An Open Letter To The Estate (Or The Next of Kin) of Eric Siday

To whomever it may concern, I am very interested in finding out more about Mr. Eric Siday.

The man who played hot-jazz violin, cut many recordings with London-based jazz-bands in the 1920’s and ’30’s, and utilized a chromatic playing style technically advanced for its day. The man, who in later years after emigrating to the US had also developed electro-acoustic music and the television logo jingle; THAT Eric Siday.

The Rhythm Gangsters: Blues (Odeon A 272 138; Mx. No.: CE 8882-1; Originally recorded for Parlophone; R-2505)

I am really filled with joy, wonderment, frustration and sadness all at the same time that there was this amazing person that made such incredible advancements in both jazz violin and experimental music, and yet he is virtually forgotten today. His now infamous Screen Gems logo music frightened an entire generation of unsuspecting kids (Myself among them) when our favorite shows were signing-off. Consisting of what is believed to be a combination of a recorded violin phrase on reversed tape (For the first six notes) and a moog (For the last six, in harmonics), the Screen Gems piece is creepy, yet very distinctive and quite memorable.

Screen Gems logo (1965)

I would hope that someone out there that knows more about Mr. Siday will offer more material about the man we know very little about. For there to be the kind of effect that even his logo music had on people, he deserves to have his legacy retold in a documented fashion. If it wasn’t for filmmaker Rodney Ascher’s short thriller/documentary “The S From Hell”, I never would have been compelled to find out more about him.

I think it’s time that the world recognizes an untapped genius.

Yours Truly,
Chris McGovern

Piccadilly Revels Band: Jog Jog Jogging Along (Featuring Eric Siday, violin; Columbia, circa 1927)

NET logo (1969)


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