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Liner Notes


OK, so this site isn't the be-all and end-all of everything related to space age pop music. Although much of my information is gleaned from a wide variety of hard-to-find sources, the following list offers some of the readily-available ones you can look to for more information and inspiration.


Bronson, Fred, The Billboard Book of Number One Hits,Billboard Books 1992

Clarke, Donald, editor, The Penguin Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Penguin 1st edition 1989; 2nd edition 1999
Personally, I prefer the first edition, which includes numerous early pop artists dropped to save space in the second. But either one remains the best one-volume reference to the full range of pop music--meaning, everything from easy listening to juju, and all the standard genres in between.

Darling, Benjamin, Vixens of Vinyl: The Alluring Ladies of Vintage Album Covers, Chronicle Books, 2001
See, now that records are getting harder to find, what you do is buy the CD and listen to it while looking at one of these cover art books. The experience is almost like listening to a real record.

Feather, Leonard, The Encyclopedia of Jazz, Horizon Press, 1960
Out of print, but worth looking for. Oh, to be able to wander through a record store in 1960!

Fields, Kim, Harmonicas, Harps, and Heavy Breathers, 1998
Fields' book makes everything I've written about Leo Diamond, Jerry Murad, and other harmonicats look sad. If there was a book like this for other space age pop instrumentalists, this site would be unnecessary. Tons of details and terrific interviews with harmonica players from Toots Thielemans to Charlie McCoy.

Friedwald, Will, Sinatra! The Song is You: A Singer's Art, Scribner, 1995
A terrific session-by-session account of Sinatra's long recording career. Friedwald devotes as much space to the other musicians, and is the source for more than a few anecdotes plagiarized on this site.

Guarnaccia, Steve et al., Hi-Fis and Hi-Balls:The Golden Age of the American Bachelor, Chronicle Books, 1999.

Hardy, Phil & Dave Laing, The Faber Companion to 20th-Century Popular Music, Faber and Faber, 1990

Incredibly Strange Music, Vol. 1,Re/Search Issue #14, and
Incredibly Strange Music, Vol. 2, Re/Search Issue #15
These two book/magazines from Re/Search Publications jump-started the whole lounge/exotica revival back in 1993. A collection of interviews with manic collectors and pivotal artists such as Martin Denny and Gershon Kingsley by itself refers to enough cool and rare recordings to keep you looking for a lifetime.

Kohler, Eric, In the Groove : Vintage Record Graphics, 1940-1960, Chronicle Books, 1999
See remarks for the Darling book above.

Lanza, Joseph, Elevator Music: A Surreal History of Muzak, Easy-Listening, and Other Moodsong, St Martin's Press, 1993
The second-biggest source of the lounge revival. Lanza wanders all over the place, but covers many of the artists on this site along his way.

Larkin, Colin, Ed., The Guinness Encyclopedia of Popular Music, Guinness Publishing, 1992/1998
$500 a set. Pray that your library has one. The closest thing to the ultimate printed reference so far. Rife with typos and editing errors (where is the Morty Nevins bio referred to in the index?), but still packs more information about popular music than any dozen other books. Colin Larkin is doing God's work.

McKnight-Trontz, Jennifer,Exotiquarium : Album Art from the Space Age, Griffin, 1998
A collection of cover scans glued together with selections liberally plagiarized from this site. Buy a copy so at least I can get a kick-back from Amazon. By the way, Jen, this site left Netrail about five six seveneight years ago.

Musichound Lounge : The Essential Album Guide to Martini Music & Easy Listening, Schirmer, 1998
Stretches its categories a bit (Barry Manilow?), but not a bad start at a reference book. Hey, at least it credits this site.

  • Otfinoski, Steve, The Golden Age of Rock Instrumentals
    A fun survey of rock instrumentals from the great ("Pipeline") to the gross ("Disco Duck").

    Roberts, John Storm, The Latin Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the United States, Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 1998
    One of the earliest serious scholarly books on popular music, it tends to pan artists like Cugat, but it still does more to set the historic and cultural context of the music that most of the recent glosses listed here.

    Wooley, John, et al,Forever Lounge: A Laid-Back Guide to Languid Sounds
    Very liberally ripped-off from this site, with some pretty mediocre scans. But again, buy a copy so I can get a kick-back and feed my starving record collection, er, children.

    On-line sources:

    The Exotica Mailing List, where pleasures are many and the flamers are few, where the attitudes of the listers are just as cool as the music they listen to. Almost everything else on the Net dealing with exotica, cool & strange music, space age pop, lounge, etc.--including this site-- spins off of it.

    Johan Dada Vis' Dada's Exotiquarium, a comprehensive catalog of new exotica releases, http://www.geocities.com/SunsetStrip/Lounge/1936/

    Musical Taste, Jonny Perl's immaculate conception, a jumpstart for us musically out of it squaresters, at www.musicaltaste.com.

    Vik Trola's Lounge Of Self Indulgence, http://www.chaoskitty.com/t_chaos/lounge.html (Dead now, but still worth surfing)

    Space Age Pop, Richie Unterberger's essay on the All Music Guide site, http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=J234

    Space Age Pop A Go Go, full of cover scans and liner notes from some of the best albums from the era.

    Spaced Out: Robbie Baldock's outstanding Enoch Light WWW Site, http://easyweb.easynet.co.uk/~rcb/light/

    Cool and Strange Music! Magazine, http://members.aol.com/coolstrg/coolpage.html

    317x, a superb collection of space age pop album covers and liner notes, http://www.317x.com

    Wilds Scene, http://www.wildsscene.com/, Tony Wilds gorgeous exotica overview and record store

    Show and Tell Music, a site that celebrates the wonderful world of thrift store records and the unpredictable wonders to be found amongst the thousands of Andy Williams records, http://www.showandtellmusic.com

    Discographies from numerous labels such as Brunswick, Cadet, and Roulette, from Both Sides Now Publications, http://www.bsnpubs.com
    These guys are also doing God's work. Scan through their pages and you'll find dozens of records you never knew about and now will never be able to live without.

    Darrell Brogdon's terrific Retro Cocktail Hour. Now that Jack Diamond's legendary KFJC show is off the air, Darrell is the dean of lounge radio DJs. Check out his site for RealAudio broadcasts, cover scans, and give-aways!

    Bill Kay's online radio show, "Guitars and All That Jazz," at http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/directory.cgi?autostart=twangy

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