His orchestra heard "on the air" in Canada and the United States, since the 1930's, Mr. Faith brought us his unique sound, rich arrangements featuring his favorite section of the orchestra - the strings, that carried the Faith signature sound of rich countermelodies and harmonic developments across sections of the orchestra. Pictured above, Percy at the piano in the living room of his Encino home in 1966, "California 1966" in his own writing (this is an original picture from the family collection). We are greatly honored that most of Percy Faith's recordings have been reissued on CD's, scroll down the page for a listing. In the UK many of Percy's early "pre-Columbia" recordings are available (such as the Decca recordings and the RCA recordings - the Deccas started out as 78 rpm records; the RCA's started out as an EP set, and were later released as a 12" Lp. Please see Alan Bunting's website for details. The three lists below are Percy Faith's own listings, and will answer some questions and raise others; most interesting is that they contain some of the arrangements and compositions Percy wrote from the earliest days, and they are displayed here from his notebook (MARPET was the name of his "own" publishing company for his own compositions, MARilyn and PETer - named after his two children.
Terry Woodson will be conducting Percy Faith arrangements in 16 (18?) concerts in various cities in Japan - beginning just after the 20th of May, 2013!
Schedule (.pdf) The "tentative" schedule can now be considered finalized, with an additional "double header" concert at Osaka.
The trip is set and the tentative itinerary I sent is good. There is an added concert in Osaka at the Osaka Festival Hall. Its a double header, 2:00 and 6:00. The Festival hall is one of my favorites. I can feel Percy when we are there. He loved that hall too
Terry notes that the string contingent has fewer players, so the sound can't be as "full" as the original Percy Faith recordings or the Terry Woodson/JVC sessions; strings were an essential part of Percy Faith's arrangements, but it is not practical to bring all 50 string players on the tour. Enjoying the live music and the string and other sections of the orchestra that are there, will be a thrilling experience, even with the compact size of the string contingent. It is to be celebrated that the Japanese audience enjoys the performances - live - well into the 21st century. All good wishes for a great tour - Bill Halvorsen, green with envy that such a concert of "popular music for orchestra" doesn't happen in the USA!!!
Marilyn Leonard, Percy Faith's daughter, died after a long battle with cancer on January 1, 2010. Marilyn was a wonderful, kind friend who spent many hours on the phone talking about her father's work, and then hosted me for a 1-week visit in May of 1991 where I was able to learn more about Percy Faith, seeing the artwork Percy collected and enjoyed, and all the awards and miscellaneous items in his office in his home; we made a low-production value video of my visit. I feel very sad at losing the kind Marilyn who absolutely loved her father Percy's music and knew every track. My sincere condolences go out to her family, friends, and all who will miss her. The obituary:
LEONARD, Marilyn Born December 5, 1931 in Toronto Canada to Mary and Percy
Faith. It is with great sorrow that we announce the loss of our mother and
friend, Marilyn Faith Leonard who passed away January 1 at the age of 78 after a
long but courageous battle with cancer. Left to cherish her memory are her
children Lisa McCloskey, Rick Gleitsman, Judy Kaplan, son-in-law Jim Kaplan, and
grandchildren Steven Stinson, Brittany, Austin and Lily Gleitsman, Zach and
Mattie Kaplan. She had a great love for music, cooking, all things creative, and
her "band of sisters." There was not a soul that met her that didn't fall in
love with her. She was a caring and dedicated friend and her spirit of
generosity and open-heartedness will long be remembered by all who knew her.
She is now reunited in heaven with her son Johnny, Jack Leonard the love of her life, her father whom she dearly adored, her mother and her brother Peter. Thursday, January 7 at 11:00 a.m.
Published in Los Angeles Times January 5-6 2010
click to see >Video of Bill's trip to meet Dolly and Marilyn in May 1991 (wmv format)
The film begins with Marilyn giving me a tour of the Encino neighborhood; stay with the film as you will see after a tour of Percy and Dolly's home, lots of photos that Percy had taken over the years, you'll be amazed at the musicians he knew and worked with!
