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Ray Noble (musician): Wikis


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Ray Noble
Birth name Raymond Stanley Noble
Born 17 December 1903
Origin United Kingdom Brighton, England, UK
Died 3 April 1978
Genres Jazz
Occupations Bandleader, Composer, Arranger, Actor
Associated acts Al Bowlly

Ray Noble (17 December 1903 – 3 April 1978) was an English bandleader, composer, arranger and actor. Noble studied music at the Royal Academy of Music and became leader of the HMV Records studio band in 1929. The band, known as the New Mayfair Dance Orchestra, featured members of many of the top hotel orchestras of the day. The most popular vocalist with Noble's studio band was Al Bowlly.



The Bowlly/Noble recordings achieved popularity in the United States. Union bans prevented Noble from taking British musicians to America so he arranged for Glenn Miller to recruit American musicians. Glenn Miller played the trombone in the Ray Noble orchestra which performed Glenn Miller's composition "Dese Dem Dose" during a performance at the Rainbow Room in 1935. The American Ray Noble band had a successful run at the Rainbow Room in New York City with Bowlly as principal vocalist.

Bowlly returned to England but Noble continued to lead bands in America, moving into an acting career portraying a stereotypical upper-class English idiot. His last major successes as a bandleader came with Buddy Clark in the late 1940s.

Ray Noble wrote both lyrics and music and contributed "Love Is The Sweetest Thing", "Cherokee", "The Touch of Your Lips", "I Hadn't Anyone Till You" and "The Very Thought Of You" to popular culture. Noble co-wrote "Turkish Delight" and "By the Fireside". The Ray Noble composition "You're So Desirable" was recorded by Billie Holiday, Teddy Wilson, and Robert Palmer in 1990.

Ray Noble was also an arranger who scored many record hits in the 1930s: "Easy to Love" (1936), "Mad About the Boy" (1932), "Paris in the Spring" (1935).

Noble and Bowlly's 1932 recording of "Midnight, the Stars and You" was prominently featured on the soundtrack of Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining in 1980.

Another example of a Noble/Bowlly classic, the 1931 song "Guilty", can be found on the Amélie film soundtrack.

Noble played the piano but seldom did so with his orchestra. In a movie short from the 1940s featuring Ray Noble and Buddy Clark (one of his most popular band singers), Ray Noble is asked by the announcer to play one of his most popular hits. He sits down at the piano and plays Goodnight, Sweetheart ("Goodnight sweetheart, 'til we meet tomorrow. Goodnight sweetheart, parting is such sorrow"). This is the song that once seemed to be played at the end of every high school and college prom, the end of every party featuring live music, and the last song played by a dance band to signal the end of the evening.

Although Noble was no singer, he did appear twice as an upper crust Englishmen on two of his more popular New York records, 1935's Top Hat and 1937's Slumming on Park Avenue.

Noble also provided music for many radio shows like The Charlie McCarthy Show and Burns and Allen, where in addition to leading the band he played a somewhat "dense" character who was in love with Gracie Allen. His catchphrase was "Gracie, this is the first time we've ever been alone together."

Number One Hits

Ray Noble had several number one hits in the 1930s on the U.S. pop singles charts:

  1. Love is the Sweetest Thing, 1933, no.1 for 5 weeks;
  2. Old Spinning Wheel, 1934, no.1 for 3 weeks;
  3. The Very Thought of You, 1934, no.1 for 5 weeks;
  4. Isle of Capri, 1935, no.1 for 7 weeks;
  5. Let's Swing It, 1935, no.1 for 2 weeks; and,
  6. Paris in the Spring, 1935, no.1 for 1 week.


"The Very Thought of You", recorded by Ray Noble and His Orchestra on Victor in 1934, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Ray Noble was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame.

In 1987, Ray Noble was inducted into the Big Band and Jazz Hall of Fame.


External links



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