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21 May 2013
- Bob Thompson, one of the most inventive arrangers and composers of Space Age Pop music--perhaps Esquivel's closest competition--dies at the age of 88.
- And on the same day, Frank Comstock, whose career stretched from the Big Band era through film and television soundtrack work in Hollywood to Brian Setzer's big band revival in the 2000's, passes at the age of 90.
13 January 2012
13 March 2010
- Phil Kraus, probably the greatest percussionist of the Space Age Pop era--an era in which percussion was at the core of the music--passes at the age of 93 in his home in Houston.
15 February 2010
- Jerry Adler, young brother of Larry Adler and a fine harmonica virtuoso in his own right, passes at the age of 91.
14 January 2010
- Art Van Damme, who broke the hip barrier for accordionists, proving once and for all that it is possible to have a squeezebox strapped to your chest and still be cool as Antarctic ice.
19 October 2009
- Steve Greaves, an L. A.-based musician who's keeping the torch of Space Age Pop music lit with a 21st Century flair, rolls out a new website: The SG Sound. It's Space Age Pop-a-Go-Go, baby!
19 September 2009
- Vic Mizzy, who planted one of television's best hooks--"The Addams Family Theme"--into our brains, takes a final bow at the age of 93.
13 August 2009
- Art Ferrante joins his performing partner of over 50 years, Lou Teicher, marking the end of the most successful duo act, Ferrante and Teicher.
11 December 2008
- A man who revolutionized guitar-playing and music recording, whose own output was dwarfed by that of the engineers and musicians he influenced, and who survived to set the record as the oldest man to win a Grammy Award in a rock music category, has plucked his last string: Les Paul, dead at 94. Vaya con Dios, Les.
23 November 2008
- Bettie Page, the iconic pin-up girl of the early Space Age Pop era, passes at the age of 85. Although she only appeared on three LP covers in the 1950s, none of them even remotely associated with the music of the time (e.g., a budget version of Bizet's "Carmen"), her image has become inextricably linked to exotica, bachelor pads, and the sense that something quite primal and kinky lay simmering beneath the surface of the stereotypical suburban 50's lifestyle.
1 November 2008
- Jeannie Hoffman, a fine jazz singer and pianist whose cover of "Sing Hallelujah" is one of the selected tracks on this site, passes, virtually unnoticed by anyone aside from her friend and long-time collaborator, bassist David Friesen. Friesen pays tribute to Hoffman in his annual series of Christmas concerts this year.
11 October 2008
- The one personality in Space Age Pop whose personality was at least as wild, ferocious, and exotic as the music she sang has now left the building for good: no, not Amy Camus, the Brooklyn housewife, but Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri Del Castillo, better known as Yma Sumac, the five-octave diva of the Andes. At age 86, in her home in Los Angeles.
4 June 2008
- Neal Hefti who earned a solid slot in both the Space Age Pop and jazz halls of fame with his outstanding work as an arranger and composer for Count Basie (um, jazz) and as one of the bubbliest, nuttiest, kookiest, and coolest composers of movie and TV themes, including the romping, stomping locomotive theme song for "Batman". A moment of silence, folks--a great one is gone.
- Bill Finegan, who with Eddie Sauter, created the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, one of the most daring and least profitable instrumental groups of the early Space Age Pop era, dies at age 91. His NY Times obituary quotes him on the band: “Everything went wrong but the music."
- Lou Teicher, Art Ferrante's left-hand man in the highly successful (and, for a while, highly innovative) piano duo, Ferrante and Teicher dies at age 83 in Sarasota, Florida.
15 May 2008
- Earle Hagen, composer of "Harlem Nocturne" as well as dozens of your favorite TV tunes: dead at the age of eighty-eight.
- The great arranger of big band--and Martin Denny--music, Bob Florence dies of pneumonia just five days short of his seventy-sixth birthday.
4 January 2008
- Phil Bodner, founder of the Brass Ring, which was the most successful instrumental group of the 1960s after Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass and the Ventures, dies in Manhattan at the age of 90.
26 September 2007
- Mort Garson, one of the first Hollywood studio musicians to usher in the use of the Moog and other electronic gadgets and creator of some of the oddest albums ever to be released by mainstream labels, dies of renal failure at 83.
3 November 2006
- Randy Van Horne, best known by Space Age Pop fans for his vocal arrangements and accompaniments on Esquivel's wilder albums but a well-respected and prolific musician in his own right, dies at age 83.
22 October 2006
- Composer of "Love in Blue" and perhaps the last musician to become an international star of the Space Age Pop era: Paul Mauriat passes, at age 81.
17 September 200616 June 2006
- Another great session musician passes: guitarist Al Casey, who spent most of his time playing on others' records but briefly hit the charts himself with the Lee Hazelwood tune, "Surfin' Hootenanny."
