White: Puffin’ Billy


Edward White’s Puffin’ Billy is a well known TV signature tune. Often used to represent ‘1950s England’. Good, clean fun for wind quintet!

  • Instruments : Fl.+Picc Ob. Cl.(in Bb) Hn. Bsn.
  • Difficulty : C/D – approx. ABRSM Grade 5-6
  • Duration : 3’30
  • ISMN : 979-0-708088-58-5
  • Portus Press reference : PPQ30
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Edward White (1910–1994) was a British composer and arranger of light music who, after service in the RAF during World War II, ran a ballroom orchestra at the Grand Spa Hotel in Bristol.  A number of his compositions became familiar as radio and television theme tunes, most notable of which is Puffin’ Billy.  It is undoubtedly his most familiar work and was inspired by an old steam locomotive called “Puffing Billy” seen by the composer whilst on holiday on the Isle of Wight.

It is now most often heard as a musical representation of  “1950s Middle England” but it first entered the public arena when it was used as the signature tune for the BBC Radio’s Children’s Favourites – a radio request programme which ran from 1952 to 1966.  Across the pond, many thousands of American children also grew up with Puffin’ Billy where, for almost 20 years, it was the theme music to CBS TV’s long-running children’s series Captain Kangaroo.

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For copyright reasons this title is only available in printed sheet music format.  It is not available to buy in North America.

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