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This might only apply to those in Ireland / UK, but you never know ....

The Irish radio station RTÉ Lyric FM schedules two film music-related programmes every week. On Sundays, between 4.30 and 6.30 p.m. (UK time) and on Mondays between 7 and 8 p.m. They also commission occasional film music concerts.

Host Aedín Gormley appears very knowledgeable on the subject of films and music, and is an excellent presenter. I recommend giving it a try, especially tomorrow when she is giving away two copies of John Barry: The Man with the Midas Touch as prizes.

It's available via radio in Ireland, via various TV cable and satellite providers in the UK and on-line anywhere in the world - I think. Go to and test the listen live link if you live outside Ireland.

Saturday, 13 December 2008 15:19

Prometheus release Robin and Marian

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Prometheus are releasing "ROBIN AND MARIAN (COMPLETE SCORE)"

Robin and Marian, PrometheusIN GLORIOUS FULL BODIED MONO

Robin Hood, aging none too gracefully, returns exhausted from the Crusades to woo and win Maid Marian one last time. Sean Connery, Audrey Hepburn, Robert Shaw. Directed by Richard Lester. 1976.


Music Composed, Conducted by John Barry
Performed by The Hollywood Studio Orchestra
All tracks mono

1. MAIN TITLE (Film Version) / LEADING IN 2:48
2. RIDE TO SHERWOOD (Version #2) 2:10
6. OVER THE WALL (Original Version) 2:05
7. THE ESCAPE (Original Version) 2:02
8. NUNS 2:01
12. IN POSITION 2:20

Bonus tracks
17. MAIN TITLE (Alternate Version) / LEADING IN (Alternate Version) 2:52
18. RIDE TO SHERWOOD (Alternate Version ) 2:10
19. END TITLE (Alternate Version-Orchestra Mix) 1:47

Total Time: 47:56

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"John Barry - The Man With the Midas Touch" is now available. Order now! Please visit this page The book is also available from high street bookshops and the usual online (film-music) stores.

John Barry - The Man With The Midas Touch

Reviews, discussions and articles about the book:

- November 2008: book page
- November 2008: Bristol Books and Publishers
- November 2008: Redcliffepress
- December 21, 2008: , discussion forum.
- December 26, 2008: Quinton author's labour of love , "For Quinton author Pete Walker completing his “labour of love” took more than two decades."
- January 16, 2009: Record Collector " top marks all round to everyone involved for getting it so right."
- January 17, 2009: This Is Derbyshire. Interview with Gareth Bramley.
- November 5, 2009: Ain't It Cool "Perhaps one of the most comprehensive and interesting composer biography to hit the shelves in recent memory is JOHN BARRY: THE MAN WITH THE MIDAS TOUCH written by Geoff Leonard, Pete Walker, and Gareth Bramley (you know with three authors it has to be good!). "

Tuesday, 14 October 2008 15:15

JB is apparently appearing on

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The South Bank Show
On: ITV1 (103)
Date: Wednesday 22nd October 2008 (starting in 8 days)
Time: 22:40 to 23:40 (1 hour long)

Bond - Bond.
The world of James Bond is examined in an exclusive profile of one of the most enduring icons of popular culture. This programme looks at the unrivalled impact of Bond, examines the longevity, success and impact of the character, and investigates the creative and artistic aspects particular to the Bond brand. Melvyn Bragg interviews the first James Bond, Sir Sean Connery, and goes behind-the-scenes on the set of the new film Quantum of Solace where he speaks to the current James Bond, actor Daniel Craig, as well as various other members of the cast and crew.

Friday, 10 October 2008 15:14

Possible "Billy" revival

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A workshop of "Billy" took place in early October, apparently with a view to a possible regional tour / West End production.

The cast was:

Lee Mead - Billy Fisher
Denise Welch - Mrs Fisher
Tim Healey - Mr. Fisher
Stephen Matthews - Stamp
Stephen Tate - Shadrack
Sarah Lark - Rita
Georgina Rich - Liz
Kathryn Rooney - Barbara

Directed by Paul Kerryson
Produced by Kenny Wax

Don Black and the writers were apparently in attendance.

