"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


Saturday, August 9, 2008

Music Treasures circa 1964

As mentioned in RCR, Music Treasures of the World records were, at some point, sold by the Grolier Society. (My only evidence at the time: some MTW jackets refer to MTW as being "a division of the Grolier Society.") After RCR was published, I found a non-dated MTW direct-mail circular originating from Americana Interstate, Inc. -- Grolier's mail-order arm. I had assumed that Grolier's MTW franchise dated from the late 1950s. However, I recently discovered an Americana Interstate ad for the MTW club in the November 1964 issue of High Fidelity. (Headline: "THE BIGGEST HI-FI RECORD BARGAIN EVER!") By then, the records were being offered in "Electronic Stereo," in addition to the original mono. I've seen only one MTW "stereo" disc. It has a red label, as opposed to the standard blue.

UPDATE: I just found a couple of MTW discs in Americana Interstate shipping boxes, postmarked 1962. So the "no later than" beginning date of Grolier's MTW should be revised from 1964 to 1962. As if it matters...

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