REVIEW POTPOURRI: Yellow Rolls Royce/Umbrellas of Cherbourg Excerpts

Peter Catesby Peter Cates

Yellow Rolls Royce/Umbrellas of Cherbourg Excerpts

Cinema Sound Stage Orchestra, Somerset records, LP, 1965.

Rare photo of D. L. Miller

The 1964 films, Yellow Rolls Royce/Umbrellas of Cherbourg generated original musical sound tracks. The above release had no connection with the originals. The Cinema players were hired by D.L.Miller, a fascinating businessman worthy of a biography while the group consisted of Hamburg Philharmonic musicians.

The Ray Charles Singers

Miller created Somerset because of the huge demand and success of of other labels’ low priced LPs. He then scouted for talent among a variety of superb musicians – conductors Sir Adrian Boult, Horst Stein, Hugo Rignold, singing group the Ray Charles Singers etc. His arguably most well known 101 Strings, recorded a pile of albums that sold millions and are still popular.

Riz Ortolani

Film composers Riz Ortolani (1926-2014, Yellow Rolls Royce) and Michel Legrand (1932, Umbrellas) have left sizable legacies. Their music on this record is imbued with charm and carefree gaiety. Interestingly, Ortolani plagiarized a passage from Alexander Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances for one of the Yellow RR tunes. While I generally like Le­grand’s music better for its consistently beautiful qualities, I was eager to hear Ortolani’s excerpts because of my previous lack of any familiarity with him. What I heard was okay but with a few bland moments.

Michel Legrand

All in all though, the record can be heartily recommended to film music connoisseurs and any other interested collectors.

It has been out of print for many years yet copies are listed for sale on Amazon.






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1 reply
    PAUL URBAHNS says:

    “Ortolani plagiarized a passage from Alexander Borodin’s Polovtsian Dances for one of the Yellow RR tunes.” Actually, in typical style of the budget Somerset label, A few new recordings of four songs used in The Yellow Rolls Royce and Umbrellas of Cherbourg are mixed with some retitled “originals” ..but good quality originals.
    Three songs from “Yellow” appear on side one of the album. Theme – The Yellow Rolls-Royce ; Forget Domani ;and Pisa are all from the film score. A Girl Named Mae, was originally on the 101 Strings album “Backbeat Symphony and the final track on side one Yugoslav Frontier (originally from a Skip Martin album, being a jazzed arrangement Polovtsian Dances ). These two tracks, not from the film, are appropriately indicated on the cover as compositions of R Lowden. Actually Lowden was probably the arranger. The Yellow Rolls-Royce side is quite enjoyable, especially considering it was originally produced to sell for about $1 in discount stores..


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