I've mentioned before that I like to periodically check the freebies that Amazon and other online music sellers offer. Although some of the tracks they give away are a little iffy, you can also find yourself getting acquainted with good music from someone you might not know too well, like Arthur Greenslade.
Arthur Greenslade's name might not be a familiar one to most current music fans, but by the time he died in 2003 the British-born pianist, arranger, and conductor had spent a half-century as a solid and respected part of the pop music scene. During his career he worked with everyone from Engelbert Humperdinck to the Rolling Stones.
Greenslade was a piano prodigy who was playing professionally by his mid-teens. In his early years, he appeared in various bands that included those of Cyril Stapleton and Oscar Rabin, and eventually formed his own group, Arthur Greenslade & The G-Men. By the 1960s and later, Greenslade was much in demand as an arranger and musical director, and had worked with some of the biggest names in pop music, including Tom Jones, Johnny Mathis, and Dusty Springfield. He even helped out on French pop star Serge Gainsbourg's infamous, erotic duet with British model Jane Birkin on "Je T'Aime…Moi Non Plus."
Greenslade also conducted orchestras in venues as varied as Carnegie Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, and even branched into TV as the musical director for The Shirley Bassey Show. He also found a lot of success working in films, which included his collaborating with Rod McKuen for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
In later years, Arthur and his wife relocated to Australia, where he ultimately died in 2003.