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George Posford

(1906—1976) composer


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b. Benjamin George Ashwell, 23 March 1906, Folkestone, Kent, England, d. 24 April 1976, Worplesdon, Surrey, England. Graduating from Cambridge University, Posford planned a law career but the successful interpolation in an early 30s touring version of Lavender of a song he had written with Rodney Hobson prompted him towards a new career. After studying at the Royal College of Music, Posford composed many songs, often with librettist-lyricist Eric Maschwitz. For radio, they wrote Goodnight, Vienna, which then became a 1932 film, starring Anna Neagle and Jack Buchanan (US title: Magic Night), and a stage show. Posford and Maschwitz then wrote The Gay Hussar (1933), which, revised and with additional music by Bernard Grun, opened at London’s Adelphi Theatre as Balalaika (1936) where it ran for 570 performances. The hit song, hastily written by Posford and Maschwitz, was ‘At The Balalaika’. The 1939 film version starred Nelson Eddy and Ilona Massey. Maschwitz, Posford and Grun also composed Paprika (1938), which flopped, but a revised version, Magyar Melody, ran at His Majesty’s Theatre for 105 performances. To the original score was added ‘Mine Alone’, composed by Manning Sherwin, which outlived the show.

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From Encyclopedia of Popular Music in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Music.


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