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Eric Coates (1886 - 1957)


Dambusters March

Eric Coates was born in Hucknall, in the Nottinghamshire coalfields, only a few miles from the County's other famous son D.H.Lawrence. Educated locally and later at the Royal Academy of Music, he had a solid training in orchestral composition, through playing the principal viola in the Queen's Hall Orchestra under Sir Henry Wood.

But he soon became much better known as the composer of many light music classics. Many were used as signature tunes for programmes on the wireless, most famously Sleepy Lagoon, still used to introduce Desert Island Discs. He wrote only a few film scores, and The Dambusters of 1954 is both the finest and the most famous.

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