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Wednesday, May 7, 2014

29 Strings And Then Some - Armengol

Song Of India
29 Strings And Then Some
Armengol And His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1457
1957

This RCA features an attractive looking jacket and a rather dry sounding classical mood set.

The jacket notes below offer insight into late 50s RCA production process.

Here is what happened with 29 Strings by Mario Ruiz Armengol. 

The "Powers That Be" in both the Artist & Repertoire and Sales Promotion Departments of RCA Victor were pleased and excited about the wonderful sound and excellent sales of an album titled One Night In Acapulco (LPM-1292) by one Mario Ruiz Armengol. At a weekly planning conference, a joint meeting of the minds occurred and it was decided that another mood music album by Armengol was needed quickly, capturing the same lilting rhythms as were featured in One Night In Acapulco.

Immediately the wheels began to turn in myriad directions… Sales – Advertising – Artist & Repertoire… All moved to accomplish the fact of a new Armegol album. John Camacho, head of A&R for the International Department, flew off to Mexico to record the music with the collaboration of Mariano Rivera Conde, head of A&R for Mexico. This was necessary because Mario Ruiz Armengol is the for most Arranger-Conductor of popular music in Mexico and both Armengol and his orchestra could be located in Mexico City. RCA Victor also maintains an excellent studio in Mexico City, part of RCA Victor Mexicana, and so it was decided that the recording date would be scheduled in Mexico City. We think it was a logical decision.

With Camacho flying down to Mexico City for the recording session, creative minds back in New York set themselves to the tedious task of evolving a title and an album cover that would do justice to the music and talent of Mario Ruiz Armengol.

Several title were suggested, but finally it was decided to call the album 29 Strings and Then Some, since by a strange coincidence this would be the exact number of stringed instruments in the Armengol Orchestra. The title was selected only after one die-hard finally gave up his suggested title of "145 Strings," which would have been the number of actual strings on all the instruments used. It was pointed out that such a title might be a wee bit misleading and so it was dropped in favor of the tile now decorating the front cover.

Having decided on the title, a cover was created in keeping with the title and the music and, at the same time, eye-appealing and attractive for store display. Then the liner was assigned and completed. The recordings were finished – the sound and performance reviewed by the A&R director – the complete sleeves were rushed by the printer to the factory. Stampers were made, part of the complex process that transfers music from tape to disc. Finally, the completed product was ready.

Serenade
A Song Of India
Largo
Song Without Words
La Golondrina
Ave Maria
Old Folks At Home
Lullaby
Andante Cantabile
Intermezzo

1 comment:

  1. 29 Strings. : ) Great story!
    I never believed any orchestra had 1001 Strings. That's a bit much.

    ReplyDelete

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