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Monday, May 12, 2014

Hi-Fi Living

From Billboard - September 2, 1957: RCA Victor has prepared a new $1.79 LP line exclusively for rack jobbers. The label, RCA Custom Records, will be a special continuous promotion deal, which first will be tested with three of the country's biggest rack concerns in different areas. Tests will begin in the next week or two. 

According to Victor's Irwin Tarr, who heads the company's rack and syndicate selling, the recorded material consists entirely of standard pop tunes, newly recorded in hi-fi specifically for this series. The series itself, to be issued on the basis of a disk a week for 12 weeks, will be tagged the "RCA Custom for Hi-Fi Living Series." There will be 12 top standards in each 12-inch set.

This represents the first time Victor has ventured to sell directly to rack jobbers without involving its distributors. The company's Camden line, which includes disks in all categories by name artists, sells at $1.98, and is handled by Victor distributors. The RCA Custom line does not utilize name acts in this initial series.

Vol.1 – I Could Have Danced All Night
Vol. 2 – Hands Across The Table
Vol. 3 – Hits From Hollywood
Vol. 4 – I Married An Angel
Vol. 5 – Love On Broadway
Vol. 6 – Latin Holiday
Vol. 7 – These Foolish Things
Vol. 8 – A Lazy Afternoon
Vol. 9 – The Girl That I Marry
Vol. 10 – Very Hi-Fi Organ
Vol. 11 – A Trip To Romance
Vol. 12 – We're Having A Party

I Could Have Danced All Night
I Could Have Danced All Night
Vol. 1 For Hi-Fi-Living
Hill Bowen And His Orchestra
RCA Custom RAL 1001

I Could Have Danced All Night
If I Loved You
On The Street Where You Live
The Best Things In Life Are Free
All The Things You Are
Button Up Your Overcoat
I Love Paris
Getting To Know You
I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face
I've Told Ev'ry Little Star
I've Got You Under My Skin
Buckle Down, Winsocki

Once In A While
I Married An Angel
Vol. 4 For Hi-Fi Living
Hill Bowen And His Orchestra
RCA Custom RAL 1004

Lush strings broken up from time to time with bongos and jazzy passages that don't last long enough for my tastes. Enjoy the guitar passage featured in the sample.

I Married An Angel
Lovely Lady
Taking A Chance On Love
I'll Never Be The Same
Doll Dance
I Love You
More Than You Know
That Old Feeling
Once In A While
Blue Moon
Down Among The Sheltering Palms

September Song
Love On Broadway
Vol. 5 For Hi-Fi-Living
Hill Bowen And His Orchestra
RCA Custom RAL 1005

Repeat of the Bowen's lush strings sound as heard on Vol. 4 sans the bongos and jazz passages. This approach presents less possibilities for excitement, however, the mood on this record is more solidly presented because the string arrangements aren't fighting the jazz passages for attention.

They Didn't Believe Me
My Ship
Make Believe
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes
June Is Bustin' Out All Over
Love Walked In
Some Enchanted Evening
The Night Was Made For Love
Orchids In The Moonlight
September Song
Falling In Love With Love

Latin Holiday
Vol. 6 For Hi-Fi Living
Don Amore And His Orchestra
RCA Custom RAL 1006

Light interpretations of your favorite standards.

Cuanto le Gusta
Lisbon Antiqua
El Cumbanchero
Sweet and Gentle
Besame Mucho
Green Eyes

When You Wish Upon A Star
These Foolish Things
Vol. 7 For Hi-Fi Living
Jack Sack And His Orchestra
RCA Custom RAL 1007

Nice mood set that engages the ear with creative arrangements.

Oh, How I Miss You Tonight
Music, Maestro, Please!
When You Wish Upon A Star
San Antonio Rose
These Foolish Things
Wabash Moon
When They Ask About You
Lullaby Of Leaves
I'd Climb The Highest Mountain
With A Smile And A Song

I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
A Lazy Afternoon
Vol. 8 For Hi-Fi Living
Malcolm Lockyer And His Orchestra
RCA Custom RAL 1008

Heavy on the "mood"… with a touch of drama that is provided by the slow moving arrangements and piano passages.

Deep Purple
You Stepped Out Of A Dream
In A Little Spanish Town
Don't Blame Me
Time On My Hands
The Wedding Of The Painted Dolls
Let Me Love You Tonight
I'm Always Chasing Rainbows
At Sundown
I'll See You In My Dreams
Goodnight Sweetheart

Blue Skies
The Girl That I Marry
The Music Of Irving Berlin
Vol. 9 For Hi-Fi Living
Jack Say And His Orchestra
RCA Custom RAL 1009

A solid mood set.

Soft Lights And Sweet Dreams
Cheek To Cheek
How Deep Is The Ocean
Say It Isn't So
Blue Skies
Say It With Music
Lady Of The Evening
The Girl That I Marry
A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody
All By Myself

Stormy Weather
Very Hi-Fi Organ
Vol. 10 For Hi-Fi Living
Jocelyn McNeil At The Pipe Organ
RCA Custom RAL 1010

Enough with the orchestrated mood… Let's give the pipe organ a whirl...

Who's Sorry Now?
Sophisticated Lady
Star Dust
The Creole Love Call
Blue Mirage
I Got Rhythm
Stormy Weather
The Dream Of Olwen

Little Girl
We're Having A Party
Vol. 12 For Hi-Fi Living
Malcolm Lockyer And His Orchestra
RCA Custom RAL 1012

Mixed bag of big band swing and mood.

I've Found A New Baby
(I Love You) For Sentimental Reasons
Under Paris Skies (Sous le ciel de Paris)
Everybody Loves My Baby (But My Baby Don't Love Nobody But Me)
Little Girl
You Know (Tu Sais)
I'll Never Smile Again
The Petite Waltz
Baby Won't You Please Come Home
Now Is The Hour (Maori Farewell Song)

Back cover art for the series

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