REVIEWS & COMMENTS

"David Bonner's fascinating look at the nostalgic world of Young People's Records takes the reader far beyond memory lane and into the political and philosophical worlds of those who planned them, wrote them, and performed on them. The complicated history of a host of record labels that sprung from those children's discs, which Mr. Bonner recounts, adds to the tremendous value of his book. Anyone who grew up with these priceless records must read what's on these pages."—Peter Bay, Conductor, Austin Symphony Orchestra

"I grew up with Young People's Records. 'The Funniest Song In The World' featuring Groucho Marx and 'By Rocket To The Moon' with Raymond Scott helped mold the mind of the boy who became Dr. Demento. Here's the whole story of how those and hundreds of other YPR favorites were created by some of the most progressive thinkers and artists of their times, how they became a target for those in the McCarthy era and later those who sought to repress and confine the minds of young Americans, and how their spirit of joy in knowledge perseveres."—Dr Demento, Syndicated Radio Personality

SEE BOTTOM OF PAGE FOR MORE REVIEWS & COMMENTS

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Walter Hendl tells the story behind his "Concerto For Toys and Orchestra"

Walter Hendl, “Speaking of Music,” WNYC (1953?).

Below is a transcript of the section of the audio link above in which Hendl discusses composing and recording the Young People’s Record "Concerto For Toys and Orchestra," and how the recording session was photographed for an issue of Life magazine which was never published.

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And of course came such a thing known as the Army, and the war. And when I got back out of it all into civilian life, I looked around for conducting positions and piano playing positions -- openings. Of course there were none. In fact, no one seemed much interested in the fact that I'd spent a great deal of time practicing piano and a great deal of time memorizing, studying and conducting scores in school. But it was terribly important that I begin to get a job, and start on the road up once again into musical life in America.

So I decided to turn composer. It was a decision arrived at quite that way. It was simply one day to decide to compose. There was no inner urge that marks so much of the composer's inspiration. This was simply a question of necessity.

I had very good luck and composed a broadway show that ran for 18 months, and although it didn't put me in ASCAP, it gave me a very nice weekly royalty check, which enabled me to once again practice the piano and study scores. I've kept on composing, more or less, mainly as a composer who knows that he can write certain things reasonably well, perhaps add a little bit more to the contemporary literature. But knows perfectly well that he will never compose nine symphonies ala Beethoven, or seven ala Sibelius, or even five or six, as Tchaikovsky's done.

I did however create during the years something, and that was a daughter. She's a young lady who's a ballet dancer named Susan. And because of her I began to write a series of records for children. This was about the time that I went to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. Dallas is in Texas, as you well know. And if you don't know, you should. It's a great state, wonderful city, and I'm delighted to be returning there shortly for my fourth season.

But I remember very well one hectic day finishing a Dallas rehearsal, having a long distance phone call awaiting me from a recording company for children in New York City, saying we have an opportunity to be photographed in recording session for Life magazine. We would like very much to have you be the conductor on that solemn occasion. The only thing we need from you within the next 48 hours is a new piece of music that we could have you conduct, because we're actually going to make a record.

Well, that's been always the kind of thing that's impelled me to compose -- the 48 hour or the two week deadline or that sort of thing. So I said, well, there's always been an idea in my mind, and let me think about it for two and a half hours. The idea was to do a piece very much like Haydn Toy Symphony, except to couch it in the contemporary idiom, and to expand a little the nature of the instrumentation -- if I may use the word -- and utilize some of the modern toys of our generation. So I called back three hours later and said that the piece was practically finished, and started in writing the first page. Completed the work on the airplane between Dallas and New York City, and arrived with the score and parts here with about two hours to go for the recording session.

All of this, if I may say so, was done with at least one eye on the fact that it was to be a photographed Life session. Life magazine. And there was no effort too great, no energy that was not expendable -- no amount of energy -- for such a wonderful publicity item. Well, I arrived at the studios carrying my wet manuscript under my arm, distributed the parts -- there was an orchestra already engaged -- and in my most authoritative manner, began to conduct and rehearse the work.

There were photographers all over the place, people taking pictures from all angles. People taking pictures of the percussion section, playing these weird instruments, such as a mama doll that was in pitch, and various other and sundry items. And at the end of three hours, we were all quite exhausted, but felt that we had contributed largely to certainly a not-too-distant-in-the-future issue of a great magazine. As well as to have given to all children a wonderful record.

Oh yes, the issue of the magazine in which this appeared. Let me see, the date that we recorded this was 1949. I'm still looking for it.

I'd like to play you a little bit of the record now.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

2012 performance of "Said the Piano to the Harpsichord"



From Historical Keyboard Society newsletter  News & Notes (Spring 2012). Click on image to enlarge.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Henry Brant Article

Music critic Matthew Guerrieri profiles the records that YPR/CRG commissioned from the avant-garde American composer Henry Brant. CLICK HERE for the link.


