Ivor Novello

David Ivor Davies (January 15, 1893 - March 6, 1951), better known as Ivor Novello , was one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century. He was born at Llwyn-yr-Eos (Grove of Nightingales), Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, Wales, to Dame Clara Novello Davies (1861-1943), a well-known singer and teacher, and David Davies, a tax collector. He first became well known as a result of the song, "Keep the Home Fires Burning", which he composed during World War I. After the war, he appeared on stage in the West End, in musical shows of his own devising, the best known being The Dancing Years (1939). He also went to Hollywood and appeared in films, but the stage remained his first love and the medium for his major successes.

Novello wrote his musical shows in the style of operetta, and was one of the last major composers in this form. He generally composed his music to the librettos of Christopher Hassall.

During World War II, Novello was convicted of illegal use of rationed petrol (gasoline) and was briefly imprisoned. This downfall from his luxurious lifestyle completely broke his spirit, and he was never the same man after his release. However, he continued to appear on stage until the day before his sudden death.

Novello was a homosexual, well known for some of his more glamorous affairs. For 35 years, he was the lover of the British actor Bobby Andrews, and he had an affair with the British poet and writer Siegfried Sassoon. It was alleged by W. Somerset Maugham that Winston Churchill confided in him that he had once been to bed with Novello.

The Ivor Novello Award is a prize awarded for songwriting, named for Ivor Novello, and awarded each year by the record industry to song writers and arrangers rather than the performing artistes.

Novello was portrayed in the fictional film Gosford Park (2001) by Jeremy Northam and several of his songs were used for the film's soundtrack.

Principal Shows

  • Glamorous Night (1935)
  • Careless Rapture (1936)
  • Crest of the Wave (1937)
  • The Dancing Years (1939)
  • Arc de Triomphe (1943)
  • Perchance to Dream (1945)
  • King's Rhapsody (1949)
  • Gay's the Word (1951)

Outstanding Songs

  • "Keep the Home Fires Burning"
  • "Fold Your Wings"
  • "Shine Through my Dreams"
  • "Rose of England"
  • "I can Give you the Starlight"
  • "My Dearest Dear"
  • "When I Curtsied to the King"
  • "We'll Gather Lilacs"
  • "Someday my Heart will Awake"
  • "Yesterday"

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Novello was portrayed in the fictional film Gosford Park (2001) by Jeremy Northam and several of his songs were used for the film's soundtrack. However, some friends and associates disputed this explanation, and fans have speculated in the years since as to whether his death was actually a murder, and if so, at whose hand, or whether he faked his own death and disappeared. The Ivor Novello Award is a prize awarded for songwriting, named for Ivor Novello, and awarded each year by the record industry to song writers and arrangers rather than the performing artistes. An official inquiry concluded that the death was suicide. It was alleged by W. Somerset Maugham that Winston Churchill confided in him that he had once been to bed with Novello. Shortly thereafter, a shot rang out, and he was found dead in his bedroom with a gunshot wound to the head. Novello was a homosexual, well known for some of his more glamorous affairs. For 35 years, he was the lover of the British actor Bobby Andrews, and he had an affair with the British poet and writer Siegfried Sassoon. In the early morning hours of June 16, 1959, three days before a planned wedding to Lenore Lemmon, he went to bed after a long night with guests.

However, he continued to appear on stage until the day before his sudden death. During World War II, Reeves enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps and appeared in war training films. This downfall from his luxurious lifestyle completely broke his spirit, and he was never the same man after his release. Besides playing Superman on TV, he also had minor roles in a number of movies, including Gone With the Wind, and From Here to Eternity. During World War II, Novello was convicted of illegal use of rationed petrol (gasoline) and was briefly imprisoned. George Bessolo Reeves (born George Keefer Brewer) (January 6, 1914–June 16, 1959) was an American actor, best known for playing the role of Superman on television in the 1950s. He generally composed his music to the librettos of Christopher Hassall.

Novello wrote his musical shows in the style of operetta, and was one of the last major composers in this form. He also went to Hollywood and appeared in films, but the stage remained his first love and the medium for his major successes. He first became well known as a result of the song, "Keep the Home Fires Burning", which he composed during World War I. After the war, he appeared on stage in the West End, in musical shows of his own devising, the best known being The Dancing Years (1939). He was born at Llwyn-yr-Eos (Grove of Nightingales), Cowbridge Road East, Cardiff, Wales, to Dame Clara Novello Davies (1861-1943), a well-known singer and teacher, and David Davies, a tax collector.

David Ivor Davies (January 15, 1893 - March 6, 1951), better known as Ivor Novello , was one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century. "Yesterday". "Someday my Heart will Awake". "We'll Gather Lilacs".

"When I Curtsied to the King". "My Dearest Dear". "I can Give you the Starlight". "Rose of England".

"Shine Through my Dreams". "Fold Your Wings". "Keep the Home Fires Burning". Gay's the Word (1951).

King's Rhapsody (1949). Perchance to Dream (1945). Arc de Triomphe (1943). The Dancing Years (1939).

Crest of the Wave (1937). Careless Rapture (1936). Glamorous Night (1935).

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