Eric Rogers

 

Eric Rogers (1921 – 1978)


Prior to the Carry Ons, Eric Rogers had produced a number of incidental jazz and dance cues for British films, as well as assisting and transcribing songs for Lionel Bart (who, like Irving Berlin, was unable to read or write music). Rogers had nearly worked with the producer back in 1958 on an original screen musical version of Oliver Twist starring Tommy Steele as the Artful Dodger with music and lyrics by Bart. However, having made two films with the difficult star, Peter Rogers refused to work with him again under any circumstances and recommended they try the project as a stage musical instead.

Eric Roger's initial involvement in the series was almost accidental, coming about when he scored a non-Carry On comedy fro the producer. On completion, Call Me a Cab was released as Carry On Cabby in order to capitalize on the series' early success. The original title can still be clearly discerned in the score, musically incorporated in the harmonica line of the main title included on the album.

Rogers would score all but two of the remaining films in the series (an impressive total of 23 films), before refusing to score the all-but-unwatchable Carry On England when the producer cut the size of the orchestra from the composer's preferred 40 players to a more economical 20. (Rogers' death in 1981 naturally prevented him from scoring 1992's disappointing Carry On Columbus, which went to John Du Prez.) Not surprisingly, it's Eric Rogers' output that dominates the rest of this album.

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