Tuesday, May 31, 2011

...how could you actually do that with this set of records?

I was surprised to find on Ebay a 2-EP-record set that I've already got in my collection. It strikes me that the record industry back in the '50s, released records on mere whims. A case in point is this EP (Extended Play) set by Hugo Winterhalter and his Orchestra, Henry Rene' and his Orchestra, and Hugo Winterhalter and his Orchestra. Yep, folks, here it is; the big monster hit album, "Music for Dining"/"Music for Daydreaming". Obviously record-shoppers back then were storming the local hi-fi shops, frothing at the mouth, trying to get their very own copies of this Smash Hit Of The Fifties...or not...

This 2-EP record set averages 6 to 8 minutes per side. The first record has sides 1 and 4 on one disc while sides 2 and 3 are on the other, so you can stack 'em on yer changer. If you try to eat dinner while playing the "Music for Dining" songs, you'd have to wolf down your food during those 4 songs if you want music throughout your meal. There's no music for dishwashing here, so you have to get up, do the dishes, and let your phonograph fall silent. Then, if you want to daydream, flip over the 2 records on your changer, although most people's daydreams are longer than the 4 Day-dreaming Songs here. Or, you could use the Day-dreaming songs for dishwashing instead if you're more practical than the average Daydreamer. This record set came out in 1954. RCA, who invented the 45, stuck to its guns with the 45rpm EP, while Columbia (a huge label) came up with the 12" LP. Of course, as time went on, RCA pressed LP's and Columbia issued EP's, and in the long run, the EP died a long and lonely death.

Obviously, I'm being a bit facetious here ("Ya Think???"), but I can imagine it now: Record execs of the day,in the boardroom, and the big boss says, "We think the time has come to issue some "Dining and Dancing" music. Next month, we'll put out some music for" Washing and Bathing", and the following month, we'll release a similar record set,  "Music for Painting the House and Mowing the Lawn"...but, I guess there was a market for specialty-purpose records such as this or they wouldn't have been issued. One of the larger record companies actually issued a record titled, "Music to Wash Clothes by"! Perhaps the release dates of records such as this were arrived at by spinning a roulette wheel, with album titles taking the place of the numbers on the wheel. Arbitrary at best. Certainly there was no ravenous record-buying public out there going ga-ga over "Music For Transmission Repairs and Putting Fiberglass Lining On Your Wooden Canoe." Or maybe there was...

Me, I'm awaiting something along the lines of "Music For Blogging", especially if it makes me type faster and encourages originality of thought...a sort of subliminal seduction on CD...


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