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Famous Like Me > Composer > L > Enoch Light

Profile of Enoch Light on Famous Like Me

Name: Enoch Light  
Also Know As:
Date of Birth: 18th August 1905
Place of Birth: Canton, Ohio, USA
Profession: Composer
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
Cover of Enoch Light's first Command release, Persuasive Percussion

Enoch Light (August 18, 1905 - July 31, 1978) was a classical violinist, bandleader, and recording engineer. He is credited with being the first musician to go to extreme lengths to create quality recordings that took full advantage of the technical capabilities of home audio equipment of the late 1950s and early 1960s, particularly stereo effects that bounced the sounds between the right and left channels (often described as "ping-pong"). He arranged his musicians in ways to produce the kinds of recorded sounds he wished to achieve, the first to do so. The first of his albums produced on his record label, Command Records, Persuasive Percussion, became the first huge hit based solely on retail sales. His songs received little or no airplay on the radio, because AM radio, the standard of the day, is monophonic. Light went on to release several albums in the Persuasive Percussion series.

The album covers were generally designed with abstract minimalist artwork that stood out boldly from other album covers. These pieces were usually the work of Josef Albers. Light was so interested in the sounds of his music that he would include lengthy prose describing each song's sounds. In order to fit all of his descriptions on to the album sleeve, he doubled the size of the sleeve but enabled it to fold like a book, thus inventing the gatefold packaging format. The gatefold sleeve would became extremely popular in later decades, and used on albums such as The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Enoch Light released myriad albums in various genres of music under a variety of names during the late 1950s and early 1960s. The music was intended for older audiences, as opposed to most popular music of the time, which was usually aimed at teenagers. During this time, he pioneered many recording techniques such as the use magnetic 35mm film instead of magnetic tape, thereby reducing the effects of"wow" and "flutter". Doc Severinsen and Lew Davies were among the musicians who appeared on Light's albums.

In 1965 Light sold the Command record label, which had released the Persuasive Percussion series, to ABC Records, which itself was subsequently sold to MCA Records. After the sale, the quality of his records plummeted dramatically. The signature gatefold format (along with Light's prose) were immediately discontinued, and the covers changed to budget labels pressed on recycled vinyl. In 1975 they were completely discontinued.

Light continued recording after the sale of Command with a new group called Project 3, but did not concentrate so heavily on stereo effects. He retired from music entirely in 1974 and died four years later.

External Links

  • Official website

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Enoch Light