(M.J.E. / Composer Listings / Mayerl)

Billy MAYERL

Incomplete listing (within each category, given in order of publication where known)


Joseph William Mayerl: U.K., 31 May, 1902 - 25 March, 1959


Introduction
      This listing of works by Billy Mayerl is incomplete - probably far from complete, in fact - but it contains as much information as I can find, and I will add to it as information comes to hand, with the ultimate aim of giving a complete listing of Billy Mayerl's works.
      My information comes from the following sources:

           (a) the relatively recent Mayerl album Jazz Master (EMI Music Publishing Ltd, 1987), containing the scores for 33 pieces.
           (b) the few copies I possess of early editions of pieces by Mayerl, which usually have other pieces advertised on them, sometimes including extracts from the actual music; the most important of these sources is the Keith Prowse edition of Four Aces Suite, whose back cover lists many other Mayerl titles published by Keith Prowse. (The other ones that I have, which supplied a few additional details, are "Canaries' Serenade" (Keith Prowse), "Marigold" (Sam Fox), and "Jill All Alone" (Ascherberg, Hopwood & Crew).)
           (c) the three Chandos C.D.s of Mayerl's music played by Eric Parkin which I have.
           (d) listings of titles on other C.D.s of Mayerl's music which I found on the Internet. (I hope to obtain all these recordings in due course, especially the seven or so others by Eric Parkin I have read about.)

      I have joined the Billy Mayerl Society (discussed below, after the list of works), and I hope to obtain material from the Society which will help me complete this catalogue in due course.
      I will not try to identify which of these sources each title comes from, because this would tend to clutter up the list far too much if I annotated it at this level of detail. Sometimes there is a conflict between these sources as to details, such as the precise wording of the title, or the sub-title given; in such cases, I will annotate the different versions in footnotes, but for my primary version I will give preference to older sources, because, in my experience, people generally were more precise about such details in earlier decades than they are now.
      However, I will use markings to identify which pieces are included on a particular recording, or in the album Jazz Master, which contains, to my knowledge, the only recently-published work of Mayerl's. (And I believe it is already out of print, as it is, so that no work of Mayerl's appears to be currently in print (as of June, 2000).)
      I cite sources (printed scores or recordings) with the following abbreviations:

           JM - Album of piano pieces Jazz Master, EMI Music Publishing Ltd (1987)

           PC1 - Eric Parkin's first Chandos recording: Marigold: CHAN 8560 (1987)
           PC2 - Eric Parkin's second Chandos recording: Bats in the Belfry: CHAN 8848 (1990)
           PC3 - Eric Parkin's third Chandos recording: Leprechaun's Leap: CHAN 9141 (1993)
           PP1 - Eric Parkin's first Priory Records tribute: Puppets: PRCD 544 (19??)
           PP2 - Eric Parkin's second Priory Records tribute: Scallywag: PRCD 565 (19??)
           PTr1 - Eric Parkin's first Priory Records transcriptions album: PRCD 466 (19??)
           PTr2 - Eric Parkin's second Priory Records transcriptions album: PRCD 467 (19??)
           PTr3 - Eric Parkin's third Priory Records transcriptions album: PRCD 468 (19??)
           PS1 - Eric Parkin's first Shellwood recording: Robots: SWCD 3 (1997)
           PS2 - Eric Parkin's second Shellwood recording: Postman's Knock: SWCD 9 (1998)
           JS1 - Peter Jacobs' first Shellwood recording: Pastoral Sketches: SWCD 4 (1997)

I will use these abbreviations to indicate that pieces are included in these publications, and also when I used them as a source of information.
      Original publishers are indicated for compositions where I have this information, as follows:

           KP - Keith Prowse & Co., Ltd.
           AHC - Ascherberg, Hopwood & Crew, Ltd.
           SF - Sam Fox Pub. Co. (seems to be the usual U.S. publisher for Keith Prowse titles)

      Keys are indicated for each piece, where I have this information. (I only have it for pieces I actually have copies of, or for pieces where an extract is reproduced on the back cover or inside the front cover of another piece, or for pieces of which I have heard a performance.)
      When a piece begins and ends in different keys, both keys are indicated: for example, Eb maj. - Ab maj. When a piece begins in a tonally vague fashion, an opening dash is used; thus, "Ace of Spades" is indicated " - Gb maj.", because its introduction is, to all intents and purposes, atonal. (It is, in fact, remarkably similar to some of the bitonal piano passages in Stravinsky's Petrushka, a work Mayerl is known to have admired.) A piece is occasionally in a minor key, with a sudden change to the major at the very end, just for the last chord or two; in such cases I indicate the closing major key in parentheses, such as "a min. (- A maj.)". Without the parentheses, it would indicate a whole theme or extended passage at the end in the major key.


