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     Alford, Kenneth Joseph (21st February 1881-15th May 1945)

    He is a British composer born in London, whose real name was Major Frederick Joseph Ricketts.  He had lost both parents by the age of fourteen and he became a musician in the Royal Irish Regiment in 1895, when he was 15 or 16 after lying about his age.  In 1927 the Royal Marines had commissioned him as their Music Director, and he remained with them until he retired in 1944. It was necessary that he used a pseudonym so the he could compose and publish his music, as in those years you were not allowed to do anything outside of being in the armed forces. He has often been likened to John Philip Sousa and is known as “The British March King”.  His marches include “The Thin Red Line”, “Colonel Bogey”, “The Voice of the Guns” and “Eagle Squadron” and his music has been heard in the movies Lawrence of Arabia, Brassed Off, Moscow in Madrid and Bridge Over the River Kwai, as well as an episode of the TV series Friends.  Aside from his trademark marches he was the composer of pieces such as “The Hint”, “Valse Riviera”, “Thoughts” and “A Life on the Ocean Wave”.  He died aged 64 in Reigate, Surrey, England.


    Colonel Bogey recordings

    Boston Pops Orchestra / Arthur Fiedler - RCA 61249

    Boston Pops Orchestra - John Williams - Sony SK 467747

    Cincinnati Pops, Kunzel - Telarc 80175



    1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kenneth_Alford
    2. http://www.s9.com/Biography/Alford-Kenneth
    3. http://www.classicalmidi.co.uk/alford.htm
    4. http://imdb.com/name/nm0019215/
















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