Category:Easy listening artists
Artists and other creators of easy listening music.
Pages in category "Easy listening artists"
The following 84 pages are in this category, out of 84 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
Artists and other creators of easy listening music.
The following 84 pages are in this category, out of 84 total. This list may not reflect recent changes (learn more).
1. 101 Strings – 101 Strings had a trademark sound, focusing on melody with a laid-back ambiance most often featuring strings. Their LPs were individualized by the slogan The Sound of Magnificence, the 101 Strings orchestra included 124 string instruments, and was conducted by Wilhelm Stephan. The orchestras famous official photograph was taken in the Musikhalle Hamburg, record label mogul David L. Miller came to prominence by releasing the first Bill Haley & His Comets’ records in 1952–1953 on his own Essex label. In this capacity, Miller played a role in the creation of rock, following the rise of mood music, Miller subcontracted the Orchester des Nordwestdeutschen Rundfunks Hamburg conducted by Wilhelm Stephan to play in-house arrangements of popular standards. The first three 101 Strings albums were released in November 1957, and twelve more titles were released in 1958 and these records were pressed by Millers own plants and released through his own distribution channels. His core staff arrangers were Monty Kelly, Joseph Francis Kuhn, all three proved adept at writing original compositions that were stylistically consistent both with contemporary hit songs and each other. Miller placed these on 101 Strings albums to provide additional publishing revenues, kellys earliest successes were Latin and Spanish travelogues, although he became 101 Strings Now Sound specialist following the British Invasion. Kuhn concentrated on radio-friendly numbers in the Popss orchestral manner which provided Somerset its initial catalog of originals and their body of early 1960s work was recycled via re-release throughout the next twenty years. In 1964, Miller sold the franchise to Al Sherman, a record label distributor. Sherman retained Miller as a partner to oversee production and A&R, the Alshire era is characterized by large-scale expansion of product, attempts to branch out to younger markets and beginning in 1969, eventual stagnation. A tribute to John Lennon in January 1981 marked the final 101 Strings effort, many 101 Strings albums are simply orchestrated versions of pop hits and show tunes, although the early Somerset material contains many examples of the exotica and lounge genres. Songs of the Seasons in Japan, Hawaiian Paradise, and East of Suez are three such albums,101 Strings Play the Blues and Back Beat Symphony were early experiments in symphonic-pop hybridization, while Fly Me To The Moon contains five noir-ish originals. The Alshire catalog was sold to Madacy, Inc. in the 1990s and, under the direction of Greg Sims,101 Strings compilations were reissued on CD during the lounge revival of the 1990s. Few 101 Strings LPs have been re-released in their original form, the 50 Hz hum heard on many of those tape recordings was due to the Ampex 350s filtering which was not well suited for European 50 Hz power. The My Fair Lady and King and I releases have what appears to be the sound of dirty mixing pots used on the fly during those sessions. There were a number of releases that sounded like tape copies of pristine Stereo Fidelity vinyl which actually, were not all that pristine. Stereo recordings were made with a cutting stylus. This resulted at times in pinch distortion which early conical styli did not handle well, the later development of elliptical styli allowed more precise tracking of the track and greatly reduced inner-track distortion
2. Ronnie Aldrich – Ronnie Aldrich, born Ronald Frank Aldrich was a British easy listening and jazz pianist, arranger, conductor, and composer. The only son of a manager, he was three years old when he started playing the piano. He was educated at The Harvey Grammar School, Folkestone, and taught violin at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Before World War II, Aldrich went to India to play jazz and first gained fame in the 1940s as leader of The Squadronaires and he was noteworthy for the recording development of playing two pianos in his recordings. He recorded for The Decca Record Company Ltd in the 1960s and 1970s and he also regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 2 with his own orchestra as well as with the BBC Radio Orchestra and the BBC Scottish Radio Orchestra, based in BBC Glasgow. He also recorded tracks that were released by Readers Digest. Recently, all the Decca recordings were released in CD format by Vocalion, many of his sessions for radio stations have been released by Apple iTunes in m4a format. He was appointed director at Thames Television and thus was widely known as the musical director for the television programme The Benny Hill Show. He was married twice and had a daughter from his first marriage, at the time of his death he was married to E. Mary Aldrich, his wife for more than 30 years. He died of cancer at age 77 in the Isle Of Man. His work has been released in different formats, LP, single, cassette, 8-track, open reel, CD, All Time Hits of Jazz, Ace of Clubs 1960 Remastered and re-released 13/10/09 as All Time Jazz Hits, on double CD with Top of the World. This record was sold in the island to tourists, today - In The Old Fashioned Way, Decca Phase 41971
