What's This Thing Called Love
For Listening And Dancing
Edmundo Ros And His Orchestra
Turntable and Pick Up By Fairchild
Cover Credits: Gown by Gothe - Suit by Tress
London Records LL 1466
The "Hi-Fi... for your dancing pleasure" violator on the cover is glued down on the left side, so that you can lift the paper to see the artwork underneath. I'm not sure if this paper was applied at the factory or, perhaps, at a record store to denote the LP as a "demonstrator".
From the back cover: Edmundo Ros was born in the capital of Venezuela, Caracas, on 7th December, 1910. His mother was Venezuelan, his father Scottish-Canadian, and Edmundo was the eldest in a family of four children. His childhood days were happy and uneventful; he possessed a considerable scholastic aptitude, and displayed a keen interest in music from an early age, although no one at the time realized how great an influence it was to exert on his future life and vocation. His parents originally intended him to study for the legal profession, but is was eventually decided that he should embark on a career in the Venezuelan Army, and, with the object in mind, Edmundo entered a military academy. He was not particularly enamoured with his foretaste of army life, and lost no time in joining the academy's military band as a percussionist, deriving as much pleasure and satisfaction from this activity as he did from his studies. Edmundo remained in the academy for 3 1/2 years, and then faced the final choice of taking a commission in the Venezuelan Army or concentrating on music exclusively. He experienced no difficulty in making his decision, and within a short time had secured the post of timpanist with the Venezuelan State Symphony Orchestra. This position proved ideal for Edmundo, guaranteeing him a regular income and considerable opportunity for pursuing his musical studies. He joined the Venezuelan Musicians' Union, and rose to become a member of its committee. Before entering the military academy, Edmundo had won a State scholarship but had not availed himself of its advantages; now the idea occurred to him that he might utilize its financial benefits by journeying to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music. He sought and gained the permission of the scholarship authorities, and embarked on the outset of his momentous career in Europe.
The terms of the scholarship grant were insufficient for Edmundo to live in London without another source of income, and soon after his arrival he teamed up with Don Marino Barreto, the pioneer Latin-American bandleader in Britain. Their object was to present authentic Latin-American music, but they encounter numerous initial difficulties and setbacks. It was not until the Barreto band, with its nucleus of South American musicians, was booked into the Embassy Club that success and recognition came its way. Engagements increased, but Edmundo persisted with his Royal Academy studies as well as singing and drumming with the band. In 1940, when his Barreto contract expired, Edmundo decided to form his own group, and the Ros band played its first engagement on August 8th of that year at the Cosmo Club in Wardour Street. This club had also been designated as an air-raid shelter, and it was not long before the local population flocked down regularly to the luxurious basement with its exotic music – whether an air-raid was in progress of not! The management was unable to cope with this situation for long, and Edmundo and his group moved on to the St. Regis in Cork Street, Piccadilly. This booking was abruptly terminated two weeks later by the descent of a German bomb, but, despite these adversities, Edmundo maintained his efforts to introduce and popularize the music of South America and the Caribbean in Britain. His unflagging zeal and industry were rewarded when he commenced a long association with such famous West End nightspots as the Coconut Grove, the Bagatelle and the Astor – as association which was lucrative but extremely arduous. With characteristic astuteness and foresight, Edmundo soon realized that the music which he presented would have to be modified if it was to attract and maintain the interest of the general public; authentic arrangements were successful enough as far as the West End clientele were concerned, but he wished his music and ideas to spread and find favor beyond the limits of the night-clubs and restaurants. So he devised the formula which has proved so successful in achieving its purpose; a subtle amalgam of authentic rhythm and commercial arranging which appeals to all but the most die-hard aficionado and purist. The success of his broadcasts and records amply justified his policy, and proved beyond doubt to Edmundo where his future lay. He somewhat reluctantly concluded his Academy studies, devoting all his energy and concentration to his chosen task, and today finds him the affable proprietor of the popular Edmundo Ros Club (formerly the Coconut Grove) in the heart of the West End, where he and his orchestra are the star attractions.
From Billboard - October 20, 1956: Edmundo Ros applies a novel treatment to a group of pop standards – wrapping them up "in the Latin manner." Not all of the tropical conversions are successful ("Alice Blue Gowns," for instance, seems out of its element), but the idea, over-all, is a most provocative one. An exuberant guaracha version of "You'll Never Know." and "Swonderful" played as a baiao are highly satisfying. Interesting jockey wax.
On The Sunny Side Of The Street
Yes! We Have No Bananas
Softly As In A Morning Sunrise
Alice Blue Gown
Without A Word Of Warning
You'll Never Know
What Is The Thing Called Love
I'm Just Wild About Harry