Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Swingle Singers Won 2 Grammy Awards in 1964

Best Album by a Chorus.  Best New Artist.

The album spent 74 weeks on Billboard's Top 200 and peaked at #15.  The group made only 2 subsequent appearance on this chart:   
  • Going  Baroque (1964).  17 weeks.  #65 peak position.
  • Anyone for Mozart?   (1965).  6 weeks.  #$140 peak position.

Ward Swingle, Who Made Classical Music Jazzy, Dies at 87.  (The New York Times , 1/25/2015)
Trained in classical music and jazz, Mr. Swingle began the group almost as a lark in Paris, where he had lived off and on since the 1950s. In 1962 or thereabouts, while he was working as a studio session singer, he and seven French colleagues, wanting something novel to put their voices to, tried vocalizing Bach much as a jazz singer would, using scat syllables. 

The result, backed by string bass and drums, was a 1963 album, released as “Jazz Sébastien Bach” in France and “Bach’s Greatest Hits” in the United States. Featuring Mr. Swingle’s arrangements of Bach’s “Well-Tempered Clavier” and “Art of the Fugue,” it spent more than a year on the Billboard chart.

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