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Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Reg Owen born 3 February 1921

Reg Owen (3 February 1921 – 23 May 1978) was an English conductor and arranger.
Although reference books wildly stab at Reg Owen's year of birth anywhere from 1900 to 1929, and the location as far north as Lancashire, he was in fact born George Owen Smith on 3 February 1921 at the Lower Clapton end of Hackney, east London.
His father Albert Edward Smith was a silk salesman, but young "Reg," as he liked to be called, preferred a musical career. He began playing the saxophone at the age of 15. He played in local groups such as Teddy Joyce's Juveniles and the Royal Kiltie Juniors, before founding his own ensemble whilst still in his teens. He studied with Benny Glassman and then attended the Royal College of Music.
Following RAF service, in which he played for the Bomber Command Band, he became arranger for the Ted Heath orchestra from 1945, then arranged for other conductors including Cyril Stapleton. When he joined the PRS in 1954 he decided to change his name legally to "Reginald Owen."
Regarded as one of England's leading orchestrators, Reg published his book "The Reg Owen Arranging Method" in 1956. His own film scores date from 1957, including the scores to Date with Disaster (1957), Payroll (1961) and Very Important Person (1961).

In 1959, he even scored a Top 40 hit in the U.S. with "Manhattan Spiritual". The song was issued on the small Palette label in the USA and began its climb in December 1958, ultimately reaching number 10 in February 1959. Meanwhile, the record was issued in the UK on Pye International, where it reached number 20. Owen placed one other single on the UK chart, ‘Obsession’, which peaked at #43 in the UK in October 1960 . None of his albums,
including those recorded for RCA Records prior to ‘Manhattan Spiritual’s success, charted in either country.
I He moved to Brussels in 1961, though he continued to arrange, compose and conduct albums all over Europe, including France, Germany and Italy. Moving finally to Spain, Reg's untimely death at 57 occurred at the Clinica Limonar, Malaga, on 23 May 1978, and was notified to the British Consul in Madrid by his widow Maria Luisa. (Info edited mainly from All Music Guide & IMDB)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “Reg Qwen – Obsession” go here:

1. Oh But I Do
2. Ask Anyone Who Knows
3. Was That the Human Thing To Do
4. Every Day
5. Please Don't Talk About Me
6. Twenty Four Hours of Sunshine
7. When Hearts Are Young
8. Keep Smiling At Trouble
9. Have a Little Faith In Me
10. Love Will Find a Way
11. A Little Kiss Each Morning
12. Suddenly [From Ziegfeld Follies 1933]
13. Cuddle Up a Little Closer
14. What is This Thing Called Love
15. You Oughta Be In Pictures
16. It's Only a Paper Moon
17. Pretty Baby
18. Thou Swell
19. If I Could Be With You
20. Oh, You Beautiful Doll
21. You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby
22. Dancing On the Ceiling
23. I Guess I'll Have To Change My Plan
24. Let's Put Out the Lights
25. Manhattan Spiritual
26. Ritual Blues
27. Down By the Riverside
28. Obsession