became addicted to the pain killer Percodan, but said he had been off the drug since 1978 and has not taken one since. In April 2002, Lewis had a "Synergy" neurostimulator, developed by Medtronic, implanted in his back, which has helped reduce the discomfort. He was one of Medtronic's leading spokespeople.  

Lewis had battled prostate cancer, diabetes I, and pulmonary fibrosis, and had two heart attacks. Prednisone treatment in the early 2000s for pulmonary fibrosis resulted in weight gain and a noticeable change in his appearance. In September 2001, he was unable to perform at a planned charity event produced by comedian Steven Alan Green at the London Palladium. Some months thereafter, Lewis began an arduous, months-long rehabilitation which weaned him off the prednisone that had so altered his appearance and enabled him to return to work.  

In 2003 he provided a guest voice on an episode of “The Simpsons”; in 2006 he did an episode of “Law and Order: SVU” in which he played the insane, morally befuddled but bizarrely benevolent uncle of Det. John Munch (Richard Belzer).

Lewis also hoped to bring a musical adaptation of “The Nutty Professor” to Broadway. By summer 2012 an ailing but still enthusiastic Lewis made his stage helming debut with such a musical, with a score by Marvin Hamlisch and a book and lyrics by Rupert Holmes, in Nashville, where it played for seven weeks.

In 2013 Lewis starred in the long-gestating project “Max Rose,” written and directed by Daniel Noah and also starring Claire Bloom, Kevin Pollak, Kerry Bishe and Mort Sahl. Lewis played a jazz pianist who recently became a widower. In May 2014, he added his footprints to those of other screen luminaries at the Chinese Theatre. 

Lewis died at his home in Las Vegas, Nevada, on August 20, 2017, at the age of 91. The cause was end-stage cardiac disease and peripheral artery disease. In his will, Lewis left his estate to his second wife of 34 years, SanDee Pitnick, and their daughter, and intentionally excluded all six of his children from his first marriage as well as their descendants.  

Lewis has won several awards for lifetime achievements from The American Comedy Awards, The Golden Camera, Los Angeles Film Critics Association, and The Venice Film Festival, and he has two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 2005, he received the Governors Award of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Board of Governors, which is the highest Emmy Award presented. On February 22, 2009, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences awarded Lewis the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

As a filmmaking innovator, Lewis is credited with inventing the video assist system in cinematography. In 1995, he became the highest paid performer in Broadway history for his role as the Devil in "Damn Yankees".  (info edited from various sources, mainly Wikipedia)


Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Ina Ray Hutton born 13 March 1911

Odessa Cowan, better known by her stage name Ina Ray Hutton (March 13, 1916 – February 19, 1984), was an American vocalist, bandleader, and the sister of June Hutton. 

Hutton was born Odessa Cowan at her parents' home in Chicago, Illinois on March 13, 1916.  Her mother, Marvel (Williams) Cowan, was a newlywed housewife, married to Odie Daniel Cowan, a salesman.  By the time Odessa was three years old, she and her mother were living with her maternal grandmother, and her step-grandfather, a dining car waiter for a railroad.  That year, Odessa’s sister, June, was born at home.  When the census taker arrived a few months later, their father was not recorded as a resident of the family home. 

Odessa and June grew up among the black neighbourhood on Chicago’s South Side.  Their mother played piano in dance halls and hotel ballrooms.  Odessa studied dance with a prominent black teacher and choreographer, Hazel Thompson Davis. She began dancing and singing in stage revues at the age of eight. 

By the age of 13, Odessa was considered so advanced that she skipped eighth grade and went straight to high school at Hyde Park High School. In 1930, at age 14, she made her Broadway debut with Gus Edwards at the Palace Theatre in New York.  As Ina Ray, at age 16, she was a featured singer and dancer in George White’s “Melody;” at 17, she joined the Ziegfeld Follies.   

In 1934, when Ina Ray was just 18, the manager Irving Mills formed an all-female band and made her the leader.  Mills added “Hutton” to her stage name, to capitalize on the notoriety of Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton.  The group was called Ina Ray Hutton and Her Melodears. 

The group featured musicians including trumpet player Frances Klein, Canadian pianist Ruth Lowe Sandler, saxophonist Jane Cullum, guitarist Marian Gange, trumpeter Mardell "Owen" Winstead and trombonist Alyse Wells during its existence. Hutton and her Melodears were one of the first all-girl bands to be filmed for Paramount shorts, including Accent on Girls and Swing Hutton Swing and Hollywood feature films under the management of national booking agent Irving Mills.  

