July 31, 2006


It should be of no surprise that listening to vintage music is a favorite pastime of mine. I've also noticed that there's something extra fun about music that was never intended for consumer use. I have a number of recordings that were meant to be played during a certain time, in a certain place and then discarded. This is an ephemeral favorite of mine.. it's a record that Chevrolet distributed to their dealers called Building a better way to see the U.S.A. Music. Here's a description from the back of the jacket...

"Looking for a happy, encouraging sound- listen to this complimentary record. It's the theme music taken from the '72 Announcement meeting. We encourage you to share this happy sound with your showroom visitors. It's all part of a great new advertising campaign that will be seen and listened to by your prospects in the next few months...a better way to sell Chevrolets."
(The record is only a half hour long, so the salespeople could potentially hear it up to sixteen times a day. And hopefully they had a record player that could restart automatically.)

The LP opens with a vocal track that's all about the vastness and diversity of the United States...

"It's a land that's made from differences
but where all the edges touch
from the Mormons out in Utah
to the Pennsylvania Dutch"

After some hopeful introductory music there are a couple tracks dedicated to Chevy history (musical stylings that are synonymous with black and white footage of jalopies spouting smoke). These finally lead into the relaxed beat of the "modern" showroom. The remainder of the album consists of distinct variations of the main theme, each representing a different Chevy model. From easy going ditties for the Station Wagon, Nova, and Monte Carlo to the sophisticated melodies of the Impala and the Caprice (which is seen on the cover). Naturally the Corvette and Camero are musically portrayed with brassy excitement. The El Camino music is particularly interesting because it's your standard, twangy "chase music" that brings Smokey and the Bandit to mind. Are they implying that the El Camino is the ultimate getaway car?

The scene on the cover is actually pretty inspiring even though the "family" is so ridiculously staged. Like action figures, everyone has their own accessory.. and little Billy had to bring his baseball mitt to the mountains.

This is one of my favorite records and I've always thought it would make perfect road trip music. So I finally took the time to convert it into highly portable MP3s. I see that this album is being offered for 200 bucks on a rare vinyl web site (I paid one dollar at a thrift store). Save yourself the expense and just download it here...

Download via Mediafire: HERE
Size: 41.7 meg
Run time: 29.5 min
Bit Rate: 192 kbps


chuckbaris said...

Upon reading the title to this blog I got very excited thinking the subject matter would consist of various music for the Chevy Chase showroom. Then I realized that there is no such thing as a room showcasing all things Chevy Chase. Yet.

Ronn Roxx said...

I too love listening to vintage music, advtertising and soundtracks, and was thrilled to see you had taken the time to make this record available to the world. I for one have downloaded it and added it to my iTunes collection ;-)


Ronn Roxx

Kirk D. said...

Excellent Ronn!

I have a ton of places that I frequent for this sort of music. Here are just a few I was just visiting (though you probably know about them already)...

(especially Music for TV dinners, In a Cocktail mood, Mood Mosaic)

(especially hotel easy vol. 1 and 2)


Anonymous said...

What is the correct order of the tracks? - the MP3s are not numbered.

PC said...

Cool, I liked this. If anyone's interested, there's another Chevy album for download on my blog (http://gaaak.blogspot.com/) at the moment.

Kirk D. said...

PC- I'm downloading your album as we speak. Cool that there's other years available!

anonymous- hmmm, what are you playing the album in? The numbers show up in itunes (on pc and mac) but mabye I need to save them with a different i.d. tag version.
Anyway, here's the tracklisting...

1. Chevrolet, Building a Better Way (Vocal)
2. Opening (Instr)
3. History- Part I (Instr)
4. History- Part II (Instr)
5. Showroom Customers (Instr)
6. Test Track, Factory, Impala, Caprice (Instr)
7. Station Wagon, Nova, Monte Carlo (Instr)
8. Chevelle, El Camino (Instr)
9. Vega GT, Corvette, Camaro (Instr)
Dan Gurney, Trucks (Instr)
10. Chevrolet, Building a Better Way (Vocal)

Synthetrix said...

Great one!
Stop by my Photos of The Forgotten site for some flashbacks.


anakelea said...

My father was a salesman for Brach's Candy. In the 1960's he was sent some promotional materials and radio spots on vinyl. As a holiday gift last Dec ember, I digitized these. Ed McMahon hosts a couple and they're pretty darn spectacular. Are you interested in them? If so, can you tell me how to upload them to Rapidshare and I'll make them available to you?

Kirk D. said...

Those sound pretty interesting. (Plus Brach's is the only company that can make a decent Jelly Bean) So if it's no trouble then please do.


shawn said...

the wonders never cease here....
I was wondering when records would come up in your blog. Can`t believe that this Chevy lp goes for around 200.00 (if you can locate a sucker...lol). I have three copies of it all acquired very cheaply.
By the way Kirk I have around 4,000 records in my collection, and it`s loaded with gems! The vinyl lp was an amazing format!

Kirk D. said...

Boy shawn it sounds like you should start up a vintage record blog! I used to have so many records I wanted to digitize but thanks to the loads of vintage vinyl blogs that popped up over the past couple years I've got mp3s of most of mine now and I didn't have to lift a finger. Ah, the internet.

shawn said...

for anyone wanting some quality pix of LP covers go to 317x.com........cheers