Michael Edwards,
Victoria, Australia.

E-mail me about Billy Mayerl.


NOTE:
      Click here if you need an explanation for the strange appearance of the e-mail address which will appear when you click on the e-mail link, or if you don't know what you need to do to make the e-mail address work properly.


List of works

PIANO WORKS (This section will be completed when I have obtained and organized the information.)

     Piano solos, listed by date, alphabetically within each year 
(Footnote references point to footnotes which can be found at the end of the undated piano works section,
or via the links provided.  The footnotes contain links taking you back to your original place.)
                    
1919  Egyptian Suite
          1. Souvenir
          2. Song of the Desert
          3. Patrol of the Camels

1925  Pianolettes - Book 1 [a]                                   KP
          1. Jazz Master [b]               Eb maj. - Ab maj.     KP    JM
          2. Eskimo Shivers                Ab maj. - Db maj.  SF KP    JM
          3. Jazzaristrix [c]              C maj. - F maj.    SF KP    JM
      Pianolettes - Book 2 [a]                                   KP
          1. Jazz Mistress [d]             ??                    KP
          2. Virginia Creeper              F maj. - Ab maj.   SF KP    JM
          3. All-of-a-Twist                G maj. - C maj.    SF KP    JM

1926  Four Piano Exaggerations
          1. Loose Elbows                  G maj. - Ab maj.   SF KP    JM
          2. Antiquary                     a min.             SF KP
          3. Jack-in-the-Box               ??                    KP
          4. Sleepy Piano                  Eb maj.            SF KP

1927  Chopsticks                               ??                KP
      Hollyhock (Syncopated Impression)    Eb maj. - Ab maj.     KP    JM      PC2
      Marigold                             Eb maj. - Ab maj.  SF KP    JM  PC1
      Puppets Suite                                                  KP
          1. Golliwog                          ??
          2. Judy                              ??
          3. Punch                             ??
                    
1928  Honkytonk (Syncopated Impression) [g]    Eb maj.           KP    JM          PC3
      Pastoral Sketches
          1. A Legend
          2. Lovers' Lane
          3. A Village Festival
      Robots (Syncopated Impression)           Eb maj.           KP 
      Three Miniatures [e]                                       KP                PC3
          1. Cobweb                            A maj.
          2. The Muffin Man [f]                G maj.
          3. Clockwork                         D maj. - G maj.
                    
1929  Jasmine (Syncopated Impression)          G maj.            KP    JM
      Legends of King Arthur: Six Impressions for Piano [h]      KP
          1. Prelude                           G maj.                      PC1
          2. Merlin, the Wizard [i]            C/F# maj. - C maj.          PC1
          3. The Sword Excalibur               d min.                              PC3
          4. Lady of the Lake                  A maj.                      PC1
          5. Guinevere                         G maj.                              PC3
          6. The Passing of King Arthur [j]    c# min.                     PC1
      Pastorale Exotique                       ??                KP
      Three Contrasts                                                KP
          1. The Ladybird                      ??
          2. Pastorale                         ??
          3. Fiddle Dance                      ??
      Wistaria (Syncopated Impression)         G maj.            KP    JM
                    
1930  Six Studies in Syncopation (Book 3)                        KP
          13.                                  ??
          14.                                  ??
          15.                                  ??
          16.                                  ??
          17.                                  ??
          18.                                  ??
      Three Dances in Syncopation, op. 73 [k]                    KP            PC2
          1. English Dance                     C maj.
          2. Cricket Dance                     Ab maj.
          3. Harmonica Dance                   G maj.
      Three Japanese Pictures                                    KP
          1. Almond Blossom                    A maj.                      PC1
          2. A Temple in Kyoto                 C maj.                              PC3
          3. Cherry Dance [l]                  A maj.                              PC3