Percy Faith's song "My Heart Cries For You" gets Inducted into the Canadian Songwriters Hall of Fame.
by Rick Gleitsman, grandson of Percy Faith
Sorry the quality is so lousy, it was shot on my still camera, and it ends abruptly as I was asked to stand up. It's cute to hear my 88 year old Great Aunt, Percy's sister, sitting next to me say "That's my Brother". :)
Anyway, it is on youtube titled: Movie #1 Recut by RgpropsEnjoy!!! (Gosh I hope this works)!!! Enjoy!!!
FOR BUSINESS QUESTIONS REGARDING THE MUSIC/RIGHTS/USAGE of Percy Faith and his orchestra, please contact:
RICK GLEITSMAN, PercyFaithMusic@gmail.com
A Recording Session for historical purposes - permission granted only for personal use!
NICK PERITO in the Capitol LA Studios conducting Percy Faith's Music for the JVC Series (1994)
I know that 25 parts for the above sessions is just too long, but the originals were on T-120 VHS tapes that JVC sent to Dolly Faith; the years have not been kind to the recordings and attempts to make this a 2 or 3 part download have been a historic FAIL. It's wonderful viewing, and perhaps someone can write a batch file to join them with a PD executable such as HJ-JOIN to make it happen.
These are large files and probably won't stream except on >7Mbps fast cable or FIOS connections, so please right-click and "save as" so that you can view them offline. This material is used on this site with permission of the Faith family and Terry Woodson who was the producer for this series... for historical, non-commercial purposes. Now you will know what electricity is generated at a real recording session - takes, listening, deciding on re-takes, etc. Great educational material, a learning experience for all of us seeing Percy's original manuscripts being recreated. You'll see Dolly and Marilyn in there, ENJOY!
More of the "behind the scenes" JVC recordings of Nick Perito at Capitol in LA, conducting Percy Faith's arrangements , captured by a cameraman for JVC. While my ancient Panasonic divided each segment above into small pieces, you'll find only two files - HUGE files, one 999mb, the other 750mb. You'll need a good wideband connection to stream these; I recommend the "right click and save as" routine so that you'll have the complete file (after perhaps hours or at worst overnight, depending on your broadband download speed. If you can get 7 or so megabits per second download steadily, you COULD stream these files and watch them but I'd recommend saving them instead).
Here is a recording found in Marilyn's tapes, evidently recorded by one of the Percy Faith Society members in Japan, in the audience ofNICK PERITO IN JAPAN CONDUCTING PERCY FAITH. Recording-wise it's not great in that it was a VHS tape that looks like it was dubbed to another VHS tape, then rendered to .WMV so I fear you can't get much detail from the orchestra (sure, you can see where the (too quiet) strings are, but the piano and percussion are kind of a mystery. VHS had it's own built-in copy protection even when it didn't - in that quality took a nosedive on anything but the first recording. You can't make out faces, sadly. Right-click and "save as" since this is about 500mb and I doubt if you'll be able to stream it. You get the feeling of a "real concert" - starting right from the brief orchestra tune-up with the concertmaster providing a middle "A" followed by the pianist, and the rest of the instruments get into sync.
MITCH MILLER 1911-2010
8/2/2010: on July 31, we have lost Mitch Miller - performing musician, arranger, conductor, oboist, and the man who hired Percy Faith into Columbia Records in 1950. Mitch Miller was 99 years old. Mitch hired the famous vocalists, and assigned various arrangers who worked for him (and he arranged music as well) to launch their careers. Such "youngsters" as Rosemary Clooney, Tony Bennett, and many others saw huge careers that were launched by contracts with Columbia and Mitch; and often through the orchestral magic of Percy Faith! This was a good deal for Percy, as he really wanted to record instrumentally and not be involved with vocalists; so for the duration of the 1950's Faith had a deal with Columbia and Mitch, that he'd record for the "youngsters" - and in turn he could record orchestral albums under his own name... and he did just that! I don't have a link but the New York Times website has an excellent article about Mr. Miller - wow - he used to work with George Gershwin!!!
I was honored to talk to Mitch on the phone a few times in the 1990's and again for the BBC Radio 2 program "The Arrangers" where he gladly agreed to participate in the show (they sent interviewers with recording equipment to his home). He was rather sad that his music had been forgotten but I think I encouraged him a bit when I started listing some of his Lp's that had been digitally remastered for CD reissue. I know that he was very pleased when two of his own albums, along with the two albums he recorded with Percy Faith, were reissued intact. MANON is a Faith composition, and here is a track from the album "Columbia House Party" where Mitch just happens to have an oboe that squeaks to life, and Percy Faith started playing the song as a piano solo - but Mitch came through with the expressive oboe - right click and save the track then hear what could easily have been a thirteenth track to MUSIC UNTIL MIDNIGHT!
