Friday, August 8

Memories - Colonel Bogey March

I heard this played on the ABC this morning and it bought back memories.  I didn't know the story behind it, but I certainly recall it from my childhood.  It was a popular piece for large events - I can recall bands playing it and me (and others) marching.  Even today I marched (for a few minutes!!!) to it.

From Wikipedia.

"The "Colonel Bogey March" is a popular march that was written in 1914 by Lieutenant F. J. Ricketts (1881–1945), a British Armybandmaster who later became the director of music for the Royal Marines at Plymouth.

Since at that time service personnel were not encouraged to have professional lives outside the armed forces, British Army bandmaster F. J. Ricketts published "Colonel Bogey" and his other compositions under the pseudonym Kenneth Alford.[1] Supposedly, the tune was inspired by a military man and golfer who whistled a characteristic two-note phrase (a descending minor third interval About this sound Play ) instead of shouting "Fore!". It is this descending interval that begins each line of the melody. The name "Colonel Bogey" began in the later 19th century as the imaginary "standard opponent" of the Colonel Bogey scoring system,[2] and by Edwardian times the Colonel had been adopted by the golfing world as the presiding spirit of the course.[3] Edwardian golfers on both sides of the Atlantic often played matches against "Colonel Bogey".[4] Bogey is now a golfing term meaning "one over par".  "





I found another recording of it - by Mitch Miller.  Boy, that brings back memories too.  I remember listening to his music too, and I loved it.  He did the music for "Bridge over the River Kwai"

This text was from Youtube.  

"Uploaded on 7 May 2009

RIP Mitch Miller!  He died 99 years old.

Mitchell William Miller (July 4, 1911 - July 31, 2010) was an American musician, singer, conductor, record producer, A&amp:R man and record company executive.  He was one of the most influential figures in American popular music during the 1950's and early 1960's.

In the early 1950's Miller recorded with Columbia's house band as "Mitchell Miller and His Orchestra". He also recorded a string of successful albums and singles, featuring a male chorale and his own distinctive arrangements, under the name "Mitch Miller and the Gang" starting in 1950.  The ensemble's hits included "Tzena, Tzena, Tsena", "The Yellow Rose of Texas", and the two marches from The Bridge on the River Kwai.  "The River Kwai March and Colonel Bogey March"

The Bridge on the River Kwai is a British 1957 World War II film by David Lean; based on the novel The Bridge over the River Kwai by French writer Pierre Boulle.  The film is a work of fiction but borrows the construction of the Burma Railway in 1942-43 for its historical setting.  It stars Alec Guinness, Sessue Hayakawa, Jack Hawkins and William Holden.

In 1997, this film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" and selected for preservation in the United States Library of Congress National Film Registry. 

Two prisoners of war are burying a corpse in the graveyard of a Japanese World War II prison camp in southern Burma.  One, American Navy Commander Sheers (William Holden), routinely bribes guards to ensure he gets sick duty, which allows him to avoid hard labour.  A large contingent of British prisoners arrives, marching defiantly whistling the Colonel Bogey March under the leadership of Colonel Nicholson (Alec Guinness).

A memorable feature of the film is the tune that is whistled by the POWs - the "Colonel Bogey March" when they enter the camp.  The piece was originally written in 1914 by Kennel Alford "   (Note this differs from the information above). "

If you want to listen to/see the Mitch Miller version - click here.


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