Angela Morley (Walter Stott)

Angela Morley

Angela Morley 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”. Morley 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. Another short but remembered theme was the 12-note-long “Ident Zoom-2”, written for Lew Grade’s Associated TeleVision (ATV), in use from the introduction of colour television in 1969, until the demise of ATV in 1981. In 1953, Morley began a long association with the Philips record label, arranging for and accompanying the company’s artists, as well as releasing records, including the 1958 album, London Pride. In 1958, Angela Morley began an association with Shirley Bassey, including work for Bassey’s recording of “As I Love You”, which reached Number 1 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1959, and also worked with Dusty Springfield and the first four solo albums by Scott Walker. In 1962 and 1963, Morley 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. He was credited with a drum solo in the 1960 horror film Peeping Tom, which a dancer plays on a tape recorder

In 1961, Angela Morley 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 (an ad hoc recording ensemble) was conducted by Leopold Stokowski, and the choir of professional British singers, as rehearsed by Luboff, performed such favourites as “Deep River”, Handel’s “Largo”, Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring”, Rachmaninoff’s “Vocalise”, etc., under the album’s title Inspiration (also later reissued on a BMG Classics CD). In 1962, Stott arranged and conducted the RCA Red Seal debut album Romantic Italian Songs for Italian-born tenor Sergio Franchi, and later did the arrangements and conducting for Franchi’s 1963 RCA album, Women in My Life. After sex reassignment therapy, 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.

During the 1980s, Angela Morley wrote numerous arrangements for the Boston Pops Orchestra and scored many episodes of television shows, including Dynasty, Dallas, Falcon Crest and Hotel. She was nominated multiple times for Emmy Awards and won for music direction of Julie Andrews television specials. Morley died at Scottsdale, Arizona, on 14 January 2009 of complications from a fall and subsequent heart attack, at the age of 84.

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  • March, 10, 1924
  • United Kingdom
  • Leeds, Yorkshire, England


  • January, 14, 2009
  • USA
  • Scottsdale, Arizona

Cause of Death

  • heart attack

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