3. Herb Alpert – Herb Alpert is an American musician most associated with the group variously known as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Herb Alperts Tijuana Brass, or TJB. Alpert is also an industry executive, the A of A&M Records. Alpert also has created abstract expressionist paintings and sculpture over two decades, which are displayed on occasion. Alpert and wife, Lani Hall, are substantial philanthropists through the operation of the Herb Alpert Foundation, Alperts musical accomplishments include five No.1 albums and 28 albums total on the Billboard Album chart, nine Grammy Awards, fourteen platinum albums, and fifteen gold albums. Alpert has sold 72 million records worldwide, Alpert is the only recording artist to hit No.1 on the U. S. Billboard Hot 100 pop chart as both a vocalist, and an instrumentalist. Herb Alpert was born and raised in the Boyle Heights section of Eastside Los Angeles, California and his family was Jewish, and had come to the U. S. from Radomyshl and Romania. His father, although a tailor by trade, was also a mandolin player. His mother taught violin at a young age and his older brother David was a talented young drummer. Alpert himself began trumpet lessons at the age of eight and played at dances as a teenager, acquiring an early wire recorder in high school, he experimented on this crude equipment. After graduating from Fairfax High School in 1952, he joined the United States Army, after his service in the Army, Alpert tried his hand at acting, but eventually settled on pursuing a career in music. While attending the University of Southern California in the 1950s, he was a member of the USC Trojan Marching Band for two years, in 1956, he appeared in the uncredited role Drummer on Mt. Sinai in the film The Ten Commandments. In 1962, he had a part in a scene in the film Mr. Hobbs Takes a Vacation where he played in a dance band. In 1957 Alpert teamed up with Rob Weerts, another burgeoning lyricist, a number of songs written or co-written by Alpert during the following two years became Top 20 hits, including Baby Talk by Jan and Dean and Wonderful World by Sam Cooke. In 1960, Alpert began his career as a vocalist at Dot Records under the name of Dore Alpert. Tell It to the Birds was recorded as the first release on the Alpert & Moss label Carnival Records, when Alpert and Moss found that there was prior usage of the Carnival name, they renamed the label A&M Records. Alpert set up a recording studio in his garage and had been overdubbing a tune called Twinkle Star, written by Sol Lake. During a visit to Tijuana, Mexico, Alpert happened to hear a band while attending a bullfight. Alpert adapted the style to the tune, mixed in crowd cheers and other noises for ambience
4. Leroy Anderson – Leroy Anderson, was an American composer of short, light concert pieces, many of which were introduced by the Boston Pops Orchestra under the direction of Arthur Fiedler. John Williams described him as one of the great American masters of light orchestral music, born in Cambridge, Massachusetts to Swedish parents, Anderson was given his first piano lessons by his mother, who was a church organist. He continued studying piano at the New England Conservatory of Music, in 1925 Anderson entered Harvard University, where he studied musical harmony with Walter Spalding, counterpoint with Edward Ballantine, canon and fugue with William C. Hill and Walter Piston, composition with Walter Piston and double bass with Gaston Dufresne and he also studied organ with Henry Gideon. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, Magna cum laude in 1929 and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, in Harvard University Graduate School, he studied composition with Walter Piston and Georges Enescu and received a Master of Arts in Music in 1930. At the time he was working as organist and choir director at the East Milton Congregational Church, leading the Harvard University Band, and conducting and arranging for dance bands around Boston. Andersons first work was the 1938 Jazz Pizzicato, but at just over ninety seconds the piece was too short for a three-minute 78-RPM single of the period, Fiedler suggested writing a companion piece and Anderson wrote Jazz Legato later that same year. The combined recording went on to one of Andersons signature compositions. In 1942 Leroy Anderson joined the U. S. Army, counter Intelligence Corps as a translator and interpreter, in 1945 he was reassigned to the Pentagon as Chief of the Scandinavian Desk of Military Intelligence. However his duties did not prevent him from composing, and in 1945 he wrote The Syncopated Clock, Anderson became a reserve officer and was recalled to active duty for the Korean War. In 1951 Anderson wrote his first hit, Blue Tango, earning a Golden Disc and his pieces and his recordings during the fifties conducting a studio orchestra were immense commercial successes. Blue Tango was the first instrumental recording ever to one million copies. His most famous pieces are probably Sleigh Ride and The Syncopated Clock, in February 1951, WCBS-TV in New York City selected Syncopated Clock as the theme song for The Late Show, the WCBS late-night movie. Anderson started the work during a wave in August 1946. The Boston Pops recording of it was the first pure orchestral piece to reach No.1 on the Billboard Pop Music chart, from 1952 to 1961, Andersons composition Plink, Plank, Plunk. was used as the theme for the CBS panel show Ive Got A Secret. Andersons musical style employs creative instrumental effects and occasionally use of sound-generating items such as typewriters. Anderson wrote his Piano Concerto in C in 1953 but withdrew it, in 1988 the Anderson family decided to publish the work. Erich Kunzel and the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra released the first recording of this work, four other recordings, including one for piano, in 1958, Anderson composed the music for the Broadway show Goldilocks with orchestrations by Philip J. Lang