Paul Kerryson is the artistic director of the new Leicester Curve Theatre and does do musicals. Kenny Wax is a general manager/producer for a number of shows, usually in collaboration with other, bigger production companies.

If it happens, they might use Leicester as the out-of-town try-out and see how it goes down, then tour it if they think it'll work.

Sunday, 17 August 2008 15:11

Lyrics by Don Black celebrated at London Palladium

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Lyrics by Don Black

The outstanding lyric-writing of Don Black was celebrated on Sunday 17th August at the London Palladium. A BBC Radio 2 presentation, hosted by Sir Michael Parkinson, the star-studded cast included: David Arnold, Jonathan Ansell, Gary Barlow, Elkie Brooks, Craig David, Maria Friedman, Raza Jaffrey, Joe Longthorne, Lee Mead, Ryan Molloy (Jersey Boys) Mica Paris, Matt Rawle, Marti Webb, Hayley Westenra and Michel LeGrand. Musical director Mike Dixon, conducted the seventy-piece Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a tribute that included: 'Born Free', 'Thunderball', 'To Sir With Love', 'Diamonds Are Forever', 'On Days Like These', 'Ben', 'Sam', 'Love Changes Everything', and many more.

There was also a special appearance by Don Black himself and a world premiere of songs from Don's new musical, written with Michel Le Grand, 'The Count Of Monte Cristo'.

Fortunately, the concert was recorded and will be broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on Friday 22nd August at 7.30 p.m. BST.  It's likely that the programme will be available afterwards, for 7 days, as part of BBC's "listen-again" facility. We cannot guarantee, however, that it will be available to those not living in the UK.

Monday, 11 August 2008 15:05

Book Vic Flick, Guitarman by Vic Flick

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Vic Flick, GuitarmanVic Flick, Guitarman (Paperback - 192 pages) by Vic Flick

The John Barry Seven only existed for about eight years, and in truth was only really successful for around half of that time.

Yet all four of the men who led the band during its relatively short existence have now written or had biographies written about them.

John Barry was the first, followed by drummer Bobby Graham, trumpeter Alan Bown and now guitarist Vic Flick becomes the fourth.

His is a fascinating book concerning the life and career of a man who always wanted to make his living through playing the guitar.

By no means a household name on either side of the Atlantic, we learn how Flick nevertheless became the leader of the incomparable John Barry Seven and eventually the man to turn to for those crucial studio recordings.

Read entire article here ...

Available now direct from
the publishers, Bearmanor Media
or from

Saturday, 02 August 2008 15:04

Sound Copyright poses threat to music lovers

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It seems that politicians always think they know better than experts. The Irish EU Commissioner, supposedly charged with guarding Europe's musical heritage, is proposing changes that could well have the opposite effect.

Despite two exhaustive studies which have come down firmly against extending the present 50 year term for sound copyright, the EU wants to raise it to 95 years.

Consider the following scenario:  a major record company issues a recording which does not sell very well, so it is deleted from the catalogue after five years.  Another record company could ask for permission to license the recording for reissue, but it would involve significant payments in fees which would force a high charge to be made for the CD, and possibly render the whole exercise uneconomic. Fifty years after the original recording was released any record company could reissue the music without having to pay a fee, thereby reducing the cost of production, although royalties would still have to be paid to the composers and lyricists. This is the current situation, and it has resulted in a number of small record companies offering the public many interesting, but previously neglected, recordings of unique material which is no longer of any interest to the major record companies.

If the EU proposals become law, the same recording, deleted five years after the original release, could remain 'lost' to music lovers for a further 90 years. Not only would this greatly diminish the wide variety of recordings currently available, it would also deprive many composers of the opportunity to earn royalties on their music.

Surely it is possible to devise a fair scheme whereby the original recording companies retain the copyright so long as they make the recordings continually available to prospective record buyers. If they fail to keep the recordings in their catalogue, then it should fall into the public domain after a few years so that anyone else could release it if they wished. This would ensure that many fine recordings from the past would be available, rather than locked up in record company vaults for longer than the lifetime of most people on earth.

