Johnny Douglas 1920 - 2003
A selection of the Many Tributes
Johnny Douglas was a brilliant musician and arranger and because he was so naturally talented it was a joy to work with him. He was meticulous in every aspect of his life, from his appearance to his musical scoring. Johnny had a great sense of humour, always a twinkle in the eye and could extract the best from his artistes. He has gone but his lovely music will live on."
Moira Anderson, Recording Artist
I have known and worked with Johnny Douglas for the last thirty years on many of his recording projects for film and record. He was a very fine musician, conductor and composer and respected by his peers. He was always very well prepared and meticulously organised in the recording studio and always achieved the very best from everyone involved in his recording projects. His quiet relaxed manner was always maintained throughout the sessions. He kept light music alive in an era dominated by rock music and carried on writing the kind of music he loved. He was a true gentleman of the old school of British composers, the like of which we shall never see again. The world of light music will not be the same without him”
Mike Ross-Trevor, Recording Engineer, Sony Studios
What a marvellous man of music he was, but his melodies will linger on.
David Jacobs, BBC Radio 2
We have all enjoyed his music for so many years and his passing marks yet another unhappy milestone in the history of British music making. He will be missed by many people.
David Aylott, BBC Radio 2
I was sorry to hear of the recent passing of Johnny Douglas. We often feature his kind of music on this programme (Memorable Melodies) and I thought you might like to know that I broadcast a special tribute to Johnny in Sunday’s show.
As I’m sure you will agree, we live in an era when there is all too little light music heard on the air and I regard it as part of my job to try
and keep the name of people like Johnny Douglas before the public as much as possible.
Mike Carey, BBC Radio Derby
When I learned of Johnny’s death I played all the sound track music of “The Railway Children”. I had some wonderful audience reaction – but then he composed it!
Frank Wappat, BBC Radio Newcastle
I have admired his great talent, nay genius, for many years and will treasure and play his delightful records. I believe, he still lives in the playing of his music.
Peter Mallan, Radio Clyde
I had the privilege of meeting him just once when I interviewed him. He was charming and modest and sadly there aren’t enough like him in the world. I shall continue to play his music whenever I have the opportunity.
David Webb, BBC Radio Suffolk
It was a pleasure to work with John for so many years – his music brought much happiness throughout the world. The music world has lost a very special artist – however, his music will live on.
Ethel Gabriel, A & R Producer RCA, USA
What a great man and friend.
Beebe Bourne, Bourne Music, USA
He was a consummate professional, and above all else a gentleman who was always kind and receptive.
Phil Stout, Record Producer, USA
Just like Percy Faith, Johnny Douglas contributed an incredibly rich “string-based orchestral sound” that made the listening experience something we’ll never have again. Happily, as with Percy Faith, we have Johnny’s legacy in records. We have lost a GIANT of beautiful music, one who enriched the radio waves for many years.
Bill Halvorsen, Percy Faith Society, USA
The music world will never be the same! The gentle, shimmering, relaxing, and pure music he arranged, conducted and wrote will be sorely missed in world that could greatly profit from his touch of genius. I greatly treasure the letters Johnny Douglas sent me several years before his entrance into heaven. He was a gentleman par excellence. I know how you must miss him. How grateful we all are that you are keeping his music alive! One of my all-time favorites is "Dulcima." I keep looking for a DVD reissue of that movie since I would imagine the score is unbelievably beautiful, just like that of "The Railway Children."
Mike Pennock, Ohio, USA
Johnny’s music enriched all our lives in so many ways, but we take a small measure of comfort from the knowledge that he must have known how much we admired and loved the beautiful sounds he created.
David Ades, The Robert Farnon Society
Truly a man of remarkable and diverse musical talents whose name will live on for as long as people enjoy listening to good music.
Gerry Stonestreet, In Tune International
It was very exacting to play under his baton. Second best was not good enough. The written music was correct and it had to be played correctly and well. But unlike many conductors he was quietly firm, persistent and polite.”
Bill Geldard, Trombonist
It was always such a pleasure and privilege to work with John. He will be remembered for the high standards he set and expected from others.
Derek Collier, Violinist
He was a true gentleman to work with and I am so sorry that he didn’t manage to complete his “symphony”.
Jane Pickles, Flautist
The music industry has lost one of its finest romantics, and I myself feel privileged and indeed honoured, to have been allowed to play a small part in the musical world of the wonderful Johnny Douglas.
Andy Taylor, Saxophonist
It was indeed a privilege to have known him and to have been chosen consistently to play on his sessions.
Peter Boita, Drummer
As a personal friend I shall miss him, and I feel very honoured to have played for such a wonderful musician (50 years).
Ted Barker, Trombonist
I first met Johnny back in the 70s in the BBC Radio Orchestra where he was a firm favourite MD with the players. Johnny was not only a superb musician and arranger but also a real gentleman and the sort of person one looks forward to working with.
Sylvia Mann, Cellist
I have always had the greatest admiration for John not only as a fellow musician but as an honest and upright person. A fond goodbye to Johnny Douglas, a greatly admired musician and above all a perfect gentleman.
Ted Simkins, Bass Guitarist
Johnny was such a special person. I remember the marvellous atmosphere of the “Dulcima” recording sessions. Unusual in these modern times was the personal friendliness and professionalism combined – which I try to emulate with our ensemble, as I’m sure everyone does who experienced it.
Gay Byam-Grounds, English Serenata
I am an avid Radio 2 listener and he gave pleasure to so many listeners.
Sheila Monaghan, Middx
His music lives on and will be enjoyed by millions for many, many years.
Simon Endacott, London
With his wonderful music, he left behind something very special, and so long as we have these memories, he will live on in our hearts and minds.
Michael Webbon, Hampshire