Wednesday, December 5, 2012
Hogie's Heroes: Paul Mauriat
The lattice of coincidence strikes! John just posted about his childhood radio experiences the night before my planned radio posting. No big deal. Aside from our shared love of The CBS Radio Mystery Theater (The first thing I went out of my way to listen to on the radio as a kid.) I'm talking about my Mom's ever present easy listening station. My parents had mostly stopped buying records for themselves by the time I entered the picture (Except for a few Roger Whitaker 8-tracks. Mom sure loved her some Roger Whitaker.) and had ceded the record player to me. Dad really wasn't a big music guy and was gone working most of the day, but Mom would put on the radio for hours at a time playing the easy listening station. Do these even still exist? It seems like most of them switched to the "Oldies" format awhile back. (And the definition of "Oldies" seems to have crept from Bobby Vinton to Phil Collins.) In the early 70's before most of the pre-rock generation were pushing up daisies it was a pretty common format. You'd get a mix of The Ray Conniff Singers, Ferrante and Teicher, Andre Kostelanetz and the like. It tended to lean towards strings-heavy songs designed to soothe the nerves of an older generation fretting over those long haired kids. Still, there were some acknowledgments of modernity. If they weren't orchestral rearrangements of "Yesterday" and the like, they were recently recorded baroque affairs filled with harpsichords and horn sections. Something new enough some kids might buy it, but not oo scary for their parents. Paul Mauriat's take on "Love is Blue" is a fairly representative example of this. That sound was pretty much ever present at that time, and listening to it takes me back to shopping at Mammoth Mart in the Greenfield Plaza or watching TV ads. This is as close as it gets to a sonic time machine for my early childhood.