was born in 1911, and he started to learn the piano at the
age of seven. He won a scholarship to London's Trinity College
of Music when aged only thirteen, where he studied many areas
of music including theory, harmony, orchestration and composition.
He completed his studies by the age of eighteen, and began
his professional career playing in various orchestras. Within
a year he became London's youngest West End conductor at the
Prince of Wales Theatre.
recording career began with EMI in 1933, and during the following
years he directed and played piano and harpsichord on 78s
with many leading bands, including Teddy Foster, Henry Jacques,
The New Mayfair Dance Orchestra, Harry Roy and Jack Simpson
- as well as lesser-known ensembles with intriguing titles
such as The Bravour Dance Orchestra, The Celestial Beings
and The Bunkhouse Boys. However the vast majority of his numerous
pre-war records had his own name on the label, directing diverse
groups like The Seven Kings of Rhythm, Busketeers, Swing on
Strings, Rhythm on Reeds and Don Miguel and his Cuban Music
(one of his many pseudonyms, some others being Louise Duke,
Jose Belmonte, Ricardo Lamarr and Don Felipe). During the
Second World War he made numerous sides for Decca's 'Music
While You Work' series. From 1935 to 1939 Philip Green was
closely associated with the commercial radio programmes which
were beamed towards Britain from the continent of Europe -
sometimes as many as seventeen broadcasts a week. Clearly
his later reputation as a workaholic had its roots very early
in his career. The commercial stations were forced to close
down during the war, so he transferred his allegiance to the
BBC, where he was responsible for several popular shows including
"Salute to Rhythm", "Band Call", "Cuban Caballeros" and "Music
Society for Lower Basin Street".
years he was a 'house arranger/conductor' at Decca, accompanying
many of their star vocalists such as Gracie Fields, Denny
Dennis, Donald Peers and Anne Shelton. From the mid-1940s
onwards he was responsible for more than 150 film scores,
some of the best remembered being: "Romance" featured in "The
Magic Bow" (1946), "Saints and Sinners" (1948), "Man on the
Run" (1949), "Ha'penny Breeze" (1950), "Young Wives' Tale"
(1951), Isn't Life Wonderful" (1952), "The Yellow Balloon"
(1952), "Park Plaza 605" (1953), "Conflict of Wings" (1954),
"One Good Turn" (1954), "John and Julie" (1954), "The March
Hare" (1956), "Carry on Admiral" (1957), "Sea Fury" (1958),
"The Square Peg" (1958), "Violent Playground" (1958), "Operation
Amsterdam" (1959), "Sapphire" (1959), "Make Mine Mink" (1960),
"The League of Gentlemen" (1960), "The Singer Not The Song"
(1961). "Victim" (1961), "Tiara Tahiti" (1962), "A Stitch
in Time" (1963), "Masquerade" (1964), "The Intelligence Men"
(1965) and "The Yellow Hat" (1967). Green's themes for "John
and Julie" and "The March Hare" both won Ivor Novello Awards.
his prestige in the British film industry that Philip Green
was eventually appointed resident musical director of the
Rank Organisation. All this work for the cinema was being
achieved at the same time as he was making the occasional
commercial recordings, and also composing numerous pieces
of mood music for major London publishers including Chappell
& Co., Francis Day & Hunter, Paxton and EMI's Photoplay Music,
where he ultimately became the only contributor to the catalogue.
and television credits were numerous: the BBC's early TV feature
"Picture Page" used his "Shopping Centre" (resulting in a
commercial recording by Charles Williams), and one of the
Light Programme's most popular comedies "Meet the Huggetts"
featured "Horse Feathers" as its signature tune - both these
numbers originated from the Chappell Recorded Music Library.
Two ITV shows "Ghost Squad" and "The Golden Shot" had Philip
Green was not as prolific in the commercial recording studios
compared with some of his peers (he was too busy on other
projects), but his post-war single releases included ten 78s
for MGM, and similar numbers for Decca, Columbia, Parlophone
and Top Rank. In addition he arranged and conduct several
memorable LP albums including: "Moments in Mayfair", "Follow
The Sun" and "Pan-American Panorama" (for EMI Columbia); "Wings
of Song" (Top Rank); and tributes to great song-writers such
as Rodgers and Hammerstein, Jerome Kern and Irving Berlin
the end of his career he moved to Ireland, where he developed
his interest in music with a religious theme. Two which he
regarded with particular pride were "St Patrick's" and "Children's
Masses for Choir and Orchestra". Philip Green died late in
1982 in Dublin, following a long illness; his widow Dorothy
died in 1995.
them are remembered today through the Philip and Dorothy Green
Music Trust which, in July 2002, awarded Making Music, the
National Federation of Music Societies, the largest single
donation in its 65-year history, in the form of a gift of
£310,000. This was granted to secure for the future the Making
Music Award for Young Concert Artists and to set up a new
Composer in Residence scheme for Making Music. The gift was
accompanied by a proportion of the annual composer royalties
accruing to the Philip and Dorothy Green estate.