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Space Age Music Maker

Robert Lowden


  • Born 23 July 1920, Camden, New Jersey
  • Died 30 October 1998, Medford, New Jersey

Robert Lowden became the primary arranger and composer for the 101 Strings and the Somerset label after Joseph Kuhn died in 1958, and contributed to most of the label's recordings over the next ten years. Trained at Temple University as a musical educator, Lowden served with a U.S. Army band during World War Two, then went on to arrange (alongside Gerry Mulligan) for Claude Thornhill's innovative big band.

He returned to Camden to teach in the 1950s, then was hired by Somerset's owner and impresario, D.L. Miller, to write for the label's hot new group, 101 Strings, which was beginning to churn out a steady outpouring of records. Lowden occasionally got to venture into more adventuresome territory, and he arranged and conducted one excellent percussion showcase album, Motion in Percussion, which includes a wide range of stereo sound effects and a respectable sample of space age pop standards such as "Caravan."

Lowden was also responsible for producing dozens of arrangements of big band classics for music publishers such as Hal Leonard and J.W. Pepper.


Recordings

  • Motion in Percussion, Somerset LP
  • reissued as 101 Strings Plus Dynamic Percussion, Alshire S-5145


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