Tribute to band leader with a big love of jazz

Musician, musical director, arranger and composer Geoff Love, who died aged 73 in 1991, was born in Todmorden on September 4, 1917
Musician, musical director, arranger and composer Geoff Love, who died aged 73 in 1991, was born in Todmorden on September 4, 1917
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A weekend packed with music and film will mark the publication of a biography of one of Todmorden’s most famous sons on the centenary of his birth later this year.

Musician, musical director, arranger and composer Geoff Love, who died aged 73 in 1991, was born in Todmorden on September 4, 1917, grew up and took his first musical steps there on the way to a career which saw him work with some of the world’s top music stars and – selling more than two and a half million albums - become a recording star and showbusiness personality in his own right.

Todmorden historian Bill Birch’s new book A Love Affair With Music will be launched amid a weekend of celebrations on September 2 and 3, leading up to the 100th anniversary of Geoff’s birth.

The author has granted exclusive sales rights and all profits to Todmorden Information Centre.

It tells the amazing - and vividly illustrated - story of Geoff’s parents’ showbusiness background and follows his life from his humble upbringing in the Todmorden of the 1920s and 1930s to his arranging and recording with dozens of stars, including Shirley Bassey, Connie Francis, Marlene Dietrich, Vera Lynn, Judy Garland, Frankie Vaughan and Johnny Mathis.

Organisers are now appealing for donations to make up a £3,000 shortfall to complete funding for the book, which is a hard-backed limited edition.

Events planned for September 2 include a Geoff Love walk around Todmorden, a musically accompanied civic reception at the town hall and the book launch in the afternoon, and a big band concert in the evening.

The following day a Todmorden Town Hall tour based around Geoff is being planned with afternoon events at Todmorden’s Hippodrome Theatre including screenings of TV programmes which featured Geoff, such as his appearance on television’s This Is Your Life, and a concert by Todmorden Community Brass Band.

The weekend is being co-ordinated by Todmorden Information Centre. If you can help with donations, please contact manager Jacqui Matthews on 01706 818181.