MRMC 051 God rest you merry gentlemen by Andrew Cruickshank

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Release details

Catalogue numberMRMC 051
TitleGod rest you merry gentlemen
Artist(s)Andrew Cruickshank
Record statusNot currently in my collection.

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Item deleted?Yes
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Country of originUK UK flag
Media typeREC 256
Media genreMusic - Religious
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Extra notes on cover, middle (gatefold sleeve) and any inserts

The story of Christmas in words and music compiled by The Rev. W. D. Kennedy-Bell with Andrew Cruichshank and The Saint Martin Singers.
Conductor: W. D. Kennedy-Bell.

'God rest you merry', a daily programme of readings and music for Christmas week, was first broadcast in the BBC Home Service in 1961 and has been repeated in various forms over the years since then. On each occasion many requests have been received for information both about the music, which has always been sung by the Saint Martin Singers, and also about the readings which in 1969 were spoken for the first time by Andrew Cruickshank. Now, with this record, listeners can hear again the series of programmes as a whole, including some of their favourite poems and carols.

The Saint Martin Singers date back to 1942, and owe their origin to a small band of fire-watchers at trhe church of St. Martin-in-the-Fields who in that year began to while away the tedious hours of inactivity by singing together. Almost weekely since then their successors have continued to meet in St. Martin's to sing unaccompanied music of all kinds, dating from mediaeval times to the present day. They call themselves the Saint Martin Singers almost as a battle honour, since they are not otherwise connected with St. Martin's.

Among the things which the Singers enjoy most, and have pioneered, are their programmes of music interwoven with poetry and prose to illustrate a theme, of which those you can hear on this record are examples in miniature. Christmas is always the most popular theme of all because the story of the Nativity has inspired the best in writers and musicians ever since St. Luke wrote the first narrative poem.

Andrew Cruickshank, the actor, needs little or no introduction. He made his first appearance on the London stage in 1930, since when he ahs acted at the Old Vic, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, and in America, and has reached a very wide audience with his television appearancs, notably as Dr. Cameron in 'Dr. Finlay's Casebook'. He is a keen student of theology and has become well known for his readings of religious prose and poetry.

The Rev. W. D. Kennedy-Bell was on the staff of St. Martin-in-the-Fields when he first became conductor of The Saint Martin Singers in 1947. A year later, he joined the Religious Broadcasting Department at the BBC as Overseas Religious Broadcasting Organiser, a post which he held until his retirement from the BBC in 1975. He has been responsible for many radio and other programmes which combine music with the spoken word. he is also Reader at The Temple Church in London.

Other versions

I have other similar versions, here is the 'primary' release in the database:
REC 256God rest you merry gentlemen

Other versions

I have the title track on these releases:
[albums]REC 429Christmas carols from Canterbury Cathedral

Further information

BBC Radio Enterprises Ltd and BBC Enterprises Ltd, predecessors of BBC Worldwide / BBC Worldwide Ltd., the BBC's commercial arm. Formed 1968 and 1979 respectively, they were a subsidiary wholly owned by the BBC and merged into BBC Worldwide in 1995. In that time, there were companies set up within or structured brands as part of the company to deal with separate parts of the business, e.g. BBC Records for recorded audio. Sometimes written as BBC Enterprise Ltd.

The items shown here are from the "main" BBC Records and Tapes library covering a wide secletion of genres from themes, comedy dramas and others, depending on which format you have selected.


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