Category:
Music

Music to help you stop smoking

An album released in 1964. The Phoenix New Times offers some info about it:

Hot on the heels of surgeon general Luther Terry's 1964 finding on the dangers of smoking came this, the most absurd of the Living Strings' "music to do something by" series. Of course, what instrumental songs like "Clair de lune" and "Yellow Bird" have to do with staving off lung cancer is inconsequential -- it's the liner notes that make the persuasive pitch: "Only will power will make you stop smoking. But this music may help your will power." The fact that this music is supposed to "relax you, make you feel good and keep your hand from groping a pack of cigarettes" may lead some more mischievous or bored listeners to grope for something else. Oops! Sorry. Wrong surgeon general.



Wikipedia has some info about The Living Strings:

The Living Strings were a studio orchestra founded in 1959 by RCA Victor for a series of easy listening recordings issued on the RCA Camden budget label... RCA Victor record producer Ethel Gabriel created the "Living Strings" series of albums, which were easy-listening instrumental string versions of popular tunes, the type of music that came to be known pejoratively as elevator music.
There was no actual orchestra known as the Living Strings. The orchestra for most of the recordings was made up of musicians from various British orchestras assembled for the purpose of making the records.

I couldn't find any tracks from "Music to help you stop smoking" on YouTube, but apparently you can listen to the entire album on Spotify, if you have access to that (which I don't).

Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 17, 2020 - Comments (3)
Category: Music, Smoking and Tobacco, 1960s

Johanna Went



Let us know when you bail.

Halfway through 1984’s Knife Boxing, Johanna Went interrupts her incessant frenzied bopping to thrust her hands into a crudely made body part—half-buttocks, half-vagina—suspended from the roof of Club Lingerie.1 A vicious viscous excremental substance seeps down her arm. She brings her face close and sucks the stuff into her mouth before hauling out a giant goo-covered tampon that she aggressively flings at the audience. Some cringe, others laugh. Quickly she pulls on a costume, a huge mask-headed apron covered in sex doll heads, all the while screaming her unique tongue, a babble from Hell channeled through Lolita-cum-Medea. Screeching tape loops accompany her, along with a blaring saxophone and a loud percussive racket emanating from a woman drumming on found objects.2 A monstrous vagina appears stage right. Went extracts more tampons, heaving each into the mesmerized mosh pit. Completely at one with her, the audience starts hurling these back in a game of volleyball gone mad. After all, this show was held to coincide with the Los Angeles Olympics. Much art programming accompanied that event, but Went was not part of the roster. Instead, she held her own celebration of sports, on the stage of a punk club, flanked by headless stockinette figures replete with genitalia parodying the elegant cast metal kouroi made by Robert Graham to decorate the official Olympic stadiums.


Source of quote, long essay.

Another essay on the creator, here.

Her Wikipedia page.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 13, 2020 - Comments (9)
Category: Ambiguity, Uncertainty and Deliberate Obscurity, Antisocial Activities, Armageddon and Apocalypses, Bad Habits, Neuroses and Psychoses, Beauty, Ugliness and Other Aesthetic Issues, Music, Avant Garde, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, Twentieth Century

Bollywood Beatles

Posted By: Paul - Tue Mar 10, 2020 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings, 1960s

Dracula Cha-Cha-Cha

Posted By: Paul - Sat Mar 07, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Humor, Music, 1960s, Fictional Monsters

House Music



Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 27, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Eccentrics, Inventions, Music

The Beatlettes





Mystery queens of Beat music! No one knows who the Beattle-ettes were. They were one more answer record knocked off responding to the maelstrom of the Beatles' invasion of New York in 1964. (It was rushed out so fast, in fact, that they got the spelling of the boys' name wrong, with an extra 'T'!) But it is sure that they were produced by "Shadow" Morton just before his breakout success with the fabulous Shangri-La's. Because of this, and the definite New York moxie of the singers, many believe it might actually be the Shangs! This would be cool as all hell, of course, but no one knows for sure. What we do know is this is a rockin' two minutes of punky Beat music that sticks in your head all day.

Posted By: Paul - Fri Jan 31, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Music, Homages, Pastiches, Tributes and Borrowings, 1960s

Dorothy Ashby, Bebop Harp

Unlike most of the music we revel in here at WU, this piece is actually beautiful and accomplished. The weirdness factor is the chosen instrument, the harp, not generally accorded a place in jazz.

The Wikipedia page for Dorothy Ashby.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Jan 25, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Music, Twentieth Century

Eefin Music

NPR’s Jennifer Sharpe has defined eefin music as "a kind of hiccupping, rhythmic wheeze that started in rural Tennessee more than 100 years ago."

Back in the early 1960s, some in the record industry thought that eefin was going to be the next big thing. Though the hopes for it never panned out. The biggest eefin hit was "Little Eefin Annie" by Joe Perkins, which reached #76 in the charts in 1963.



But if you're a fan of Benny Hill, you might appreciate the song 'Eefin Nanny Stomp,' released in 1960 by Billy Hutch His Harmonica And Orchestra. You can clearly hear the Benny Hill theme (Yakety Sax) during parts of it.



Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 23, 2020 - Comments (5)
Category: Music, 1960s

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

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Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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