George Melachrino was a musician, movie composer, and musical director who was English born of Greek and Italian descent. He was an accomplished player of the violin, viola, oboe, clarinet and saxophone.
George Melachrino was born in London, England. As a young boy, he had a love of music. At the age of five, he began composing and by the age of fourteen he enrolled in the Trinity College of Music. In 1927, he began his career by singing and playing at the Savoy Hill Studios in London. For the next twelve years, he played in many different bands and orchestras. In the 1930s, Melachrino started working for bands led by Ambrose singing & playing saxophone with Carroll Gibbons at the Savoy Hotel London, and Bert Firman, and started playing on radio for the BBC. By 1939, he started his own band and secured a contract at the “Café de Paris”. He joined the Army a year later, and received training at the “Corps of Military Police” where he became a P.T. Instructor. Melachrino also gained experience as a military musician, at the “Army Broadcasting Department”, as Musical Director for the recording of entertainment for overseas forces, leading the British Band of the American Expeditionary Forces and the Orchestra Khaki. After the war, in 1945, he formed the “George Melachrino Orchestra”, an orchestra that became synonymous with sweet and melodious music.
Melachrino frequently performed on BBC and American Armed Forces Radio. He vied with Mantovani in trying to dominate the post World War II easy listening audiences.