Sunday, December 09, 2007

Capitol Production Music

Capitol Records was founded in 1942 by songwriter Johnny Mercer, Hollywood music store owner Glenn Wallichs, and movie producer Buddy DeSylva.

Capitol provided a competitive alternative to the three major record companies of the day - Victor, Columbia and Decca - all established in New York.

It quickly flourished with artists like Nat King Cole, Peggy Lee, three guys named Les (Baxter, Brown, and Paul), and Margaret Whiting.

An overlooked facet of the Capitol Records story is their extraordinary output of production music over the years. This music was recorded for TV and radio stations, advertising agencies, and movie studios to use mainly in the background of their own projects.

One perfect example is the legendary "Capitol Hi-Q" series of music. Recorded back in the late 1950s-early 1960s, this music has found its way into movies such as the original "Night Of The Living Dead" and Michael Moore's first film "Roger & Me".

Not sure yet? The first two seasons of "Ren & Stimpy" episodes used the Hi-Q music to great effect. Yep, that music!

I first found this online earlier this year at eBay and watched it carefully. After several failed auctions, the owner of the album moved it to his online web site and posted it there for sale.

I originally thought that I had acquired a Christmas Hi-Q album - what a dream! However, it's safe to say that this album devoted to Christmas is not from that era.

The music is heavily flavored in the style of Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass (possibly a late 1960s-early 1970s release?). This isn't like listening to the Mexicali Brass or The Tijuana Voices or some other knockoff Alpert soundalike. This is a small notch above those. And a small notch below Alpert.

O Capitol, O Capitol:


Capitol Production Music


Happy listening...


Capt

7 comments:

Ernie said...

Amazing. Simply amazing!

The King of Jinglaing said...

Wowser! I'm gonna need to raid this for the AiC!

Maybe Silent Night?

Anonymous said...

Hello there! You don't happen to have, or know where I could get the entire Christmas with Red Sovine LP, by any chance? Thank you very much,

-Jon

CaptainOT said...

Ernie - I still have hopes that there is a "Hi-Q" Christmas album floating around...

King - My favorite on the album is "Good King Wenceslas" - the guitar break in the middle of the song is just sooooo cool!

Jon - I don't have Red Sovine's Christmas album but try asking over at FLLLL - someone should be able to point the way!


Capt

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Any chance of posting this one again?..please...and do you have, or know anyone that has other discs in the capitol Prod. music series or other Hi-Q 's that can be downloaded?

Thanks in advance
Petrolene@comcast.net

Chris Sobieniak said...

Shame I missed out on this too.

Christopher Sobieniak said...

this music has found its way into movies such as the original "Night Of The Living Dead" and Michael Moore's first film "Roger & Me".

Having to watch Michael Moore's film again and having listen to more of those production music albums, plenty of tracks in the film came from KPM I noticed.