Frank Chacksfield Biography

9 May 1914, Battle, Sussex, England, d. 9 June 1995. After early training on the piano and organ, Chacksfield led small groups in the late 30s before becoming arranger for the Stars In Battledress entertainment unit in World War II. His first radio broadcast was Original Songs At The Piano from Glasgow, and during the late 40s he worked with comedian Charlie Chester’s Stand Easy, making his recording debut accompanying Chester’s resident singer, Frederick Ferrari. He also conducted for the Henry Hall and Geraldo orchestras, and later formed his own band, the Tunesmiths. In 1953, he had a hit with the novelty ‘Little Red Monkey’, with composer Jack Jordan on the clavioline. Later that year, with a 40-piece orchestra featuring a large string section, Chacksfield made the Top 10 in the UK and US charts with Charles Chaplin’s ‘Terry’s Theme From Limelight ’, repeating the process in 1954 with his version of ‘Ebb Tide’. Both records, with their richly scored arrangements, became million-sellers. He had further success in the 50s with ‘In Old Lisbon’, ‘Donkey Cart’, ‘Flirtation Waltz’, ‘Memories Of You’, and another Chaplin theme, ‘Smile’. He had his own weekly radio programme for a time, and in later years continued to broadcast regularly in programmes such as Friday Night Is Music Night. His many albums reflected music from all over the world, as well as featuring the work of various popular composers.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.