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By happy, or otherwise, coincidence, last Sunday marked the 75th anniversary of The Great Escape, the World War II prison camp breakout which spawned a hit movie and an England football anthem.
The theme music from the 1963 film, composed by Elmer Bernstein, is as much a part of our national soundtrack as Jerusalem, Land Of Hope And Glory and Waterloo Sunset.
Years - Proms - Elmer - Hollywood - Songbook
A few years ago, I was invited to the Proms for Elmer’s Hollywood Songbook concert, which included his music from The Magnificent Seven, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments.
Bernstein was conducting, and when the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra launched into The Great Escape, the audience at the Royal Albert Hall rose to its feet, as a man and woman, clapping and singing along.
Da-da - Da - Da-da
Da-da, da, da-da.
Night - Guardianistas - Bunch - Smurfs - EU
Never mind The Last Night, and all those blue and yellow, face-painted Guardianistas, looking like a bunch of Smurfs, and waving EU flags, while trying to hijack one of the great events in the British calendar to promote their own political bigotry.
The spontaneous Great Escape sketch was the best thing I’d ever seen at Sir Henry Wood’s gaff. In the words of the great Chuck Berry, the joint was rockin’.
Everything - Bob - Dylan - Eric - Clapton
And, trust me, I’ve seen everything from Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and the opera La Boheme to Joan Baez, Carl Perkins and Wilko Johnson, Canvey Island’s finest, at the Albert Hall.
I was even there the day Gerald Ratner crashed his company by telling the Institute of Directors conference that some of the jewellery he was knocking out was not worth the price of a Marks & Spencer prawn sandwich.
Bernstein - Concert - Elite - Nights - Smug
The Bernstein concert wasn’t one of those poncey metropolitan elite nights, where smug, self-reverential ‘intellectuals’ disguise their moral and financial impoverishment inside shiny dinner suits from the Oxfam shop, and parade their superior disdain for the...
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