British Light Music is, for the most part, a form of programme music, with each piece designed to represent a mood, object, place or event. It was this quality, which made it ideal for broadcast throughout the heyday of radio, leading to the introduction of The BBC Light Programme in 1945, and during the advent of television, where British Light Music featured as the introduction to many early programmes. It was, in fact, these two mediums, which facilitated its success.
The genre's popularity was complemented by its use in film; notably, and amongst many others, in the 1939 version of Goodbye Mr Chips with the soundtrack by Richard Addinsell, and the 1955 World War II classic The Dam Busters, which featured the famous 'Dam Busters's March' by Eric Coates. Although the style has declined since the early 1960s, its use in film has contributed greatly to its longevity.
Famous British Light Music composers include Ernest Tomlinson, Edward German, Haydn Wood, Richard Addinsell and Eric Coates, the last of whom is described as the 'father' or 'king' of British Light Music." - Naxos.com (where you can find liner notes for each album in the series)
Get this collection in one Spotify playlist: Naxos - British Light Music (539 tracks, 31 albums, total time: 35 hours). Ctrl (CMD) + G to browse in album view. It includes some Naxos British light music compilations, and Vintage TV & Radio Classics (including Fritz Spiegl's wake-up music for BBC Radio 4, which was dropped in 2006 after 30 years despite a nationwide campaign to save it), though they are not listed in the series on the Naxos site.