The main concern must surely be to increase the availability of music, to the general advantage of everyone – especially musicians. The fear is that the EU's proposals would have the opposite effect.

Most of the major record companies are part of giant international entertainment conglomerates controlled by accountants in the USA or Japan. Are these really the right people to be charged with the future of Europe's musical heritage?

The British Government has asked for the public's opinions. Please visit the following website and make your feelings known.

If you need further evidence of the weakness of the European Union's proposals, you need look no further than the USA, where the term of sound copyright was increased in the late 1990s. It has resulted in hardly any releases of vintage recordings. American music lovers now look to Europe for recordings of their great artists from the first half of the last century.

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John BarryRTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Nicholas Dodd conductor
John Barry special guest
Aedín Gormley presenter

John Barry, one of the most celebrated film composers of modern times, is guest of honour for this very special evening of his music.

Presented by RTÉ lyric fm's Movies and Musicals and hosted by Aedín Gormley, the concert features famous themes from Goldfinger, Out of Africa, Dances with Wolves, Zulu, Midnight Cowboy, Chaplin and many more, all heard to thrilling dramatic effect with the full might of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.

For tickets:

Tuesday, 12 February 2008 15:03

"It's All Happening" released on DVD

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"It's All Happening" was released on DVD on 28 Jan 2008, Region 2, as part of the Tommy Steele Collection : The Duke Wore Jeans / It's All Happening / The Tommy Steele Story / Tommy The Toreador.

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(info from Intrada website)


Label: Intrada Special Collection Volume 59
Date: 1972
Tracks: 14
Time = 28:18

Mary Queen Of Scots - first time on CD by IntradaWorld premiere CD release of original soundtrack from Hal Wallis production starring Vanessa Redgrave, Glenda Jackson, Patrick McGoohan, Timothy Dalton. Academy Award-nominated score by John Barry anchors with incredibly gentle "Mary's Theme" for harpsichord, strings. In contrast is dynamic secondary theme for brass that heralds 16th century setting. Powerful idea spotlights trumpets with rhythmic idea using two-part harmony while French horns impose powerful, angular theme underneath. Bravura Barry! Varied score also takes dramatic turn with dark material, James Bond-ish ideas plus lovely melody for Vanessa Redgrave to sing ("Vivre et Mourir".) While mono-only scoring elements made rounds for recent Universal DVD presentation, Intrada licensed precious original Decca stereo album masters housed in UMG vaults. While additional music was unavailable for release, Intrada proudly offers entire 1971 stereo album as produced by composer. Program offers music both haunting & powerful, results in one of Barry's all-time greats. Authoritative notes by Jon Burlingame illuminate film production & scoring. John Barry conducts. Special Collection CD limited to 3000 copies!

01. Mary’s Theme (2:32)
02. Vivre et Mourir (2:32)
(Sung by Vanessa Redgrave)
03. But Not Through My Realm (2:30)
04. Journey to Scotland (1:41)
05. Black Night (2:35)
06. Escape With Bothwell (2:13)
07. Mary’s Theme (1:20)

08. Journey to England (2:24)
09. Death at Kirk O’Fields (1:45)
10. March to the Castle (1:51)
11. Mary at Chartley (1:30)
12. Execution (1:55)
13. Vivre et Mourir – Reprise (1:44)
(Sung by Vanessa Redgrave)
14. Mary’s Theme – Reprise (1:14)

Contact the JB site

If you wish to send an email, for example with content for the website, please contact Geoff Leonard:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Bristol, UK

Geoff (owner) and Ruud (webmaster) have been running the John Barry website since June 18, 2001.

This website is not endorsed by the composer's family.
Use of copyrighted materials and logos are for promotional purposes only.

All files on this website are for personal use only and cannot be bought or sold.


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Geoff Leonard writes CD booklet notes, articles, and occasionally books, in partnership with Pete Walker. You can read more about this here:


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