|Born||25 May 1873|
Belgravia, London, UK
|Died||22 March 1963 (aged 89)|
Archibald Joyce (25 May 1873 – 22 March 1963) was an English light music composer of the early 20th century. Often regarded as the "English Waltz King," he is known for short compositions such as Dream of Autumn and Vision of Salome, both of which were part of the White Star Line's orchestra repertoire.
Joyce was born in Belgravia, London in May 1873. He began composing at a young age and became well-known for writing waltzes. Joyce died in 1963 at the age of 89.
Joyce first came to prominence with the publication of his waltz Dream of Autumn (Songe d'Automne in French) in 1908 originally written for piano.
The following year he repeated this success with the waltz Vision of Salome (1909) also written for piano.
His music was immensely popular with dance orchestras of the period along with amateur pianists. The piano solo sheet music for his waltzes sold in very large quantities in the UK. He continued primarily with his distinctive waltzes until the start of WW1. His other successes during this period were Dreaming waltz (1911), Charming and The Passing of Salome waltzes (1912), 1000 Kisses and Always Gay waltzes (1913) and Remembrance (1914).
His music was familiar worldwide during its period. His waltz "Dreaming" was provided with lyrics by Earl Carroll and introduced in the US by Miss Kitty Gordon in Oliver Morosco's comedy with music, Pretty Mrs Smith (1913). "Songe d'Automne" ("Autumn Dream") and "1000 Kisses" were incorporated into Charlie Chaplin's latter-day sound track added to his The Gold Rush. In the US a conventional method of gaining public exposure for a song was to arrange to have it included a revue: in this way Joyce's "Vision of Salome" (1909) was included in Florenz Ziegfeld Jr.'s Follies of 1910.
He co-wrote the musical Toto with Merlin Morgan (musical director of Daly's Theatre in London). After a try-out in Plymouth it opened at London's Duke of York's Theatre on 19 April 1916. Despite good initial reviews it did not take off and was withdrawn after only 77 performances.
In the 1920s, he was credited as conducting "the first modern dance band in Britain"; with it he recorded for HMV in 1912. He continued conducting his own orchestra for a number of years until the early 1920s. During the early 1920s, his orchestras recorded material for the Aeolian Company's Vocalion Records label in London. He had recorded for the Gramophone Company HMV-label in London as early as 1912 previously.
Following the 1920s, Joyce's last notable composition was Bohemia – concert waltz for piano (1942).
It is likely that passengers heard Joyce's compositions played during their time aboard RMS Titanic. In fact, the White Star Line Songbook (which the orchestra members were required to memorize) contained several works by Joyce such as: Passing of Salome, A Thousand Kisses, Sweet Memories, Vision d'Amour, Love and Life in Holland, Vision of Salome, and Dream of Autumn. Harold Bride claimed the orchestra aboard Titanic played "Autumn" as it sank. This has led to speculation that Bride was in fact referring to Dream of Autumn, which was part of the repertoire of the Songbook.
- White Star Line Repertoire encyclopedia-titanica.org, accessed 16 March 2021
- Album of Waltzes by Archibald Joyce (The English Waltz King) sheetmusicwarehouse.co.uk, accessed 1 November 2018
- "JOYCE: Toto / Dreams of You / A Thousand Kisses". www.naxos.com. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
- "Vision of Salome" levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu, accessed 1 November 2018
- "The Sensation Waltz Song of Two Continents: Dreaming" (sheet music) levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu, accessed 1 November 2018
- (Naxos) Philip Lane, "Archibald Joyce" 2006 naxos.com, accessed 27 October 2018
- D.B. Scott, "Other mainstreams: light music and easy listening, 1920–70" in The Cambridge history of twentieth-century music, 2004
- D.B. Scott, "Other mainstreams: light music and easy listening" in The Musical Style and Social Meaning: Selected Essays, 2010
- Encyclopedia Titanica: "Songe d'Automne" encyclopedia-titanica.org, accessed 27 October 2018