16 February 2006
- R.I.P., long-time singer, arranger, and composer Artie Malvin. Updates to his bio courtesy of his daughter, Janet.
14 February 2006
- Best-known for producing and arranging Ray Charles' landmark album, "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music": R.I.P., veteran arranger and producer Sid Feller.
12 February 2006
- Capitol Records/EMI Music Catalog Marketing announces the upcoming release of "The Best Of Martin Denny's Exotica," an 18-track compilation. The release features original Denny album art, specially-commissioned artwork by noted Tiki artist Michael Uhlenkott, rare family photos and memorabilia, and liner notes penned by Denny's daughter, Christina.
6 February 2006
- One of the best-loved figures in Space Age Pop passes: Lenny Dee, organist and prolific recording artist for Decca Records, at the age of 83.
11 November 2005
- Les Paul wins two Grammys for tracks off his album, "Les Paul & Friends: American Made World Played."
1 November 2005
- Just released from Backbeat Books: a terrific guide to the theremin, autoharp, electric sitar, and other favorite oddball instruments of Space Age Pop, Strange Sounds: Offbeat Instruments and Sonic Experiments in Pop, by Mark Brend. The book comes packaged with a CD full of sample tunes from many of the instruments discussed in the book.
16 September 2005
- R.I.P. Skitch Henderson, famed for his time on the "Tonight Show" and veteran of many years on the pop symphony circuit.
23 August 2005
- Les Paul breaks the record as the oldest musician to make the Top 200 albums chart with "Les Paul and Friends: American Made, World Played," his first new album since his 1978 Grammy-winning collaboration with Chet Atkins, "Chester & Lester."
26 June 2005
- Joe Harnell, famed for his bossa nova version of "Fly Me to the Moon" and his science fiction television scores, dies at age 80.
25 April 2005
- More passings from the world of Space Age Pop: Jose Melis, bandleader for Jack Paar's "Tonight! Show," and Salvatore "Tutti" Camarata, longtime musical director for Disneyland Records and multi-talented popular and classical musician.
14 February 2005
- R.I.P. Martin Denny. The man who brought "Exotica" into our vocabulary.
28 January 2005
- Just released: Phil Woods and the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra recreate the great Marty Paich arrangements for Art Pepper Plus Eleven on the new CD, Groovin' to Marty Paich.
10 January 2005
- Just up on the net: "the first ever truly authorized web site for Miss Yma Sumac." Well, maybe. Remember, this is a woman of whom Billy May once recalled, "She would tell me, 'I love you, you are a beautiful man, I kill you, I kill you!' all in the same breath": www.yma-sumac.com. For the original "official site," there's still www.sunvirgin.com. Love either, kill either--Yma won't mind.
10 December 2004
- Updated biography of Eddie Layton, Mercury Records star and organist for the New York Yankees for 36 years, who died on 26 December 2004.
15 November 2004
- Just announced: the February 2005 release of Lost Treasuresthe first album by the original Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass in 30 years. Features 21 previously unreleased tracks and hard-to-find rarities recorded in the 1960s.
8 November 2004
- Just out on CD: Dave Pell's famous (or infamous) series of albums paying tribute to big bands such as Duke Ellington's and Artie Shaw's, now available on Pell's own Group 7 Records.
5 November 2004
- Another Space Age Pop great, the superb studio and jazz pianist, Pete Jolly, passes, after a three-month battle with bone marrow cancer.
28 September 2004
- R.I.P. to two Space Age Pop musicians: Lester Lanin, the King of society bands, and Joe Bushkin, a fine pianist and songwriter.
- Excellent new compilation of Arthur Lyman's greatest hits, Taboo, just released by Empire Musicwerks.
16 August 2004
12 August 2004
- Much-expanded biography of Anita Kerr, including a comprehensive discography of her own albums, including those she recorded as the Living Voices, Mexicali Singers, and the San Sebastian Strings.
6 May 2004
- An updated biography of the legendary guitarist Tony Mottola, who died on 10 August 2004 at age 86.
4 May 2004
- Another new track, "Overseas Operator," from a rare album of stringy but chewy rock 'n' roll by Hash Brown and his Ignunt Strings, AKA Harry Lookofsky.
17 April 2004
- A new track, "Sing Hallelujah," a light and swinging jazz version of a traditional gospel tune, from a rare Capitol album, The Folk-Type Swinger, by singer/pianist Jeannie Hoffman.
23 January 2004
- For an updated compilation of today's space age pop, featuring remix artists playing around with "Peter Gunn" and other Henry Mancini tunes, as well as cuts like "Bossa per Due" by Nicola Conte, check out the Penthouse Party compilation CD, teamed up with a nice bit of loungy graphics by Shag: http://www.filtermmm.com/pink_panther/
15 November 2003
- R.I.P., Billy May. One of the all-time great arrangers and a legendary character.