1931  Honeysuckle (Syncopated Impression)      G maj.            KP    JM
      Mignonette (Syncopated Impression)       C maj. - Ab maj.  KP    JM
      Oriental (Syncopated Impression)         ??                KP
      Scallywag (Syncopated Impression)        ??                KP
      Six Studies in Syncopation (Book 1)                        KP
           1.                                  ??
           2.                                  ??
           3.                                  ??
           4.                                  ??
           5.                                  ??
           6.                                  ??
      Six Studies in Syncopation (Book 2)                        KP
           7.                                  ??
           8.                                  ??
           9.                                  ??
          10.                                  ??
          11.                                  ??
          12.                                  ??

1932  Autumn Crocus (Piano Idylle)             F maj.            KP    JM      PC2
      White Heather (Syncopated Impression)    G maj.            KP    JM      PC2
      Carminetta (Chanson Espagnol)            ??                KP
      Penny Whistle                            ??                KP
      Weeping Willow                           ??                KP

1933  Canaries' Serenade                       C maj.            KP
      Four Aces Suite                                            KP
          1. Ace of Clubs                      F maj.                  JM      PC2
          2. Ace of Diamonds                   Eb maj.                 JM  PC1
          3. Ace of Hearts                     G maj.                  JM  PC1
          4. Ace of Spades                     - Gb maj.               JM      PC2
      Musical Moments: 6 Miniatures
          1. Beside a Rustic Bridge
          2. Little Lady from Spain
          3. May Morning
          4. Many Years Ago
          5. My Party Frock
          6. Air de Ballet
      Three Syncopated Rambles                                       KP
          1. The Junior Apprentice             ??
          2. Printer's Devil                   ??
          3. 6 a.m. - The Milkman              ??
                    
1934  The Joker [m]                            C maj.            KP    JM  PC1
      Nimble-Fingered Gentleman [n]            Eb maj.           KP    JM  PC1
      Siberian Lament                          a min.            KP                PC3
      Stepping Tones  [o]
          1. Fascinating Ditty [o]             ??                KP
          2. Hop-o'-my-Thumb (Syncopations
               in Moderation) [p]              Ab maj.           KP    JM      PC2
                    
1935  Bats in the Belfry [q]                   Ab maj.           KP    JM      PC2
      Green Tulips                             F maj.            KP            PC2
      Mistletoe (Syncopated Impression) [r]    Db maj.           KP            PC2
      Orange Blossom                           ??                KP

1936  Shallow Waters                           G maj.            KP    JM  PC1

1937  Aquarium Suite                                             KP            PC2
          1. Willow Moss                       C maj.
          2. Moorish Idol                      a min. (- A maj.)
          3. Fantail                           F maj.
          4. Whirligig                         G maj.
                    
1938  From a Spanish Lattice                   A maj.            KP    JM  PC1
      Railroad Rhythm                          gb min. - Ab maj. KP    JM  PC1
      Parade of the Sandwich-Board Men
        - A Novelty in Syncopation [s]         C maj.            KP            PC2
      Song of the Fir-Tree [t]                 g min.            KP    JM  PC1
      Sweet William
        - Syncopated Impression [u]            Db maj.           KP    JM      PC2
                    
1939  The Harp of the Winds [v]                Ab maj.           KP    JM  PC1
                    
1940  Insect Oddities [w]                                                          PC3
          1. Wedding of an Ant                 Ab maj.           KP
          2. Ladybird Lullaby                  D maj.            KP
          3. Praying Mantis                    Eb maj.           KP
          4. Beetle in the Bottle [x]          G maj.            KP    JM
      Leprechaun's Leap                        g min.            KP                PC3

1943  Fireside Fusiliers                       ??                KP

1945  April's Fool                             C maj.            KP    JM  PC1
      Evening Primrose                         G maj.            KP    JM  PC1
      Minuet for Pamela                        ??                KP

1946  In My Garden: Autumntime                                                     PC3
          1. Misty Lawn                        G maj.
          2. Amber Leaves                      a min. (- A maj.)
          3. Hollyberry                        C maj.
      In My Garden - Wintertime
          1. Christmas Rose                       ??
          2. The First Snowdrop                   ??
          3. Evergreen                            ??

