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What's New

21 May 2013

13 January 2012

  • Phil Kraus, probably the greatest percussionist of the Space Age Pop era--an era in which percussion was at the core of the music--passes at the age of 93 in his home in Houston.
13 March 2010
  • Jerry Adler, young brother of Larry Adler and a fine harmonica virtuoso in his own right, passes at the age of 91.
15 February 2010
  • Art Van Damme, who broke the hip barrier for accordionists, proving once and for all that it is possible to have a squeezebox strapped to your chest and still be cool as Antarctic ice.
14 January 2010
  • Steve Greaves, an L. A.-based musician who's keeping the torch of Space Age Pop music lit with a 21st Century flair, rolls out a new website: The SG Sound. It's Space Age Pop-a-Go-Go, baby!
19 October 2009
  • Vic Mizzy, who planted one of television's best hooks--"The Addams Family Theme"--into our brains, takes a final bow at the age of 93.
19 September 2009
  • Art Ferrante joins his performing partner of over 50 years, Lou Teicher, marking the end of the most successful duo act, Ferrante and Teicher.
13 August 2009
  • A man who revolutionized guitar-playing and music recording, whose own output was dwarfed by that of the engineers and musicians he influenced, and who survived to set the record as the oldest man to win a Grammy Award in a rock music category, has plucked his last string: Les Paul, dead at 94. Vaya con Dios, Les.
11 December 2008
  • Bettie Page, the iconic pin-up girl of the early Space Age Pop era, passes at the age of 85. Although she only appeared on three LP covers in the 1950s, none of them even remotely associated with the music of the time (e.g., a budget version of Bizet's "Carmen"), her image has become inextricably linked to exotica, bachelor pads, and the sense that something quite primal and kinky lay simmering beneath the surface of the stereotypical suburban 50's lifestyle.
23 November 2008 1 November 2008
  • The one personality in Space Age Pop whose personality was at least as wild, ferocious, and exotic as the music she sang has now left the building for good: no, not Amy Camus, the Brooklyn housewife, but Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chavarri Del Castillo, better known as Yma Sumac, the five-octave diva of the Andes. At age 86, in her home in Los Angeles.
11 October 2008
  • Neal Hefti who earned a solid slot in both the Space Age Pop and jazz halls of fame with his outstanding work as an arranger and composer for Count Basie (um, jazz) and as one of the bubbliest, nuttiest, kookiest, and coolest composers of movie and TV themes, including the romping, stomping locomotive theme song for "Batman". A moment of silence, folks--a great one is gone.
4 June 2008
  • Bill Finegan, who with Eddie Sauter, created the Sauter-Finegan Orchestra, one of the most daring and least profitable instrumental groups of the early Space Age Pop era, dies at age 91. His NY Times obituary quotes him on the band: “Everything went wrong but the music."
26May 2008
  • Lou Teicher, Art Ferrante's left-hand man in the highly successful (and, for a while, highly innovative) piano duo, Ferrante and Teicher dies at age 83 in Sarasota, Florida.
26May 2008
  • Earle Hagen, composer of "Harlem Nocturne" as well as dozens of your favorite TV tunes: dead at the age of eighty-eight.
15 May 2008
  • The great arranger of big band--and Martin Denny--music, Bob Florence dies of pneumonia just five days short of his seventy-sixth birthday.
May 2008 24 February 2008
  • Phil Bodner, founder of the Brass Ring, which was the most successful instrumental group of the 1960s after Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass and the Ventures, dies in Manhattan at the age of 90.
4 January 2008
