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1920s Singer Ernest Lough Dies

February 25, 2000

LONDON (AP) _ Ernest Lough, the choirboy whose sweet treble voice made an international hit of a Mendelssohn anthem in the 1920s, has died at age 88.

Lough died Tuesday at his home in Watford, 25 miles northwest of London, following a brief illness, his family said.

As a 15-year-old chorister at the Temple Church in London, Lough was selected as soloist for a recording of Felix Mendelssohn’s ``Hear my prayer,″ which includes the treble solo passage, ``O for the wings of a dove.″

The choir director, George Thalben-Ball, chose Lough to sing instead of two other regular soloists because ``it was judged that my voice was in the best condition on the day of the recording,″ Lough once recalled.

The recording sold more than 300,000 copies in six months after its release in 1927 _ so many that the original master was worn out, and it had to be recorded again.

In 1962, Lough received a gold disc recognizing that the recording had sold a million copies _ a mark it had reached some years before.

Though his career was in advertising, Lough continued to sing in the choir of the Temple Church. He and his son Peter were part of the choir at the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.

Lough is survived by his wife, Julie, and three sons. Funeral arrangements were not announced.

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