Gang Show sheet music

Contributed by Irene Cowper

Gang Show sheet music

"Go! Go! Go! Go! All systems go!" - the stirring opening to sheet music co-written in 1963 by my father, Frank Hassell, for the Ruddington Guides' and Scouts' gang show.

It was published by my great-uncle, Lawrence Wright, who had made his fortune writing popular songs and publishing sheet music from premises in Denmark Street - Britain's Tin Pan Alley. He also founded Melody Maker and was famous for advertising stunts like having a biplane fly around Blackpool Tower! That was in the days before popular music was widely available through entertainment radio or gramophones.

Records superceded sheet music; cassettes, CDs and mp3 files further changed the way music is available, yet popular sheet music continues to be published. Judging by the Parish Council's web site, the Ruddington scouts and guides are still thriving, too.

My father's song was written for piano and (unusually, C-tuned) ukelele, an instrument now enjoying a "Third Wave" of popularity, the heyday being the 1920s and '30s.

Sold for two shillings and sixpence, all the proceeds went to fund the scout hut!

My object draws different strands of the history of musical performance into my own family story.

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