 Hutton toured with the Melodears for five years playing live coast to coast and on radio shows, plus recording for the Elite and Victor labels. She was known as the "Blonde Bombshell of Rhythm,” she conducted her band with her whole body, changing costumes several times each show, from one strappy, sequined gown to the next.  The group disbanded in 1939.  
In the 1940s Hutton went brunette and led a male band.  She was featured in her own starring role in the Columbia musical, "Ever Since Venus" (1944). But the novelty of all-female bands still held enough appeal that Hutton organized another one in 1951 for “The
Ina Ray Hutton Show” on television, and earned five Emmys.  The show aired on the west coast for four years, and for a summer season nationally on NBC.  Hutton continued as a singer and bandleader through the 1960s. She continued to sing and lead bands until her retirement in 1968 although her last recorded performance came in the 1975 film Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? 

Hutton died of complications from diabetes on February 19, 1984, at Community Memorial Hospital in Ventura, California.  She was buried in Ivy Lawn Memorial Park, Ventura, Ventura County, California.    

She was preceded in death by her fourth husband Jack Curtis, and by her sister, the singer June Hutton. (Compiled and edited from Wikipedia and

Monday, 12 March 2018

Gordon MacRae born 12 March 1921

Albert Gordon MacRae (March 12, 1921 – January 24, 1986) was an American actor and singer, best known for his appearances in the film versions of two Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, Oklahoma! (1955) and Carousel (1956), and playing Bill Sherman in On Moonlight Bay (1951) and By The Light of the Silvery Moon (1953). 

Born in East Orange in Essex County in north-eastern New Jersey, MacRae graduated in 1940 from Deerfield Academy in Deerfield, Massachusetts, and he thereafter served as a navigator in the United States Army Air Forces during World War II. Prior to this, he attended Nottingham High School in Syracuse, New York.

At 19, he went to New York City and won an amateur singing contest at the 1939-40 World's Fair. This won him a two-week stint at the fair with the Harry James band. He became a page at NBC, was heard singing by a scout for Horace Heidt and sang with the Heidt band for two years. In World War II, he was a navigator in the Air Force.

MacRae, who was self-taught in both singing and acting made his Broadway debut in 1942, acquiring his first recording contract soon afterwards. Many of his hit recordings were made with Jo Stafford. In 1948, he appeared in his first film, The Big Punch, a drama about boxing. He soon began an on-screen partnership with Doris Day and appeared with her in several films. 
On radio, in 1945 his talents were showcased on the Gordon MacRae Show on the CBS network in collaboration with the conductor Archie Bleyer. The show also featured emerging musical talent, including the accordionist John Serry Sr. MacRae was also the host and lead actor on The Railroad Hour, a half-hour anthology series made up of condensed versions of hit Broadway musicals. Many of those programs were recorded later in popular studio cast albums; most of these recordings have been reissued on CDs.

The tall, athletic actor-singer made four genial, old-fashioned musical films with Doris Day - ''Tea for Two'' (1950), ''The West Point Story'' (1950), ''On Moonlight Bay'' (1951) and ''By the Light of the Silvery Moon'' (1953). Their teamwork prompted Thomas H. Pryor of The Times to conclude that ''these two complement each other like peanut butter and jelly.'' Also in 1953, he starred opposite Kathryn Grayson in the third film version of The Desert Song. This was followed by leading roles in two major films of Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals, Oklahoma! (1955)  and Carousel (1956), opposite Shirley Jones.

MacRae appeared frequently on television,  where he had been a singing host and master of ceremonies on a series of programs, including ''The Railroad Hour'' and the ''Colgate Comedy Hour. The performer was the host of television's live ''Gordon MacRae Show'' in 1956, starred in a string of book-musical broadcasts and was one of the first popular singers to appear on the ''Voice of Firestone'' program. For decades, on radio and television, the show had featured only opera singers. He also guest-starred on the short-lived NBC variety series, The Polly Bergen Show. 

Thereafter, MacRae appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Dinah Shore Chevy Show, The Pat Boone Chevy Showroom, and The Bell Telephone Hour. He continued his musical stage career, often performing with his wife, as in a 1964 production of Bells Are Ringing, also performing as Sky Masterson in the popular musical Guys and Dolls, with his wife playing the role of Miss Adeleide, reprising her Broadway role. In the late 1960s, he co-hosted for a week on The Mike Douglas Show. He also toured in summer stock and appeared in nightclubs. In 1967, he replaced Robert Preston in the original Broadway run of the musical I Do! I Do!, starring opposite Carol Lawrence, who had taken over the role from Mary Martin. 

He battled alcohol problems for many years although by the late 1970s he overcame them and in the 1980s helped people in a treatment centre who had similar addictions. 

His last film was in 1979, in the supporting role of Joe Barnes in "The Pilot" in which Cliff Robertson held the lead role. Suffering a stroke in 1982, he continued with the support of his second wife, Elizabeth, and his children, touring and singing hits from his earlier years, until his health began to fail. He died in 1986 of pneumonia, from complications due to cancer of the mouth and jaw at his home in Lincoln, Nebraska, at the age of 64. He was buried at the Wyuka Cemetery in Lincoln, Nebraska . 