PERCY FAITH: COMPOSER-CONDUCTOR-ARRANGER
Percy Faith had a tremendous career, doing just what he wanted to do, creating albums of beautiful music. Actually that's the second half of his career, the first was "on the air" bringing his unique orchestral arrangements and compositions to radio. I've been told that there was actually a time when few households had TELEVISIONS... my late mother used to stay up late at night to hear David Rose and his CALIFORNIA MELODIES programs. As time goes by people don't even remember Percy's hit arrangement of Max Steiner's SUMMER PLACE, or DELICADO or MOULIN ROUGE - but view these pages and you'll realize that he recorded over a thousand arrangements with a style that could never be duplicated. After all these years, we are rewarded with our treasured albums being available in the "best possible" sound of the compact disc; see below! There are several great CD reissues by Taragon and Collectables, and manufacturing remains with Sony (Taragon does its own remastering), so the quality is superb. It is a great tribute to PERCY FAITH that his music still delights listeners in the year 2000 and beyond. Millions of thanks go to Good Music, Collectables, and Taragon for bringing Faith's music to us in the window-on-sound CD format.
Follow the links below to read and listen to historical information about our kind of music and the career of Percy Faith, including great, educational reading by Alfred Holden and Richard O'Connor. Some are Windows Media Audio/Video files, some are text, some are .pdf documents.
A Brief History of Beautiful Music Radio ©2009 Richard O'Connor (text .pdf)
The Orchestral Sound - and Popular Music for Orchestra by Richard O'Connor (txt)
Open reel "could" have been great. It offered the promise of freedom from ticks and pops and record wear that went along with Lp records (though I don't believe in the early days of the Lp much thought was given to their care, and record players were more like record destroyers). Columbia carried a dual inventory of some albums as you'll see in this catalog; it had to anger the stereo pioneers who had half-track playback equipment since Columbia would simply cut 3 to 6 selections from the "usual 12" tracks on a popular recording instead of (horrors) spending more money to put more tape on that reel. Quarter track took care of that giving the same playback time and selections as the Lp equivalents. Then good old Columbia cut the speed in half from 7 1/2 inches per second to 3 3/4 i.p.s. thus ensuring even lower quality from their open reel releases. I remember in the early 1970's looking for an open reel of MUSIC OF CHRISTMAS (the 1959 version). The owner of a hi-fi shop gave me a copy for Christmas; I got home and was shocked to see that it was no longer a CQ 7 1/2 i.p.s. tape but HQ which perhaps meant Half Quality? They had gone back into earlier releases and cut-out the 7 1/2 tapes and reissued them only in the 3 3/4 i.p.s. format. Open reel never really caught on. It was supposed to be the ultimate in playback quality with perfect separation, low distortion, and freedom from ticks and pops. Only the "ticks and pops" were aided by open reel; but there were the penalties of much higher prices, poor quality tape, tape threading, and a collection of tapes took up a lot of space! I just read of Ampex recording "Dolby" tapes for a dollar or two premium. Dolby was also "the savior" of the cassette trying to rescue it from the limitations of it's narrow trakcs and 1 7/8" speed. All are in the "where are they now" file (after the buying public thought they would provide silence and eliminate tape hiss. I've enjoyed great high frequency hearing, and now at old age it is getting compromised; but I have to say that tape hiss never was a distraction to me, after all I had a toy tape recorder one Christmas (rim drive, awful for music) and then the wondrous Wollensak T1515 with the stereo preamp built in. Then part-time jobs doing recording and just a few professional things and tape hiss was simply not a problem. The manufacturers though it was grave concern. Give me a break. My 40+ old open reels sound great. Yes, as the years go by they do pick up more hiss. The ideal, for me, has been the 44.1khz sampled CD. Some say "not sampled at a high enough rate" but for the analog originals we enjoy we get ALL the fidelity of the Lp and none of the drawbacks. Now the movers and shakers of the industry are reaching for the day when "all spinning media" is gone. Streaming everything. Fidelity is not that big a deal, it's "good enough." I prefer to buy the movies I really like and enjoy them over and over. The belong here on the shelf, not somewhere in "the cloud." Streaming? It is mediocre in quality and when it pauses to buffer you just have to "deal with it." I'll be gone by the time this stuff is the standard, and will not miss LOSSY COMPRESSION at all.
