"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


Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Ballad of Irving Katz

Irving Katz was a well-traveled record label salesman back in the day. He started with Apollo Records after WWII, then left to become sales manager of the Children's Record Guild in 1950. In 1954, he worked briefly for Eli Oberstein and then the Urania label, before moving to Dallas in 1955 to head Century Distributors. While in Dallas, Katz knew Jack Ruby, according to the FBI memo below, which was published in the Warren Report. In 1960, Katz left Texas for California, where he became a pioneer in the blank 8-track, audiocassette, and videocassette business.



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