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Article: Lost Heroes Of Children's Music - Bruce Haack

Bruce Haack

Lost Heroes Of Children's Music - Bruce Haack

Let's just get the weird stuff out of the way up front - yes, Bruce Haack did release a synthesizer record called "Electric Lucifer." But before he went all looney tunes on his Moog, Haack (along with collaborator Esther Nelson) recorded some of the most unusual, fresh, and charming kids music ever put on wax. After dropping out of Juilliard and dabbling in musique concrete pieces and bizarre television appearances (including one where he played a composition for twelve "chromatically tuned" women), he and Nelson teamed up to found Dimension 5 Records, releasing "Dance, Sing & Listen" in 1962, followed by a pair of sequels in the following years. Haack's musical compositions are some of the wildest in kids music history, oscillating madly between tripped-out sci-fi synth weirdouts to down-home country tunes. The lyrics are nothing unusual compared to other albums of the day, but Haack's musical experimentation pushes them over the top. The self-taught inventor built a variety of unique synthesizers out of scrap equipment, and as the 60s wore on he began to find acceptance from the mainstream, culminating with the release of "The Way-Out Record For Children" in 1968. This is no doubt Haack's masterpiece, fusing abstract, surreal lyrics and stories with progressive electronic music to no doubt fry the minds of the babies of the Love Generation. Haack died in 1988, but several reissues of his work are available. I seriously recommend you check them out.

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