1947  In My Garden - Springtime
          1. Cherry Blossom                       ??
          2. Carpet of Yellow                     ??
          3. April Showers                        ??
      In My Garden: Summertime                                                     PC3
          1. Meadowsweet                       F maj.
          2. Japonica                          G maj.
          3. Alpine Bluebell                   C maj.
      Romanesque                               g min.                              PC3

1948  The Big Top                                                                  PC3
          1. Ringmaster                        C maj.
          2. Clowning                          F maj.
          3. Entry of the Trick Cyclists       Ab maj.
          4. Dancing Horse                     C maj.
          5. Trapeze                           A maj.

1951  Postman's Knock                          D maj.

1952  Beguine Impromptu                        g min.                              PC3
      Look Lively                              A maj.            KP    JM

1955  Filigree                                 F maj.                              PC3
      Jill All Alone                           G maj.            AHC           PC2

1956  Minuet by Candlelight
      Waltz for a Lonely Heart                 a min. (not listed as piano piece, is it an arr.?)

1957  Funny Peculiar
      Maids of Honour
      Sussex Downs
      Vienna Story

1959  Theme from Majestic Interlude



NOTES

      [a] PIANOLETTES, BOOKS 1 AND 2 - All six pieces in the Pianolettes series are listed on the back cover of Four Aces Suite separately, as well as in the albums Pianolettes - Book 1 and Pianolettes - Book 2, so they would appear to have been published separately, as well as together in two books. [Back]
      [b] JAZZ MASTER - According to JM, the title is "The Jazz Master". [Back]
      [c] JAZZARISTRIX - According to the SF edition of "Marigold", this piece is dated 1926; but JM gives 1925, which agrees with the dates it gives for several other pieces in the two Pianolettes series. Because of this, I give preference to this newer source, rather than the older sources I normally trust in the case of a conflict in facts. [Back]
      [d] JAZZ MISTRESS - I have no date for this piece, but, given that this is part of a suite whose other pieces were published in 1925, the year is presumably the same here also. [Back]
      [e] THREE MINIATURES - According to PC3, the title of the suite is Three Miniatures in Syncopation. This source claims that the pieces are companion pieces to Three Dances in Syncopation found on PC2. [Back]
      [f] THE MUFFIN MAN - PC3 omits the article, giving just "Muffin Man". [Back]
      [g] HONKYTONK - The KP edition of Four Aces gives the title as "Honkytonk", but JM and PC3 both insert a hyphen, as "Honky-tonk". Furthermore, PC3 gives the subtitle as "a rhythmical absurdity", instead of "Syncopated Impression", as given by KP. (JM almost always omits subtitles.) [Back]
      [h] LEGENDS OF KING ARTHUR: SIX IMPRESSIONS FOR PIANO - The KP edition of Four Aces, which lists this work, omits the subtitle "Six Impressions for Piano" - but that may have been simply for reasons of space. [Back]
      [i] MERLIN, THE WIZARD - PC1 omits the comma, giving "Merlin the Wizard" - but the comma is clearly indicated in the listing of this title on the back cover of the KP edition of Four Aces. [Back]
      [j] THE PASSING OF KING ARTHUR - According to PC1, the title is just "The Passing of Arthur". [Back]
      [k] THREE DANCES IN SYNCOPATION, OP. 73 - A number of Billy Mayerl's works bear opus numbers, although no source that I have seen so far assigns them to all, or even nearly all, works. The opus numbers I have seen so far seem to apply only to a small proportion of his works, mainly piano works or arrangements of piano works; they do not seem to use all opus numbers consecutively, and they do not appear to be in any particular order, and thus do not give clues as to whether a work is an earlier or later work. [Back]
      [l] CHERRY DANCE - According to PC3, the title is "The Cherry Dance". [Back]
      [m] THE JOKER - JM gives a subtitle, thus: "A further contribution to 'FOUR ACES'". PC1 gives it almost the same: "A further contribution to the 'Four Aces' suite". The piece quotes motifs from all four movements of Four Aces Suite. [Back]
      [n] NIMBLE-FINGERED GENTLEMAN - According to both JM and PC1, the title is given as "Nimble Fingered Gentleman" (without the hyphen). [Back]
      [o] STEPPING TONES, FASCINATING DITTY - Although I don't have dates for either Stepping Tones, the set of two pieces, or "Fascinating Ditty", the first of these two pieces, I do have 1934 for the second piece; therefore it seems safe to assume the same year for the set of pieces, and for each individual piece. [Back]
      [p] HOP-O'-MY-THUMB (SYNCOPATIONS IN MODERATION) - The subtitle appears only in PC2, not in the extensive listing of titles on the back cover of the KP edition of Four Aces. [Back]
      [q] BATS IN THE BELFRY - JM gives the subtitle: "on a Theme by AUSTEN CROOM-JOHNSON". [Back]
      [r] MISTLETOE (SYNCOPATED IMPRESSION) - The subtitle appears only in PC2, not in the extensive listing of titles on the back cover of the KP edition of Four Aces. [Back]
      [s] PARADE OF THE SANDWICH-BOARD MEN (A NOVELTY IN SYNCOPATION) - The subtitle appears only in PC2, not in the extensive listing of titles on the back cover of the KP edition of Four Aces. [Back]
      [t] THE SONG OF THE FIR-TREE - PC1 removes the hyphen, giving "Fir Tree" - but the other sources agree in giving "Fir-Tree". [Back]
      [u] SWEET WILLIAM (SYNCOPATED IMPRESSION) - The subtitle appears only in PC2, not in the extensive listing of titles on the back cover of the KP edition of Four Aces. [Back]
      [v] THE HARP OF THE WINDS - The KP edition of Four Aces gives the title as "Harp of the Wind". I have gone against my usual practice of following older sources in the event of a conflict of detail, for two reasons: (1) Here we have two sources giving the version I've used, so they win by a majority vote, and (2) I don't believe a single source, let alone two presumably independent sources, would be likely to change the title to "The Harp of the Winds" by mistake, whereas I could more easily believe a source could wrongly change it to "Harp of the Wind". [Back]
      [w] INSECT ODDITIES - The KP edition of Four Aces, which lists many other titles on the back cover, doesn't recognize a suite or collection of this title, but lists all four numbers as separate pieces.) [Back]
      [x] BEETLE IN THE BOTTLE - PC3 gives the title as "Beetle in a Bottle", but both JM and the KP edition of Four Aces give it as "Beetle in the Bottle". [Back]

