Today we’re taking a step back to the 1950s and 1960s, when home audio was new and excitingly futuristic… first in mono, but then in glorious stereophony — with a programme we’re calling Hits In Hi-Fi. In the early days of
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Hits In Hi-Fi

in Daily Programme, Monthly Programme, Radio Riel Main, The MOST

by Elrik Merlin on Wednesday, 4 June, 2014

Hits In Hi-Fi

Today we’re taking a step back to the 1950s and 1960s, when home audio was new and excitingly futuristic… first in mono, but then in glorious stereophony — with a programme we’re calling Hits In Hi-Fi.

In the early days of stereo, a significant number of albums were released that were designed especially to show off the wonders of this new way of presenting musical entertainment, and they really tried hard. Sounds “ping-ponged” across the stereo soundstage; instruments appeared hard on one side and then hard on the other… and there were a lot of space references, bloops and bleeps starting and ending the pieces — and once the Moog Synthesiser became available, that was included in the mix too — all conspiring to present an audio image of the imagined future.

A selection of these albums forms the core of our music today. Often the tracks consist of instrumental arrangements of popular songs, but there are also plenty of original tunes too, and one can guess that the record company executives aimed these albums at the imagined bachelor in his pad, inviting his friends around to blow them away with the latest stereophonic sounds. Indeed, the genre is sometimes called “Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music” or “SABPM”; later “Jet Set Pop”; or more broadly, “Space Age Pop”.

There is a certain “lounge” feel to some of today’s music, though most falls squarely into the “easy listening” genre, and includes expansive stereophonic arrangements from the likes of James Last and Bert Kaempfert. But there are also some little surprises dropped in along the way.

It’s The MOST

MOSTAnd then at 11am and 7pm Pacific time, that’s 19:00 and 03:00 in the UK, don’t miss Susannah with the latest episode of The MOST — Music from the Original Sound Track, our monthly opportunity to delve into the lost (or sometimes classic) movie and TV soundtracks of the 50s and 60s and beyond — and to discover something of the story behind them. The MOST is always a revelation, and that’s certainly true of today’s show, with music from the TV series Staccato,  the movies Barbarella and the Thomas Crown Affair — and much more in this special extended edition.


Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin. If you are tuning in from Canada or the United States, please click here. Otherwise, click here to start your player, if your browser is configured to do so. You may also like to tune in to our experimental High Quality HE-AAC stream at http://minor.slserver.com:9012/live – now with metadata!

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