28 August 2003
- A new section, Selected Space Age Pop Tracks, offering a chance to hear some of the best, rarest, and/or oddest tracks from the Space Age Pop era.
19 July 2003
- New biography of D.L. Miller, AKA Dave Miller, Dave Kleiber, and Leo Muller, the man who brought us the 101 Strings and inspired others to form low-budget labels and produce cheap albums using unlicensed material and pseudonymous musicians working without royalties. Lucky us.
21 June 2003
- New biographies of Anita Darian, "Killer Joe" Piro, and Leona Anderson: names known perhaps only by Space Age Pop fans, but still worthy of remembrance.
19 June 2003
- New biography of Roy Smeck, "Wizard of the Strings."
18 June 2003
- New biography of Jackie Davis, the first to popularize jazz on the organ.
14 June 2003
- New biographies of Joe Maize, ace console steel guitar player, and Johnny Ukulele, nee Johnny Ka'aihue, who played the
12 June 2003
- New biography of Joe Cain, influential producer of Latin music.
10 June 2003
- Updated biography of Plas Johnson, famed for his sax solo on "The Pink Panther" and many other hits.
7 June 2003
- New biography of Ted Auletta, who cut an excellent exotica album titled, um, Exotica.
6 June 2003
- New biographies of Victor Young, great film composer, and Maury Laws, who wrote the music for Mad Monster Party and other Rankin/Bass productions.
19 May 2003
- Read the Liner Notes for BasicHip's excellent Space Age Pop Music Show on Live365.
- New biography of Mary Mayo, famed for her theremin-like vocals on Dick Hyman's album, Moon Gas
- Updated: Sonny Lester biography, courtesy of Mr. Lester himself.
28 April 2003
- New biography of one of the space-iest of Space Age Pop musicians, the one and only Lucia Pamela.
12 December 2002
- New biography of Ralph Font, best known for the lurid cover of his album, Tabu.
5 December 2002
- New biographies of Jo Ann Castle, who pounds the piano as if she were, in the words of TV Guide "building it instead of playing it" and Vince Guaraldi, San Francisco jazz homeboy and composer of "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" and music for the "Charlie Brown" animated specials.
- Looking for new CDs? Goodbye, CDNow. Hello, Amazon.com.
18 Oct 2002
- R.I.P., Stanley Black
- Updated biographies and new website links for Bert Kaempfert, Art Van Damme, Santo and Johnny, and Al Caiola
15 Oct 2002
- New biography of Mike Sammes, leader of the UK's busiest group of session singers in the 1960s.
- Sad news for the Space Age Pop world: Ray Conniff dead at the age of 85.
5 Oct 2002
5 Sep 2002
- New biography of Carroll Bratman, founder of Carroll Music, one of New York City's greatest music rental companies and mentor, inspiration, and supporter of many of the percussionists who put the "POP" (and "BINGS!," "BANGS!," and "BAROOMMS!," to quote Dick Schory) in Space Age Pop music.
12 Aug 2002
- R.I.P. Tak Shindo
- The true story of Korla Pandit, thanks to R.J. Smith's article, "The Many Faces of Korla Pandit," Los Angeles Magazine, July 2001 issue
- New bios on Artie Malvin, the "voices" on Jackie Gleason's album, Oooo!, and Sy Mann, NYC studio veteran keyboardist and arranger
5 Aug 2002
- New bio pages on New York City session man, accordionist Dom Cortese and Daphne Hellman, socialite and harp explorer.
- Substantially updated bio on Edmundo Ros, O.B.E.
1 Mar 2002
- Updated and expanded biography of harpist Gene Bianco, who graciously consented to an interview.
28 Feb 2002
- New biography of Ladi Geisler, guitarist and bassist on most of the biggest hits by Bert Kaempfert, James Last, and other German space age pop stars.
19 Feb 2002
- R.I.P. Arthur Lyman--now playing "Pearly Shells" at the Pearly Gates Bar.
9 Jan 2002
- Just published! Exploding: The Highs, Hits, Hype, Heroes, and Hustlers of the Warner Music Group, the wild and crazy memoir of life at Warner by the king of liner notes, Stan Cornyn.
17 Dec 2001
- Farewell to the king of Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, Juan Garcia Esquivel. Adios, muchacho!
29 Nov 2001
- New biography of trumpeter Conte Candoli, R.I.P.
26 Nov 2001
- A seriously overdue overhaul of the References page
- New biography of cabaret pianist George Feyer
- Updated biographies of Chico O'Farrill, R.I.P.; and Sonny Lester, still quite alive, contrary to my earlier version of his bio.
24 Feb 2001
- The Space Age Pop page comes out of hibernation. Updated biography of the late Larry Adler.
8 Feb 2001
- New biography of Steve Allen, entertainment polymath who never apologized for his views or his glasses.