     Piano Duets (Details to follow later.)

  Ace of Spades                      KP
  Marigold                           KP


     Transcriptions (This area under construction.)

     Title             Orig. composer

     At the Balalaika                                KP
     Bells of St. Mary's     A. Emmett Adams        AHC
     Deep Henderson                                  KP
     Limehouse Blues         Philip Braham              AHC
     Peg O' My Heart         Fred Fisher                AHC
     Phil the Fluter's Ball                          KP
     Please Believe Me                               KP
     Tormented                                       KP
     Transatlantic Lullaby   Geoffrey Wright      AHC


     Educational 

19  Home Study Course in Composing Popular Music    KP
19  Special Tutor Course in Modern Syncopation      KP
19  A Hundred Syncopation Breaks                    KP


CHAMBER ENSEMBLES(Listing not yet available.)


SONGS(Listing not available yet.)


ORCHESTRA(Listing not available yet.)





Related music by Eric Parkin

      Eric Parkin, who has recorded more of Billy Mayerl's music than anyone else, has also composed music intended as a homage to Billy Mayerl. Some of it is included on his records of Mayerl's music; the works are listed here in as much detail as I currently have.
Mayerl Shots
  Set 1
  Set 2
  Set 3 - on the Priory Records title Scallywag (PRCD 565), played by Parkin
    A Likely Story
    Over the Moon
    Thistledown
    Just William
  Set 4 - on the Shellwood title Robots (SWCD 3), played by Parkin
    Billy's Fancy
    Chameleon
    Marigold Lodge
    Busy Lizzie

