Saturday, July 23, 2005

The roots of easy, Part 2

Premiering in 1923, The Eveready Hour, according to a number of websites, was the first sponsored radio program. The ultra-light light music presented on the show was easy-listening in the making, if these two studio recordings by the Eveready Hour Group (directed by Nat Shilkret) are any indication.

1927 wasn't a good year for Victor label surfaces, unless by "good" one means "filled with annoying hiss." But it's the music that matters--and this is interesting stuff, considering the fact that we associate such sounds with a much later period. Down South (American Sketch), written in 1901 by British composer William H. Myddleton, is vintage mood music, and the choral rendition of Dvorak's Goin' Home, even moreso. Imagine that the surface hiss is 1927 static. (Too bad it's not; this disc would be worth a few bucks as a 1920s aircheck....) Down South (American Sketch) (William H. Myddleton), Eveready Hour Group, dir. by Nat Shilkret (1927). Goin' Home (Dvorak, Fisher), Eveready Hour Group, dir. by Nat Shilkret (1927).

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