5 Feb 2001
- New biographies of the fictitious Ira Ironstrings and of Los Indios Tabajaras, one of the more unusual success stories of the space age pop era
24 Jan 2001
- New biographies of George Duning and Morris Stoloff, whose greatest success was their Oscar-winning score to
19 Jan 2001
- Now you can search within the Space Age Pop Music page thanks to the new Search page.
16 Jan 2001
- R.I.P. Stan Freeman
- A new biography of Bent Fabric, composer and performer of the one-hit wonder, "Alley Cat." Also, a new Listener's Guide page on How the West was Swung: Jazz Westerns, where Stan Kenton, Jack Marshall, Tak Shindo and other hep cats strap on their axes and face off with some ornery cowboy tunes.
7 Jan 2001
- New biography of George Siravo
4 Jan 2001
- New biography of Floyd Cramer, whose "slip-note" piano style was a hallmark of countrypolitan music
27 Nov 2000
- New biographies of Hoyt Curtin, the musical master behind "The Flintstones" and other Hanna-Barbera cartoons, and Randy Van Horne, whose singers sang "The Flintstones" theme and gave Esquivel his famous zu-zu-zus
2 Nov 2000
- Welcome to www.spaceagepop.com!
Links to the former location at http://home.earthlink.net/~spaceagepop will work for the indefinite future, but please use www.spaceagepop.com from now on
27 Oct 2000
- New search tools provided for each biography page, to make it easier to locate CDs and records by the artist at www.CDNow.com and www.gemm.com
5 Oct 2000
- Biography of Brad Miller, creator of the Mystic Moods Orchestra
9 Sep 2000
- New biographies of "Nature Boy" author and ur-hippy Eden Ahbez, the Yiddish Spike Jones, Mickey Katz, the French wizard of production music, Roger Roger, and Sergio Mendes, mastermind of Brasil '65, er, '66, er, '77, er, '88, er, '99, er ....
25 Aug 2000
- New biographies of accordion stars Dick Contino and Charles Magnante. Also, Frank Hunter of White Goddess fame and Johnny Mann of the Johnny Mann Singers
27 Jul 2000
- New biographies of Paul Beaver and Bernie Krause, Bill Black, Ralph Carmichael, Vic Mizzy, and Joe Reisman
16 Jun 2000
- R.I.P., Tito Puente and Joe Puma--both on 31 May 2000
- New biographies of Paul Tanner, the man who put the vibrations in "Good Vibrations," Mrs. Miller, semi-star of tin throat and golden heart, and space age pop's favorite cover girl, Sandy Warner
- Significant additions to the Henry Mancini biography
4 May 2000
- A new Liner Notes page with the lyrics to Space Age Pop instrumentals that never needed lyrics
- A tribute to Stan Cornyn, the King of Liner Notes
- Major updates to biographies of Vinnie Bell, Werner Muller, and Francis Bay
26 April 2000
- R.I.P. Jonah Jones
- New biography on that one-man musical industry, Michel Legrand
21 April 2000
18 April 2000
- New biographies of sax session ace Plas Johnson and Marty Manning
- Also, thanks to info from Jack himself, a major update to the Jack "Mr. Bongos" Burger bio
25 February 2000
- A long-overdue biography on rediscovered German film/TV composer, Peter Thomas
12 February 2000
- R.I.P. Don Ralke, 19191-2000
- New biographies of Jimmie Haskell and banjo wizards Carmen Mastren and Eddie Peabody
- New Listener's Guide page on Jungle Exotica albums
28 December 1999
- New biography pages on Chaino and veteran studio guitarist Tommy Tedesco
- Overseas Ventures, a Listener's Guide page on the Spotnicks, the Sounds, the Jokers, and other great guitar combos from outside the U.S.
20 December 1999
- New biography pages on Bobby Hammack and Bill Justis.
- More information added to biographies of Muzzy Marcellino, Henri Rene, and Julius Wechter
- Numerous birth/death updates, including Leo Addeo, Harry Breuer, and Irv Cottler, courtesy of the Social Security Death database at http://ssdi.genealogy.rootsweb.com/
19 November 1999
- New biography of Stu Phillips. Also, a new section on banjoists added to the Listener's Guide page on Oddball Instrumentalists
10 November 1999
- New biographies of the French E-Z listening triumvirate, Raymond Lefevre, Paul Mauriat, and Franck Pourcel
23 October 1999
- R.I.P. Frank DeVol
23 September 1999
- New Listener's Guide page on Siren Songs: Wordless Vocalists
- Updates to Neal Hefti, Walter Wanderley, and Fritz Guckenheimer biographies
2 September 1999
- This page!
- New website design, improved for single-screen surfing.
- Numerous discography updates: Ralph Marterie, Mel Henke, Norrie Paramor, Don Costa
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