Angela Morley

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Angela Morley
Angela Morley (born Walter "Wally" Stott, 1924–2009[1]) was a composer and conductor. Morley was born in Leeds, Yorkshire in 1924, and played saxophone in a number of dance bands, and in 1944 became a member of Geraldo's band.

She attributed her entry into composing and arranging largely to the influence and encouragement of the Canadian light music composer Robert Farnon. In 1972, Morley underwent a sex-change operation. Later in life, she lived in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Morley won two Emmy Awards for her work in music arrangement. These were in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction, in 1988 and 1990, both for television specials starring Julie Andrews. Morley received Emmy nominations for composing music for television series such as Dynasty and Dallas. She was twice nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Music, Original Song Score/Adaptation: for The Little Prince (1974), a nomination shared with Alan Jay Lerner, Frederick Loewe, and Douglas Gamley; and for The Slipper and the Rose, which Morley shared with Richard Robert Sherman.

Pre-transition work

Stott was originally a composer of light music, best known for pieces such as the jaunty "Rotten Row" and "A Canadian in Mayfair", a homage to Robert Farnon's "Portrait of a Flirt". Stott is also remembered for writing the theme tune and incidental music for Hancock's Half Hour,[2] and was the musical director for The Goon Show from the third series in 1952 to the last show in 1960. Another short but remembered theme was the 12-note-long "Ident Zoom-2", written for Associated TeleVision (ATV), in use from the introduction of colour television in 1969, until the demise of ATV in 1981.

In 1953, Stott began a long association with the Philips record label, arranging for and accompanying the company's artists, as well as releasing records, including the 1958 album, London Pride.

In 1958, Stott worked with Shirley Bassey, most notably on the song "As I Love You", which got to Number 1 in the UK Singles Chart in January 1959, and also worked with Dusty Springfield and the first four solo albums by Scott Walker.[3] In 1962 and 1963, Stott arranged the United Kingdom entries for the Eurovision Song Contest, "Ring-A-Ding Girl" and "Say Wonderful Things", both sung by Ronnie Carroll.

In 1961, Stott provided the orchestral accompaniments for a selection of choral arrangements made by Norman Luboff for an RCA album recorded in Walthamstow Town Hall. The New Symphony Orchestra (an ad hoc recording ensemble) was conducted by Leopold Stokowski, and the choir of professional British singers, as rehearsed by Luboff, performed such favourites as "Deep River", Handel's "Largo", Bach's "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring", Rachmaninoff's "Vocalise]", under the album's title Inspiration (also later reissued on a BMG Classics CD). In 1962, Stott arranged and conducted the RCA Red Seal debut album Romantic Italian Songs for Italian-born tenor Sergio Franchi, and later did the arrangements and conducting for Franchi's 1963 RCA album, Women in My Life.

Work as Angela Morley

After her gender reassignment, she orchestrated, arranged, and supervised the music for the final musical film collaboration of Lerner and Loewe, The Little Prince (1974). At this time, she was also a regular guest conductor of the BBC Radio Orchestra and BBC Big Band.

In 1976, she was music supervisor, arranger, and conductor for the Sherman Brothers musical adaptation of the Cinderella story, The Slipper and the Rose. She won Oscar nominations for both films.[4] Additionally, she wrote most of the score for the 1978 film version of Watership Down, although the prelude and opening was by Malcolm Williamson. This episode was the subject of the BBC Radio 4 play 1977, with Rebecca Root as Morley.[5]

From about this point she began a collaboration with John Williams, the composer for Star Wars and other films,[6] though working in an uncredited capacity.

During the 1980s she wrote numerous arrangements for the Boston Pops Orchestra and scored many episodes of television shows, including Dynasty, Dallas, Falcon Crest and Hotel. She was nominated multiple times for Emmy Awards and won for music direction of Julie Andrews television specials.[7]

Morley died at Scottsdale, Arizona, on 14 January 2009 of complications from a fall and subsequent heart attack at the age of 84.


Based on a Wikipedia article.

  1. The Stage / News / Composer Angela Morley dies
  2. Christopher Stephens, Born Brilliant: The Life Of Kenneth Williams. John Murray, 2010, isbn = 1-84854-195-3, page 78.
  3. BBC Wales - Music - Shirley Bassey - "As I Love You"
  4. Gavin Gaughan, "Obituary: Angela Morley", The Guardian 23 January 2009
  5. Sarah Wooley, "Writing '1977' for BBC Radio 4, and why it's about so much more than "a transgender woman in the 1970s". BBC Writers Room, 30 November 2015. Accessed: 2015-12-03. (Archived by WebCite® at
  6. Angela Morley's career autobiography.
  7. BWW News Desk "Emmy Winning and Oscar Nominated Arranger Angela Morley Passes Away at 84" Broadway World 18 January 2009.