Golden Age of American Popular Music: Hits with Strings and Things
by Various Artists
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- Released: May 12, 2009
- Originally Released: 2009
- Label: Ace Records Uk
- 1.More - Kai Winding
- 2.Love Is Blue - Paul Mauriat
- 3.Washington Square - The Village Stompers
- 4.Mexico - Bob Moore
- 5.Our Winter Love - Bill Pursell
- 6.Fly Me To The Moon - Joe Harnell
- 7.Flying Circle - Fray Slay
- 8.Image - Hank Levine
- 9.Alley Cat - Bent Fabric
- 10.Beautiful Obsesion - Sir Chauncey
- 11.Java - Al Hirt
- 12.Enchanted Sea, The - The Islanders
- 13.Walk In The Black Forest, A - Horst Jankowski
- 14.Calcutta - Lawrence Welk
- 15.Moon River - Henry Mancini
- 16.Cast Your Fate To The Wind - Sounds Orchestral
- 17.Swingin' Safara, A - Billy Vaughn
- 18.Stranger On The Shore - Acker Bilk
- 19.Summer Set - Monty Kelly
- 20.Baby Elephant Walk - The Miniature Men
- 21.Lost Love - H.B. Barnum
- 22.Soul Coaxing (Amy Caline) - Raymond LefŠvre
- 23.Dis-Advantages Of You, The - The Brass Ring
- 24.Summer Samba (So Nice) - Walter Wandereley
- 25.Canadian Sunset - Eddie Heywood / Hugo Winterhalter
- 26.Theme From 'A Summer Place' - Percy Faith
- 27.Music To Watch Girls By - Bob Crewe Generation
- 28.Bonanza - Al Caiola
Personnel: Al Caiola (guitar); Al Hirt (trumpet); Eddie Heywood (piano).
Liner Note Author: Rob Finnis.
Photographers: Frank Slay; Johnny Beecher; Dr. Warren Nadel; Frank Metis; Rob Finnis.
The point's been made elsewhere, but hit radio of the 1960s wasn't only devoted to rock and soul music, as dominant as those forces were on both record sales and youth culture. You could also hear non-rock hits slip into the playlist on a more or less constant basis. Golden Age of American Popular Music: Hits with Strings and Things - Hot 100 Instrumentals has 28 such hits -- some mild, some huge -- from the decade (with a couple from the mid- to late '50s slipping in) that fit into the easy listening instrumental category. The "easy listening" label, though it's the one used more than any other, is a little deceptive. Some of these tunes are pretty forceful (though some are admittedly lush and meek), and quite a few of them borrow from aspects of rock, jazz, and even sometimes folk/country/world music in their arrangements, though at heart these are usually pretty smooth productions targeted toward an all-ages audience. Some of the biggest, and some of the best (the two are not necessarily the same) such smashes are here: Kai Winding's "More," Paul Mauriat's massive number one hit "Love Is Blue," Percy Faith's much-derided "The Theme from a Summer Place," Lawrence Welk's "Calcutta," the Village Stompers' folk-Dixieland hybrid "Washington Square," Bent Fabric's jazzy piano outing "Alley Cat," Henry Mancini's "Moon River," Acker Bilk's "Stranger on the Shore," Bill Pursell's "Our Winter Love" (with its mesmerizing low fuzzy blasts), Al Caiola's rendition of the "Bonanza" theme, Sounds Orchestral's interpretation of jazz pianist Vince Guaraldi's "Cast Your Fate to the Wind," and the Bob Crewe Generation's archetypal swinging bachelor anthem "Music to Watch Girls By." Also here are a bunch of instrumentals that didn't quite make it to the Top 20 (and sometimes charted much lower than that), though some of them are of notable fame as well, especially Walter Wanderley's effervescent bossa nova "Summer Samba (So Nice)." ~ Richie Unterberger
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