My second job, when I was 20 years old (about 1959), was at Tops Records. I was thrilled. I got to design record album covers (remember those?). Here's one of my creations that I found in a used record store. I also notice that it's for sale on Amazon. It's not exactly a masterpiece! I used the old childrens technique of painting the background in bright colors and then coloring over it all in black crayon and scratching the design into the crayon.
I remember when they were trying to think of a name for the album someone suggested "The Majestic Organ" and all the men in the office laughed. I didn't get it until much later. (When I was a little more adult.)
Tops was a strange little record company that not only produced the records but actually made them right there in the same place as our office. We were upstairs and the hot wax was poured downstairs. I wonder if it was toxic?
It was the first record company to sell to drug stores and others that weren't just record stores. They had some famous artists who were a little out of fashion at the time, like Lena Horne for instance.
One of my bosses was a well-known jazz saxophonist named Dave Pell. He was the A&R director- (artists and repertoire). He chose the music and the performers. He was a really nice guy who took me out for my first legal drink when I turned 21.
So just who is Kenneth Lane at the Magic Organ? I looked him up on Wikipedia:
With Irving Taylor, Lane co-wrote "Everybody Loves Somebody" in 1947. Frank Sinatra recorded it first, followed by Dinah Washington and Peggy Lee before Martin recorded it in 1964 and took it to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 list in August of that year. It would be Lane's biggest hit as a composer. He also arranged the music for Tars and Spars, Monsieur Beaucaire, California, Ladies' Man, Champagne For Two, Smooth Sailing, and Paris In The Spring in 1946 and 1947.
Lane composed the music for Lucy Gets Lucky, a 1975 made-for-TV movie starring Lucille Ball.
Lane's daughter is rock singer Robin Lane of "Robin Lane and the Chartbusters."
Ken Lane also has a son, his name is (Christopher Kit Lane).
Lane died of emphysema in Lake Tahoe, California.
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