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The Tathams of County Durham
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Robert Ernest Docker

Robert Ernest Docker

Male 1918 - 1992  (73 years)


  • Name Robert Ernest Docker  [1, 2, 3
    Birth 05 Jun 1918  Paddington Find all individuals with events at this location   [1, 3, 4
    • son of Robert E Docker & Lillian L Kingston
    Education abt 1929 - 1934  North Paddington Central School, Kilburn Lane, Queen's Park Find all individuals with events at this location   [5
    Education abt 1934 - 1936  Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Find all individuals with events at this location   [5
    Occupation 1935 -  Composer, pianist and arranger  [4, 5
    Marriage 20 Mar 1941  Ealing Find all individuals with events at this location   [2, 4
    Viola Deacon Bray,   b. 22 Mar 1919, Cape Town, South Africa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 08 Jun 1966, Ealing Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Residence abt 1951 - 1964  34 Studland Rd, Ealing Find all individuals with events at this location   [6
    Death 09 May 1992  Bury St Edmunds Find all individuals with events at this location   [3, 4
    Notes 
    • Robert Docker was widely regarded as one of the finest musicians in the field of popular light music. He was certainly one of its primary champions as a performer both in Britain and later in Australia. His compositions, including those featured on this recording, have become standards in the light music genre, but perhaps it is for his arrangements that he was best known and loved by audiences and broadcast producers alike. He wrote works of considerable stature for piano and orchestra and for the combined forces of orchestra with solo singers and chorus, selections from the greatest hits shows from stage and screen. He also wrote and orchestrated music for cinema, including part of the score for the film Chariots of Fire.
      Robert Docker was born in London on 5 June, 1918, the son of a gas worker. He was educated first at North Paddington Central School, during which time he also received some private musical tuition. He arrived with a London County Council Scholarship at the Royal Academy of Music, where he studied viola, piano and composition. He also learned to play the organ, the harpsichord and the violin, but it was his particular skill at the piano keyboard that largely determined the successful career that was to lie ahead of him. His first arrangement was broadcast in 1936 and his début on air came some ten years later.
      Docker worked with many famous names, both as an arranger and as an accompanist. Amongst the many popular artists for whom he made arrangements were the Scottish soprano Moira Anderson, Cynthia Glover and the American diva, Lorna Dallas. He also had fond memories of accompanying José Carreras in one of the songs at the tenor's first popular concert appearance at the Royal Albert Hall in 1985.
      A large number of Docker's appearances during the last twenty years of his life were for the BBC, principally for BBC Radio 2 and with the BBC Concert Orchestra in the long running series Friday Night Is Music Night, where for many years he worked with and orchestrated for the late and irreplaceable Sidney Torch. In addition to these broadcasts were his many appearances as soloist and as orchestral pianist with the London Studio Players, on Radio 2 and in other areas of BBC programming, where the best of British light music was often heard. [Naxos website accessed 22 Jan 2013]
    • Subsequent marriage reg Ealing 2Q1968 to Vera M Unsworth
    Person ID I2382  Tatham | Meaburn branch | Parent of spouse
    Last Modified 22 Jan 2013 

    Family Viola Deacon Bray,   b. 22 Mar 1919, Cape Town, South Africa Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 08 Jun 1966, Ealing Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 47 years) 
    Marriage 20 Mar 1941  Ealing Find all individuals with events at this location   [2, 4
    Children 
    +1. Living
    Last Modified 22 Jan 2013 
    Family ID F1159  Family Group Sheet

  • Event Map Click to display
    Link to Google MapsBirth - 05 Jun 1918 - Paddington Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEducation - abt 1929 - 1934 - North Paddington Central School, Kilburn Lane, Queen's Park Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsEducation - abt 1934 - 1936 - Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - < - 20 Mar 1941 - Ealing Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarriage - 20 Mar 1941 - Ealing Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - abt 1951 - 1964 - 34 Studland Rd, Ealing Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDeath - 09 May 1992 - Bury St Edmunds Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Maps 
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  • Sources 
    1. [S02] BMD Index, birth reg Paddington, 2Q1918.

    2. [S02] BMD Index, marriage reg Brentford, 1Q1941.

    3. [S02] BMD Index, death reg Bury St Edmunds, May 1992.
      b 05 Jun 1918

    4. [S03] Family Members, AJAW.

    5. [S07] Other Sources, Naxos Classical Music.
      website accessed 22 Jan 2013

    6. [S25] Electoral Registers.