Here in the UK it’s Record Store Day — where we celebrate the independent record show and the resurgence of vinyl. It’s also cold and pouring with rain over much of the country. Oh, well… Today we’ll take another nostalgic journey back to the 1950s and 1960s, when music was on vinyl (and on the radio!) and home audio was new and excitingly futuristic… with 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. 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.
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. Aimed at the imagined bachelor in his pad, inviting his friends around to blow them away with the latest stereophonic sounds, the genre is sometimes called “Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music” or “SABPM”; later “Jet Set Pop”; or more broadly, “Space Age Pop”.
We have a bunch of original hits from the 50s and 60s in today’s programme alongside the instrumental re-workings that both characterise the “Easy Listening” genre of the era.
Today’s programme is presented by Elrik Merlin. If you are in the United States or Canada, please click here to launch the Stream Licensing player. To listen from outside North America, click here to start your player .