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Daily Record 2/24/11: Honeymoon in Paris–Paris Theatre Orchestra (1958)

In 1950s, 1958, EZ listening music, Paris on February 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm

 

My nephew Sean and I were discussing utilitarian music in a coffee shop last weekend. It wasn’t as pretentious as it sounds. Neither of us was wearing a black beret or smoking a clove cigarette.

Turns out that was conversation was almost like research for my musings on today’s Daily Record, Honeymoon in Paris by the Paris Theatre Orchestra. This 1958 LP contains “beautiful music” renditions of songs associated with the City of Lights: “La Mer,” “Under Paris Skies,” and, of course “I Love Paris.”

Although it’s not labeled as such, Honeymoon in Paris can be easily aligned with the “Music for…” hi-fi albums that were all the rage in classy suburban homes in the 1950s. These are records that are designed to help you along in some kind of activity: “music for reading,” “music for dining,” “music for romance,” etc. The actual music itself was often secondary to its “usefulness.” Slap this record on, and you’ll have a perfectly acceptable dinner party.

The purpose of Honeymoon in Paris is plain: to bring back memories of romantic Paris to those who had been there and, probably more commonly to those who had never been there. As the liner notes state, “A honeymoon anywhere is, to say the least, a memorable experience but, a honeymoon in Paris–cest magnifique.

Ironically (or maybe not), I just recently picked up Honeymoon in Paris cheap at a thrift shop for a utilitarian purpose that has little to do with the music in the grooves–I wanted to turn the front and back sides of the album cover into the front and back sides of a notebook (see photo above).  But, since chance determined that Honeymoon in Paris was to be a Daily Record this week, I gave it a spin during our Sunday dinner. And guess what? As EZ listening “mood music,” Honeymoon in Paris is quite effective. It reminded me of the times back when I was a kid when Mom and Dad would put on WJBR–“Just Beautiful Radio”–to accompany our Sunday dinners. That happened 15 years after the release of Honeymoon in Paris and the music on that station was a bit more “MUZAKY” than this album. But the purpose was the same: to enhance the dining experience without really having to think much about what we were listening to.  Cest magnifique!

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