Tuesday, 10 September 2013
John Keating born 10 September 1927
John Keating also known as Johnny Keating (born 10 September 1927, Edinburgh, Scotland) is a Scottish musician, songwriter and arranger.
After studying piano and trombone, he taught himself how to arrange and compose in his teens. Having moved down to London he worked with Tommy Sampson in the late 1940s, and then early in the 1950s with the Squadronaires who were then broadcasting regularly on the BBC. He arranged for both bands and in 1950 joined Vic Lewis as lead trombonist for two years before landing a job with Ted Heath as a trombonist. Heath had heard the Squadronaires on the radio and had taken note of the trombone feature that Keating had played.
Through 1952/53 Keating was employed as a trombonist but wrote several original compositions for the band during this time. Don Lusher's arrival put paid to Keating's aspirations as a trombone player for Ted Heath and he left to take up arranging again working for Ambrose and Geraldo.
When Reg Owen, Heath's chief arranger, left in 1954 Keating was invited to fill that role, and he stayed, with just a few short breaks, until the early 1970s before he became the in-house arranger for Decca Records.
In the early 1960s, he and songwriter Johnny Worth (writing as "Les Vandyke") masterminded the career of a minor British pop star, Eden Kane. The team wrote and produced a string of British top 10 hits for Kane in 1961-63. In addition he wrote, produced or arranged hits by Adam Faith, Petula Clark, Anthony Newley, Sammy Davis Jr and many others.
John then went to America, Hollywood; There he wrote the score to the film Hotel, the dance sequence in Ed Wood and the music for many other shows, including the Jean Arthur TV Series.
Back in the UK he scored for the films Robbery and Innocent Bystanders. He wrote two classical compositions, Overture 100 Pipers and Hebridean Impressions, both premiered at the Royal Albert Hall, London in the presence of the Right Hon. The Earl Mountbatten, performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by the composer. Hebridean Impressions was subsequently recorded by the same orchestra, and by Bernard Hermann conducting the New Philharmonia Orchestra. John also programmed and produced a synthesized version for EMI, recorded by the Electronic Philharmonic Orchestra.
John has written or arranged for many greats Ray Anthony, Tony Bennett, Bing Crosby, Sammy Davis Jnr., Johnny Hodges, Mel Tormé Petula Clark, Percy Faith, Ted Heath, Carmen MacRae, Stan
Kenton, Tony Martin, Andre Previn, Shani Wallis and Nancy Wilson and Shirley Horn.
Keating arranged and conducted a series of albums for London's Phase 4 series, notable for its use of synthesiser technology such as the Moog synthesizer and the EMS VSC3. The records were often used as demonstration discs in the 1970s in Hi-Fi stores because of their quality. Much of his work was rereleased following the Lounge music revival of the mid 1990s and its use as breakbeats. Keating tosses a bit of everything into his arrangements--strings, percussion, rock rhythm section, brass, vocal choruses with and without words. Yet his touch is subtle and swinging, understated and never bombastic. His song "Bunny Hop" is featured in the 1994 Tim Burton film, Ed Wood.
His "Theme from Z-Cars", a #5 hit in the UK Singles Chart, was adopted by Everton as their theme song 35 years ago and remains so to this day. Other hits have been Theme from the Onedin Line,
John Keating Conducts (with the London Symphony Orchestra), Ireland with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Big Band Percussion (Ted Heath) and the album Space Experience. Because of its special sound techniques Space Experience was ground breaking and won awards In his copious notes for the booklet accompanying his 4album boxed set Forty Years The Artistry of Tony Bennett (87 titles) the singer says, of John Keatings The Very Thought of You, "This was my all time favourite record to date".As founder and principal of the Johnny Keating School of Music, Edinburgh, John has been directly responsible for the musical education of many students who later became successful professionals.
In 1999 he completed a four–volume academic reference book dedicated to the art of professional songwriting: Principles of Songwriting: A Study in Structure and Technique.
John is now 86 and suffers from Lewy Body Disease.
(Info various mainly Wikipedia & MySpace. Record scan and mp3 courtesy of Lord Of The Boot Sale )