Wednesday, December 7, 2011

An almost-complete list of libraries that have Revolutionizing Children's Records

US,TX AUSTIN PUB LIBR TXG

US,TX BAYLOR UNIV IYU

US,TX LONE STAR COLLEGE SYSTEM NHA

US,TX SOUTHWESTERN UNIV TXX

US,TX TEXAS CHRISTIAN UNIV ICU

US,TX TEXAS LUTHERAN UNIV, BLUMBERG MEM LIBR SAZ

US,TX TEXAS TECH UNIV ILU

US,TX UNIV OF MARY HARDIN-BAYLOR MHB

US,TX UNIV OF TEXAS AT EL PASO TXU

US,TX UNIV OF TEXAS AT SAN ANTONIO TXJ

US,AK UNIV OF ALASKA, ANCHORAGE UAA

US,AK UNIV OF ALASKA, ELMER E RASMUSON LIBR UAF

US,AL TROY UNIV ADA

US,AL UNIV OF N ALABAMA ANO

US,AR UNIV OF ARKANSAS, FT SMITH ASZ

US,AR UNIV OF ARKANSAS, LITTLE ROCK AKU

US,AZ ARIZONA STATE UNIV AZS

US,AZ PIMA CNTY COMMUN COL DIST, LIBR TECH SER GC0

US,CA ALIBRIS ALBRS

US,CA CALIFORNIA BAPTIST UNIV LIBR CBF

US,CA CHAPMAN UNIV, LEATHERBY LIBR CCX

US,CA LOYOLA MARYMOUNT UNIV LML

US,CA SAN DIEGO STATE UNIV LIBR CDS

US,CA SAN FRANCISCO PUB LIBR SFR

US,CA STANFORD UNIV LIBR STF

US,CA UNIV OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY CUY

US,CA UNIV OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS, SHIELDS LIBR CUV

