Gerald Walcan Bright
, better known as Geraldo
(10 August 1904, London, England – 4 May 1974, Vevey
, Switzerland) was a British bandleader.
Bright adopted the name "Geraldo" in 1930 to become one of the most popular dance-band leaders of the 1930s with his "sweet music" and his "Gaucho Tango Orchestra". During the 1940s, he modernized his style to continue enjoying great success.
He played piano and organ and studied at the Royal Academy of Music
in London. He started his career as a pianist playing for silent films.
Geraldo became a major figure on the British entertainment scene for four decades, having fronted just about every kind of ensemble and influenced the successful careers of numerous top singers. For his broadcasts he varied the style of his orchestra quite considerably, and a particular series Tip Top Tunes
(employing a full string section alongside the usual dance band) enjoyed great popularity. Several commercial recordings were made, spotlighting the considerable arranging talents of the young Wally Stott (better known in the US as Angela Morley
Over the years, most of the UK's top musicians played with Geraldo's orchestra, including Ted Heath
, who played first trombone in the orchestra before leaving to form his own band and the guitarist Ken Sykora, later to become a respected radio personality, and trumpeter Freddie Jameson
In the 1950s he composed the start-up music for Scottish Television
. Entitled Scotlandia
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