The BBC Radiophonic Workshop

Desmond BriscoeThe British Broadcasting Corporation, in order to meet its producers’ requests for more unusual sound effects and music than is presently held in its sound library, establishes the BBC Radiophonic Workshop in room 13 of the BBC’s Maida Vale recording studios. Concentrating on tape manipulation and found sounds altered with analog effects (and only later delving into the earliest waves of analog synthesizers), the Workshop produces music for such legendary BBC productions as The Quatermass Experiment and the theme music for Doctor Who. Founding members include Desmond Briscoe, Daphne Oram and Dick Mills.

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Ladies and gentlemen, the Beatles!

The Beatles and Ed SullivanIntroduced to an audience of screaming teenagers on national television, the Beatles make their American TV debut on the Ed Sullivan Show. The band, whose TV premiere takes place during their first trip to the States, play five songs to rapturous applause. (Ironically, Sullivan’s other musical act of the evening is a young actor named Davy Jones, later of the Monkees.) An audience estimated to be 73 million viewers strong watches this seismic moment in American pop culture, ushering in years of wanna-be sound-alikes both foreign and domestic referred to as the British Invasion.

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The Sound of Star Trek

Star Trek musicHalfway through filming on the Star Trek pilot episode, The Cage, the attention of the show’s producers turns to the music for the pilot, and possible composers. Among the composers approached but unable to commit to Star Trek are Jerry Goldsmith (later to score 1979‘s Star Trek: The Motion Picture), John Williams (later of Star Wars and Lost In Space fame), Lalo Schifrin (Mission: Impossible), Elmer Bernstein, and Dominic Frontiere (The Outer Limits); a young composer named Alexander Courage, whose schedule is open, is considered especially promising.

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Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space

SoundtrackDot Records releases the Leonard Nimoy‘s album Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space, a collection of songs both in and out of character as Spock. Aside from providing material for future Golden Throats albums, this record sparks a feud between Nimoy and Roddenberry; Roddenberry claims co-writing credit on the Star Trek theme (which is featured on the LP) and credit for creating Mr. Spock, and demands – to coin a phrase – a piece of the action.

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Moody Blues: Days Of Future Passed

Moody BluesDeram Records – an offshoot of UK label Decca – releases the second Moody Blues album, Days Of Future Passed, an orchestral/rock collaboration intended to show off the company’s stereo recording techniques for classical recordings (and intended to write off the band’s massive promotional debts owed to the label). The results is a perennially popular album now regarded as a rock classic, including the enduring hit singles “Nights In White Satin” and “Forever Afternoon (Tuesday?)”.

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The Move: Shazam

ShazamRegal Zonophone Records releases the second album by Birmingham rock group The Move, Shazam. (The album is simultaneously issued in the United States and Canada by A&M Records.) The final album with original lead singer Carl Wayne, Shazam is a bizarre collision of heavy metal and showtunes and standards without even the slightest hint of irony. After this album, Roy Wood takes over as the band’s leader.

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Electric Light Orchestra

ELOElectric Light Orchestra‘s self-titled debut album is released in the UK, though it proves to be the last released collaboration between founders (and former Move members) Roy Wood and Jeff Lynne; Wood leaves the band after an unpromising live debut. The album is released in the US in March 1972, where a phone call to clarify the album’s title results in a misunderstood written note that leads to the American release going out under the unintentional title No Answer.

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