Mort Garson

extract from Wikipedia

Mort Garson (20 July 1924 – 4 January 2008) who was born in Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada, was an electronic musician best known for his albums that predominantly feature Moog synthesizers.


Mort Garson studied music at Juilliard and worked as a pianist and arranger before getting pulled into the Army near the end of World War Two. He could carry out any or all of the musical chores on any given session: composer, arranger, orchestrator, conductor, and even pianist if that was required. He conducted the "Love Strings" on Liberty Records, arranged for the Lettermen on Capitol Records, provided background to Laurence Harvey reading poetry on Atlantic Records, accompanied Doris Day on Columbia and experimented with the Moog synthesizer on A&M Records, and that's just the tip of the iceberg. With lyricist Bob Hilliard, he wrote one of the great lounge hits of the 1960s, "Our Day Will Come", a hit for Ruby & The Romantics and more recently covered by K. D. Lang and Take 6 for the soundtrack of the movie Shag.

Garson spent the mid-1960s on a rapid succession of accompaniment jobs: two Doris Day albums (Sentimental Journey and Songs for Latin Lovers), Mel Tormé's great Right Now! album of contemporary covers like "Secret Agent Man," Glenn Yarborough's highly successful cover of Rod McKuen songs, The Lonely Things, and Glen Campbell's even more successful "By the Time I Get to Phoenix." He also appears to have been a favorite of producers when the job involved soft pop vocal groups and string ensembles, since his handiwork appears on albums and singles by the Lettermen, the Sandpipers, the Sugar Shoppe, the Hollyridge Strings, the Sunset Strings, and the Love Strings.


With the Hollyridge Strings, he co-arranged with Perry Botkin Jr. "The Beatles Song Book Vol. 4" and then arranged "The Beatles Song Book Vol. 5".

Highly prized albums among collectors and exotica fans are Garson's electronic albums from the mid to late 1960s. The Zodiac : Cosmic Sounds - Celestial Counterpoint with Words and Music, a suite of Garson originals released on Elektra Records includes tracks for each of the 12 signs of the zodiac, and features Paul Beaver on a variety of electronic instruments with voice-overs by Cyrus Faryar. Zodiac was the first album recorded on the West Coast to make use of Robert Moog's new Moog synthesizer. Another moog album, Electronic Hair Pieces, covered songs from the hippie-influenced musical, Hair. The mod album cover art for Electronic Hair Pieces featured a model with a wired-up skull; liner notes were provided by Tom Smothers of the Smothers Brothers. Another album, The Wozard of Iz, a psychedelic satire based on The Wizard of Oz featured Bernie Krause providing a rich array of environmental sound effects and Suzy Jane Hokum voicing Dorothy. (The widely repeated claim 'Suzy Jane Hokum' is a pseudonym for Nancy Sinatra is untrue.)

With the success of the original Zodiac LP, Garson went on to compose and arrange a 12 album series of zodiac albums for A&M Records, one album for each sign. Like Zodiac, each album contained original tunes with heavy use of electronics. In 1974, Mort Garson composed the electronic music score for the 18th Annual Grammy Award winning Best Children's Recording of The Little Prince narrated by Richard Burton. Plantasia, which was released in 1976, was an album of moog compositions to be played for growing plants. Garson also released a record of music-and-moans to capitalize on the best-seller at the time, The Sensuous Woman by "Z". He wrote an electronic Black Mass album under the pseudonym Lucifer that again featured the Moog. Garson followed Black Mass with an album titled Ataraxia designed to accompany meditations to the mantra of the listener's choice.