Tony Schwartz is a towering figure in the worlds of audio production, advertising, and media studies. I recently came across a very obscure, AFAIK never-before-reproduced (feel free to prove me wrong here guys…) profile on Schwartz from the July 1957 issue of “Better Listening Through High Fidelity” magazine (h.f. ‘BLTHF’). As far as I can tell, BLTHF was an advertorial publication distributed gratis via electronics retailers in the 1950s. The author of the piece is Robert Angus.
DOWNLOAD THE ARTICLE: TonySchwartz_1957
If you are not familiar with Schwartz’ work, read this basic profile here. Schwartz ranks alongside such luminaries as Brian Eno, Janet Cardiff, Morton Subotnik, and not too many others in my personal pantheon of audio greats. Schwartz is widely recognized to be the first person to successfully conceptualize and properly exploit the possibilities of tape-recording-as-art. Not music recording or music production, mind you, simply documentary tape-recording. Schwartz then took this hobby, essentially, and went on to create one of the most significant careers in the history of advertising and media production as a producer and director of commercials. His most famous production, which I teach in not one but two of my classes at the Uni, is the spot known colloquially as ‘Daisy.’ If you have never seen this short piece of film, take sixty seconds to watch it below. You will see a no-budg spot that many media pundits acknowledge as having possibly decided one of the most crucial presidential elections in US history, an election that, had it gone the other way, could (and yes this is a stretch) have significantly altered the course of all human history. Watch the spot:
NEways… so, so much has been written about ‘Daisy’ that there is literally no way I can add anything new to the conversation. Which is partially why I was so thrilled to uncover SOMETHING about Schwartz-in-his-salad-days that seems to have been largely overlooked. As far as ‘Daisy,’ a quick google search will reveal much more than I could offer at this point in the evening, two-drinks-in as-it-were. One more point before I go… in case you were wondering what brand of tape machine Schwartz was using for his editing work in the 50s:
Yup that’s a Magnecord. If you are interested in learning more about Schwartz, let the man himself speak to you. I recommend first his excellent book “The Responsive Chord.” For a buck-o-five you got pretty little to lose and maybe a lot to gain…