The Command records, specifically "Persuasive Percussion," "Provacative Percussion," "Big Band Bossa
Nova," and "Stereo/35mm" all charted, in fact Persuasive was at the top of the Billboard stereo
album charts for weeks and weeks. I know for a fact that "Persuasive" and "Provacative" together
sold over 1 million records, and the briefly-available CD reissues sell for dozens of dollars used.
These were immensely popular records in their time, and were very important to the industry as far
as getting stereo established with the listening public, the Regular Joes.
I don't know about 1000 Strings, but I think Esquavel sold quite well, too. After the massive
success of Command, all the major labels tried doing percussion and "stereo spectacular" records.
Some sold quite well, many were expensive flops, some are better remembered today than they were
accepted by the public when released.
Also not on the list but deserving to be there are the only two classical Gold Records from the
1950's -- the Mercury mono "1812 Overture" (Dorati/Minneapolis) and Van Cliburn's "victory lap"
recording after he won the Moscow competition, on RCA. I believe in those days, Gold meant half a
million or more in sales dollars, not 500,000 units.
I hesitate to suggest this, but ... if you're making a registry that's truly representative of
Americans' recording and listening tastes, then you need to include something disco from the
mid-70's. I'd suggest that the soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever," which I think went
mulit-platinum, would cover that.
I'm not sure how the nominating process works, but this list is very jazz heavy. Just to be clear, I
love jazz and have a huge collection of jazz albums and listen to jazz more frequently than any
other type of music, but, it was never what paid the bills for the music business, at least not from
the dawn of LPs forward. It was a freak occurance for a jazz album to be a mainstream hit, and those
albums do belong on the list, stuff like "Kind of Blue," and "The Girl from Ipanema." I don't have a
beef with deep-catalog jazz on the list, I just wish other stuff that had a much wider influence on
the listening public were on the list.
Oh, one other thing that belongs on the list if you're including important audio documents. Mickey
Kapp made a 6-LP deluxe set for Time-Life called "To The Moon" that summed up the space program
through the first moon landing and included extensive NASA and other audio. It was more general and
more all-encompassing than any other space-related recording and apparently sold many copies based
on how many used and well-worn copies show up on eBay and in record shops I've visited.
It was nice to see O. Winston Link's train recordings listed, but what about Emory Cook's, which
were ground-breaking? I think Link's are much cooler, but Cook was there first.
Mike, definitely agree about Sound in the Round, although I'm not sure how many copies of this sold
to a mass audience. I know it came out on stereo LP (I have a mint copy), but I think it got its big
bang in the early 2T tape days, so that was a niche if highly enthusiastic audience.
BTW, I'm not convinced the folks who write copy for this list are even clear that stereo happened
Ya know, the thought also occurred to me that Latin music is under-represented, big-time! Anything
from the Rhumba, Samba, Cha-Cha records of the 1940s to Machito to Latin funk to more modern
pop-oriented Latin music like Ricky Martin (multi-platinum stuff, should not be ignored even if it's
not a typical collector's taste). Aaron Levinson might chime in here, he's the true Latin expert on
-- Tom Fine
----- Original Message -----
From: "Michael Biel" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Wednesday, June 10, 2009 10:02 PM
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] New LoC Recording Registry
From: Tom Fine <[log in to unmask]>
> Also, no early stereo pop stuff, which sold millions and millions of records.
Tom, you would have LOVED the presentation Dennis Rooney gave at ARSC
last week about 1959: the first full year of the stereo disc. It was so
evocative of my experiences in hi-fi that year I hit 13 and bought my
first component system (as partially just discussed in the prior posting
about getting my first tape recorder.) I was so glad my daughter was
sitting there next to me to hear it, especially since we had gone thru
the catalogs of 58 and 59 last year for a project she was doing. Of
course now I have to go thru the pre-recorded tape catalogs of those
years to figure out the prior question, but those catalogs are several
hundred miles away right now.
I assume that you mean things like the Command Persuasive/Provacative
Percussion series, the Somerset 101 Strings series, Bob Schory,
Esquavel, and Sounds Your Eyes Can Follow on RCA, etc. but there are a
fair amount of early stereo stuff from the 58-61 years like (1958) Dance
Mania. Tito Puente; Winds in Hi-Fi. Eastman Wind Ensemble with Frederick
Fennell; "Poeme Electronique." Edgard Varese; (1959)Time Out. The Dave
Brubeck Quartet; Mingus Ah-Um. Charles Mingus; Giant Steps. John
Coltrane; Kind of Blue. Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley,
Bill Evans, and others; "What'd I Say," parts 1 and 2. Ray Charles;
(1960) Drums of Passion. Michael Babatunde Olatunji; and (1961) Judy at
Carnegie Hall. Judy Garland.
We should nominate Sound in the Round, Music for Non-Thinkers, Music for
Bang Barooom and Harp, Delirium in Hi-Fi, Bob and Ray on A Platter,
Cartoons In Stereo, etc etc. I've been meaning to do these and a bunch
of other things but I never get around to it. You can put nominations
in year-round. They did The Churkendoose this year (one of my
favorites), and I've got a bunch of other kids records that also need to
be nominated. I resolve to do it, and all you other complainers, get
off your duffs (or stay on your duffs in front of the computer) and
nominate what you favor.
Mike Biel [log in to unmask]