The MGM Jubilee Overture Arranged by Johnny Green, Reconstructed and Conducted by John Wilson, and Played by The John Wilson Orchestra

Since 2004, when John and his eponymous orchestra first played this reconstituted medley, by MGM’s best-known music director, at the 2,900-seat Royal Festival Hall, it has become sort of their signature piece which they’ve played all over the world, from Sydney to Berlin. I can’t imagine how John was able to transcribe the score directly from hearing this lusterless 1954 film short, but my darling has the gift of patience and commitment.

John Wilson MGM Berlin
One of those rare moments when John conducted without his baton, which fell out of his grasp but was retrieved seconds later by an alert string player. Berlin, 2016.

Here are the numbers (I’ll add the composers later): “Singin’ In the Rain”; “I’ve Got You Under My Skin”; “Broadway Rhythm”; “The Last Time I Saw Paris”; “Temptation” (shades of Tony Martin!); “Be My Love” (shades of Mario Lanza!); “The Trolley Song” (with the Judy sound); “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe” (more Judy sound); “Donkey Serenade”; and “Over the Rainbow” (the Judy sound of all Judy sounds).

The last two numbers, “Donkey” and “Rainbow” were obvious tributes to Green’s late predecessor, Oscar-winner (for The Wizard of Oz score, which John reconstructed by ear), Herbert Stothart.

Deleted: 2 bars plus “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” and John, I’d really like having a little chinwag with you re Philip Lane’s remarks etc one of these days.

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