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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Sid Bass born 22 January 1913

Sid Bass (January 22, 1913 – June 19, 1993) was a songwriter and orchestra leader.

He was born in New York City and and majored in music at the New York University. He spent three years in the Army Air Corps where he led several musical combos from the piano, playing hospital wards, radio shows, Officers Club dances and so on. As a composer, his work includes "The old soft shoe," "Greatest feeling in the world," "Pine tree pine over me," and many others. He subsequently arranged for several orchestras and supervised and arranged for radio and night club acts.

Bass worked for Muzak before joining RCA as a staff composer. While with RCA, he recorded a number pre-stereo hi-fi showcase music albums for RCA's budget label, Vik. From Another World is the best known of these  more for its cover than its contents. Its cover features a black-and-white photo of an ecstatic spacewoman (complete with glass bubble helmet) looking at a set of orbital/sine wave designs in front of her. The music is mostly big band-style arrangements whose only "spacey-ness" is a series of electronic outer space tones that introduce and end each cut.

Bass worked as an A&R man for a small label, Jubilee Records, in the late 1950s, and spent much of the 1960s as a producer for Muzak, pumping out covers of thousands of tunes. He also produced and arranged without credit a number of albums for RCA's budget label, Camden. Percussionist Phil Kraus recalls a lightning-fast session with Bass during which they recorded an entire album--10 cuts--of covers of current rock-n-roll hits in under 90 minutes.


According to the liner notes Sid got the idea for this record while reading Edgar Allen Poe's "The Bells". Here's "The Bells Are Ringing" as a taster!

He formed Sid Bass & His Orchestra and released several albums, and also conducted and led the orchestra for several other artists on single releases such as The Four Esquires on their "Repeat After Me" in 1958, The Four Seasons on their "Sherry" in 1962 and Staff Sgt. Barry Sadler on his chart topping " Ballad of the Green Berets" in 1966. One highlight of Bass' work was his orchestration of Gale Garnett's 1964 hit album "My Kind Of Folk Songs". Working alongside producer Andy Wiswell, Bass' efforts also yielded Gale's top 5 hit "We'll Sing In The Sunshine" (which she also wrote) that same year.

Other artists he is known to have recorded albums with are Ed Ames, Paul Anka, Harry Belafonte, Connie Francis, Al Hirt , Miriam Makeba, and Frankie Valli among others, as well as the DVD Treasury of Christmas by Thomas Kinkade. 

Bass popped (credited) again late in the sixties with Moog Espana, adapting a full palette of electronic sounds to Latin standards, much as Marty Gold adapted it to Beatles tunes.
Sid Bass died June 19, 1993 at Puney, Vermont , aged 80.

 (All I could muster was a grainy photo of Sid taken from  LP liner notes.  Sparce info edited from Wikipedia,liner notes, etc.)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For SID BASS and his ORCHESTRA - WITH BELLS ON (1958 LP) go here: