Roger Roger made his professional conducting debut at the age of eighteen in a Music Hall, but it wasn't long before radio and films beckoned. During his long career he claimed to have been involved in more than 500 film productions.
He started writing for French films towards at the end of the 30s. Firstly documentaries, then feature films. Several European radio stations employed him, especially Radio Luxembourg, Radio 37 and Europe 1; he was closely involved with the early programmes on the new French Television service.
Usually he recorded his own music in Paris. He was also required to create pieces of a more serious nature, including some heavy, repetitive tracks that could be used as accompaniment for industrial scenes in documentaries.
The Paris office of Chappells used to issue its own series of library LPs of background music, and from the mid 50s onwards Roger recorded almost 20 albums of his own compositions for them. He worked most of his life with his childhood friend, Nino Nardini. His widow, the opera singer Eva Rehfuss, remembers that Chappells agent in the USA was particularly successful in getting Roger's music used in various soap operas.
In the mid-60's, he created his own studio: Studio Ganaro.
Roger's own compositions have, at times, been compared with the American Leroy Anderson, although they never actually met. But a close collaboration, which developed into a strong friendship, grew up between Roger and Frank Chacksfield. The two worked together on BBC shows, and in a series called "Performance" for French radio. By a strange coincidence, Frank died just three days before Roger in 1995. Roger also knew Lalo Schifrin well, but it was more of a friendship than a working relationship, because they each preferred to compose on their own.
Roger Roger died in Paris on 12 June 1995 aged 83.
Roger Roger Discography
- 4 Instruments & Performance
- 233 Writing & Arrangement
- 12 Conducting & Leading
- 1 Production
- 1 Technical