Recordings

      I hope to give more detailed information about recorded performances when I have gathered the details. For the moment, I will give references to a few web sites where you can find out more about Billy Mayerl records.
      Recorded performances of Billy Mayerl seem to be dominated by the pianist Eric Parkin, who with 10 records so far appears to have produced more records than all other pianists put together. Each of the web sites I will give includes records by Eric Parkin, who has recorded Mayerl on three labels that I am so far aware of.
      I have only heard the three Chandos records so far, and can highly recommend these. I do have a few reservations about the performances, actually: I find the pedalling a bit too sparse at times for my liking, and his pedal occasionally doesn't quite catch the bass notes fully before the left hand moves across the keyboard to play higher notes. I don't suggest that this is due to careless playing, and it is probably just a part of the style Parkin uses in playing Mayerl; I would have preferred it otherwise, though. And there are one or two performances that give a slightly slapdash feel, with a bit of unevenness of textures here and there, and with even a few occasional wrong notes being detectable, although this is only a slight flaw in performances which are still very enjoyable.
      However, in spite of these slight flaws (as I find them), Eric Parkin has a great feel for this music. At least for the pieces for which I have the score, and probably for all of them, Parkin adheres closely to the score as written and does not take liberties with the printed text: he does not add his own decorations and does not grossly distort the rhythm written in the scores. It is in subtle ways that he puts in a bit of a swing and in other ways shows his feeling for this music; he gives Mayerl's music a degree of grace and elegance which I suspect may be unusual for this sort of music, and the performances are truly enjoyable and infectious, and one senses that Parkin is having great fun playing the music.
      Indeed, at times, I would go even further and state that Parkin gives much of this music a depth of feeling and expressiveness I would normally expect only in classical music of a rather "deep" type. Whether some people would feel this inappropriate and prefer a less "expressive" approach I don't know; perhaps I show my own classical bias, but I think it is entirely appropriate and extremely attractive to play music of this sort as if it can be very deep in feeling.
      This is probably aided by little touches of subtlety that Parkin puts into the performances at times. For instance, in the middle theme of "The Ringmaster" (first movement of the Big Top Suite), I got the impression of two different motifs playing simultaneously in a kind of counterpoint which was most attractive: one a falling little figure in the alto range, and the other a fast scale rushing upwards, followed by a very high-register fanfare-like figure. So when I later saw the score I was surprised to see that the texture looked much simpler than I expected; in particular, it didn't seem to contain any hint of the falling figure I mentioned, and for a moment I wondered if Parkin had embellished the music a little. But a moment's study of the score and a little thought revealed the truth: Parkin had not added anything at all, but created that illusion by differences of emphasis in the way he played certain notes. The first note of the falling figure was also the first note of the upward scale, played with a slight emphasis; and the second note was nothing more than the top note of the left-hand accompaniment chord on the third beat of the bar, played louder than the rest of the chord, and sustained with the pedal.
      This is a simple example of the way Eric Parkin imparts subtleties to his performances. He quite often does things of this sort, by tricks as simple as using differing emphasis on notes to pick out little figures or countermelodies from the texture, and it greatly enhances the performances, giving the music a deeper, almost three-dimensional effect.
      He quite often does this sort of thing in those places where the top note of left-hand chords is played before the beat, whereas the rest of the chord is played on the beat. This is quite a characteristic device of Billy Mayerl's, which helps give the "swing" effect he is so good at evoking; and Parkin often picks out these "before-the-beat" notes and makes little melodic figures out of them which counterpoint the main melody in the right hand.
      Perhaps the slight flaws in terms of unevenness and wrong notes that I mentioned result from a decision not to edit out mistakes or other minor flaws too much, so that the spontaneity of the performances could be left intact - and the sense of spontaneity is really good, too. But the problem with flaws of any sort in a recorded performance is that once you get to know the recording, you also get to know where the mistakes are, and can even anticipate them mentally, thinking, "Ah, that missed note in the bass is about to come up now" - so I don't think the arguments go entirely on the side of leaving performances unedited. However, in this case the mistakes are not very numerous, and mostly very small, so don't let this put you off enjoying these performances. While I can't quite rate the records as "perfect" because of these slight flaws (a rating one can very rarely give to any recorded performance), I unreservedly recommend them very highly nonetheless. They are essential listening for anyone who enjoys Billy Mayerl's music.
      The recordings were made in a church, with the resonant kind of acoustic that one would expect, and some may feel this inappropriate for the music. However, I happen to like that kind of acoustic, and think it gives the performances a good feeling which to me partly makes up for the instances of overly-sparse pedalling which I mentioned above. I don't like sparse pedalling, on the whole, feeling the piano has an inherent dryness which has to be constantly fought against by various means; and sparse pedalling in a dry acoustic might be a more serious flaw to me.
      I haven't yet heard any Parkin records of Mayerl other than the three Chandos ones, so it is those which the above remarks apply to. I hope to listen to the others in due course, and I may add more remarks about them after that.

