We’ve recently been given a copy of ‘Shanty-O! A Nautical Fantasy’, performed by the Chetham’s Hospital Boy’s Choir. Written by choirmaster Gerald Littlewood and produced in 1958, we reckon this represents one of the campest record sleeves we’ve ever seen.
From a historical point of view this is an interesting addition to the archives, because it demonstrates the musical strengths of the school several years before it became a specialist music school in 1969. Gerald Littlewood was the one-time arts and crafts master who is credited with strengthening the school’s musical reputation in the 1950s and 60s through teaching the boys to make their own instruments and forging links with Manchester Cathedral and the Free Trade Hall.
For your listening pleasure, we are thrilled to make available an MP3 file of the performance here on this very blog. And so Ladies and Gentlemen, may we present to you: A Nautical Fantasy.