Open reel was an attempt, many times just a dollar grab, at high quality delivery of recordings to anxious hi-fi buyers. Like 8-tracks and cassettes, the number of albums in these formats was limited, and you can find all the details of what format each album was available on over the years on Alan Bunting's site.
Percy Faith orchestra with vocalist Buddy Clark put together these radio shows for the Armed Forces Radio Network. There are about 10 shows available on this site, that were rescued and restored by the late Wally Antuck years ago. Though I have many more episodes, there appears to be no interest in them, so unless I hear from web site visitors that they are interesting listening, no more shows will be included.
Recent scrutiny of my web logs show there are more visitors to the WQMR/WGAY related pages than there are for the Percy Faith Pages. Truly amazing, evidently more people remember or want to remember one of the country's finest pioneers of the "beautiful music" format on the radio before the "me-too"ers descended upon the radio dial with their syndicated imitations. WQMR/WGAY used real record albums, real announcers; it wasn't just a couple tape recorders playing music obtained from a syndicator. Ed Winton made this a station you could always enjoy, and gave us a break from announcers who talked too much and brought us "just the music." When Ed left for Florida and Bob Chandler took over the duties, Bob did an excellent job of continuing the "quarter hour cluster" (OK, 12-13 minutes, sometimes less if sales were good) format and said in one interview that every quarter hour segment had a "beginning, a middle and an end." Without even realizing it, listeners only knew it was a radio station you could enjoy all day and all night. It was indeed mostly string dominated orchestras; at times you might hear a vocal track during a 1 hour time span - or you might not hear a vocal for 3 hours in a row. I guess it was "just a job" for some of the station personnel - who wouldn't expect their expert packaging of "great albums of beautiful music" into "clusters" with headlines on the hour, a brief weather segment at :15 and "paragraph length" news again at :30, sports at :45 (sometimes), and back to news headlines - 3 - very few sentences, just the headlines - on the hour, then back to the music. It is closely related to Percy Faith and other arranger-conductors, because this is the format that put their music on the air and until the stations marched in lock-step into the fifty flavors of ROCK, a very successful format. I have no more information to add to the site, and while researching had some bad experiences trying to find the material (and good experiences as well, Bob Chandler - long before the internet - recorded several tracks from the beat-up thematic records that contained the ORIGINAL harps (inserted between songs, seemingly between everything), and lots of thematic "beds" of instrumental origin that were used for station/PSA announcements/sign off music. Look (listen to) at radio NOW. I'm intrigued that there is still interest, but reluctantly have to say that the NAB open reels of "board maintenance music" (same format, same music selection process used, just no news or commercials) AND the manyh open reels of "Matinee At One" (the station's narrated original cast and broadway show albums that were broadcast at 1pm Sundays) came to a bad end.
Check out Amazon.com,THE VIRGINIAN series is available on DVD. Percy Faith wrote the famous theme, but I can only account for about 2 1/2 episodes Percy scored from start to finish, and it's really difficult to listen and determine how much was "borrowed" from the pilot and used throughout season 1, and the Season 2 episode 1 isn't scored by Faith, I believe episode 3 is, however. I do have some of the raw "takes" from the pilot episode, fascinating listening. Percy Faith never recorded the theme played "straight" in stereo, but does have a "jazzed up" version included on the album CS 9009, The Love Goddesses, which includes the beautiful "Celia's Waltz" from the pilot - though in the television show scored with strings and flutes, and in this version the melody is often given to the saxophone (which Percy often did).
Percy Faith? Japan?Starting in 1966, Percy began concert tours of about a month's duration, around 20 cities, throughout Japan, where people loved to hear his renditions of popular music, including Gershwin and showtunes. Through all these years, Percy's original manuscripts brought his arrangements to life in Japanese concert halls, to listeners young, old, and in-between. Too bad it can't happen in the "corporate" environment of the United States... In the spring of 1976, just a short time after Percy's death, the concert that sadly became a "tribute to Percy Faith" was conducted by DAVID ROSE. Then for many years, Alan Broadbent took the baton, followed in the 90's by the late Nick Perito. Orchestra manager Terry Woodson, conductor for Frank Sinatra, Jr., now conducts the live sounds of Percy Faith arrangements via tours of several Japanese cities every few years.