He was married to Sheila MacRae from 1941 until 1967; the couple were the parents of four children: actresses Heather and Meredith MacRae, and sons William Gordon MacRae and Robert Bruce MacRae. Two of the children, Meredith MacRae and Robert Bruce MacRae, predeceased their mother, Sheila. Gordon MacRae was married, secondly, to Elizabeth Lambert Schrafft on September 25, 1967, and fathered one daughter, Amanda Mercedes MacRae in 1968. They remained married until his death. (Compiled & edited mainly from Wikipedia)

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Wally Stott / Angela Morley born 10 March 1924

Walter "Wally" Stott (later known as Angela Morley, 10 March 1924 – 14 January 2009) was an English composer and conductor. He attributed his entry into composing and arranging largely to the influence and encouragement of the Canadian light music composer Robert Farnon. In 1972, Morley underwent sex reassignment surgery. Later in life, she lived in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Stott was born in Leeds, Yorkshire, in England in 1924, he undertook his early studies at the Mexboro Academy, where he began collaborating regularly with the talented singer Tony Mercer. During this period, Mercer sang and played the piano and accordion, while Stott concentrated on the saxophone. Following the completion of their studies, both worked in bands such as Archie's Juveniles and Oscar Rabin's band. By 1944, Stott was leading the latter group's saxophone section on alto and had become the band's sole arranger. He then moved on to work in the band of the performer Geraldo, with whom he stayed until late 1948 at which point he left to devote his attention to arranging and film music work 

Stott was originally a composer of light music, best known for pieces such as the jaunty "Rotten Row" and "A Canadian in Mayfair", a homage to Robert Farnon's "Portrait of a Flirt". He is also remembered for writing the theme tune and incidental music for Hancock's Half Hour and was the musical director for The Goon Show from the third series in 1952 to the last show in 1960.

In 1953, he became a main arranger for the Philips label along with talents such as Peter Knight and Ivor Raymonde. He arranged and conducted for many popular British artists over the next two decades, including Frankie Vaughan, Anne Shelton, Secombe, the Beverley Sisters, Roy Castle, Ronnie Carroll, Shirley Bassey,
Dusty Springfield and the first four solo albums by Scott Walker. He also cut several of his own instrumental albums, sometimes utilizing a vocal chorus, including the 1958 album, London Pride.

Also during 1953 he recorded as Jeff Morley some sides for American market on the Okeh label. 
Stott began composing his own music early in his career as well, establishing himself with the BBC following the success of his theme for Hancock's Half Hour in 1954. He wrote a great number of popular mood music In 1961, Stott provided the orchestral accompaniments for a selection of choral arrangements made by Norman Luboff for an RCA album that was recorded in London's Walthamstow Town Hall. The New Symphony Orchestra was conducted by Leopold Stokowski, and the choir of professional British singers under the album's title Inspiration.

In 1962 and 1963, Stott arranged the United Kingdom entries for the Eurovision Song Contest, "Ring-A-Ding Girl" and "Say Wonderful Things", both sung by Ronnie Carroll. The former was conducted on the Eurovision stage in Luxembourg.  In 1966, Stott made several multi-album LP sets for Readers' Digest, also making one in 1971, using own arrangements and orchestra. 

After sex reassignment therapy, in 1972 Stott underwent what was then termed a sex-rectifying operation. He became Angela Morley, taking his mother's maiden name, and continued to work for BBC radio, arranging versions of standards for Radio 2. Earlier that year she had turned down the chance to be part of the Last Goon Show of All because she had not yet gone public about her sex change. 

She  orchestrated, arranged, and supervised the music for the final musical film collaboration of Lerner and Loewe, The Little Prince (1974). At this time, she was also a regular guest conductor of the BBC Radio Orchestra and BBC Big Band. 

She was the music supervisor, arranger, and conductor for The Little Prince (1974) and the Sherman Brothers musical film adaptation of the Cinderella story, The Slipper and the Rose (1976). She received Oscar nominations for both films. Additionally, she wrote most of the score for the film version of Watership Down (1978), although the prelude and opening was by Malcolm Williamson. From about this point she began a collaboration with John Williams, the composer for Star Wars and other films, though working in an uncredited capacity. 

In 1980, she decided to relocate to the US, where, after The Brink's Job (1978), a crime caper starring Peter Falk, she worked mainly on episodes of television series, including the soaps Dallas, Dynasty and Falcon Crest. She was nominated six times for an Emmy for TV composing and won three for arranging. She also undertook work for fellow composers, including Williams, Miklós Rózsa and Sir Richard Rodney Bennett. 

Morley died in Scottsdale, Arizona, on 14 January 2009 of complications from a fall and subsequent heart attack, at the age of 84. Wally Stott was married twice. His first wife, Beryl, died in 1968. Two years later he married Christine Parker, with whom he remained from then on. 

 (Compiled and edited mainly from Wilipedia & partly AllMusic bio by Eugene Chadbourne)