Saturday, May 21, 2011

21 May 1957 “Space Age Pop: The Future of Music”

spacefridge Here in 1957 we are rather obsessed with Space. The hopeful look to other planets and that great dark but starry mystery beyond is a pull to hard to resist.
Man always being an explorer, has begun to find the Earth over explored. After WWII technology had suddenly been sped up rather quickly and now, post war, we want that technology for everything. From increasing products (leading to our current consumer culture which, as we know in the 21st century, only becomes greater) to mapping out quicker ways to travel through air with jet aeroplanes and super highways, we see the sky not as the limit, but as the next great frontier.

Our Space story begins “The story begins in 1952, when the International Council of Scientific Unions decided to establish July 1, 1957, to December 31, 1958, as the International Geophysical Year (IGY) because the scientists knew that the cycles of solar activity would be at a high point then. In October 1954, the council adopted a resolution calling for artificial satellites to be launched during the IGY to map the Earth's surface.

In July of 1955 the White House had announced plans to launch an Earth-orbiting satellite for the IGY( International Geophysical Year). It requested from various Government research agencies, proposals to undertake such a development.

In September 1955, the Naval Research Laboratory's Vanguard proposal was chosen to represent the U.S. during the IGY.
sputnik However, this year (1957) in October all that would change. Sputnik would change the world and they way and pace at which we looked to the stars and space.

By just looking at this image of Sputnik suddenly artistically we see the burgeoning look of the ‘Space Age’ in appliances, Art, Furnishings, Fashion, Textile design.
sputnikburger Sometimes these affects would be subtle, sometimes they merely celebrated the new move towards space, as this delicious burger advertises.

sputnikantena This antenna is another example of a less than subtle influence Sputnik had on design and products. This, thanks to 1950’s atomic ranch house, is “
Wow. This is so cool. It's supposed to boost your car radio antenna signal with space age technology.

It's a Sputnik designed, chrome antenna ball you put on your car antenna.”
Of course, Sputnik was launched by our arch nemesis, the USSR. So, it pushed us harder and by 1 January of next year, 1958, we will have launched Explorer I and the race continued.explorerI
But, another element that was touched by the Space Race was music. Space Age Pop is a loosely descriptive form or sub-genre of music that existed from roughly 1954-1964 (with the Beatles arrival). It embraced new technology and hi-fidelity sound. It often took themes from established songs such as Big Band songs or even composers such as Ravel and Debussy.

This type of music is also called Lounge music. You will recognize it as a sort of movie music of films of the time and certainly Henry Mancini made many movie scores. It just has a very cool and hip sound. I will share some of it with you now.
juanesquivel This is Juan Garcia Esquivel
Here you see an established song, All of me, being re-explored. This has a very Lounge/samba feel.

This Esquivel I find fun and very Space

Here is Dick Hymen with Mary Mayo:

Ferrante & Teicher:

Les Baxter

And probably the most noted or recognizable of this genre, Henry Mancini

I hope you enjoy these sounds and I am going to start a Space Pop/Lounge section in Apron TV HERE.

Happy SPACE Homemaking.


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