You can see the liner notes in the photo below are in Japanese, here is a translation from jazz collector Keizo Takada of Tokyo - Keizo got me copies of Koga and Hattori when first released. This translation is excerpted from a letter to me from Keizo dated February 25, 1976:
"It was just after the War when I heard the name of Percy Faith for the first time. I had been attracted by the music of Kostelanetz with its flavor of symphonic jazz before I heard Percy Faith, and when I received the record of my melodies made by Percy Faith, I was so excited that I felt as though I was a child. As I enjoyed the Koga Melodies Lp, I had looked forward to hearing the Percy Faith arrangements of my melodies. The arrangements are unique. I am an arranger myself and I heard his arrangements with critical ears, however, his arrangements, with preludes and interludes which I could never think of, utterly knocked me down. I felt unavoidable difference in attitude toward music which probably came from cultural difference. The same can be said if I arranged some American music. It is very welcome that many Japanese music melodies are played by various musicians abroad and that Japanese melodies are introduced to world music lovers. I look forward to seeing Percy Faith on his next trip to Japan. - Ryoichi Hattori"
(concert photos above courtesy Toshiho Namba)
(a very incomplete tribute to a great bunch of albums recorded on the RCA Camden (cheap) label with wonderful music by such conductors as William Hill-Bowen and Johnny Douglas; if you run across these in dusty used record shops, they are fine albums in spite of their, er, economical packaging and sometimes bad pressings; to me the work of Douglas, Bowen, and several others really makes up a lot of the backbone of what we used to enjoy on "beautiful music" formatted stations.
Contenental Music/Romantic Music; Malaguena; Music from South Pacific/The Sound of Music; VIVA (the music of Mexico)/Exotic Strings; TOUCHDOWN; Koga Melodies/Hattori Melodies, incredibly good remastering from the analog originals in this collection.
note that two or three may be temporarily out of stock perhaps for a few weeks - but I'm really happy to report that none of these are in the "cut-out" status!
view some original cover art that predates what you see in the current reissues - plus a couple albums from Japan - Music Of Christmas, Continental Music, Romantic Music, Music Until Midnight, Kismet, Music from Hollywood, My Fair Lady, The Sound of Music, Hattori Melodies, and The Crystal Sound Orchestra (explanation on that page). Here's an alternate cover to Hattori Melodies
The Collectables series:
COL9554 - Easy Listening Classics (previously released, omnibus collection)
COL 7635 - Columbia Singles Volume One
COL 7636 - Columbia Singles Volume Two
COL 7653 - I Think I Love You
COL 7815 - THE OSCAR (soundtrack)
COL 7692 - Columbia Singles Volume Three
CHECK THE COLLECTABLES PAGE if money is an object - some of these CD's are occasionally given deep discounts - check with the website www.oldies.com
Collectables forgot the liner notes on the below mentioned album titles (and a few others as well); click on the title to read them!
Dolly (Mary) Faith, Percy's widow, passed away on Thanksgiving Day, 1997. Here are some PHOTOS I took at the Faith home in 1991, including one or two of Mrs. Faith. Then here are a few more PHOTOS (including Toshiaki Sato) and finally - photos of two sheet music covers
a formal black&white picture of Percy Faith
a picture of Percy Faith and Bill (me)
a picture of Percy Faith, Sergeant Harry Gleeson (USAF Band) and Tom Gauger (WMAL Radio)
Bill (high school, photo taken at an elementary school, taping THE COMMODORES (US Navy Stage Band) circa 1971; HS teacher loaned the tape to someone and it was never seen again. You can only see the back of my head seated in front of the tape recorder. It was a great recording of a great band, and some unknown Washingtonian has the tape, who shouldn't...
These pictures were taken March 23, 1974 at the WMAL radio studios on Jennifer Street in Washington, DC, the day before a concert with Percy Faith as guest conductor of the USAF Concert Band with the Singing Sergeants at DAR Constitution Hall the following day (Sunday, March 24, 1974).