  • Mort Garson, one of the first Hollywood studio musicians to usher in the use of the Moog and other electronic gadgets and creator of some of the oddest albums ever to be released by mainstream labels, dies of renal failure at 83.
26 September 2007
  • Randy Van Horne, best known by Space Age Pop fans for his vocal arrangements and accompaniments on Esquivel's wilder albums but a well-respected and prolific musician in his own right, dies at age 83.
3 November 2006
  • Composer of "Love in Blue" and perhaps the last musician to become an international star of the Space Age Pop era: Paul Mauriat passes, at age 81.
22 October 2006
    17 September 2006
  • Another great session musician passes: guitarist Al Casey, who spent most of his time playing on others' records but briefly hit the charts himself with the Lee Hazelwood tune, "Surfin' Hootenanny."
16 June 2006
  • R.I.P., long-time singer, arranger, and composer Artie Malvin. Updates to his bio courtesy of his daughter, Janet.
16 February 2006
  • Best-known for producing and arranging Ray Charles' landmark album, "Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music": R.I.P., veteran arranger and producer Sid Feller.
14 February 2006
  • Capitol Records/EMI Music Catalog Marketing announces the upcoming release of "The Best Of Martin Denny's Exotica," an 18-track compilation. The release features original Denny album art, specially-commissioned artwork by noted Tiki artist Michael Uhlenkott, rare family photos and memorabilia, and liner notes penned by Denny's daughter, Christina.
12 February 2006
  • One of the best-loved figures in Space Age Pop passes: Lenny Dee, organist and prolific recording artist for Decca Records, at the age of 83.
6 February 2006 11 November 2005
  • Just released from Backbeat Books: a terrific guide to the theremin, autoharp, electric sitar, and other favorite oddball instruments of Space Age Pop, Strange Sounds: Offbeat Instruments and Sonic Experiments in Pop, by Mark Brend. The book comes packaged with a CD full of sample tunes from many of the instruments discussed in the book.
1 November 2005
  • R.I.P. Skitch Henderson, famed for his time on the "Tonight Show" and veteran of many years on the pop symphony circuit.
16 September 2005 23 August 2005 15 July 2005
  • Joe Harnell, famed for his bossa nova version of "Fly Me to the Moon" and his science fiction television scores, dies at age 80.
26 June 2005 1 May 2005
  • More passings from the world of Space Age Pop: Jose Melis, bandleader for Jack Paar's "Tonight! Show," and Salvatore "Tutti" Camarata, longtime musical director for Disneyland Records and multi-talented popular and classical musician.
25 April 2005 2 March 2005
  • R.I.P. Martin Denny. The man who brought "Exotica" into our vocabulary.
14 February 2005
  • Just released: Phil Woods and the Los Angeles Jazz Orchestra recreate the great Marty Paich arrangements for Art Pepper Plus Eleven on the new CD, Groovin' to Marty Paich.
28 January 2005
  • Just up on the net: "the first ever truly authorized web site for Miss Yma Sumac." Well, maybe. Remember, this is a woman of whom Billy May once recalled, "She would tell me, 'I love you, you are a beautiful man, I kill you, I kill you!' all in the same breath": www.yma-sumac.com. For the original "official site," there's still www.sunvirgin.com. Love either, kill either--Yma won't mind.
10 January 2005
  • Updated biography of Eddie Layton, Mercury Records star and organist for the New York Yankees for 36 years, who died on 26 December 2004.
10 December 2004 15 November 2004 8 November 2004
  • Another Space Age Pop great, the superb studio and jazz pianist, Pete Jolly, passes, after a three-month battle with bone marrow cancer.
5 November 2004
  • R.I.P. to two Space Age Pop musicians: Lester Lanin, the King of society bands, and Joe Bushkin, a fine pianist and songwriter.
28 September 2004


