• Live in the Muzak Studios

    Glen Gray Album

    One of the most engaging facts about our Muzak archive recordings, especially from the ‘30s and ‘40s, is that they sound LIVE.  That’s because they practically were.  Executive producer Ben Selvin would book many artists and orchestras while they were on tour in New York.  They’d come into the Muzak studio and simply play their live sets.  In a matter of just a few hours these bands would knock out 12 to 15 songs, most in only one take.

    When listening to a recently digitized session by Glen Gray and his Orchestra, recorded at Muzak’s Manhattan studio on February 5, 1936, it was as if I was listening to them playing live at the Casa Loma just down the street.  One of the musicians steps up to the mic as the band plays along.

    So grab the closest seat to the stage you can find, order your favorite beverage and listen to a fun performance by Korry Scott on vocals with Glen Gray and his Orchestra.

    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Muzak Archives Director

  • Ol’ Man River

    Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra

    Glen Gray and the Casa Loma Orchestra

    In 1927, Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein wrote the musical “Show Boat”, featuring the now Grammy winning tune “Ol’ Man River.”  In that same year, Glen Gray’s popular Orange Blossom Band was playing in Toronto at the Casa Loma Hotel.  It was there that they first arranged and performed “Ol’ Man River.”  It immediately became a mainstay in their set list for years to come.

    On February 25, 1935, Glen Gray and his Orchestra stepped into Muzak’s studio in Manhattan to record this and 12 other songs.  It’s easy to see why they played “Ol’ Man River” for so many years; a great song with a great arrangement, played by a great band.  Enjoy this never before released recording of “Ol’ Man River” by the Glen Gray Orchestra.


    Contributed by Bruce McKagan, Muzak Archives Director

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