the music

Before Late Romantic orchestral trends of length and scope separated the trajectory of lighter orchestral works from the Western Classical canon, classical composers such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Joseph Haydn won as much fame for writing lighter pieces such as Eine Kleine Nachtmusik as for their symphonies and operas. Later examples of early European light music include the operettas of composers such as Franz von Suppé or Sir Arthur Sullivan; the Continental salon and parlour music genres; and the waltzes and marches of Johann Strauss II and his family. The Straussian waltz became a common light music composition (note for example Charles Ancliffe's "Nights of Gladness" or Felix Godin's "Valse Septembre"). These influenced the foundation of a "lighter" tradition of classical music in the 19th and early 20th centuries...from the likes of Binge and Coates to Farnon.

John Valmore Pearson (18 June 1925 – 20 March 2011), known as Johnny Pearson, was a British composer

In 1966, Johnny Pearson also started his long association with the KPM library record label. KPM was originally known as Keith Prowse Music. KPM would later become part of the EMI Group of companies but was able to retain its independence due to its specialist nature. Pearson's involvement with KPM was to last many years until 1978, which is when he switched over his music library efforts to Bruton Music. Johnny Pearson would however again later return to KPM during 1988. That year's KPM 1000 Series double release Johnny Pearson Piano and Orchestra included several pieces featured in the second run of All Creatures Great and Small, which did not have the accompanying soundtrack release that the original run did.


 As leader of the Johnny Pearson Orchestra, he reached number 8 in the United Kingdom chart in early 1972 with "Sleepy Shores", the theme from the television series Owen, M.D. (1971–73). The Johnny Pearson Orchestra, which as a musical project was begun in 1972, ran side by side with his other projects. At the time, these projects included working on albums with John Schroeder for Sounds Orchestral and also providing library music to Britain's KPM Records.



  1. Listened to this late last night as I was out all day. Just fascinating! Once again you show your talent for unearthing some very unusual selections from one of my favourite composers. And the comparison between “Heather” and "Autumn Reverie" was brilliant. I know the Richard Carpenter piece very well and have played it many times over the years on the album but I had no idea Johnny Pearson wrote the original - which I had not heard before!! Same great melody but two quite different but eanglaisqually lovely arrangements. I particularly love the use of harp and cor anglais in the Carpenter orchestration.

  2. From a Canadian listener to our CONCERT CAMEO podcast.