16 August 2004

  • Much-expanded biography of Anita Kerr, including a comprehensive discography of her own albums, including those she recorded as the Living Voices, Mexicali Singers, and the San Sebastian Strings.
12 August 2004
  • An updated biography of the legendary guitarist Tony Mottola, who died on 10 August 2004 at age 86.
6 May 2004
  • Another new track, "Overseas Operator," from a rare album of stringy but chewy rock 'n' roll by Hash Brown and his Ignunt Strings, AKA Harry Lookofsky.
4 May 2004
  • A new track, "Sing Hallelujah," a light and swinging jazz version of a traditional gospel tune, from a rare Capitol album, The Folk-Type Swinger, by singer/pianist Jeannie Hoffman.
17 April 2004 23 January 2004
  • R.I.P., Billy May. One of the all-time great arrangers and a legendary character.
15 November 2003
  • A new section, Selected Space Age Pop Tracks, offering a chance to hear some of the best, rarest, and/or oddest tracks from the Space Age Pop era.
28 August 2003
  • New biography of D.L. Miller, AKA Dave Miller, Dave Kleiber, and Leo Muller, the man who brought us the 101 Strings and inspired others to form low-budget labels and produce cheap albums using unlicensed material and pseudonymous musicians working without royalties. Lucky us.
19 July 2003 21 June 2003
  • New biography of Roy Smeck, "Wizard of the Strings."
19 June 2003
  • New biography of Jackie Davis, the first to popularize jazz on the organ.
18 June 2003
  • New biographies of Joe Maize, ace console steel guitar player, and Johnny Ukulele, nee Johnny Ka'aihue, who played the xylophone.
14 June 2003
  • New biography of Joe Cain, influential producer of Latin music.
12 June 2003
  • Updated biography of Plas Johnson, famed for his sax solo on "The Pink Panther" and many other hits.
10 June 2003
  • New biography of Ted Auletta, who cut an excellent exotica album titled, um, Exotica.
7 June 2003 6 June 2003 19 May 2003
  • New biography of one of the space-iest of Space Age Pop musicians, the one and only Lucia Pamela.
28 April 2003
  • New biography of Ralph Font, best known for the lurid cover of his album, Tabu.
12 December 2002
  • New biographies of Jo Ann Castle, who pounds the piano as if she were, in the words of TV Guide "building it instead of playing it" and Vince Guaraldi, San Francisco jazz homeboy and composer of "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" and music for the "Charlie Brown" animated specials.
  • Looking for new CDs? Goodbye, CDNow. Hello, Amazon.com.
5 December 2002 18 Oct 2002
  • New biography of Mike Sammes, leader of the UK's busiest group of session singers in the 1960s.
15 Oct 2002
  • Sad news for the Space Age Pop world: Ray Conniff dead at the age of 85.
  • 5 Oct 2002
    • New biography of Carroll Bratman, founder of Carroll Music, one of New York City's greatest music rental companies and mentor, inspiration, and supporter of many of the percussionists who put the "POP" (and "BINGS!," "BANGS!," and "BAROOMMS!," to quote Dick Schory) in Space Age Pop music.
    5 Sep 2002
    • R.I.P. Tak Shindo
    • The true story of Korla Pandit, thanks to R.J. Smith's article, "The Many Faces of Korla Pandit," Los Angeles Magazine, July 2001 issue
    • New bios on Artie Malvin, the "voices" on Jackie Gleason's album, Oooo!, and Sy Mann, NYC studio veteran keyboardist and arranger
    12 Aug 2002 5 Aug 2002 11 May 2002
    • Updated and expanded biography of harpist Gene Bianco, who graciously consented to an interview.
    1 Mar 2002 28 Feb 2002
    • R.I.P. Arthur Lyman--now playing "Pearly Shells" at the Pearly Gates Bar.
    19 Feb 2002 9 Jan 2002 17 Dec 2001 29 Nov 2001 26 Nov 2001 26 Aug 2001
    • The Space Age Pop page comes out of hibernation. Updated biography of the late Larry Adler.
    24 Feb 2001
    • New biography of Steve Allen, entertainment polymath who never apologized for his views or his glasses.
    8 Feb 2001 5 Feb 2001 24 Jan 2001
    • Now you can search within the Space Age Pop Music page thanks to the new Search page.
    19 Jan 2001 16 Jan 2001 7 Jan 2001
    • New biography of Floyd Cramer, whose "slip-note" piano style was a hallmark of countrypolitan music
    4 Jan 2001 20 Dec 2000
    • New biographies of Hoyt Curtin, the musical master behind "The Flintstones" and other Hanna-Barbera cartoons, and Randy Van Horne, whose singers sang "The Flintstones" theme and gave Esquivel his famous zu-zu-zus
    27 Nov 2000 2 Nov 2000
    • New search tools provided for each biography page, to make it easier to locate CDs and records by the artist at www.CDNow.com and www.gemm.com
    27 Oct 2000
    • Biography of Brad Miller, creator of the Mystic Moods Orchestra
    5 Oct 2000
    • New biographies of "Nature Boy" author and ur-hippy Eden Ahbez, the Yiddish Spike Jones, Mickey Katz, the French wizard of production music, Roger Roger, and Sergio Mendes, mastermind of Brasil '65, er, '66, er, '77, er, '88, er, '99, er ....
    9 Sep 2000 25 Aug 2000 27 Jul 2000 28 Jun 2000 16 Jun 2000 19 May 2000 4 May 2000 26 April 2000
  • 21 April 2000 18 April 2000
    • A long-overdue biography on rediscovered German film/TV composer, Peter Thomas
    25 February 2000 22 February 2000 12 February 2000 12 January 2000 6 January 2000 28 December 1999 20 December 1999 24 November 1999 19 November 1999 17 November 1999 10 November 1999 31 October 1999 23 October 1999 20 October 1999 23 September 1999 7 September 1999 2 September 1999

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