“Geoffrey Love, known as Geoff Love, was a prolific British arranger and composer of easy listening and pop versions of film themes. He became famous in the late 1950s, playing under the pseudonym of Manuel and The Music of The Mountains.
Love was born in Todmorden, West Riding of Yorkshire, England, the only son and younger of two surviving children (an elder sister Cornelia) of African American Thomas Edward (Kidd) Love and his English wife, Frances Helen Maycock (1892–1975), an actress and singer.
The Loves travelled around Britain as entertainers, but, following the death of his father, the family returned to their grandmother’s house in Todmorden. Whilst at school, Love learned the trombone. After leaving school at 15, Love worked as a car mechanic and played trombone at dance halls in the evening. Having turned professional at 17, Love joined Freddie Platt‘s band.
Later, in 1936, he joined Jan Ralfini‘s band playing in London and learned to play jazz. With the outbreak of the Second World War, Love was called up and joined the King’s Royal Rifle Corps. Whilst in the armed forces, Love spent time learning orchestration by questioning musicians how best to write for their individual instruments.
Love married Cicely Joyce Peters (known as Joy, 1923/4–1993) on 4 April 1942. She worked alongside Love, organising his recording sessions and accounts. They had two sons, Adrian (1944–1999), who became a well-known radio presenter, and Nigel (1948–2013).
Following his release from the army, Love became a freelance trombonist and arranger, and also played with Stanley Black’s BBC orchestra. He also developed his orchestration through the tutelage of the harpist Marie Goossens.
In the early 1950s, along with saxophonist Harry Gold, his brother Laurie Gold and pianist Norrie Paramor, Love was a member of the ‘Pieces of Eight’ playing Dixieland jazz.
Although Love continued to play trombone at recording sessions (for example with bandleader Lew Stone), he was doing more and more orchestral arrangements…
One of Love’s most recognised arrangements was “Rodrigo’s Guitar Concerto De Aranjuez (Theme From 2nd Movement)” by Manuel and the Music of the Mountains. This was announced as the number one single in the United Kingdom in February 1976 but the chart was withdrawn four hours later due to compilation errors, making it the shortest period that a song had been number one…
Love appeared on television with pianist Russ Conway and became well known for working alongside singer-comedian Max Bygraves. He was also a prolific composer, writing the theme music for the ITV sitcom Bless This House. Love also made some recordings as a vocalist.
He was the subject of This Is Your Life in 1975 when he was surprised by Eamonn Andrews.
In the early 1980s, Love was the co-founder (with Bill Starling) of the Young Person’s Concert Foundation. He travelled the country with this charity promoting music to schools and other venues. In the late 1980s, Love became involved with several brass bands.
Love’s prolific career garnered one platinum, fifteen gold and thirteen silver discs, and a special trophy for selling in excess of 2½ million records.
Love died at the University College Hospital, Camden, London, on 8 July 1991 at the age of 73.”