      Here are some web sites about Mayerl records, which can be bought on-line from the sites:

Chandos web site:http://www.chandos.co.uk
      This where you can find details about the three Parkin recordings of Mayerl I talked about above. Go here for an index for Billy Mayerl on the Chandos site. (The three Parkin records are the only Mayerl ones Chandos have in their catalogue.)

Priory Records: http://www.priory.org.uk
      Priory Records are a specialist label who deal in church music and organ music - but they do have nearly a dozen interesting piano music collections mostly played by Eric Parkin, including music by William Blezard, Robert Farnon, Richard Stoker, and William Baines - and including no less than five collections of music by Billy Mayerl played by Eric Parkin and one by Peter Jacobs. You'll have to navigate a few screens to reach the page which includes Billy Mayerl, because they all seem to have the same U.R.L., and therefore I cannot give a direct link. Click on "Catalogue", then select your country from the list, then "Piano Music Collections". Four Billy Mayerl records are listed towards the bottom of that page, all played by Eric Parkin: three collections of Billy Mayerl's transcriptions of music by other people, and a record called Scallywag which includes original music, transcriptions, and music written by Parkin himself as a tribute to Mayerl.
      There are also two further records of Mayerl's music listed in "Deleted Titles", one of the other options shown after you select your country (these titles are shown 10 at a time). One of these is another collection of Mayerl played by Eric Parkin called Puppets, and the other a collection played by Peter Jacobs. (I haven't heard any performances by Jacobs, so I can't comment on him in the way I did above on Parkin.)
      I would like to publicly praise Priory Records for one service they offer. While it is a pity that records ever get deleted from record companies' catalogues, the companies have to make money if they are to survive and continue making music available, and the commercial reality is that they cannot just keep all records on their catalogues, no matter how obscure they are and how little they sell - and no matter how valuable they may be to the art of music as a whole.
      However, Priory Records have adopted a rather different approach: they have a number of deleted records, like any other company; but instead of letting those titles sink forever into obscurity, they have a custom service whereby they will make a copy of the record for anyone who orders it. Because it's a custom service, not a regular sale, these records cost more than a regular title (17.00 sterling, as against 10.75 for a regular title, as of 1 August, 2000). In effect, they are allowing deleted titles to remain available, but the customer has to bear the cost of making and supplying the copy, which seems fair enough. I would like to commend Priory for offering this service (which I have just made use of to obtain one of their Mayerl collections), and I hope other record companies follow their example in this. I hope the day will come when no records that have at some time been available ever become permanently unavailable.

Shellwood Productions: http://www.shellwood.co.uk
      Just select "Catalogue"; this leads to a longish page which contains Shellwood's complete catalogue. Scroll down to find several records of Billy Mayerl's music. Details for each record are on separate pages, to which links are obvious and easy to find.
      Shellwood Productions, founded by Mike Lorenzini, specializes in light music, and they offer a number of records including several by Billy Mayerl. There are two collections played by Eric Parkin, called Robots and Postman's Knock, two collections by American pianist Alex Hassan including his transcriptions of Mayerl's songs, a collection by pianist Erles Jones which includes some Mayerl, and a collection by Peter Jacobs (with violinist Philip Sanderson in two pieces) with some of Billy Mayerl's more classical pieces.