Here are some "nostalgic" photos/reviews taken from a 1955 concert tour Percy did with Tony Bennett. Sadly, the very page with the most Percy Faith information, and his picture, was torn out, but it's still very interesting!
Rather too shy to write to Percy Faith I initially composed a letter (didn't keep a copy) to Irving Townsend, here is Faith's response!
Percy Faith's own listings of his arrangements - these files are NOT searchable:
Album Listing Orchestral Numbers Vocals
Same Listings but SEARCHABLE (larger downloads) thanks to Alan Bunting for creating searchable .pdf's from my originals; makes looking to see "did Percy arrange ___ song" EASY!
ALAN BUNTING's website http://pelstream.co.uk is the ultimate Faith resource with a complete discography (something you won't find here!) and much more for the collector. Alan has a tremendous discography complete with cover art and the various catalog numbers applied over the decades. Alan has assembled a magnificent reference, where my "pre-PC and mainframe computer" efforts a few years before were very crude.
http://www.duttonvocalion.com/ - the great LONDON records on CD!
These are wonderful recordings from London/Decca that we have all loved - Ronnie Aldrich and his "twin pianos" (well, not really twin pianos but some good twin-tracking and pan-potting), Stanley Black, Frank Chacksfield, etc... Many of the recordings have been perfectly remastered and reissued through Michael Dutton's website and it is must reading for mood musicians. Here you will find the great London Phase 4 records. Please check out your favorite artists from London Records (Decca in the UK) here!
Here you will find a LOT of great music in a wide range of interests and going waaay back in time. Well worth a visit... please stop by! Robert Farnon records, even (gasp) Mantovani... there's a lot of great music here.
The ROBERT FARNON Society web page - Visit http://www.rfsoc.freeserve.co.uk to read about/join the Society, that has done a magnificent job of maintaining, through the years, a keen interest in "our" type of music.
RAY CONNIFF The late Ray Conniff has two tremendous websites and publications, click here and below for details!
Doug Mitchell's site: http://www.rayconniff.info/
Manfred Thonicke's RAY CONNIFF web page: http://www.thoenicke.homepage.t-online.de/rayconniff/index.htm
CD's of vintage music www.deltamusic.co.uk
THE JOY BOYS: Washington DC's long-running, perfect example of how great live radio could be - and now Robert Bybee has a website devoted to their on-air antics. There's been nothing on the air for us "geezers" for a long time. Some people had their tapes rolling, and on the Joy Boys site, you'll hear some clips of "live radio" gems. By all means please drop by http://www.thejoyboys.com and enjoy some sounds of two of the most talented gentlemen of the airwaves.
Speaking of Washington, DC, I was born there, though my first trip home at two weeks of age was to the Maryland suburbs of DC. Through the web I can relive the local and national television shows that served as light education and a lot of just plain fascination as a kid - heck, gosh, gee, everyone remembers Bozo The Clown, right? Can you say WILLARD SCOTT??? Many of the shows and themes depicted here are local to the Washington area. What's very interesting relating to music, is that we've found that a couple of the tremendously popular shows used Percy Faith themes (Countdown Carnival used "Little Bells and Big Bells" - Captain Tugg used Faith's arrangement of "Bluebell" - and we just found out that Mitch Miller did the music for the "Ranger Hal" program. Visit Bob Bell's site and see the shows we watched as brats I mean perfect children in the 50's and 60's!!! http://kidshow.dcmemories.com/. Bob's site will bring back childhood memories of the television shows that some of our group of "aging boomers" grew up on - with a special emphasis, of course, on those shows from the Washington, DC television stations aimed at the kiddies
Entire Web Site Copyright © 1995-2013 Bill Halvorsen
Historical music/films are for historical purposes only, DRM free, no cookies, no ads; please do let me know if they are of interest! The quality of the older films in particular cannot be improved, these are the originals, but please remember we used VHS (ugh) tape for many years and some films of Percy's were only kept as analog HI-8 or more frequently VHS. Now you can't even go into a store and buy a VHS tape.
Microsoft has announced that Frontpage 2003 security updates will be discontinued in 4/2014 and so I predict this site will have to be discontinued before then. Web sites are now created by "consultants" and not home computer users like me, the web is now one big commercial with various hooks into your computer to sell you something. It's sad to have seen this happen.