5. John Barry (composer) – John Barry Prendergast, OBE was an English composer and conductor of film music. He composed the scores for 11 of the James Bond films between 1963 and 1987, and also arranged and performed the James Bond Theme to the first film in the series, in 1999, he was appointed OBE at Buckingham Palace for services to music. Born in York, Barry spent his years working in cinemas owned by his father. During his national service with the British Army in Cyprus, Barry began performing as a musician after learning to play the trumpet, upon completing his national service, he formed his own band in 1957, The John Barry Seven. He later developed an interest in composing and arranging music, making his début for television in 1958. He came to the notice of the makers of the first James Bond film Dr. No and this started a successful association between Barry and Eon Productions which lasted for 25 years. He received many awards for his work, including five Academy Awards, two for Born Free, and one each for The Lion in Winter, Dances with Wolves and Out of Africa. He also received ten Golden Globe Award nominations, winning once for Best Original Score for Out of Africa in 1986, Barry completed his last film score, Enigma, in 2001 and recorded the successful album Eternal Echoes the same year. He then concentrated chiefly on live performances and co-wrote the music to the musical Brighton Rock in 2004 alongside Don Black and he was made a Fellow of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in 2005. Barry was married four times and had four children and he moved to the United States in 1975 and lived there for the remainder of his life until his death in 2011. Barry was born John Barry Prendergast, in York, England, and was the son of an English mother and his mother was a classical pianist. His father, John Xavier Jack Prendergast, from Cork, was a projectionist during the silent film era, who later owned a chain of cinemas across northern England. As a result of his fathers work, Barry was raised in and around cinemas in northern England and he stated that this childhood background influenced his musical tastes. Barry was educated at St Peters School, York, and also received lessons from Francis Jackson. Serving in the British Army, Barry spent his national service playing the trumpet, the career breakthrough for Barry was the BBC television series Drumbeat, when he appeared with the John Barry Seven. He was employed by EMI from 1959 until 1962 arranging orchestral accompaniment for the singers, including Adam Faith, he also composed songs. When Faith made his first film, Beat Girl, Barry composed, arranged and conducted the score and his music was later released as the UKs first soundtrack album. Barry also composed the music for another Faith film, Never Let Go, orchestrated the score for Mix Me a Person, in 1962, Barry transferred to Ember Records, where he produced albums as well as arranging them
6. Stanley Black – Stanley Black OBE was an English bandleader, composer, conductor, arranger and pianist. He wrote and arranged many film scores and recorded prolifically for the Decca label, Black was born as Solomon Schwartz on 14 June 1913 in Whitechapel, England. His parents were Polish and Romanian Jews and he began piano lessons at the age of seven. He was aged only 12 when his first composition was broadcast on BBC Radio and continued his early success by winning a Melody Maker arranging competition aged 15. In the early 1930s he was employed as a player and composer and had worked with Howard Jacobs, Joe Orlando, Lew Stone, Maurice Winnick. He had also broadcast and recorded with several American musicians, including jazz saxophonist Coleman Hawkins, when the two eventually met in London, the reviewer Edgar Jackson suggested they record together, and a notable collaboration is a duet version of Honeysuckle Rose. During World War II, Black joined the Royal Air Force, in 1944 he was appointed conductor of the BBC Dance Orchestra, and remained in the job for almost nine years, broadcasting as many as six nights a week. By this time he had begun recording under his own name for Decca. Now well involved with the industry, he went on to compose, arrange and direct music for about 200 more films. He was also conductor of the Associated British Picture Corporation Orchestra. Stanley Blacks radio work kept him in contact with a listening audience through his incidental music for shows such as Much Binding in the Marsh. He later presented his own programmes on radio and television, including Black Magic, in the early 1950s he regularly topped the Melody Maker lists of the most-heard musicians on radio. He was chosen to be included on Deccas first release of long-playing records in the UK in June 1950 and this enabled him to continue his conducting, arranging and performing and resulted in a large number of albums. He was particularly popular in United States, as evidenced by his inclusion in the Billboard best-sellers lists. During his life, he conducted many of Britains major orchestras, Stanley Black received numerous awards, including the OBE. He was made a fellow of the Institute of Arts and Letters. He died in London in 2002, aged 89, in 2003, Decca Music Group Ltd released a two-CD set A tribute to Stanley Black including recordings from 1951 to 1979. Stanley Black is remembered for writing scores for radio, television and cinema