Malcolm LockyerBorn: October 5th, 1923, Greenwich, London (United Kingdom)
Died: June 28th, 1976, London (United Kingdom)
In the 1960s, Lockyer became a much sought-after composer, scoring the music for films like ‘Dr. Who and the Daleks’, ‘Ten little Indians’ (both from 1965), ‘Island of Terror’ (1966) and ‘La loba y la paloma’ (1974). He penned several theme tunes for radio and TV series, most famously that of ‘Friends and Neighbours’ (1959). He composed songs as well, amongst others the instrumental successes ‘Pathfinders March’ and ‘Tearaway Brass’, the latter of which was included by Ole Jensen on his 1972 album.
Lockyer’s abilities as an arranger and conductor were widely recognized. He conducted TV and radio orchestras, most importantly the BBC Revue Orchestra, of which he became the musical director when Harry Rabinowitz switched from BBC Radio to BBC Television; in 1967, the orchestra was renamed the BBC Radio Orchestra. Other ensembles which he led include the BBC Variety Orchestra and the BBC Big Band. Besides, he conducted the film scores for ‘Our Man in Marrakesh’ (1966) and ‘Deadlier than the Male’ (1967). In 1961, he had been hired by Bing Crosby to orchestrate his acclaimed album ‘Holiday in Europe’. Lockyer’s collaborated on several more studio recordings, conducting, amongst many others, the LP ‘The World of Matt Monro’ in 1970. Shortly before he died, he led the Million Airs Orchestra in a series of tribute concerts for Glenn Miller; before the end of the tour, however, he died of throat cancer. Lockyer sometimes used the pseudonym Howard Shaw.
Malcolm Lockyer in the Eurovision Song Contest
At long last, Malcolm Lockyer made his debut on the international Eurovision stage in 1972. That year’s Eurovision Song Contest was accompanied by the BBC Radio Orchestra. Lockyer, being its chief conductor, was commissioned by the BBC to be the musical director of the contest, staged in the Usher Hall in Edinburgh. He did not conduct any entry, though, not even the UK attempt ‘Beg steal or borrow’, for which the arranger of the performing group New Seekers, David Mackay, took over the baton. All orchestrations heard in the contest’s introduction film and the end of the transmission, however, were penned and conducted by Lockyer himself.
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Harry Rabinowitz was the predecessor of Lockyer as chief conductor of the BBC Revue Orchestra: “When I left radio and went over to television, I suggested to him he should consider taking over my position at the Revue Orchestra. At the same time, I recommended him to the BBC… simply because he was a good musician!” (2010)