The Golden Age of Light Music: More Strings in Stereo!

The Golden Age of Light Music: More Strings in Stereo!



The Guild label has issued a large series of CDs covering the history of the music known as easy listening in North America and light music in the British Isles. The series is loosely but not exclusively chronological. This release is unusual in that the selections come almost exclusively from the year 1958. Thus the music is relatively late in the history of the genre, and the album, presumably (it is unclear how long the series will eventually last), is one of Guild's later releases. The interaction between the easy listening genre and stereo sound was a natural one, and some of the composers and bandleaders represented here, notably Morton Gould, clearly wrote with the new effects of stereo separation in mind. The music also bears traces of what would within a few years be called space-age bachelor pad music, with even the veteran Canadian leader Robert Farnon undertaking a fairly experimental sound in "Stay with the Happy People/Violins from Nowhere" (track 5). The genre generally became more North American as it went along, and the selections here are fine specimens of North American styles, somewhat less musically intricate than the British groups, but no less lush. The album features some almost unknown musicians in addition to stars of the genre, like Nelson Riddle and Canadian-American Percy Faith; Frank de Vol may be familiar to viewers of The Brady Bunch television series, but not much otherwise. Highlights of the program include the full-on exoticism of Les Baxter's original "Harem Silks of Bombay" (track 18) and the two tracks by perhaps the genre's sole female orchestra leader, Angela Morley. A high proportion of truly offbeat tracks may make this an odd place to start with Guild's series or easy listening music in general, but as usual much is worth hearing here. Guild's remastering of the top-notch original sound is impressive.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/12/2010
Label: Guild
UPC: 0795754515923
catalogNumber: 5159

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Morton Gould   Conductor
Percy Faith   Conductor
Baxter   Conductor
London Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Buddy Bregman   Conductor
Billy Vaughn   Conductor
Hal Mooney   Conductor
Frank deVol   Conductor
George Melachrino   Conductor
Warren Barker   Conductor
Robert Farnon   Conductor
Robert Farnon Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Nelson Riddle   Conductor
Angela Morley   Conductor
Percy Faith & His Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Hal Mooney Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Charles Mackerras   Conductor
Conrad Salinger Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Clebanoff Strings   Performing Ensemble
Billy Vaughn's Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Melachrino Strings   Performing Ensemble
David Carroll   Conductor
Cinema Sound Stage Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Angela Morley Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Rio Carnival Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Baxter Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Frank Devol Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
David Carroll Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Nelson Riddle Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Morton Gould Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Pierre Challet Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Pierre Challet   Conductor
Gaslight Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Warren Barker and His Orchestra   Performing Ensemble

Technical Credits

Eric Coates   Composer
Morton Gould   Composer
Victor Herbert   Composer
Dimitri Tiomkin   Composer
Percy Faith   Arranger
Irving Berlin   Composer
Baxter   Composer
Paul Whiteman   Composer
Harold Arlen   Composer
Richard Rodgers   Composer
Charles K. Harris   Composer
Johnny Burke   Songwriter
Sammy Fain   Original Material
Robert Farnon   Arranger,Composer
Edward Heyman   Songwriter
Bob Hilliard   Original Material
Nelson Riddle   Arranger
Cole Porter   Composer
Conrad Salinger   Arranger
Jule Styne   Original Material
James Van Heusen   Composer
Ned Washington   Songwriter
Victor Young   Composer
Angela Morley   Arranger,Composer
Manuel Ponce   Composer
John Blackburn   Songwriter
Eric Maschwitz   Composer
Manning Sherwin   Songwriter
Karl Suessdorf   Composer
Ralph Sterling   Arranger
Ferde Grofé   Arranger
David Ades   Liner Notes
Léon Pober   Composer
William Hill-Bowen   Composer
Joseph F. Kuhn   Composer
Tony Tamburello   Composer
John Green   Composer
H. Magdison   Original Material
Roy Straigis   Composer
Claude Buckle   Cover Illustration
Ted Kochler   Songwriter

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