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Woolf Phillips (1919 - 2003)

Woolf Phillips was born in the East End of London into a musical family. His brother Sid became a successful band-leader. Woolf began his working life with a leading music publisher, although it could easily have been as a professional cricketer having been offered a contract by Lancashire Cricket Club. Instead he worked his way up in the music business becoming in charge of the band at the London Palladium, accompanying the great acts of the day from both sides of the Atlantic, including Sammy Davis Jnr and Frank Sinatra, who was particularly appreciative and complimentary to Phillips. In 1966 his friend Donald O’Connor (of Singin’ in the Rain fame) invited him to California to work, and there he widened his music-making into conducting symphony orchestras, as a way of accompanying the stars, and of course, captaining the local cricket team. Parisian Mode (1951) became the signature tune of BBC TV’s long-running panel show, What’s My Line?, even though it is curious that very little of it got heard - the introduction and not even the whole main theme at the start.



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