Thursday, June 30, 2011

75th Anniversary of Raymond Scott's Music: 1937—2012

2012 marks the 75th Anniversary of Raymond Scott's music, which is forever associated with Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck — though bandleader-composer Scott had no interest in cartoons. Ever!

Composer, electronic music pioneer, inventor, and bandstand drill sergeant Raymond Scott was born Harry Warnow, in Brooklyn, in 1908. After graduating from Juilliard, he wrote the 1934 hit song “Christmas Night In Harlem,” recorded by Louis Armstrong. In December 1936, Scott debuted his six-man “Quintette,” which featured jazz giant Bunny Berigan on trumpet and drummer Johnny Williams, father of famous movie score composer John Williams. By early 1937, Scott's Quintette were stars on radio, on records, and — after landing a contract with 20th Century Fox — in Hollywood films. The RSQ reeled off a string of quirky hit records, including “Powerhouse” (recorded February 20, 1937 in New York at their first studio session). Thanks to its being quoted by Carl Stalling in dozens of LOONEY TUNES, the "Powerhouse" melodies have become genetically encoded in the DNA of every earthling.

The Raymond Scott Archives celebrates the 75th with a series of live events and special projects (listed below). If you plan to coordinate an event, record Scott's tunes, or write about Scott, contact: We can provide sheet music, photos, and historical resources. We are available for interviews and to host local programs.
 On December 1st, 2011, the New York-based Raymond Scott Orchestrette reunited to perform at Lincoln Center, as part of the Target® Free Thursday series — watch the new video slideshow with music: here

 Basta Audio-Visuals, the European label is planning several releases, including two vinyl LP replicas (which are available now — details here): Scott's 1957 orchestral THIS TIME WITH STRINGS, and a rare stereo mix of 1959’s THE UNEXPECTED, performed by Scott’s all-star jazz ensemble The Secret Seven. And a new 2-track single has also been released on the iTunes store — info: here.

 The award-winning Raymond Scott documentary, DECONSTRUCTING DAD will be screened at movie theaters and international film festivals:

Live performances of Scott's animated compositions (jazz, pop, and electronica) will take place around the globe, including:

 UK: Stu Brown Sextet and Mr. McFall's Chamber present ongoing concerts of Scott repertoire

 USA: The West Point Band’s Quintette 7 perform RSQ repertoire

 Norway: The MeaNensemble presents “White (Brain) Wash in concert: A Tribute To Raymond Scott & the Perfect World of Commercials”

 New York: Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra performs “Powerhouse Stomp: A Tribute To Classic Cartoons” 

 Spain: Racalmuto recreate the RSQ's six-man lineup and repertoire

 San Francisco: Jeff Stanford’s Cartoon Jazz Orchestra and Septet perform Scott classics accompanying cartoons

 Colorado: The Expedition Quartet present “An Acoustic Dinner with a Pack of Hungry Cannibals”

 Los Angeles: A multimedia show at the Redcat theater in the Walt Disney Concert Hall, curated by composer Ego Plum, and movie score orchestrator/composer Steve Bartek of Oingo Boingo on Friday, November 9th, 2012
Jeff E. Winner The Raymond Scott Archives
Phone: 267-970-4396
View or Download Press Release: here

P.S. Check-out this new collection of 75 YouTube clips of the Raymond Scott classic, "Powerhouse," celebrating the 75th anniversary of the RS Quintette's debut studio recording, on February 20, 1937, in New York: HERE <<<

Portrait of RSQ © by Drew Friedman

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