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Angela Morley
Born 10 March 1924(1924-03-10)
Leeds, Yorkshire, England
Died 14 January 2009 (aged 84)
Scottsdale, Arizona, USA
Occupation composer, conductor

Angela Morley (born Wally Stott, 10 March 1924 – 14 January 2009[1]) was an English composer and conductor.



Morley was born in Leeds, Yorkshire on 10 March 1924. She attributed her entry into successful composing and arranging largely to the influence and encouragement of the Canadian light music composer Robert Farnon.

She was a transsexual woman, and was originally credited under her birth name Wally Stott. She underwent sex reassignment surgery in 1972. In the later part of her life, Morley lived in Scottsdale, Arizona.

She died on 14 January 2009 in Scottsdale, Arizona, of complications from a fall and subsequent heart attack.


Morley won two Emmys for her work in music arrangement. Her Emmys were both in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction, in 1988 and 1990, and both for television specials starring Julie Andrews. Morley also received Emmy nominations for composing music for television series such as Dynasty and Dallas.

Morley also received two Academy Award nominations: both in the category of Best Music, Original Song Score/Adaptation, for the films The Little Prince (1974), a nomination which she shared with Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe and Douglas Gamley; and The Slipper and the Rose, which she shared with Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman.


Morley was originally a composer of light music, with the jaunty Rotten Row her best known piece. Also notable is A Canadian in Mayfair, a homage to Robert Farnon's Portrait of a Flirt.

In 1953, she began a long association with the Philips record label, arranging for and accompanying the company's artists, as well as releasing records under her own name, including the 1958 LP 'London Pride'.

She is also remembered for writing the theme tune and incidental music for Hancock's Half Hour and was the musical director for The Goon Show from the third series in 1952 to the last show in 1960. Another very short, but fondly remembered, theme was the 12-notes-long "Ident Zoom-2", written for Lew Grade's Associated TeleVision (ATV) and in use from the introduction of colour television in 1969 until the demise of ATV in 1981.

In 1958 she worked with Shirley Bassey, most notably on the song As I Love You, which got to Number One in the UK singles chart in January of 1959.[2]

She also worked with Dusty Springfield and the first five highly regarded solo albums by Scott Walker. In 1962 and 1963, she arranged the United Kingdom entries for the Eurovision Song Contest, Ring-A-Ding Girl and Say Wonderful Things, both sung by Ronnie Carroll. The former was conducted on the Eurovision stage in Luxembourg by her as well.

In 1961 she provided the orchestral accompaniments for a selection of choral arrangements made by Norman Luboff for an RCA LP that was recorded in London's Walthamstow Town Hall. The New Symphony Orchestra (an ad hoc recording ensemble) was conducted by Leopold Stokowski, and the choir of professional British singers, as rehearsed by Luboff, performed such favourites as "Deep River ", Handel's "Largo," Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," Rachmaninov's "Vocalise," etc., under the LP's title "Inspiration" (also later reissued on a BMG Classics CD).

Morley orchestrated, arranged, and supervised the music for the final musical film collaboration of Lerner and Loewe, The Little Prince (1974). In 1976 she was music supervisor, arranger, and conductor for the Sherman Brothers' musical adaptation of the Cinderella story, The Slipper and the Rose. She won Oscar nominations for both films.[3] Additionally, she wrote most of the score for the 1978 film version of Watership Down, although the prelude and opening was by Malcolm Williamson. From about this point she began a collaboration with John Williams, the composer for Star Wars and other films,[4] though working in an uncredited capacity.

During the 1980s she wrote numerous arrangements for the Boston Pops and scored many episodes of TV shows, including Dynasty, Dallas, Falcon Crest, and Hotel. She was nominated multiple times for Emmy Awards and won for music direction of Julie Andrews TV specials.[5]


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