Further Resources

Billy Mayerl Society

      Shellwood Productions also serves as the central headquarters of the Billy Mayerl Society. Details of this may be found on the web site: same U.R.L.,
http://www.shellwood.co.uk: follow this link, then click on "News". You will find more information, including contact details. (As with Priory Records, the various pages on this web site seem to have the same U.R.L., so I can't give a direct link.)
      I recommend that anyone who is interested in Billy Mayerl's work join the Society. There are several advantages to be had by joining. Meetings are held monthly, some of which include performances by eminent pianists; also, the Society keeps an archive of many of Billy Mayerl's compositions for the benefit of its members, and members also receive a magazine twice a year, and can purchase a book about Mayerl, Lightning Fingers, from the Society.


Billy Mayerl Yahoo Group (mailing list)

      Early in 2005, I started a Yahoo group (mailing list) about Billy Mayerl, focusing on his life and music, and also on similar music by other composers, in which I hoped to attract members interested in such music and to promote discussion and the exchange of information about this music.
      I admit that I am not in a very good position to attract members, because I do not have many musical contacts, especially ones who are interested in this sort of music, whom I can personally invite to join the group; and I have little knowledge of where and how to publicize the group so that people can learn of it on the Internet.
      As a consequence, a couple of months later, the group still has only four members (including myself). Yahoo do delete small groups that are inactive for too long, and it is possible that the Billy Mayerl group may not last for a very long time. However, I will leave it there for the time being, and try to encourage discussion when I can think of ideas to discuss - and I would encourage anyone reading this page (who is very likely to be interested in Billy Mayerl) to join the group, and to post messages there, if possible. The group will only succeed if people join and if they can be as active as possible. While I will endeavour to post from time to time, it needs several people posting at least occasionally to really get discussion going; I cannot do this entirely alone, by effectively posting succeeding episodes of a monologue. It's the exchange of ideas, the reacting of one person to another person, that really makes mailing lists of this sort successful and interesting.
      So please join and feel welcome, if you have an interest in Billy Mayerl and wish to learn more about him - or have expert knowledge of him which you'd like to share with others. Ask questions, share ideas, describe experiences related to Billy Mayerl, his life, or his music. Discussion of the music of other similar composers of light music is also welcome.
      So far, only a few messages have been posted, and traffic is so far extremely low - so you do not need to fear that your e-mail will be flooded with a high volume of messages. So if you join, and nothing seems to happen because the group is very slow in growing, you can at least understand that you will not be flooded with lots of unwanted e-mail from it. And if it does grow later on and the mail increases, hopefully it will be mail that you will be interested to receive.
      To join, please visit the group's home page at http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/BillyMayerl/. There is a link for joining there; or you can send an e-mail to BillyMayerl-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. (In doing this, you must send the e-mail from the actual e-mail address at which you wish to receive messages and post your own messages from. It doesn't matter what the subject line of such a subscription e-mail contains, or what the body contains, or even whether it contains anything at all.)
      I hope to see you there soon.


Michael Edwards,
Victoria, Australia.

Wednesday, 2 August, 2000.

E-mail me about Billy Mayerl.


NOTE:
      Click here if you need an explanation for the strange appearance of the e-mail address which will appear when you click on the e-mail link, or if you don't know what you need to do to make the e-mail address work properly.




NOTE ABOUT THE FUTURE OF THIS PAGE - Tuesday, 5 June, 2001:

      This page is obviously incomplete, as anyone who knows a bit about its subject will be able to see immediately. Please go here for an explanation about the setback that is responsible for my not completing this page, and why it may never be completed, or why it may happen only very slowly. Not that this makes any real difference to someone who would like to see the page complete - but I feel I should at least explain the situation.
      I will leave this page here, incomplete as it is, in case the information already written is useful to some readers researching a topic they may have difficulty finding information about on the Internet.

      The catalogue of Mayerl's works is very much incomplete, as I had incomplete information at the time I wrote this page, and intended to update the page progressively as more information came to hand. I believe I now have a complete catalogue of Mayerl's work, but it would require massive reorganizing to put it into a format suitable for this page. As I find myself able, I hope to work on this and complete the job. This will be the highest priority, but I also hope to add a little more commentary on available recordings of his work.




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This page created on Thursday, 8 June, 2000;
last modified on Thursday, 2 June, 2005.