US,CA UNIV OF CALIFORNIA, IRVINE CUI

US,CA UNIV OF CALIFORNIA, LOS ANGELES CLU

US,CA UNIV OF CALIFORNIA, SAN DIEGO CUS

US,CA UNIV OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA BARBARA CUT

US,CA UNIV OF REDLANDS CUR

US,CA UNIV OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CSL

US,CO UNIV OF DENVER, PENROSE LIBR DVP

US,CT WESLEYAN UNIV WLU

US,DC GEORGETOWN UNIV DGU

US,DC LIBRARY OF CONGRESS DLC

US,DE UNIV OF DELAWARE DLM

US,FL ECKERD COL FEC

US,FL FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIV FGM

US,FL JACKSONVILLE UNIV FJU

US,FL UNIV OF FLORIDA FUG

US,GA EMORY UNIV EMU

US,GA GEORGIA SOUTHERN UNIV GPM

US,GA UNIV OF GEORGIA GUA

US,ID BOISE STATE UNIV OIP

US,IL CHICAGO PUB LIBR CGP

US,IL COLUMBIA COL IBZ

US,IL DEPAUL UNIV IAC

US,IL NORTHERN ILLINOIS UNIV JNA

US,IL UNIV OF ILLINOIS UIU

US,IN BALL STATE UNIV LIBR IBS

US,IN INDIANA UNIV IUL

US,IN INDIANA UNIV, PURDUE UNIV, INDIANAPOLIS IUP

US,IN UNIV OF EVANSVILLE IUE

US,KS KANSAS STATE UNIV KKS

US,KS WICHITA STATE UNIV KSW

US,KY UNIV OF LOUISVILLE, SCH OF MUSIC LIBR KLM

US,LA LOUISIANA STATE UNIV LUU

US,LA TULANE UNIV LRU

US,MA BERKLEE COL OF MUSIC BKC

US,MA BOSTON COL BXM

US,MA BOSTON UNIV BOS

US,MA CLARK UNIV CKM

US,MA HARVARD UNIV, LOEB MUSIC LIBR HMU

US,MA NOBLE, INC NOG

US,MA SALEM STATE COL LIBR SST

US,MA SMITH COL SNN

US,MA TUFTS UNIV TFW

US,MA UNIV OF MASSACHUSETTS AMHERST AUM

US,MD UNIV OF MARYLAND, COL PARK UMC

US,ME COLBY COL CBY

US,MI MICHIGAN STATE UNIV EEM

US,MI OAKLAND UNIV EYR

US,MI UNIV OF MICHIGAN LIBR EYM

US,MI WAYNE STATE UNIV EYW

US,MN UNIV OF MINNESOTA, MINNEAPOLIS MNU

US,MO SOUTHEAST MISSOURI STATE UNIV SEM

US,MO TRUMAN STATE UNIV MKN

US,MO UNIV OF MISSOURI, COLUMBIA MUU

US,MO UNIV OF MISSOURI, KANSAS CITY UMK

US,NC BAKER & TAYLOR INC TECH SERV & PROD DEV BTCTA

US,NC DAVIDSON COL NNM

US,NC DUKE UNIV LIBR NDD

US,NC EAST CAROLINA UNIV ERE

US,NC UNIV OF N CAROLINA AT PEMBROKE NPS

US,NC UNIV OF N CAROLINA, CHAPEL HILL NOC

US,NC UNIV OF N CAROLINA, GREENSBORO NGU

US,ND DICKINSON STATE UNIV NDI

US,NH PHILLIPS EXETER ACAD LIBR PEX

US,NH YBP LIBRARY SERVICES YDX

US,NJ COLLEGE OF NEW JERSEY, THE NJT

US,NJ FREE PUB LIBR OF NEWARK, NEW JERSEY NPL

US,NJ PRINCETON UNIV PUL

US,NJ RUTGERS UNIV NJR

US,NY COLUMBIA UNIV ZCU

US,NY COLUMBIA UNIV, TEACHER'S COL VVT

US,NY EASTMAN SCH OF MUSIC RES

US,NY FORDHAM UNIV VYF

US,NY JUILLIARD SCH, THE ZJS

US,NY NEW YORK PUB LIBR RES LIBR NYP

US,NY NEW YORK UNIV ZYU

US,NY NYU WEB INTERNET RES NYZYW

US,NY STRONG NATIONAL MUS OF PLAY VZM

US,NY SUFFOLK COMMUN COL, AMMERMAN CAM YDD

US,NY SYRACUSE UNIV SYB

US,OH BAKER & TAYLOR BAKER

US,OH BOWLING GREEN STATE UNIV BGU

US,OH CLEVELAND PUB LIBR CLE

US,OH COLLEGE OF WOOSTER WOO

US,OH MIAMI UNIV MIA

US,OH OHIO STATE UNIV, THE OSU

US,OH UNIV OF DAYTON DAY

US,OK UNIV OF OKLAHOMA OKU

US,OK UNIV OF SCI & ARTS OF OKLAHOMA NASH LIBR OUV

US,PA CARNEGIE LIBR OF PITTSBURGH CPL

US,PA CARNEGIE MELLON UNIV PMC

US,PA CLARION UNIV OF PENNSYLVANIA REC

US,PA FRANKLIN & MARSHALL COL LFM

US,PA LEBANON VAL COL LVC

US,PA MANSFIELD UNIV MAN

US,PA UNIV OF PENNSYLVANIA PAU

US,PA UNIV OF PITTSBURGH PIT

US,PA WEST CHESTER UNIV QWC

US,SC RICHLAND CNTY PUB LIBR SRC

US,SC WINTHROP UNIV SWW

US,TN BELMONT UNIV TBC

US,TN MIDDLE TENNESSEE STATE UNIV TXM

US,TN UNIV OF TENNESSEE TKN

US,UT BRIGHAM YOUNG UNIV LIBR UBY

US,UT SOUTHERN UTAH UNIV UUA

US,UT UNIV OF UTAH UUM

US,UT WEBER STATE UNIV UUO

US,VA COLLEGE OF WILLIAM & MARY VWM

US,VA JAMES MADISON UNIV VMC

US,VA OLD DOMINION UNIV VOD

US,VT MIDDLEBURY COL MDY

US,WI UNIV OF WISCONSIN, MADISON, GEN LIBR SYS GZM

US,WV WEST VIRGINIA UNIV LIBR WVU

US,WY UNIV OF WYOMING LIBR WYU

CA,AB UNIV OF ALBERTA UAB

CA,BC UNIV OF VICTORIA, MCPHERSON LIBR VT2

CA,MB UNIV OF MANITOBA UAT

CA,NL MEMORIAL UNIV/NEWFOUNDLAND, ELIZABETH II QE2

CA,ON UNIV OF TORONTO MUSIC LIBR CNMUL

CA,ON YORK UNIV LIBR YOU

CA,SK UNIV OF SASKATCHEWAN LIBR UOH

Hong Kong HONG KONG BAPTIST UNIV H2K

Japan KUNITACHI COL OF MUSIC LIBR KOM

Netherlands OPENBARE BIBLIOTHEEK AMSTERDAM NLOBA

United Kingdom THE BRITISH LIBRARY, DOCUMENT SUPPLY

United Kingdom THE BRITISH LIBRARY, ST. PANCRAS

Germany UNIVERSITATSBIBLIOTHEK MAINZ

Germany BAYERISCHE STAATSBIBLIOTHEK