Thursday, 15 January 2009

Memento Morley

What with the continual deaths of the people who built the media world we grew up in and seem to us part of the furniture of our lives, this could easily turn into one of those 'weblog's which constantly marks the passing of great actors, writers and directors and so forth.
I haven't written about Pinter or McGoohan here because there are others better qualified to talk of them, and besides you already know exactly who they are and what they meant to you just by reading those two surnames alone, and I didn't write about Ron Asheton, the man behind those incredible Stooges riffs, because I was away (and what could I add but a redundant extra 'wow'?).

There is however a lovely little story I was told some years ago about Angela Morley, the great and prolific radio, TV and film composer, arranger and conductor who has just died, that I'd like to pass on here, because I don't know if anyone else will.

Angela, who as Wally Stott wrote the Hancock's Half Hour theme amongst countless other pieces before her 1972 sex change, was to be interviewed over the telephone by a great expert on and enthusiast for broadcast music, who'd been given her number.
The expert rang the number and a very male voice answered. “I'm calling for Angela Morley,” the expert explained, uncertain if he was in fact already speaking to her. 'Oh right,' said the male voice, 'I'll get her for you,' and then casually called out 'Dad! It's for you.'

An illuminating interview later followed, but what I like is the caller's initial careful wariness in approaching the potentially awkward area of Angela's gender countered by the family's complete acceptance of it as utterly normal. I think it's a little story everyone comes out of well.

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